Friday, November 19, 2010

Learning new things

Today I've been free-motion quilting my "bear paw quilt" that I'm making for my niece for Christmas. Free-motion quilting is a relatively new skill for me, so I've been going at it slowly and a bit anxiously, not exactly pleased at the results, but at the same time excited and proud to be slowly gaining some proficiency at it. Like any new thing, it takes practice. And as I get better and better with each quilt, I feel myself being freed of those straight walking-foot quilting lines, and freed of paying a long arm quilter (yay!). Besides the financial motivation, which is a biggie, I had the unfortunate experience of having a quilt almost ruined by a long arm quilter. I put so much work into these quilts that to send it away and have no control over what happens in that aspect is scary. My unfortunate experience made me very motivated to learn how to do it myself.

I don't' have much room, and have learned that sitting at the dining room table does horrible anti- ergonomic things to my body, so I'm trying out this new set-up in my kitchen, standing up. I like it!

Here's the quilt so far. I'm hoping to finish it tonight!

I'm also learning to cook using a pressure cooker! It's been a goal of mine for a while now. Not only can you turn cheaper, tougher (and often more flavorful) cuts of meat into delicious perfectly done meals in a fraction of the time it'd take you in an oven, but it also uses a fraction of the fuel, or gas, so it's a much "greener" way to cook. Being more and more "green" is something I'm passionate about. The beans I cooked yesterday turned out wonderful!! I don't know what took me so long to try this! I've had the pot for 4-5 years now!!

One last thing to share is that I got back my bear paws that I did for the exchange at the local quilt shop. I turned in 12 of theses:

And got back these 12! Aren't they cute? No idea what I'll do with them yet... Any ideas?

With the week-end rolling around, my husband will be with us, and I'm hoping to get him to take over the kid and household chores so that I can get a bit more sewing in. Wish me luck!!

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