It feels like it has been forever since I last posted, probably because I've been wanting to post every day for the last week. I got caught up in the tornado that is school and only recently have come back to earth (yesterday). I've been busy revising a paper that will be submitted as my MA Thesis and have handed in the first draft. I can't tell you what a relief it is to have made some progress with it. I have to complete any additional revisions by the end of this month so that I can turn in to the university. The light at the end of the tunnel (graduation) is getting a little larger. I saw a number of people had widgets of little Christmas trees on their blogs with a countdown. I started thinking to myself that I should look into seeing if there is a personalized widget I could make to count down my graduation. But then again, maybe that would just drive me insane. :)
So I have quilted Madison's quilt and have about 1/3 of the binding hand sewn down on the back. Here is a shot of it before I started on the binding.
I decided to do free motion with a curly-Q design that I had been wanting to practice, anyway. I could stand to work on my free motion quilting, most definitely, but I didn't think it turned out too bad, in the end.
I've been reading the Sew Mama Sew blog for some time now and am enjoying their feature of quilts and quilting techniques this month for Quilting Month. They had some information about hand quilting and hand piecing that really made me think about reconsidering them. I've always sworn off hand piecing because it seems really intimidating, but one bonus is that you have more control with pieces that would be difficult to sew together by machine. Also, I had started the hand quilting already and had put it aside because I didn't think my stitches were very good. But after doing the free motion quilting on Madison's quilt and feeling like I was operating a jack hammer (that machine can really get going and Lucas said he could feel the vibration in the floor), I could see how hand quilting would be a much more relaxing way to go. Machine quilting really stresses me out, although I am sure it will get better with time. All of this is simply to say that I am going to keep working at the little hand quilting practice project I have and then give it a go on one of the quilts I make in the future. And I'm now going to give hand piecing a chance, someday...when I have some time. :)
I've been knitting away on my toe-up socks. Twice, I managed to knit a hole in them! Since I am an expert at wearing holes into my socks, I decided I didn't need to start out with one. I seem to have gotten around the problem, finally. Although it's a bit challenging, I must say, sock knitting is a blast! I'll post a picture of the toe, soon. I've got some fantastic self striping yarn and the sock is so adorable.
On SuperBowl Sunday I headed over to the LYS/LQS to pick the winning team during the annual sale, buy some yarn and fabric at a great price and enter a drawing. I won the drawing! I am now the happy owner of a nice new knitting bag. I didn't pick the winning team but still got a discount for participating, so I bought some fabric for a top secret project which I cannot reveal until it is completed.
A new knitting group was started by a graduate student in the French Dept. Last night was the second get together at a local cafe. It was great! I was so happy to meet a few people with similar interests who also love knitting/stitching. We knitted by the fireplace and chatted about the ups and downs of graduate student life. I hope the group keeps going throughout the semester because it was so nice to feel like I had a bit of community, something that has been scarce for me in a lot of ways since I moved here.
I'll try not to be such a stranger and post again soon. Thanks, everyone, for all of your very nice comments, particularly on my CQ block.