What a weekend. I have never enjoyed free weekends more than immediately after a busy school term. All that time to do just what I want (or need) to do, no papers to read or write and no bitterly cold weather to force me indoors. It was, mostly, wonderful.
Saturday I spent at Heartwood House studio of the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild, learning to use a spinning wheel. They require that you learn how to drop spindle first, so I already knew how to draft and control the fibre. The biggest trick was learning to operate my hands and feet at the same time! Just like when I learned to drop spindle, I spent a couple hours feeling like a complete clumsy buffoon. Then suddenly, my limbs started cooperating and I was able to keep the wheel moving at a steady rate and the fibre drafting nicely without clumping. I honestly don’t know what makes that magic happen other than time, but this is definitely a craft where persistence pays off big. We even got to try a little plying, which was a little tricky just doing a two ply from a centre-pull ball, but at least gave me an idea of what to do. And it meant that I produced something that could conceivably be yarn!
There are parts that are ridiculously underspun but I love every bit of my first plied yarn. I will probably never knit it up, just admire it in its beautiful imperfection.
Sunday I managed to clean my apartment top to bottom (believe me, it needed it) and then was able to spend most of the late afternoon and evening quilting. It was a great way to spend the afternoon, and I threw in a quick bike ride just to get out and into the fresh air. I got a lot of piecing done, although I ran into a bit of a snag. I only have 11 of the 20 fat quarters I need to finish the quilt, and I’m almost to the point where I start piecing the different colours together. If I want the colours to be evenly spread out across the quilt, I need to get the rest of the fat quarters as soon as possible! This is not much of a downside…it just means it is time to go shopping!
Unfortunately the only photo I have of the results of my sewing binge is a rather blurry one:
But you get the idea.
Another unfortunate occurrence: just as I was mid-way through my cleaning spree yesterday, I heard a crash from my bedroom. I rushed in, only to discover that the bar in my closet had come off the wall, and the shelf above it had tilted forward and dumped the smallest contents onto the floor. Luckily the closed closet doors kept most of the boxes on the shelf, but it was not a pretty sight. Only one or two things were broken, nothing of importance, but now the contents of my closet are stacked about my bedroom until the maintenance people can come and repair it. I wasn’t too happy about the whole thing, but at least I don’t have to repair it myself and nothing too valuable was broken.
To end on a more cheerful note, here is the block I finished for Quilts of Valour last week:
Thanks to my new quarter-inch foot on my sewing machine, the points all line up nicely! That foot may be the best quilting tool I’ve ever purchased. Once I get tired of the stained glass quilt, I’m going to dive into the kit for a full top that I just got from Quilts of Valour. This is going to be the summer of quilting! And possibly spinning as well….