A new finished project...

After spending an evening with my writing group, I look forward to reworking a piece of writing to make many (most!) of the changes they suggest. In other words, they make my writing better.

The same goes for my stitching sisters.
One day my friend Sue http://arrasheiress.blogspot.com/ emailed a photo of a set of gorgeous blocks she had finished. She had arranged them on the floor. They beckoned me, saying, "You. Make. Now!" So, I made one block to try the partial-seam technique involved. I loved the block and made four more. I decided five blocks would make a fine table runner.

Now, every quilter knows that once you get your blocks sewn together and sandwiched with batting and backing, you have to decide how to quilt the piece. This time I challenged myself to go beyond "stitching in the ditch" (stitching along seamlines where pieces are sewn together). I am quite pleased with the way it turned out, especially that the angle of the quilting is not exactly 90 degrees from horizontal, which habit screamed I should do. No, I said, that’s too easy. What would happen if I rotated it a little more? I tried it on one block and liked it so much I kept going.

That done, I had to face another issue.

Because I had only one block with red in it, I had played with adding a little red interest elsewhere; such as prairie points, tabs or streamers; but had yet to come up with something I liked.

Enter another stitching sister. I had taken the table runner with me to a sewing/quilting retreat in Sisters, Oregon. Naomi http://home.earthlink.net/~howl-moon/ suggested I put some red in the binding. I liked the idea, but didn’t know how to plan the binding so the red would end up in the exact places I wanted. So, I "guestimated," sewed two sections of red into the binding strip, and let them fall wherever they ended up. I found out that it wasn’t that crucial where they were. What was important was that they were there.

Each time I look at this piece, it reminds me of good times and good friends. And pushing myself. That’s what stitching sisters and writing groups are for.

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