Who Am I? has been hanging on my design wall for weeks and I am really sick of looking at it. The concept was stellar IMO, the design choices I made were good, so I really don’t know what the problem was.I don’t know why I didn’t want to work on it, but I didn’t. The other day, I finally forced myself to work on it.
I was tempted by other projects, but I forced myself to stay focused. I know I need to enjoy my quiltmaking, but I do not enjoy having quits languishing.
I thought about adding a small dark border so the first thing I did was try that. I had some Tilda charcoal I am going to use for Stay Tuned, but I have enough to use for for this project as well. Also, since I know what it is, I can always buy more.
As an aside, the Stay Tuned fabric palette has not been decided, so I may as well use fabric I have for projects that need it now.
I wasn’t sure the charcoal would work completely, but I kept on. I added some further border strips using the dotted background fabric (colors on white).
Putting a little of the white dotted fabric up gave me more confidence that I was on the right track. I decided my ideas were good ones, so I started sewing.
I wanted to frame the center, but also smooth out some of the wrinkles from the applique’. I carefully measured and put on side pieces that helped to square everything up. I don’t think the quilt is completely square as I couldn’t cut much off of either side.
Laying out the whole charcoal gave me the idea of doing something a little different on the bottom. I wanted to anchor the design a bit and I thought making the bottom a little heavier would work.
I worked on this for about 8 hours the other day. I was able to get it done and get the binding made.
Not much is happening in my workroom. I was gone and work has tired me out.
Still, the design wall isn’t empty.
The pink blocks are the start of a future donation top. I talked about it a few weeks ago. I really enjoy looking at them and having them on my design wall. They make me so happy. I plan to get back in the saddle and make more soon.
On the left bottom are random Color Strip donation blocks. Currently yellow and green. Those will turn into something after I finish the pink donation top. Maybe another rainbow top. Some of it relies on how many scraps I have and what Color Strip donation tops I have already made. We’ll see.
Above those random blocks are three blocks. One is a really old foundation pieced circle Mariner’s Compass block from a Barbara Barber class. I don’t see a post about that class. I know I took at PIQF, but heaven knows when. I really should look it up and finish that thing, if for no other reason than to get it off the design wall.
That Rock Star block (white background with curves) is still on the design wall. I talk about the process of that block in the linked post. It uses the Wonder Curve ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful. Clearly, I am not making the whole sampler nor am I making more of those blocks. Maybe I will, but for the moment, the block is taking up space. I still can’t find a picture of the final Rock the Block Sampler. Oh well.
Finally, the block with the turquoise background is one of the sample blocks I made for my most recent students. It’s too big to go in the file, so there it sits.
On the right side are the Pantone Project blocks. Most of these are from Julie. I really need to get back in the saddle and choose more fabrics.
I really made a lot of progress on Who Am I? Despite taking a day off of my winter break to do other things, the quilt is looking good.
I added ‘Paul’s Wife’ using bias tape and it took me just as long do straight stitch down those letters as it did to satin stitch the two other lines. I didn’t enjoy it and don’t think the bias tape worked as I had hoped. I think it looks fine, but I probably won’t use more of it for the other lines.
I made some good progress during my winter break from work. Can you believe it? It wasn’t even that terrible. I worked pretty quickly, which meant I got almost all of the satin stitching I needed to finish done in one afternoon. It was amazing. Again, I was kind of shocked at why I was balking at ….sooooo muuuuccchhh saaaatttiiinnnn stiiiitccchhhiiiing…… It wasn’t super fun, because there were a lot of loops and swirls to stitch around and I am out of practice. I had to go over some spots a second time to smooth them out but, all in all, it went relatively quickly. Now it is over.
I am using a variety of techniques in addition to the satin stitching.
The black letters are attached using a straight line, raw edge applique after I fused them to the background. This quilt will not be washed, so that type of treatment is fine.
The two parts that have been stitched down for a long time, ‘Mary’s daughter’ and ‘William’s Mom’, are sort of couched. I pinned ribbon into place, then stitched it down. I made some 1/4 inch some bias tape that I will use for one of the other lines.
As mentioned the other day, I had cut only enough pieces for one (of three!) Month 16 rosettes. The M16 process is taking me forever. I cut and basted at Sew Day, but I guess I didn’t make as much progress as I thought. I was cranky and irritable that day.
Or it feels like it is. The other day, I left work at 4 and started cutting and basting.
I used the same fussy cutting layout for the pink rosette as I did for the blue part of Rosette #1. I like how the blue one looks and hope the pink one will look similar.
