Various & Sundry 2017 #2

Other Artists & Exhibits

Privacy is a tricky thing on social media. Where do you draw the line? Most of us nickname our spouses and children to provide some semblence of privacy. With the right access, it is a poor effort. For quilt celebrities it is harder. They don’t have the funds to employ teams of cyber security professionals to scour their accounts for stalkers. Bonnie Hunter posted a picture on Facebook of the cabin she is buying. The next day she posted about a reader who had sent her an MLS listing in a private message asking the price and other personal questions. Bonnie related that she preferred not to disclose such personal information and the person replied huffily that Bonnie was rude and would no longer follow her. Other people told Bonnie, before I could, to block that person and not worry about it. I added later that I would ask my readers to go follow her blog and her FB groups to make up for the ‘loss’ of that rude woman. If you don’t already follow her, please consider it. She is the queen of leaders and enders and is very giving to the quilt community. Her posts are cheerful and helpful. She does a mystery quilt every year and has a number of free patterns available. Thanks!

Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania is having an exhibit until March 3, 2017, featuring documented (often still in the family) quilts from this area, mostly Mennonite, but there is a Brethren star quilt on display.  The blog post talks about some of the quilts, and information about visiting can be found using the links at the top of the page.

Cuesta Benberry’s collection from the Michigan State is on display at the DuSable Museum in Chicago until February 28, 2017.

Patterns, Fabrics, Tools & Supplies

I saw Tooly pattern and thought two things. First, it would make a great gift. Second, it would be great for a quiltmaker’s ‘Go’ bag. I know you know I am big on having a bag with all the essentials to take to retreats and classes. I have a Tupperware box, but it is getting pretty stuffed. I might just need to clear it out, but having this stand in easel format would be convenient for accessing frequently used tools. This is sold via Craftsy by Sew Together. I don’t think it is the same designer of the Sew Together Bag.

If you still want to make a pussy hat, Knifty Knittings has a pattern.

Not a fan of LP Sharp? Scottie Dogs has another option for bulk rotary cutter blade replacement.

AQ Follow-up

Susan and Gretchen both left kind comments on the Wonder clip pincushion gifts.

Susan wrote: “LOVE, LOVE this project. I want to make some as I use the wonderclips all the time. Could you give more of a reference to where you found the pattern? Love of Patchwork and Quilting magazine has many issues. Thanks, S”

I got the pattern from issue 39 of Love Patchwork and Quilting. You can see a photo on their blog post related to this issue, but there are no directions. It is available digitally in the Apple and Google Play stores.

Gretchen wrote: “These are adorable and I wish I had a giant one (I have a lot of wonderclips). You sacrificed Beanie Babies to make these? A worthy use!”

No no no no no! No Beanie Babies were sacrificed in the making of these pincushions! The pellets are available in bags at Beverly’s. I am sure other similar stores have them as well. Since many people are allergic to nuts, including my SIL#2, the standard walnut shells do not work for me. I use a combination of Beanie Baby pellets (I am sure they have some other more generic name) and wool roving for the filling on pincushions. I buy  these items when they are on sale at Beverly’s.

Media & Events

Scruffy Quilts is a shop near my house. I took a look at their blog recently. I love the pictures they show. The Prismatic Star is especially nice.

The American Quilt Study Group will host their seminar on October 18-22 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The forms to sign up are available on their site.

Frances has put out her second emailed newsletter and it is as good as the first. She talks about getting quilts ready for QuiltCon. If you don’t receive her newsletter, go to her QuiltFiction website.



Retreat Donation Top

Maureen's Bits Top
Maureen’s Bits Top

I was on Retreat this past weekend. Maureen brought some bits and bobs. I decided that I would take some of the pieces sewn together and make them into a quilt top for the BAM charity. I sewed various bits and pieces together in kind of log cabin format until the piece was around 40 inches square. It is not a masterpiece of design, but someone will like it. I have not yet made a back and may not.

