Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Best Laid Plans...

Around my house, the best plans I have are always having to be adjusted! That is probably the kindest way to say totally interfered with by other people, whether they want to or not. This time, one of my sons has just gotten through a bout of kidney stones-- no envy from any of us. So all my resolve to do a blog every week had to readjust. But I am back and he is doing well. He is calling himself the Quarryman. Let's hope that is a short-lived nickname!

Mostly I have been catching up and finishing the volunteer work I didn't even raise my hand to do. Given that, I feel like I have done my duty for the next 10 years. Yipppeeeee! It's nice to have that about finished and behind me. I can proceed guilt free on that front for quite a while.

Here is an auction quilt from my guild's board that I have pretty much done. A very sweet member quilted it and I am ready to bind it. I hope it brings in a good amount. It will make the effort worthwhile.

The quilt is from the pattern, " Arlington", by Red Crinoline Quilts. One of the blocks I was given to incorporate was magenta and yellow. Well, I just couldn't figure out how to make that look good with all this red to yellow-orange, so I made that single block into a lap size top that can be auctioned separately.

Some people say I am too concerned about color, but that one I just couldn't make work. It is such a lovely block, that I didn't want it to look bad!!!

I have the binding sewn on the big quilt, and I will hand sew it tomorrow in the car. My husband and I are actually taking a few days away from everyone and everything! WOW!  

On my little Yoko Saito quilt, "Floral Bouquet", I got stuck. Does this ever happen to you? I couldn't quite figure out why I wasn't moving ahead. I had made the basket and selected the background fabrics and flower parts, but I wasn't putting it together. I realized I just didn't like the block. So, I switched the block for another one. I am keeping the background fabrics, but I changed the rest.

I went with another Yoko Saito block, because I want to stay in her style, but I now love the block! I think these are my choices for the motifs in the block, but until the block is actually finished, I do never know.  I would like to gather the doily up into a large flower (somehow)...we'll see.  At least, I want to make the block now. 

Next project I worked out is my English Paper Pieced stars. It is one that I really love, but had to put down for a while because I just tired of it.  Hand piecing is very slow for us, I think!!! I picked it up again with relish, added several more rows and am pleased with how it has turned out.  The difficulty was how to finish the edges.  I didn't want to just chop off the pieces. I figured out a way to make the sides both an even zigzag pattern and am adding stars to the top and bottom.  I will then appliqué the entire quilt top to borders. I realize this is not how everyone finishes these quilts, but I felt like mine is not large enough to just lop off the edges.

My other car project is EPP stars! These are great to take along! My husband and I are going to a sleepy little Texas town and hope to do nothing!!! Rest and relaxation is really the order of the day!!! EPP stars fit that bill for me. Actually there are 6 (SIX!) antique stores in the town and lots more in the surrounding countryside. That sounds like doing nothing to me!!!

Hoping your summer is going well! In Texas we have four seasons and August... nothing's perfect!

Happy quilting,


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Time to Finish

July 8, 2015

I have never quite figured out why this happens or when it is going to happen, but it just did. I have hit my quilt project limit, i.e. there are more quilts that I want to make than I can possibly get to in a lifetime. So, I must regroup and take stock, reprioritize and finish what I want finished, then give myself permission to GO! on some new quilts. I just have all my drawers and lovely boxes filled with partial tops and blocks and pieces and trims and whatever else in various stages of progress. There are many I really want to finish, so it is time to do so. Others I may decide to make smaller or donate to my guild's auction for someone else's fancy. It's convenient that our auction is in August. I don't know if this is what precipitated this or not. I really think it is just seeing so many gorgeous quilts and patterns and being reminded I want to make those, too, that has me thinking.

Number one on the top of my finish pile is the Floral Bouquet quilt by Yoko Saito. I have one block to make and the borders. I had already decided to simplify the borders to one basket with longer tendrils and add more birds across the top. For me, this isn't a show quilt, so it helps with the decision of how much more time I want to dedicate to it.  I am having lots of fun doing it, but that is the reason I am doing it. It's good to remember why we are making a particular quilt. Here are photos of some of the blocks. I intended NOT to embellish. So, if you have stopped laughing, I will show you the photos! Oh, in case you are not familiar, here is a photo of the original pattern by Yoko Saito:

The tough decision will actually happen after I finish this quilt. What comes next? I have several English Paper Piecing tops that are very close to finished, one especially that I want to complete. Then, like a complete goose, I started Mrs. Billings coverlet, and it's compelling, Sutton Grange, also compelling, and several original designs that are taking shape. Oh, and A Woodland Christmas, by Anne Sutton, with all the delightful animals. Oh, yes, we don't make it easy on ourselves!  This does not include all the new patterns that I haven't started, but want to!!! A quilter's life is hard because it is too full of glorious choices and textiles! I will do my best to show courage!!!

What are you sewing? Are you making something you really love? I hope so! 

Until next time, happy quilting!