I also didn’t use the snake heads for the green rosette. I used the fabric, but cut the flowers out of it and avoided the snakes. Apparently, insects are ok, but snakes are categorized with animal heads in my quiltmaking mind.
I also rearranged the colors quite a bit. One of the remaining M16 rosettes will have more spikes.
I finally finished Month 12. I redid so many parts that it seemed to take forever.
I am not a huge fan of these rosettes and may redo them.
Now I am waiting for Month 13. I plan to sew some of the rosettes together while I wait, but I have to lay them out and haven’t done that yet.
Pink Door can’t send out Month 13 at the time they normally do, because they are using Parisville, Tula’s new line. They aren’t allowed to send out the new fabrics before a certain date. I understand, but it is frustrating, because it puts me off my basting schedule.
Forcing myself to power through quilt projects (and bag projects) rather than stopping and letting them ‘marinate’ is much better for my process. It also prevents me from adding new UFOs to the pile. Aside from a few projects, such as Pies & Points, it has worked very well. Backs and bindings now seem less arduous to complete.
UFOs left to marinate, for me, means that I forget what I was thinking, sometimes the fabric or other supplies go missing or get used for other projects accidentally. Supplies going missing or being accidentally used for other projects makes the process much worse. It always takes me time to get back in the groove of a project, which is generally difficult and often depressing. Nothing seems as terrible from a few years away, but I often discover the problem quickly and still have to deal with it. Time does not always heal all ‘wounds.’
In working on the 26 Projects, I have completed a lot of quilts. Looking at my first list shows me quilts I know are finished. It also shows quilts that are still on the to do list. Most worrisome of all are the projects I don’t remember finishing or giving away, which means they may still show up in some box somewhere.
I found, though, that the projects aren’t going to work on themselves, thus I have taken out the Tarts and started working on it. I am focusing my mind on one section at a time, mostly, and that helps me not get overwhelmed. This is also when it would be great to have two machines set up. I would like to be able to switch to a piecing project quickly to take a break from machine quilting.
I have found, though, that working on one project does not prevent me from working on another. You know I often use leaders and enders to make progress on more than one quilt at a time. If I want to start a new project, I do, but I don’t put away the old one and I really try to finish the old one before becoming engrossed in the new project.
I don’t think UFOs are bad and if your process includes a number of UFOs, great! I think we will all have UFOs. For me, the length of time they are on the list are the issue.
I can’t believe it has been so long since I talked about La Pass. It has been at least three weeks since I basted and started.
This month should have been a favorite month, but I have struggled the whole time. There is finally quite a bit of pink, but also a lot of the weird animal prints. I switched out lot of the fabrics despite my resolve. Frankly, I switched out some of the fabrics a couple of times. I have also put some pieces in the wrong places necessitating ripping out and redoing or going with the flow.
Also, this month seems to be taking me forever. I don’t know why except for all the ripping and switching.
For now, I am going with what I have. I am not 100% commiting to what I have for M12, but I’ll wait to see how I feel when I have more together. La Pass M12-Rosette #1 & 3 are done and I am working hard on La Pass M12-Rosette #2. M13 will be delayed so I have a tiny bit a breathing room, but I need to be ready for it.
If any project required attention to process, this one did.
My friend has been talking with me about helping her make a bag. I have been putting it off because of work and other things. Since I have a break from a lot of responsibilities, I felt it was time to get the bag made.
I had hoped that I could convince my friend to use a pattern, but she was certain she wanted to copy the bag she took traveling. I am a good bagmaker, but beyond cobbling together some basic tote bags or modifying patterns, like the Petrillo hack I created, I have not had a lot of experience creating new patterns. I was concerned about the pitfalls I wouldn’t even know I was facing.
We met a few weeks ago and I was able to get a better idea of what she was thinking. That meeting and seeing the bag allowed me to think about the bag and process before we met the other day. I had a basic plan and figured that I would work things out as I went along.
The worst part was getting started. The best part was that my friend didn’t have many preconceived notions about how the bag would look. We kind of muddled along and resolved issues as they came up.
The first issue was the fabric. She has a limited piece of upholstery fabric that was leftover from recovering her living room chairs. I have done a few things with heavier fabric, but I can’t think of a project I have done with upholstery fabric, including a pencil roll, but this project was different in that I would have to deal with layers of upholstery fabric. I tried to minimize it, but wasn’t always able to.
Next was the bottom. My friend wanted to use a thin piece of leather (maybe suede) for the bottom. This made sense, especially since she wanted to use it for travel. My Microtex** needle was not happy. Shockingly, I had a leather needle**. I have never used these before, but did on the bag bottom and it worked.