There were more bits and pieces and I probably could have made another top, but wanted to work on my own stuff. I’ll finish the yellow donation #2 and be able to provide an additional two tops. That counts for something, right?

Runs with Scissors Quilt Shop

Runs with Scissors Motto
Runs with Scissors Motto

I made a circuit of the shops, mostly driving on surface streets. The second shop I visited during my #politicalwifery weekend was Runs with Scissors. Great name, huh? Runs with Scissors was a lot smaller and had fewer items than Thistle Dew. Still, I found some nice things.

I had some trouble locating this shop once I found the address/mall in which it resided. It is tucked below and behind a sidewalk, but is truly net to Goodwill as the online resources say. I don’t think I could see it from the street. The mall looks a little seedy, but the shop is bright and clean and has new and modern fabric and supplies.

One thing in which I was interested was the Scottie Dog patterns. You might remember that DH and I went looking for Scottie Dog quilt shop on our 2015 visit to the North Coast and found that it was permanently closed. I think that is their new home. I ended up buying the Modern Meteor pattern because I have an idea for a quilt for one of the nephews and the pattern reminded me of my Star Sampler quilt, an idea with which I am not yet finished.

I also bought an apron pattern called the Chatterbox Apron because I liked the shape. After I got back to the hotel, I thought that it might be by the same designer as my Church Ladies apron. Not a good sign since I needed a translator for that one. Clearly, however, I like the designer’s style. I have an idea to make aprons as gifts. I hope not to need a translator now that I have made one of the line’s patterns.

Runs with Scissors motto
Runs with Scissors motto

The shop was filled with people making a group project or taking a class, so the place had a cheerful feel. I really liked the decorations they had including the mottos/sayings. I have been told it is slightly modified from a Molly Ivins poem or essay, however, I found it listed as a saying from Hunter S. Thompson. The above is slightly revised.

Updated Gift Ideas

In 2015, I created a list of gift ideas. As mentioned at that time, I like the idea of giving and making sets of gifts: choosing a fabric and then making a number of items from that fabric. Since then there are lots of new patterns and ideas. I came across a few other items that I thought would make great additions to my list and be useful as well. I decided to update this list and get the ideas out to you again.

The point is not to use the patterns I use, but to make the gifts in whatever pattern YOU like. This is a gift idea.

You might be wondering why I am talking about this in January when you just finished with the holidays. Simply, you will need time to make everything without getting stressed out.

Pincushion – Fig Tree Quilts Petit Gateau pincushion pattern. I like this pattern, because the pattern makes sense, is not difficult and looks like a pincushion. I have made several and they go together very quickly. I use wool roving and some of the Beanie Baby plastic pellets to fill it. I buy both at Beverly’s when they are on sale and keep a supply on hand. The pellets give the pincushion some weight. I don’t use walnut shells, because so many people are allergic to nuts. The only issue I ever have with this pattern is to find an appropriate button to put on top and bottom. Often I make these and don’t think ahead and then find myself wanting to finish, but have no appropriate buttons. Of course, there are plenty of pincushion patterns out there and you should use your favorite.

Needle case – many people don’t do handwork and so this is an inappropriate gift, but it is so cute! Regardless, I find that a bit of hand sewing is needed at various times. I found the pattern in the Spring 2013 issue of Modern Patchwork. It was designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale of IHeartLinen. I wasn’t able to find a pattern for it on her blog or the web. The pattern is in RCH’s book, Zakka Style, according to Frances Newcombe from Belly Buttons Boutique. You may be able to find I copy of that magazine on Etsy or eBay. I am sure there are other needlecase patterns out there.

Tissue case – This isn’t something that I would really use, though that might change. It is a nice stocking stuffer or small hostess gift. I got the idea to make them from Valerie over at Evening in the Garden blog. I made a few, which you can see in December gift posts. I used the YouTube tutorial that Valerie used. I found that these make great boutique or Secret Santa Shop items since they are very quick to make.

