I don't think I was meant for block swaps. I am not sure what I was meant for. I am going to put myself on trial and you get to be the judge and jury. The question before you is am I crazy for quilting the way I do. I am hoping that the verdict will be that I am not crazy, and maybe there is someone out there like me. Let the trial begin!
Last June, my family and I went to a quilt show for my birthday. This is the fabric my daughter just had to have; Have a Very Sherry Berry Christmas. She was 4 at the time. The quilt store that I had bought it from said that they would be providing a pattern for it. Great, wonderful. Fabric got put away until late fall, when it was realized that no pattern had come. Time to think about something to make with it.
Okay, now it is late fall. I know it is highly unlikely that it will be done at Christmas, but I would like to have a start on it. Love star patterns, and they seem to be "in style" right now, especially wonky stars. Read my follow bloggers and came upon this from Life is a Stitch. Ah yes, the lucky stars quilt. I have this pattern and actually all the fabric to make this quilt. I have had it for a few years, but decided I did not like the fabric. I had chosen the soft marbled fabric. I may have to change my mind after seeing Andrea's Kona Solids projects.
In the meantime, I have been doing some research, aka online shopping to get a cheap deal for backing for the quilt. While doing this I realize that the fq bundle I bought has very few of the larger prints in the collection. Lucky Stars is great for fussy cutting and showing off those fabrics. I end up buying the backing and some half yards of those great prints.
Decide I would like to get at least 1 block done in 2009. I end up getting 3 done. As per my norm, I do not completely commit to pre-cutting all the fat quarters. Progress has been made, I am happy.
Surfing the Internet, on my favourite topic, I see this fabulous pattern. Wow, maybe this is what I am suppose to be making with these stars. I like the different sizes of stars. Thanks goodness, I did not commit to the lucky stars pattern! Of course, next week I could decide that the Lucky Stars is the one.
All of this brings me back to my Christmas swap. It has taken me so long and I realize that is because I treat the swap the same way I do when I make a quilt. It is driving me crazy. I don't precut anything. I take a long time to decide how my block is going to look. Then I make a test block, and then I do a bit at a time. On top of everything else, I signed up for the swap twice. Let's see, I work full-time, have 2 young children who thankfully love spending a lot of time with me, and an incredible supportive husband who through no fault of his own is frequently away for business. What was I thinking? Thankfully, I also have supportive parents who will look after my children if I have a quilting deadline. Part of the reason for joining twice was too make a Christmas quilt for mom. She loves Christmas and has lots of Christmas decorations.I am almost done the blocks and I am really happy with them. I should be able to show some pictures tomorrow of them.
I am organized within my quilting room. My problem is that I can never shut my brain off from thinking and I see too many possibilities. Sounds like I am arguing for the prosecution. In my defense, I do get a fair bit of quilting done for my time constraints, and 95% of the time I am very happy with what I make. When the project is all finished I never want to give it away.
So, the question to you the jury is I am crazy for quilting the way I do? How do you organize your projects and quilting time. Is it cut then sew, or it is more free flowing? I definitely think my days of block swaps are over, though I have learned never to say never. I have the signature swap to start on, as well as the potholder swap. I do quite enjoy the small wall hanging, potholder, place mats, pincushions etc. type of swaps. I also enjoy the quilting bees.
Both the Prosectuion and Defense rest!
I do appreciate all of you helping out with your civic duty in this matter. Please let me know when you have reached a verdict.
Here is one of my Works in Progress. It is a mystery quilt that I took last year. Part of the cost of the class was a starter pack of fabric. Unfortunately, the fabric was nothing that I have, so it took me a while to collect other fabrics. It is a scrap quilt, so the more the merrier. I put it away in a tote for a while. I took it out on Monday and started working on it again as part of the PHD challenge. This is what the quilt will look like when it is finished.
I really like the pattern. I just find this quilt hard to start and stop. I am going to have to set some time aside to work on it. I really have been in the PHD mood lately which makes me really happy.
I finished my January Bee Beautiful Blocks for Rebekah. They were fun to make. Different for me too, as I like getting the right answer, and with these blocks there is no wrong answer, just your own creativity. The other blocks made are beautiful and I hope these will fit in nicely.
Last night I started organizing my PHD for Myra's Challenge. I have 2 new quilts I want to make this spring, other than that I want to work on my PHD. I counted and 5 of them are meant for me which is why they aren't finished yet. Things for me I usually set aside when other projects demand my attention.
