Saturday, October 16, 2010

Woman's Work: Monday Wash, Tuesday Iron

When it comes to housework the one thing no book of household management can ever tell you is how to begin. Or maybe I mean why. –Katharine Whitehorn, "Nought for Homework," Roundabout, 1962

Section two of Lori's Woman's Work quilt had these three cute embroidered blocks in it. Which took kind of forever. This is all I've worked on for the last ten days. In like every spare minute I've had.

As I was working, I had this brilliant idea to use some art pastels to color in the blocks when I'd finished. I pondered on it and asked a few people what they thought. LadyBug was all for it {she loves 'painting with chalk'}, so I spent an afternoon colorbooking these blocks, all the while worrying that I was completely ruining them and that I was going to hate the result and have to start over again because the chalks have enough oil in them that they won't completely wash out. I still have mixed feelings about these blocks. When I looked at the picture of the blocks above, I had a little remorse for coloring them in. On the other hand, I think I like them better colored in. What do you think?

Monday Wash:

Tuesday Iron:

Friday Clean:

The fabric that I used for these blocks is not solid white. It has a really pretty flower-and-vine pattern printed on it, but after I washed the fabric, the pattern sort of disappeared and you can only see it in the right light. I was hoping that the pastels would help the pattern show up a little better, but it didn't really.

While I was applying the chalk to these blocks I was thinking about the naughty messes that some kids make. I know of some kids who, when they were little, got into a bottle of conditioner their mom left unattended on the kitchen table for 30 seconds while she was putting away some other groceries, and smeared it all over themselves, the couch cushions and the carpet. These same little kids would get into their mom's crafting supplies and pour glitter and embossing powder into the carpets. And pour out whole boxes of oatmeal in the middle of the living room. I've heard other horror stories of kids who get into things they're not supposed to and make the naughtiest messes. And I feel so bad for those mothers.

My Little Bugs never really made naughty messes like that, except for one time. And that one time I did have a naughty mess on my hands was really my own fault. I left my box of art pastels open and on the edge of a folding table in the living room. The temptation was too much and LadyBug reached up with her tiny, cute hands and pulled them off the table, spilling them all over the {impossible to keep clean light tan carpet they've put in every house built since 1996 because it goes with everything} carpet. Once the deed was done, Grasshopper couldn't resist a little play time with mom's fancy craft stuff and so they had a party. It was so hard to be mad at them. First of all, I'd left the chalks where they could get to them, so it really was my own fault. But secondly, LadyBug had a stack of the little chalk squares piled up and was holding them in her two little hands {I have a thing for her hands} in the most adorable way when I found them. We picked the chalks up and put them back in order in their box and really no harm was done. Hearing the horror stories of messes kids get into, I consider myself very lucky.

Anyway, back to the Woman's Work quilt. Section two also included this cute little dustpan, a counterpart to the broom in the first section. The appliqué goes really quickly and I love it. As a side-note, the embroidered 'ridges' in the pan took a little bit longer to do than it took me to appliqué the entire block. It was still really fun to make.

This quilt has nine embroidery-only blocks and I'm really slow at embroidery. However, I have four of those nine finished now and I think I'm going to go back and finish the two other blocks in the section with the paper towels next {I started with the paper towels because they are just so cute, but didn't do that whole section, so now I need :crazy: to go back and finish it}. One of the blocks left in that section is an embroidery block, so that will push me past the half-way point with the embroidery. After that, the next two sections I'll work on are appliqué blocks, with only a little embroidery in them.


PaTcHwOrK jEnN said...

How will the chalk work when you wash? It does look pretty. A very different look, almost like applique.


Shay said...

I like them both ways. I wonder if there is a way to set the chalks before you wash to ensure they stay so bright . Beautiful sewing there E! Worth the effort I think for the result.

Jennifer Lovell said...

First of all, I know you were talking about my kids, so if anyone wants to see who dumped the conditioner everywhere, just click on my profile picture and you'll see the culprits! Which ones, you may ask? It was probably the oldest two, but all four of them are guilty of comparable crimes--and consistently, I might add. Thanks for your sympathy, Elizabeth ;)! Ha ha ha.

I do like the colored-in chalked ladies too. If I had to choose, I'd probably choose the colored in ones, though they both look nice. I like the color combination. And your dustpan is so cute!

Michelle said...

I like the blocks both ways, Elizabeth. (No help at all am I?) The embroidery by itself looks so delicate, but you really have to be up close to fully appreciate it. The colored in versions are a bit more showy. If I am recalling correctly, this is to be a wall-hanging. Imo, if it is to be seen from any distance, the colored in blocks will probably show up better.

Unknown said...

I like the blocks both ways. I think the colored ones look more modern and the blocks that are only embroidered look more "old fashioned."

I was lucky to have a child who didn't make messes, probably because she didn't like to get dirty!

Paulette said...

I really liked the blocks the first way as I was reading, but then as I scrolled down and saw the colorized ones, I liked those too. It's a horse apiece, I guess. At any rate, you didn't ruin them.

You're really making great progress on this project. Nice going!

Anonymous said...

I think your colored in ones will pop. The embroidered only are fun, but the colors make them so much cheerier. Which chalks did you use?