Lanyard – these are great for guild meetings, but also for hanging scissor sheaths, keys, pens, etc. Think of a chatelaine’s key ring.

Scissor Sheath – as mentioned above, a scissor sheath can be added to the gift pile and adding a ribbon or fabric hanging loop on it enables the owner to hang it from a lanyard.

Project bag – Jeni Baker Drawstring bag (pattern to purchase). The pattern has multiple sizes. This is good to keep project supplies together. She also has a tutorial for one size – Example

Tote bag – There are lots of different tote bags that I have made. I really like the Jane Market Tote (pattern to purchase). I also like the Eco Market Tote from Favorite things (pattern to purchase). I made a version of that bag with Heart fabric and it is still a great pattern. I have another one in mind. Including a tote bag in your gift selection is a nice way to package all the gifts. Choose any pattern that you like.

One Hour Basket – An alternative to a tote bag, especially for a group of small gifts is the One Hour Basket. This is a free pattern by Hearts and Bees which you can download from Craftsy. She has a new pattern with different sizes as well.

Journal/Sketchbook Cover – you can adjust the pattern to accommodate a number of sizes of journals. This pattern, as you have seen many times on this blog, is for a 6.5in x 8in Miquelrius journal.

Pencil roll – I love the pattern by Pink Chalk, but it is no longer available. If you can find it somewhere, such as Etsy, buy it and keep it safe. It is useful and fun even if you are not pen hog like I am. I have made, perhaps, a dozen of them and I want everyone to love them. I always put a few pens in to give people an idea of how to use them. I reported on one of my pencil roll posts that this project took me about 3 hours to make. (updated 1-26-2017)

An Alternative to the pencil roll is a tool holder. I haven’t actually made one of these yet, but I do like the pattern. I like the idea of having my most used items all in one place and viewable to so I don’t have to dig for them.

You could also add a Sidekick from Jinny Beyer’s store. It is good for handwork and I could have used it on my trip this past weekend. I have the pattern, but haven’t made it yet.

You can also think up themes and find patterns that fit the theme. For example:

  • Kitchen: apron, potholders, kitchen towels, casserole carrier, roll basket
  • Bath: makeup bag (zipper pouch), towels, tissue cover, stiff holder for TP and such

Get sewing!

Thistle Dew Quilt Shop

I had a #politicalwifery event over the weekend. While DH was in meetings, I went to 3 quilt shops, Thistle Dew Quilt Shop, runs with Scissors and I made a second visit to the Fabric Garden.

Thistle Dew Quilt Shop - outside
Thistle Dew Quilt Shop – outside

The name “Thistle Dew” made me think of Laura Ashley prints, so I didn’t have high hopes. I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find an awesome quilt shop experience. It was light, bright and cheerful. The people were friendly and helpful, but didn’t hover. It was that hard to find and though information said parking would be difficult, I found a spot right in front.

Sue Spargo Embroidery Thread Display
Sue Spargo Embroidery Thread Display

When I walked in, the first thing I saw was 4 large cases of Sue Spargo embroidery threads. I almost swooned! I love embroidery floss. I love Sue Spargo’s work and have been admiring her book, Stitches to Savor: A Celebration of Designs by Sue Spargo. It is a kind of coffee table book where you can see the stitching. I have been drooling over the designs for awhile. I didn’t even know she had come out with a line of embroidery threads. The threads were different weights. Yes, I bought several. I was pleased to restrain myself, because I wanted ALL THE THREAD.

Cosmo Embroidery Thread Case
Cosmo Embroidery Thread Case

I was already in heaven when I turned and found an entire case of Cosmo embroidery thread. I really couldn’t believe my luck. I remember seeing a big case of this thread at QuiltCon last year. I don’t know for sure, but it looks like they have all the colors. I didn’t buy any then. I love the way they arranged the colors in this case as well. Again, I wanted ALL THE THREAD.