I have also figured out away to reduce the number of my PHD. I need 2 quilting rooms; one with all my fabric and supplies and the other that has my sewing machine, and cutting table and nothing else in it. As I am working away on my sewing machine now, I can hear the fabric and projects whispering to me. As I put my eyes on some of them, I come up with new ideas and sometimes stop what I am doing to try the new idea out. That's why I need an empty room to sew in! Tomorrow I will show one of my PHD as a work in progress.
Well, I have entered another swap. Hopefully, my last swap for a while. I really want to concentrate on my PHDs for a while. A friend gave me a table runner pattern for Christmas and I had thought about using one of the blocks to make her a potholder. Then when this swap came up, it seemed like a good time to work on a bunch of potholders at once. I did not give my partner any specific preferences. What do you prefer when you are doing a swap? Do you like having lots of suggestions or do you prefer having free-reign?
I decided to work on a new project for my Friday Night Sew-In; a baby quilt, which is my favourite thing to make. Here is the fabric I started with:
I decided to do another zig-zag quilt. I had a lot of fun makeing the first one. Here is my progress:
I got the blue and yellow done last night. I was one strip short for the white polka dot fabric, so I did the reds today. Luckily my LQS had some of it left. I put it all up on my design wall, so that it is easier to see. The Friday Night Sewn-In was a lot of fun. It felt like going out with the girls, even if I was in my own home. I look forward to the one next month.
I won this gorgeous market bag from Ariane for her 1 year/200th post giveaway. I received it yesterday at lunch with her and have used it constantly since. It is beautifully quilted and has such a nice feel to it. She was giving away a couple of things and I am so happy that I chose this. Thank you to Ariane as well for letting me use her picture.
I was thrilled to be asked to be part of a quilting bee called Bee Beautiful. I feel so honoured and thrilled to be a part of the group. All of the women are incredible quilters and artists. Some of them I have known for a while and some I am just getting to know. I have to admit I am scared to be in such amazing company and I hope that I can do their beautiful fabric and ideas justice. My month is October. I have 2 ideas of what I want my block to be and I have not decided which one I will do.
I also received in the mail a couple of patterns that I have been waiting for, for a while. The Cameo quilt I fell in love with when I saw it on Sherri's A Quilting Life blog. Luckily for me, a honeybun of Figgy Pudding was sent to me by accident, and my young son accidentatly opened the honeybun so I was forced to keep it. The other pattern I have in mind for one of my swaps. Stay tuned for that!
Notice how I have yet to show anything I have been working on this year? I am trying to get my Christmas swap blocks done. I will be frantically working on them this weekend. Just me, my quilting room and the TV show Lost. I finished watching Season 1 over the holidays and will be starting on Season 2.
I am so excited that I won Ariane's 200th post and 1 year giveaway. I won a gorgeous bag that she had made.
I am joining Myra's PHD Challenge. She is a wonderful blogging friend. It is a 6 month challenge to see how many PHDs (Projects Half Done) that we can do by the end of June. I love PHD so much more than UFO.
Here is my list:
Strip Search Quilt
Winter Wonderland Quilt
Snowman Table Topper
Halloween Block Quilt
Mountain Mystery Quilt
I decided to say 8, hoping that means 4 or 5. Getting that much done will help me along the way with my PHD goal for the year.
By the way for the Joy to the New Year Challenge, I ended up getting 4 out of 9 done. I also ended up starting 2 new projects in the same time period.
I am also joining the Friday Night Sew-in for January 15. You work on any type of handicraft that you do and then post about it the next day. It will be fun to see what everyone creates.
I have a few goals of what I want to do this year. I am trying to keep it to a few but the list will probably grow.
In no particular order:
Sew my swap blocks into tops.
Make quilts for my sister, niece, nephew and brother.
Finish my UFOs.
Make a couple of quilts for upcoming family events.
Get better at hand/machine quilting.
As always it is easier said than done. I already have all the fabric for all of these quilts, except my nephews so there should not be too much need to buy fabric. That is also easier said than done. What are your goals for this year?
Well it has been a wonderful year. I started blogging in March and have gotten so much out meeting you and learning from you.
I participated in 8 swaps this year, with my 9th and 10th due in January.
I made 8 quilts along with wallhangings, table runners and a pincushion.
I am left with some PHDs. Hopefully, some will be done this month. The best part of my New Year, was getting up in the middle of the night and putting a quilt on my husband and children. It was a very proud moment for me. I am looking forward to what 2010 will bring! Thank you once again for all of your help and encouragement.