For my October projects I’ve stepped away from the current master class assignment and concentrated on projects already started. I did the sketches for the October assignment but that’s it.
I divided my stuff into work in progress and work abandoned. The work in progress is mostly past master class assignments that I need to complete. The work abandoned is an attempt to be honest with myself.
Why abandon work? I don’t like it anymore/ I don’t have the quilting chops to finish it well/ I lost momentum all apply. I began some work in a fit of enthusiasm and then got bored. My fifteen by fifteen inch interlocking squares series is one example. I just can’t bring myself to make any more. Other work I can’t figure out how to quilt or know it will require free motion quilting skills I don’t possess or am physically incapable of. (My shoulder issue turned out to be an inflamed rotator cuff.) I may turn some over to a long arm quilter.
To return to work in progress, I decided to concentrate on four projects. I plan to quilt two already pieced tops (correction, one already pieced top), complete and quilt another, and piece a large project I began last spring.
My silk organza layered piece has been sewn down and I’m working on a quilting design.
My lines master class piece is quilted and faced. Never again will I make bias strips from silk crepe. It’s like sewing worms. It’s also impossible to photograph.
I finished the individual blocks for Transgendered and am working out a design. My concept is to change from pink to blue in a diagonal line. Here’s a much earlier picture of this project.
The top of Mean Streets is mostly complete, but it needs some final touches. I have yet to figure out how to quilt it.
Then, there are small hand work projects hanging around that I pick up very occasionally, mostly when I’ll be a passenger for some hours.
One further goal – I won’t start any more projects.
For the first time in years I don’t have a finish to show for January. Even the leaf from my master class is still unfinished as I’m dithering about how to finish the edges. I haven’t stopped sewing and quilting but I have expanded some projects in progress.
In order of inception, I have Winter Fields, Torii Traces, and Topsy underway. It’s hard to say which is closest to being finished as Torii and Topsy already have lots of hand stitching.
I’m still piecing Winter Fields, which is on the large side for me at 50 inches wide. I drew up the templates for it in early 2015 at the same time I made a smaller quilt of the same marsh outside Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia.
My grand plan was to show the area in each season. Autumn is done and winter will be, eventually. I may run out of steam before I get to the rest of the year.
I’ve sewn about half the pieces to a foundation made of curtain liner material. The rest are clinging to my design wall. I’m using Vikki Pignatelli’s technique of folding down and sewing the edges that show. Any fabric edges that will be covered by other pieces are left raw. Construction has to begin at the back (or top) and work down (or forward) to the bottom. The process is straightforward, but it’s easy to mix up all those long skinny pieces. Yes, I numbered them, but I keep seeing better possibilities.
Torii was my hand work in Florida. I thought it was close to done until I decided the piece needed a stronger bottom. I’ve chosen the fabric but I now have to construct and embroider it. Right now the quilt is in three pieces. Each will have a false back. Then I’ll join the pieces along the long horizontal seams.
That leaves Topsy. I’ve sewn it to charcoal felt and hand stitched along the curves. I’ll sew it onto a slightly larger piece of red felt and machine quilt it. And it will have no binding and be done!
I’m debating whether to hang it horizontally or vertically. The consensus of my art quilt group was to go horizontal. I need to make up my mind before I trim the red felt. All opinions are welcome.
Now that it’s May, I’ve been out in my yard assessing the depredations of winter and deciding what projects to tackle. It looks like I face utterly unexciting but necessary tasks like spreading aged compost, trying to eradicate invasive vetch, and edging and mulching the beds. I want to plant colorful flowering plants, but I must steel myself to ignore those aisles in the store and proceed to the bags of mulch.
I face a similar temptation when I go to a quilt shop. My eyes greedily take in all the bolts of wonderful new fabrics, while my feet trudge to the rolls of batting kept in the back. Yes, I really need batting and interfacing and stabilizer and thread, not yet more fabric. But the heart wants what it wants.
So, it’s rationalization time. It’s easier for the yard than the fabric. I know that any annuals and many perennials I plant will become an expensive gourmet salad bar for the many deer that swarm my yard like vermin. They gnawed a young magnolia tree in half over the winter, and kept a Japanese maple in bonsai form. Let me know if you’d like a list of the 10 plants in my yard deer won’t touch.
As for the fabric, I’m a Fabriholics Anonymous chapter of one, trying to keep from buying more. Each day I visit my pile of unfinished quilt tops in the hope I can do enough work to move a few to the next step. Occasionally I get to move one to the to-be-bound list. I’ve been fossicking through fabric I already own for border and binding material. Right now the count stands at two with binding
in progress done(!), two sandwiched and awaiting quilting, four ready to be sandwiched and quilted, and one in need of borders. Sigh.
For the past week and a half I’ve been building a strata inspired by Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison and a pattern called Painted Grass by Valori Wells from her book Simple Start, Stunning Finish. I’m embarrassed to confess that my “design wall” consists of a cheap ($3.25) flannel backed plastic tablecloth from Big Lots that’s held onto the wall with Command Strips. However, fabric really clings to the thin flannel, and the grid pattern that shows through from the plastic side is helpful in lining up blocks.
I began my design with the row proportions and the angled pieces used in Valori’s pattern. I stuck to the row proportions, but developed my own sequencing and angling of the individual pieces. The first picture below shows the early stage of my design once I had established a general color scheme. You can see a picture of Bryce Canyon to the lower right – my inspiration for some of the colors. The next picture shows my design close to completion. As you can see, I’ve taken liberties with the river shown in the picture of the canyon. There are actually six rows in this piece, but I can’t back up enough to include the whole thing in a picture without moving furniture.
I have another design wall that’s smaller and useful for those little projects. The latest Quilter’s Newsletter features a column by Pam Rocco in which she talks about trying to develop a simple half square triangle quilt. I was inspired to play with half square triangles and rectangles from my bin of scraps. What’s evolving bears little resemblance to Pam’s quilts, but her article was a great kick in the pants.
This quilt is not as far along as the canyon. My plan right now is to put the blocks off center and fill in the outer areas with Kona Ash. As you can see, I tend to compose directly on the wall, especially when I’m working with scraps.
Both of these projects are being set aside for now so I can add a hanging sleeve to a gift wall hanging and finish the hand stitching on my flowers quilt. Of course, those quilts on the wall are a constant temptation to make just one adjustment, and then an hour passes…