I was also pleased to find that one their instructors filled in for Sue Spargo last year when she was sick. I don’t know if the woman is certified, but with the threads and the high level instructor, I would say that they have classes in Sue’s stitches and techniques and are within driving distance.

After selecting several spools and hanks, I went to look at fabric, which they did have. Lots of it. Bright cheerful prints, lots of text and low volume fabrics, many dots, plenty of solid. Generally, they had a great selection.

I was also pleased at the selection of notions. Theirs was not the standard selection of Dritz notions that new store often have. This was 10+ feet of very special notions, including so many needles my head was spinning.

As soon as I got hope and saw SIL, I told her we had to make a trip to Sacramento to visit quilt shops. There are several worth visiting. I guess I had better make some finishes. I told my mom about the store and will definitely visit again.

Thistle Dew Quilt Shoppe
10127 Fair Oaks Blvd
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Off the Beaten Path: Roses

Nanny's Crochet Rose
Nanny’s Crochet Rose

I was at Craft Night last night when my SILs showed me a piece by their grandmother (DH’s grandmother also). They had gone through her bag of crochet, which SIL#2 has had since she died. They wanted to make something out of the pieces for our niece who is getting married in April.

We have, or had, a doily that was similar made by my great grandmother (Grama Johnson). I showed my mom and she thinks the cream portion is tatted and the rose and leaves are crocheted. I don’t tat or crochet so I have no idea. I have seen tatting and the outer cream work does look like tatting.

Of course, I did a web search to see what I could find. Lots of Etsy patterns that were not relevant. I did find Picmia, which has lots of flowers. What I would really like to see is an index of patterns by technique.

I thought that Workbasket, an older magazine that I believe is out of print might have been a source of the pattern. I found a pay per view resource. It has a free history of the magazine. This is clearly a labor of love, however I found it a little difficult to navigate. I also found an index of Tatting patterns from Workbasket. I didn’t find the pattern for the piece above.

In my web travels, I found some interesting sites. Needlenthread has online resources that include historic needlework sites, coloring pages and vintage pattern sites. The resources appear mostly to be about embroidery.

This is the sort of reference project into which, as a librarian, I could sink my teeth. Too bad nobody pays me for this.

Let me know if you have seen such a thing. I have a couple of vintage books I can look at and will do that later.

The Beginning of the End of the Top

Yes, this is an Alice in Wonderland-esque post.

Yesterday, after returning from a somewhat intense #politicalwifery weekend, I spent some time with The Peacock.

The short version is that I finished the left part of the top. There a couple of long seams I need to sew to other long seams, but I am saving them until the end.
Now I can work on the right side in peace. The first small hexies I added need a lot of attention. I was able to put the 3 rows together after that. I am waiting to see how long the rows with small hexies will be before I trim or add to other rows. At the moment

Progress. Definite progress.

Pincushion Gifts

Pincushion Clip gifts
Pincushion Clip gifts

I wasn’t be at the guild meeting yesterday, which made me sad. Kelly, of the Kelly bag fame, pinch hit for me with the officer gift bags. Thanks, Kelly.

Many guilds give their officers quilts as thank you gifts. I am of the mind that we all have enough quilts, but a tote bag (simple or complicated) full of lovely small gifts is great for everyone. Since I organize it, that is what we do. When someone else takes over they can do something else.

Pincushion Wonderclip Holder
Pincushion Wonderclip Holder

I cut the pieces on that last Sew Day then worked on my gifts the day after. The cutting is always the worst for me. There wasn’t much so I can’t complain. The sewing went remarkably quickly – so quickly in fact that I felt like making half a dozen more.

As I mentioned the fabrics were all scraps except for the back (5″ square). I made fabric by sewing selvedges together. I am tempted to do that again, but will try to resist saving another thing. The other fabrics are heavily from the Kaffe Collective, especially my man Phil (Philip Jacobs) and Martha Negley. I know these fabrics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope the officers like them.

