Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WIP It, WIP It Good

WIP: Work In Progress.
Loose threads everywhere. And I am still attached to my crochet hooks, so everywhere I turn there are WIPs waiting for my attention.

You may have heard me mention an area quilt shop once or twice. Now when I pop in with the children, a game of chess is requisite. Kim, the proprietress, is an amazing talent. Her quilts are tales in fabric, original and lovely, and a favorite of ours is her chess quilt.

I love her 3-D chess pieces, and the cozy color choices she made. She really knows how to capture the mood and feeling of her themes.

So, you may have guessed, I've been inspired. I chose some favorite prints and colors for our chess quilt. I am thinking of it being a quilt that will stand up to 4 children and days at the beach or park, camping and backyard picnics. Ours will be 56 inches square... a nice lap quilt, when it isn't a game board. The hard part was deciding on the pieces. I decided to go with something that would come together a bit quicker than little figures, so I went with beanbags, but how to distinguish them? Pawns and rooks, and opposing colors... decisions, decisions...

Since quilting and designing are supposedly just hobbies, something to do in my freetime, I finally decided to stick with simple. Basic forms and machine applique. I sketched the essential figures and then traced those on freezer paper. Yay freezer paper! This was my first time trying this handy technique and it was a happy success. Even simple is time consuming, but as I see the results and think ahead to comfy and cozy games playing together, I am motivated to keep cutting, stitching, and stuffing.

16 blue and 16 brown. I will not hand quilt this one, since my biggest, semi-secret WIP of all is still waiting for binding.

Rook and bishop. I will add just a bit of embroidery to really distinguish these minimalist designs. I stuff them with poly-fill and tiny beads, which give them a nice weight... perfect for tossing at the gloating winner...haha!

The derpday is the other major inspiration for sitting in the sewing room. Maria has been helping me make princess favor bags for her guests. She chooses fabrics and helps pull the drawstring through the sleeve. They are coming out princess-dorable, in pink and purple and also in monkey.

Alex called *dibs* on this monkey bag!

Home made favors and decor are not time savers, or necessarily less expensive than store bought, but I am dedicated to avoiding plastic and too many party disposables. Plus I am enjoying the process and playing with details for Maria's first birthday party. We've had cupcake celebrations, and coloring with immediate family, but this 4th birthday is her first invitation-favors-games and friends party and I want it to be special.

I have more to do and tea to sip. Max looks loads better today than he did yesterday, but he still won't eat. He's coughing and weak. Alex got them more than half way through book 6 of Harry Potter, and he's reading more now. Maria and I are congested, low and slow. So, I am thinking... Excellent! We will be sick now, cough-cough, and then we will be healthy and vigorous, bright eyed and brilliant all the rest of autumn and winter! It's a perfect plan!


Mama Spark said...

I love the "derpday" bags! Nice that Maria can help you! Can't wait to see the chess set. Ineresting. DS is sick with something right now too. I just sent him to the dr (home from school) and am hoping it is not pneumonia! Get Well Soon!!

Liz said...

So sorry you're all sick! And those projects look awesome, and scary at the same time. I really freak out at the sewing maching. It scares me.

Tiglizzyclone said...

I hope you and your family get well. And that the future is "healthy and vigorous" for you all. Nice chess pieces.

Em said...

That last picture of Alex and Max is just so darn adorable. Your family is so sweet! I'm sorry you're still feeling crappy - your projects are inspiring me to get moving and clean off my sewing tables... I need to do something creative!

judy in ky said...

Thank you for the link to Carol's Quilt Cafe. It will come in handy for this beginner! I have to agree with em... your projects are inspiring. I need to be more creative, too. I think about it and think about it, but you just get up and DO it!

Lynn said...

I have to say that the bean bag chess pieces idea is BRILLIANT. It is like two games in one.
I was looking at that first photo thinking. "but what about the game pieces.....?" And then you answered it for me.

Great idea.

village mama said...

Your lovemade party bags are awesome - especially that too cute monkey print. Enjoy the festivities. xo