Batting Practice

Good gracious! I cannot stop with the baseball talk when it comes to this project. We are on a roll making baseball bags, and since one only needs so many small spherical bags, we are listing a few on our Etsy shop tommorrow. Because I double the floss for stitching around the baseball, I run out of floss at an alarming rate, and have to buy a few more skeins before they are completed, but here is the work in progress:

Strider got all three of these balls for us, and they are great, broken-in and friendly. I conditioned them with neatsfoot oil, so now they faintly smell like my old ball glove did. The bigger one is a softball, and I am going to call it "Fast Pitch." The darker one in the front with the pink stitching is an old baseball that has "Judah" written on the side of it, and it's got great patina. Laura is making little wallets to accompany the bags, here is one of them:
It's made with naturally dyed (madder and onion skins) wool felt and embroidery floss. Now, I like blanket stitch, but Laura can really work it. I love the way she did blanket stitching around the zig zag background. I haven't seen the other two wallets, but we planned ahead to make sure the colors of the balls and the wallets go together- I am excited to see them!

It's great to work collaboratively on projects like this. The best thing is the accountability. I know that Laura will want a progress report when I chat with her, so I make myself finish things up right away instead of flitting on to another new project or idea. The synergy of both of us directing our energy towards a common project is really cool too, I wonder if an art circle or crafting group would provide the same kind of feeling, or if it's diluted.

Before there were craft circles or stitch and bitch meetings, there were quilting bees and after buying "Community Quilts," I have always wanted to be in a quilt group with other women. The book chronicles how a group of friends in North Carolina have been making quilts together for more than 20 years. It shows quilts that have been made in the past and details the process to set up a group quilt and quilting bee. It has to be a magical, special thing to work in community with other women and make something to comfort and warm a friend. When I was a kid, my mom and the other women in our church made quilts for babies, weddings and special events. I have fond memories of sitting under a quilt, stretched in a frame, while my mom and other women quilted and chatted away.  In some ways, I think the online craft community is like a virtual quilting bee, and I like seeing what others are doing, thinking, selling. I would like to do something locally though and want to investigate setting up a bee of my own. We'll see. No new projects for now though- I have to finish those balls before I see Laura today!

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