Pincushion gift pre-stuffing
Pincushion gift pre-stuffing

The pattern says to line up the clip holders evenly, but I only did that for one. I thought the uneven rows would add interest, but I am not sure now.

I used some of my Beanie Baby beans and some stuffing leftover from Red and Coral. I hope it is good enough for its purpose.

The flaps you see are to hold Wonderclips (see photos above). My Wonderclips are holding the hole closed until I could sew it together. I plan to put a couple of clips and some pins in each one to show their purpose.

Finally, I sent them to Kelly so she could put them into the bags for me. I found the pattern in Love Patchwork and Quilting, issue 39. It is available digitally in the Apple and Google Play stores. It was a quick and satisfying project. I was able to make four of them in about an hour minus sewing the stuffing hole closed.

I think this will be on my list of small gifts to give to people for whom I want to make a quilty gift.

Carpenter’s Wheel Play

Carpenter's Wheel
Carpenter’s Wheel

I have been thinking about the Carpenter’s Wheel blocks lately. As you know, I made two more blocks recently in order to lay the blocks out in a circle effect.

I laid out the blocks on the floor (design wall is full) and the photo left shows the top of a layout. I am not sure about it-imagine adding 7 more blocks. It will make a very large quilt. I also don’t really want to fill the blank spaces with 2.5″ squares. It would make an interesting background, but would also make me crazy sewing. I could use larger squares or even different sized squares to add interest. The small size, however, makes the wording less prominent, however. I don’t want some giant word to end up in the middle of the quilt.

Carpenter's Wheel Layout #8
Carpenter’s Wheel Layout #8

After taking this photo, I went back and looked at my other layouts. I like this one the best. The only thing I have to decide is whether to put the two blocks in those blank spaces or to make the circle bigger.

Getting closer.

ColorPlay Peacock

The Peacock - Jan 2017
The Peacock – Jan 2017

Since we have been obsessing over the Peacock, I decided to use the Peacock piece, as is, for ColorPlay this week. Ok, I have been obsessing

I would have cropped out more of my design wall, but decided just to leave it in and see what happened.

Since the colors are all cool colors, I thought I might finally develop the calm palette I have been seeking.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.1
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.1

Using the Palette builder tool is always interesting. I am fascinated by the tool’s initial selections of locations on the photo. There are always circles on the edge. The choices the tool made tends towards darks and neutrals, in my opinion. If I were given the palette and then shown this quilt and asked if it was the palette for the  quilt I am not sure I would say yes. There are only 1 each of green and blue.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.2
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.2

Fortunately, we can move the circles around. This palette is almost the perfect palette. It might actually be the perfect palette. While not complete, I do think it reflects the colors of the piece. I particularly like the addition of the green – Kona Blue Grass on the bottom of the list. The fabric I used was not that manufacturer, but it is a good match. I might need to use Kona Blue Grass if I run out of the solid that I have been using.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.3
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.3

Of course, it is impossible for me to leave well enough alone. I moved the circles around again.

This is similar to the number 2 above, but tending more to the neutrals again. I wanted to get the lavender in the palette to see what that would add. Despite the Kona Blue Grass, I don’t like this palette as much.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.4
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.4

I had to fix it, try to make it less depressing, so I tried again. The palette is still somewhat tending towards neutrals, but the Lapis, Holly and Stratosphere balance out the Kona Coal and Graphite.

It isn’t the perfect palette, but I am rather partial to Stratosphere and Lapis. They make great additions to almost any palette.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.5
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.5

There is a gold color in some parts of the fabric and I wanted to try and get that into the palette and see what it did sitting alongside the other colors. I worked on trying to get it from the area with the greens. It shows up there in the original panel. The closest I could get with that strategy was Kona Peridot (second from the right on the bottom). Between the Peridot and Coal, the palette is starting to look depressing again.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.6
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.6

Distracted from the gold for a minute, I moved more circles to try and get back to the first palette.

