Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Word Play

Do you like to read or write? Are word games like Scrabble your favorite? Do you find the humor in puns, plays on words, or limericks? Do others look to you to edit their papers or essays? If so, you may be high in verbal intelligence as part of Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences. 

Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also an adjunct professor of psychology at Harvard University. Gardner may be best known for his theory of multiple intelligences where he challenges the assumption that there is only one kind of intelligence. Instead his widely accepted theory states that there are at least eight different intelligences. 

Howard Gardner

Let's get back to all those questions at the beginning of this blog post that relate to verbal intelligence, one of Gardner's eight intelligences. Verbal is not my strongest intelligence on the multiple intelligence quiz, but it scores a close second. I really enjoy words, and my latest quilting project reflects that love of words. 

For an annual fee, I subscribed for a few years to a quarterly newsletter from the fabric company Benartex. The newsletter came along with some new fabric samples from the company. The fabric was always cut into charm squares (5 inch squares), and the newsletter contained information about new lines of fabric as well as one or two patterns that could be made using the charm squares. When I received a packet of charm squares a couple of years ago named "Word Play" I set it aside knowing that one day I would make a small quilt from the squares. Well, the day has arrived to make that quilt and use some of that fabric in limbo that I mentioned in a previous post.

The pattern for this fabric featured in the newsletter is a little scrappier than I usually make, meaning that the colors don't necessarily coordinate the way in which I usually choose fabric. There are browns, blacks, grays, whites, creams, and greens among the squares. The common bond among the fabrics is that they feature words having to do with quilting, and since I love words, I'm going with the scrappy pattern that is featured.

I start by cutting each of the charm squares in half to make what quilters call a half square triangle (HST).  

Charm Square

Cutting Half Square Triangles

Hafl square triangles cut from "Word Play" by Benartex Fabrics

Following the pattern, I mix and match the HST's to lay out small quilt blocks all around my sewing machine. 

Then I begin to stitch the HST's together, and after that I sew the individual quilt blocks together. 

So now the quilt top is ready for the backing, quilting, and binding. It has been such a pleasure to combine my love of words with my passion for quilting by using this Word Play fabric. 

What about you? Do you believe yourself to be high in verbal intelligence? Or is another of Gardner's multiple intelligences one with which you identify? Does your work or your hobby reflect one of your intelligences? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

I have received no compensation for the mention of fabric or companies in this blog post. All opinions are my own.

Linked with: Freemotion by the River Linky Tuesday, Over the Moon, Wonderful Wednesday, Needle and Thread Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What Do You Do on a Snowy Day?

You sew, of course, on a snowy day! I used my indoor day to complete a tote bag and make new throw pillows for my sofa. If you will recall, I spent quite a bit of time at the end of this past year making multiple items for a fall craft show. That left me with an unfinished project from early in the fall when my husband and I traveled to Sequoia National Park. While visiting the park, I bought some souvenir inserts for a tote bag, but I didn't get a chance to start the tote bag until just recently. I chose green fabric for the main part of the bag. 

I have made a few tote bags through the years, but the souvenir inserts came with directions for a bag. 

I used the directions to make the front of the bag, accenting the green with a couple of brown strips. Patterns are not created equal, however, so I ended up using my tried and true directions for the remainder of the tote bag. And here is the result! (To see another tote bag that I recently made, visit my friend Debbie's blog here. By visiting her blog post, you can also read a great book review.)

The majority of my sewing time today was used to make new throw pillows. I pulled out some of that fabric-in-limbo that has been waiting in a drawer for a while. I will use this fabric not only for throw pillows but also for a new valance for my family room. 

It has been a long time since I've used home decor fabric. Since I mostly quilt now, I almost always use 100% cotton. I will say, this drapery weight fabric was nice to use for a change as it doesn't wrinkle as easily as quilting cotton. Most pillows I've made recently have had a pieced front where I have combined several fabrics such as in this pillow below.

The pillows I made today went quickly since I only used one fabric for the fronts and the backs of the pillows.

Stitching the back of the pillow

Finished pillow back

It's nice to freshen the decor in my home a bit on such a snowy day. 

My next project will be making that matching valance, and maybe even a coordinating quilt for the back of the sofa will be in the works sometime this year so that I can use more of my fabric-in-limbo.

Sandpiper Bali Crackers by Hoffman Fabrics

Linked with: Wonderful WednesdayLinky Tuesday Freemotion by the River, Needle and Thread Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things