What I’ve been up to lately

Hi friends. What have you been up to lately? Any fun projects going on? I have things going on, but not a lot of big quilts. Or even small ones, really. Sometimes I ask myself, what am I getting up to?img_3071

The church where I’m a pastor is currently working on opening a community art center. It’s a community development effort, a chance for the church to be a better neighbor to our community by seeking its flourishing. Located just a few miles outside of Manhattan, our community has a lot of diversity, but not necessarily a lot of shared history. We’re hoping to make a ¬†welcoming space for arts and crafts and learning and making together, where relationships can form and community be strengthened. Everyone benefits from feeling connected. An ethos of giving back to the community will be part of the concept — together, we can help each other and those in need with the things we make.fullsizerender

Pottery. Fabric. Paint. Artisans and enthusiasts. We’re taking the wide view toward arts and crafts of all kinds.img_3336

I’m in charge of getting this project started. It’s still in the funding and logistics phase, but it has been taking up a lot of my mental energy (a lot of that is just me on the see-saw, constantly thinking “this is going to be awesome!” and then “gah, is this a terrible idea?”). Most of the people I’ve talked to are enthusiastic about the concept, but I guess there is just a lot of uncertainty when you personally are doing something you haven’t done before.img_3406

Anyway, while we wait for adequate funds to begin the reno on the physical space, I’m trying to work on other things that need to be done, like publicity and getting the website together. I’m thinking about a nice clean website, cheap but easy to navigate. We also need some kind of online thing (within the website, I guess) for people to use to register for classes or seminars. I was thinking maybe some of you have some recommendations on this type of thing, or advice in general — if so, drop me a line.img_3168

The local elementary school PTO is hosting a holiday craft fair in December. I’m thinking about getting a table and making a spate of small, colorful items that people might like to pick up as holiday gifts (quick things with a low price-point). I myself am not really interested in selling stuff, but I’m thinking to do it as part of the publicity for the art center. Pouches and other small projects, simple baby blankets and whole-cloth quilts — these are some of the things we could be making together — and I think seeing them out and about helps generate interest. Yes?


Meanwhile, my own creative time has taken a bit of hit. Pretty much all I’m making these days are these blocks! One a day, and we’re up to 66 today. At least there are a few minutes of making each day, right?

img_3374Although I love the fabrics I’m using, I’m not always wowed by my block of the day. Some of them are just not that exciting, are they? But you know what? They are looking pretty good together (see the first 49 below). In work or in life generally, it’s kind of this way, isn’t it? Not every day is amazing, but they add up to something pretty nice. This is good for us to remember every now and then, when we’re wondering why our days seem just so-so, wondering if we’re missing something. Every day doesn’t have to be amazing for something very special to be forming.img_3473

Finish-a-long Quarter 4 Goals

Can you believe it we’re already down to the last few months of the year?

I’m going to share some interesting and new things here real soon, but first, a plan for the rest of the year.

You might think someone who had only the smallest finish in the last quarter might be tempted to give up on hopes of finishing things at this time of year. Well. I had that thought. But I also have something like 20 more projects I’d like to finish this year, so I thought, why not make a list? I’ll spare you – I’m just going to officially give a few:

  1. Bear paw (top and back are ready for quilting)IMG_2011
  2. Linen quilt (colorful strips are ready to go in the middle, shouldn’t take long now)USA_7749
  3. Little girl’s birthday quilt (most of the blocks are done)¬†USA_7750
  4. Son’s birthday quilt (no progress since last we met)¬†USA_7753
  5. Friend’s quilt (no progress here either)IMG_1538

Yes, all of them were on the list last time around. There has been progress on some, and so, I’m hopeful we may see these finished by the end of the year! It would be nice not to have any WIPS going into 2017…

Sometime I’ll show you the hilarious pile of fabric I thought I could use up by the end of the year. It’s like I think I’m a machine.

Linking up to the Finish-a-long.

Pixie Baskets (a finish!)


Hello friends! I am sure you have all been waiting to see if I would finish anything off my third quarter Finish-a-long list (I know I have be wondering about that). Well, I do have one thing to share with you today: pixie baskets!


Shortly after Heidi at Fabricmutt posted her tutorial for these adorable pixie baskets, I cut out four of them. And then did nothing with them. Even though they looked like they should have been a quick and easy project, I added them to this quarters FAL list for a little added motivation. Apparently I can procrastinate even a quick project!


These are, in fact, quick, cute and fun to make. My kids were claiming them even before they had taken shape, stuffing their toys into the half-made pieces.


They will surely be put to good use.


This is the first finish from my FAL Q3 list of hope-to-finishes.

Linking up to the finish-a-long.…lots of people finishing lots of things. Special thanks to the hosts for their encouragement!