The palette I came up with is different than the first palette, but still quite pleasing. The addition of Kona Leaf (second from the right bottom) and Candy Blue (far left bottom) are wonderful. This looks like a very restful palette.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.7
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.7

I got back to trying to capture that gold. It was a lot easier when I realized there was a gold center in one of the hexies towards the bottom. The fabric chosen by the tool is Kona Gold. It is fairly brown and I am not sure I like it.

It occurred to me, as I assessed these different palettes that each palette is very limited. I always use many more fabrics when making a quilt. The Peacock is actually one of the most limited in terms of fabrics, but I still have 7-10 different fabrics. It looks like more because of the way I cut up the Peacock panels. Combining all the different colors from the various palettes might be the way to go in making a quilt.

Let me know what you do with the Palette Builder.

Incremental Peacock Progress

I sewed a few seams last night and think I made some progress that sent me over the edge into less decision making and more rote sewing. I think.

I need to get past the small hexies to get to the point where I can finish the top background. On the left is the piece from Monday -earlier this week and the right is the most recent incarnation. I have added one strip, but this required lining up the small hexies with their bottom halves on the row below. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is easy to get them out of alignment.

The Peacock - top left
The Peacock – top left

Next, I have to finish that row, which means deciding if I will keep the blue half hexie (far left) or replace it with a regular strip. Some of that depends on how much of which dark fabrics I have left. Working with solids in this project reminded me why I don’t like to buy just FQs.

These are my next goals. Stay tuned!

Accuquilt Die v Ruler Smackdown

OK, smackdown might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it sounds impressive, right?

I am working on the Bonnie Hunter En Provence Mystery Quilt, as you know. The second step, which I have partially finished, uses Peaky and Spike* blocks. Peaky and Spike sounds more fun than “weird triangle blocks”, right?

Peaky and Spike
Peaky and Spike

Peaky is the pink part and Spike is the black on white part. For En Provence, I needed to make 100 of these elements. Not rocket science, but not squares either. The bias could be problem. At Sew Day I cut all of the Spikes using the appropriate Tri Recs ruler. This piece has no notches except for the top, which is easy to deal with.

I bought the Peaky and Spike die with a gift card for Christmas, but by the time I was ready to start cutting, it was still on backorder and had not shown up. I began cutting the Peakies from the ruler at Craft Night. SIL told me that she had the Peaky and Spike die and I switched to that. I cut all of the 200 Peakies I needed in about an hour. Much easier than using a rotary cutter.

Die and Ruler
Die and Ruler

The interesting part of this is the sewing. The ruler has a notch at the bottom (photo right bottom) and the die (photo left top) has a notch at the top. In the directions for the quilt, Bonnie admonishes us to be sure and cut the notch at the bottom**. As a result, I placed the ruler on the die cut Peakies and also cut the bottom notch. This got old really fast and I stopped.

Peaky & Spike Annotated
Peaky & Spike Annotated

Once I started sewing, it didn’t matter. The bottom notch (from the ruler) was certainly helpful. You need either the top or bottom notch to sew the pieces together easily and in alignment, however either one will work.  I really didn’t need both.

Tri Recs Ruler
Tri Recs Ruler

The ruler has the advantage of enabling the user to cut multiple sizes. The Peaky ruler has the notch on the bottom because of the different sizes.

The die only cuts pieces for one block size, and, thus, can have the notch more prominently on the top.

This was a interesting learning experience.










*Peaky and Spike is the name given to these blocks by Doreen Speckmann. Doreen was a fantastic teacher, funny, fun loving and a master at helping students understand the structure of block elements. If you don’t have her book, Pattern Play, start haunting used book stores. It is a classic.


**The mystery quilt directions focus on the Tri Recs ruler and not on the die, though the die is mentioned as being available.

