Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Promise of Things Hoped For

We began cleaning out some of our flower beds this weekend and look what is about to bloom:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rose Takes Flight

An interesting series of events informed my decisions about the border designs for "Ramblin' Rose". I had gotten the blocks put together last week, and as I looked at the piece, lying on the floor, I thought the next border could be flying geese or it could be a swag applique border. On Monday I decided to go visit Melinda at Tiny Stitches where she was teaching a "beyond beginners" class. I walk into the classroom and isn't she teaching the students about making strips of flying geese?

I showed her the quilt top and we talked about Pat Sloan's method for making flying geese blocks. I went home and made a slew of blocks, and spent most of the week making the strips of borders (including using downtime in a class I took on Thursday).

By Saturday afternoon the borders were all made and ready to go on the quilt. As I worked, I began thinking about the next border. I had just taken a class with Kathy Kansier about edge treatments, and decided I would make a scalloped border for this quilt. So, I set to work cutting the fabric. It's ten inches now, but I think ultimately it will be between 6-8". I'm happy to put this project up for a few days while I work on that last table runner, getting "Briner's Picnic" sandwiched, and finish turning the binding on "Princeton Plainsboro"

I'm thinking about quilting designs, and what I want my scallops to look like, so that when I get serious about finishing this piece I'm ready to go. I think I have enough of the black floral in the final border to use it for the backing.

Someday I'll do a swag border. Honest.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Monster in the Closet

So, the big four: "Princeton-Plainsboro", "Briner's Picnic", "Ramblin' Rose" and my old stack and whack top that got pulled apart to be a pile of blocks again, are starting to look like the monster in the closet did by the time I was 14.

You know that feeling? When you were a teenager, and you could remember that you USED to think there was a monster in the closet, but you no longer feared opening the door? That's how I feel about the big four, and the big six before that. Honestly, looking back, I think having so many UFOs kept me from being able to make any progress ANYWHERE in my quilting life. I have seldom worked this hard on a goal, but it's been totally worth it. I knocked off "Blush and Bashful" and hired out "Tropical Storm" to get it finished. "Princeton-Plainsboro" has binding, and "Rambling Rose" blocks are pieced, and I'm working on the final border this week. "Briner's Picnic" will be easily quilted and bound, in fact, I might get it sandwiched next week.

Of course, I now have "Mystery in the Mountains" to finish, as well as the Piecemaker's 2008 exchange quilt, but I really am starting to see that the monster was not something to be feared. It is entirely possible that by March I will be HUNTING to the bottom of that closet for other UFOs that need to be attacked.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Monthly Accounting: February

Aren't you proud of me? For several months running I have managed to report to you about my progress for the month. Well. I'm proud of me, at any rate. I was thinking a monthly feature might REALLY stretch my ability to commit to blogging, but it's actually been a great motivator, both for sewing and for blogging.

- 2 tables runners which were actually Christmas gifts, I didn't get to finish them, so I pieced them and presented them as gifts. (My dear friends opened their boxes, laughed with me and graciously handed them back so I could finish them!)

Made Progress:
-Quilted "Princeton Plainsboro" (2007 Piecemaker's house quilt project)
-1 table runner
-Continued to stitch on blackwork blocks, but won't be done anytime soon!
-Went on retreat and pieced center of "Mystery in the Mountains", it needs two borders
-Frogged non-working sashing on "Ramblin' Rose" and started over, blocks now pieced together in a happy arrangement. One border finished this weekend. Final border to go.

Left Untouched:
-Sandwich, quilt and bind "Briner's Picnic"
-Applique center for 2008 Piecemakers' exchange quilt

In February:
-Finish that remaining table runner
-Finish piecing the top for "Ramblin' Rose"
-Bind and make a few little adjustments to "Tropical Storm".
-Bind "Princeton Plainsboro"
-Get started on Piecemaker's 2009 exchange blocks