Saturday, February 23, 2008

Take it Further February-1...Finally!













I spent half of February thinking about the Take it Further Challenge colors and theme (what are you old enough to remember?). I figured that everyone participating in the challenge is around my age or older which left me feeling that there was nothing I could remember that would be particularly interesting or unusual if everyone else could remember it, too. I tried to look at it from a more personal angle--something from my childhood and came up with Richard Scarry (children's book author/illustrator) and Carol Channing!

The reason for the unusual pairing is that, as a child, I used to go to the library to borrow records, mostly stories rather than music. One of my favorites was a story by Richard Scarry about animals on a cruise ship and something (a pearl necklace?) turns up missing and an investigation ensues. Carol Channing narrated the story and her voice used to drive my poor mother crazy. I loved it, of course.

From this memory, I thought that I could try to somehow represent the story on my crazy quilt block but I can't find the story. I think it is in a book of mysteries, but my local library doesn't carry it and I decided I could just go for something more vague, ocean imagery and maybe a boat? Once I started working on the CQ block, I realized that this was not going to work very well and decided to go with the color challenge only (although I may still embroider a little ocean and a boat in the center.


To make life easier on myself this month, I have a new tactic. 1. Use a smaller block (half the size of January's block). 2. Use the stitches I learned last month and learn only a few new ones each successive month. I was getting so overwhelmed by having to learn so many new things at one time that it made me dread working on this challenge. The new arrangement has made my life much easier and I actually look forward to working on my block now. Also, I found a book on embroidery at the library that gives some very detailed instructions of various stitches that had confused me before and it has been inspiring me to try new things and play with the stitches I already know.

I'll check back in at the end of the month with my progress (and hopefully a finish?).

Also, good news: My MA paper was accepted without the need for revision! Now all I need to do is finish out my classes this semester and I'll be done! Only about 2 and a half months left. And, in a few weeks I'll be on spring (though it looks like winter to me) break. I hope very much to make a trip with Lucas to Lancaster, PA and maybe Washington, D.C.

6 comments:

fiona d said...

these fabrics look beautiful together - looking forward to seeing more. I find it really hard to learn new stitches - even from a good book.

Liz said...

I love Carol Channing's voice. But I can imagine it would get old hearing it over and over!

Learning new stitches is always fun, but it's also important to practice previous ones so I think your new tactic is great. We certainly do not want you to dread this exercise!

Congratulations on getting your paper accepted.

Solstitches said...

Hi Misty,
Congratulations on having your paper accepted!
That is a beautiful block. Of course I would love it because it has the colours of the ocean in it.
I'm glad you are finding the fun in your needlework instead of it being a chore.
I'm jealous that you will go to Amish country - at least that's where I think you are going?

La Manosa said...

Hi Fiona,

Thank you so much for your kind comment. I do find it difficult to learn new stitches, as well. I think that reducing the number of new stitches I learn each month has really helped. It makes it so much easier to just focus on learning a little bit at a time without feeling overwhelmed.

La Manosa said...

Hello Liz,

Thank you for your comment. Yes, I listened to Carol Channing's narration incessantly so it did get annoying for my mom after a while. It's funny how kids really enjoy repetition so much more than adults.

I think you're right about continuing to practice those stitches that you've learned, so as not to forget them. One thing I like about crazy quilting is that I think it encourages you to continuously use those skills and keeps them fresh in your memory.

Thanks for the good wishes on my paper! I'm so happy it is done!

La Manosa said...

Hi Margaret,

I forgot to say, yes Lancaster is Amish country. There are Amish communities in Michigan and Indiana but they're not as famous for quilting, I don't believe. I've not had much interaction with them except seeing them drive their buggies on back roads. It's sort of terrifying because I'm always afraid that in passing them in the car, I'll spook their horse.

I'm really looking forward to it. I hear the fabric shops there are great and I just saw an article in a magazine on the quilt museum there. Only about a week and a half and I'll be on spring break. Then I'll be heading over there!