Christmas Gift Bags

I am trying very hard to be process oriented rather than product oriented. The Morass feeling hasn’t helped. It turns out I am trying, simply, to get something finished.

I did feel a lot better on Monday night after what I completed over the weekend. Monday was a holiday and I actually spent some of it sewing. I hope I am over a hump, but you never know.

Christmas Gift Bags
Christmas Gift Bags

I bought some fabric at Wooden Gate when Mom and I met there earlier this month. One of the leaders and enders I was doing were Christmas gift bags from the fabric I bought there. I finished them on Sunday and was able to put 1.5 yards in the ‘used’ column.

The print is really fun and the fabric was 75% off. I am pleased that they are done.

More Peacock Progress

I spent several hours over the weekend working on the Peacock. I was determined to make progress and I did! I am pleased with the progress that I made. Several hard decisions were made and lots of sewing was completed.

The Peacock - top right
The Peacock – top right

I spent a lot of time on Saturday making the smaller hexagons large enough to fit into the rows of the piece. During this joy I kept asking myself whose bright idea it was to add the smaller hexagons to the piece. They take more time and are a bit fiddly.  Most of those I worked on will be on the darker side of the top of the piece. I will scatter them around and up to the top. A few will go on the lighter side.

The Peacock - full piece, January 2017
The Peacock – full piece, January 2017

Including this, I am marching up to the top of the piece. I am a row away from having full strips to piece into the top and I can’t wait.

I took some time to piece the rows together on the bottom. These are just long and awful seams. I can’t do any chunking on this piece, which is a pain. I want to finish the left side including the small hexagons with black backgrounds in a border type treatment and then move the entire piece over towards the left so I can work on the right.

I’d love to tell you tomorrow I have the top finished, but I think that would be too optimistic. I plan to work more on it today and, hopefully, make some good progress.

The Morass

Lately I have been feeling like I am in a quiltmaking morass. I tell myself that at least I am working and making some progress. The problem is that the progress is slow and doesn’t feel real. Morass is a word with a real negative connotation. I couldn’t think of a more positive word. I don’t feel negative, just a bit…..morassy. Finally, I had to sit down and face reality.

As you know,  I make regular lists of my projects to try and keep the UFO list low. I have gotten pretty good at finishing things I start. After reading Friend Julie’s post about balance, I think the problem is that I am working on too much at once. As a result, I can only make incremental progress on any one project. This is the down side of leaders and enders.

Leaders and enders is not bad. It is a fantastic technique and I get so much done when I use the leaders and enders method. Remember Fresh Fruit? I just reached the point where I expected too much out of it.

Right now I am working on the Peacock, Yellow Donation quilt #2, the En Provence Mystery quilt primarily. Primarily is the key word. I also started making some gift bags. I needed a finish, plain and simple.

The problem is that all of these projects are a different stages. Some need cutting, some need color choices. Others, especially The Peacock, need lots of thinking. The Yellow Donation Quilt #2 is the easiest to deal with. It is true leaders and enders. I can just stick the pieces under my needle without much drama. The thing about leaders and enders is that it works best for me if I have one thinking project and one mindless project. Three projects is too much.

I started working on En Provence, because I really wanted to try and work along as the clues were released. It didn’t work, but it was on my mind and I was trying. Now that the reveal has happened, I still like the design and since I started, I am loathe not to work on it. It might be easier if I paused working on this until I was done with the Peacock and then got back to it. I have blocks of time that are good for cutting, though, and En Provence needs the type of cutting I can do with these blocks of time.

The Peacock is actually coming along well. I have struggled along and am finally turning a corner. More on that soon.

Still, the projects feel like they are going slowly. I feel like I am slogging through ankle deep mud, but without the dirt and negativity. I blame the Peacock. I don’t know if it is just a difficult project. Or if I have lost interest and, thus, motivation or if the problem is something entirely different. I think I will be glad when it is done.

I did make some progress over the weekend and I feel like I am getting through the morass.