Friday, October 25, 2013

Progress . . . . finally!!!

Today I can finally share a progress report -- feels so good!

While I didn't get as much done during my guild retreat two weeks ago (expectations may have been unrealistic), I did make significant progress with that set of blue and yellow quilt blocks.  Being away from home was the key because there were fewer distractions and I had to keep at the rail fence sashing -- there were more miscalculations which meant more strip piecing and I can tell you I'm heartily sick of make blue and yellow strip sets.

When I laid out my 30 blocks with the sashing in place on two sides, it was immediately apparent that this was going to be one huge quilt -- bigger than I anticipated and bigger than I could imagine how I was going to use it.  Not sure I've ever thought about how I would use a quilt that I was making -- I've always just been in it for the process -- but think this sudden "practical" aspect is a result of trying to motivate myself to finish really old UFQ's. 

Sorry, I can't remember the name or source of the block pattern.
So I changed plans and put the blocks into two twin size quilt tops which I think I can find a use for more easily.  This is one of them -- of course it needs to be a bit larger to really cover a twin size bed so now I'm working on borders.  Once the borders are on, I'll make pieced backings from my overstock of off-white background fabric, cut the binding and put them on the ready-to-quilt shelf for quick access when I need a finished quilt for something.  This decision means not all the targeted 13 UFQ's will be finished in 2013, but I'm okay with that at this point.

During the past week, I also finished (completely) an applique quilt that I started for one of my daughter's during the late 1980's.  I don't think it was suppose to be a high school graduate gift but maybe?  I hand quilted it -- took 6 1/2 months.
In my e-course, UFQ ASSAULT TACTICS, I encourage quilters to do what ever it takes to finish a project.  In this case I made the quilt smaller -- it was originally intended to be 12 blocks -- 6 were completely finished, 3 were about half finished.  The borders were appliqued swags of leaves -- it was lovely -- the title of the design book was Botanical Wreaths by Laura Munson Reinstatler.  You'll notice I didn't finish the 3 half-finished blocks -- I don't do applique anymore and would not have been able to replicate the quality of the work I did 25 years ago.  And what happened to the border? 
The priority for me became finishing the quilt so my daughter would have it rather than having the blocks end up on the yard sale table in 20 years for $3.

Close up of one of my favorite blocks.

I kept the quilting simple partially to maintain my momentum, partially because my hand quilting skills aren't magnificent, and partially to keep the focus of the quilt on the applique designs.  So I let go of the original aspirations for this piece and finished it -- and it will be appreciated for years to come in spite of the fact that it isn't what I planned.  And that's okay!!
There is a second appliqued masterpiece from that era for the other daughter on my 2013 target list.  At this point, it's unrealistic to expect to finish it in 2013.  That's okay, too.  Because I finished this one, I know I can finish another -- there's something to that.  I have some knitting I'd like to do for the holidays and will use the daily time slot when I hand quilt to knit, but I'll layer the second one up and have it ready to go in the new year.  I have proven that working on a daily basis accomplishes goals!
So with about 10 weeks of 2013 to go, I have accepted that I won't finish 13 of my oldest UFQ's, but I'm still pleased with the progress I've made and intend to spend the rest of the year making more progress on the target group -- having them all ready-to-quilt would be huge!!
I hope you are following the Tuesday Tutorial series and that it's helpful to you -- my next series focuses on "sashing" ideas and tips!
Make time this weekend to do your thing!!
Mary Huey

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