The lining was fairly straightforward. I knew what I wanted to do, which included adding an internal zipper pocket that I could use to turn the bag right side out.That worked perfectly, though I had to look up a couple of references to make sure what I had in my mind would work.
The turning of the bag is very satisfying, so I had my friend do it. It was her bag, after all and I thought she would get a kick out of the experience. She did.
I used my friend as studio assistant. I asked her to mark the lines for the zipper pocket, press seams open and sew on Velcro. These are all tasks I didn’t want to do. She did a lot of pressing and marking while I did most of the sewing. I also wanted her to be involved and since she had not sewed since junior high, I preferred to do the sewing. It is my machine after all.
When we got to the handles, she brought out the idea of using rope (like clothesline weight rope) for the handles. I wouldn’t normally do that and really didn’t have a clue how to do it. After searching the web, I came up with a great tutorial that expanded my skills. The result was what my friend wanted, too.
I used the RsIsland Crafts video on turning a bag through the internal zipper pocket to remind myself how to do that.
I used the Seaman’s Mom corded handles tutorial to make the handles.
I am pleased with how the bag came out, though it is certainly not perfect and it is not a bag I would use. My friend was happy and that is all that counts.
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I finished the back of the Diagonal Nine Patch Saturday morning before I drove to the BAM meeting. I found a piece of fabric that comprises the main part of the back (top left). The large print works well for a back and I am glad I didn’t cut it up for the front.
I used up a number of pieces of fabric that have been hanging around for awhile, which is always a good feeling.
I am pretty pleased not only that the whole package is ready to go to Colleen, but also that there were no tasks hanging around for after the meeting. It felt like a clean finish.
I chose a black and white stripe for the binding.
I worked on the back for 20 minutes or so on Friday after cleaning out the garage and that 20 minutes put everything in place for finishing on Saturday. Every minute counts!
This is a pretty easy quilt so as soon as I finished all the bits and pieces required to make Pies & Points ready for quilting, I turned my attention to the Diagonal Nine Patch. I talked about the size in my last post and, as you can see, I increased the size. I think this size will be fine, but am still reserving judgement.
With 7×7 blocks, the quilt top will be about 42 inches square and my hesitation is whether that is a large enough quilt. I think it is on the verge of being large enough, but I may want to add another column and row.
I have about 7 more blocks to go in this configuration. The issue is that I am eager to get this quilt done and move on to Orange You Glad. I also want to bring this quilt to Colleen.
I may not have mentioned that I ripped out all of the Big Stitch quilting on this project. I am preparing it to go to Colleen.
To do so, I had to find some fabric for the binding. I wanted the main turquoise used for the background. I couldn’t find it anywhere.
I did find a slightly darker solid turquoise that I think will frame the piece better than the same color. I know the differentiation is hard to see, but I think you can see that the slight difference looks good for the binding.
I still haven’t done anything with the bits and bobs included by the others who worked on it.
Another month of La Pass is finished. This was a lot of pieces, but I powered through and I am really happy I was able to keep up especially in light of my trip to Portland.
It was kind of a hassle to haul this giant piece across states, but it was also good for me to have some sewing to do while I was away. It was a little of a stressful trip and sewing always helps me relax.
Yes, I am fortunate to have two design walls. I found, while they were folded up and not usable, that I couldn’t really make quilts. I managed one, which seems paltry compared to last year’s general output.
Again, I was surprised at what was on the small design wall. I knew about the yellow improv quilt, because I had been working on it a little since July, but I had completely forgotten all the other projects. They feel overwhelming and I will probably donate the blocks to Maria’s orphan block project or make donation quilts out of them. I am not in the mood to deal with extra blocks at the moment.
I can’t wait to see how the yellow improv bits I made without benefit of design wall fit into this piece.
I knew I had left projects on there, but the mists of time clouded over which ones they actually were.
I took all the bits and bobs off the large design wall (pictured) and pressed all the pieces, then put them back up. I really thought I was finished with that Pop Parade Ends quilt. I was shocked to see it still in process. The crazy part is, which I am sure I mentioned before, is how many quilts I made out of the Pop Parade (great name) fabric bundle. Most were FQs, but some were half yards.
Granted, the last bits of leftover Pop Parade fabric is not much. I paired it with other ‘ends’. The two light pieces on the edges (only in the above photo, not the detail, right) aren’t sewn to the quilt yet. I have to see if I want them there. Part of that decision will be measuring.
It is a great feeling to see that I am almost done with a quilt and didn’t even realize it.