Monday, December 2, 2013

Naming And Shaming A Repeat Offender

A couple of weeks ago when I finally finished the floral tumbling blocks quilt I was fired with enthusiasm and very pleased with myself.  I decided to call it “Tumbling Flowers” or “Blossom Where You Fall” but for some time before that I wanted to call it “The Infinity Quilt” because it felt as though I would never come to the end of it.  

So encouraged was I by the completion of a quilt which has probably taken me at least 10 years to make (I am fortunate the fabric hasn’t started to disintegrate) that I resolved to press on and finish some of the other unfinished quilts I had stashed in the storage room.  First of all I toyed with the idea of finishing this one

But then I remembered a somewhat similar one which I suspected was nearer completion.  Resolving to find that one and finish it first, I turned the cottage and then the apartment inside out in an effort to find the elusive pieces of the quilt.  A couple of weeks of frantic fossicking around and I still could not find it.  Surely I would never have thrown it away by mistake?  In the end there was nothing for it but to borrow Mr Shoestring’s ladder and climb to the uppermost reaches of the storage cupboards in my sewing room.  (I felt as though I should warn Mr Shoestring, “I am going up now, Mr Shoestring, if I am not back in two hours send up a search party” in case I got up there and was sucked into the mire of fabric and half finished projects, never to be seen again.)  At last after some cautious clambering around in the top cupboard, there it was!  What a relief and how good to see it again, like seeing an old friend. 

But what wasn’t such a good thing was the fact that I realized I had at least 10 unfinished projects and had slowly, gradually but most definitely become a serial non-finisher of projects.  (I always think of craft ventures as being “more about the journey than the destination”, but this was getting ridiculous.)  Having recently started yet two more quilts (the chicken one and the teacups one) I realized it was to take myself firmly in hand and resolve not to start one more quilt until these old timers are finally completed.  Quite a few of them must have been on the go for more than 10 years.  So down they all came from the top cupboard and other places they had been lurking, and here some of them are.  By confessing my secret shame I hope to reform myself and become a finisher as well as a starter … one day.  Because I like to hand piece and hand quilt mostly this is all going to take a long time, but it is good to have a plan at least.  

One good thing about having put them away and given them a bit of a break is that with the benefit of time I can see clearly how best to proceed.  Th one below for instance with the medallion centre and then the black florals around the centre, is in danger of becoming a jumble of black floral fabrics with no discernible pattern.  I think what it needs is a definitely different border around the part which has been completed so far, perhaps a border print (floral of course, with perhaps a stripe incorporated as well) and then perhaps some pale florals or more florals with the black background. 

Because I like to hand piece and hand quilt this is all going to take a long time, but it is good to have a plan at least.  The obsession with hexagons is an ongoing theme, and some of these quilts are variations upon a theme.  What often happens is that one quilt sparks the idea for another one, as happened with the chickens and teacups quilts – a perfect way to use a “theme” and get rid of some of those fabrics in the stash saved for something special.  Also there is always the little difficulty of the left overs from other projects – that is how the black floral quilt was started, left overs from the tumbling flowers. 

This colour wash using florals was started in an effort to use up those old 5” squares, from when I used to belong to a club and have them sent out monthly. 

And these two square and diamond quilts were also started to use up small scraps left over from other quilts.  Though hand piecing and quilting them really is time consuming it is also relaxing and one day when they are finished (if such a happy time ever comes), it will all be worthwhile!  

The silk ties quilt is still not complete, though it is very promising and very close to being finished.  (Well, quite close, apart from the actual quilting.)

This hexagon star will be my opus.  It only uses three templates but the possibilities are endless.  
I had better promise myself to do no more on it though until the others are complete - a likely story!

Each time you start a new block and fussy cut your pieces to make a design you think it is your best yet, and then when you string them all together the results are very satisfying.