Anxiety and depression suck, yo. And that’s all I’ll say about that. Have a picture of a major Thing I finished at last:
Better a little late than never, today I corralled all my quilty WIPs, took new mug-shots of them all and am sharing them here in a “name and shame” list. 🙂 They range from “partly quilted” to “bunch o’ blocks”. The Great Hexagon Project is not included since that’s my “slow stitching” thing that I know is going to be a little-and-often job and when it’s done, it’s done (or I use up the hexies in other projects).
Turns out I have 11 official WIPs. Each one is listed in the Rogue’s Gallery below with a brief description, last sighting, photo(s) of the current state, what needs to be done next to move it along, and a project prognosis.
1. Oh, Christmas Tree
What Is It? An advent wall-hanging.
Last Sighting: Quilting the Christmas Tree, back in February 2016.
What’s The Hold-Up? I really, REALLY hate quilting this thing with the wadding I used. It’s ghastly fluffy polyester rubbish that I bought way back when I didn’t know what “proper” wadding ought to look like. Oh, and I am using metallic thread on it because I am some sort of crazed masochist.
However, I haven’t tried quilting on it since I poked the wibbly needle-holder on my Pfaff. The pockets are ready to attach once the quilt is finished, so I think it’s time to see if I can’t cut this tree down to size at last.
Dead or Alive? This one’s still got life in it! I really want to see it finished.
What is it? A wall-hanging assembled from a procedurally generated pattern.
Last Sighting: Frogging in the Frost(Byte), almost exactly a year ago.
What’s The Hold-Up? Un-doing is never as much fun as doing. Especially when it involves trying to extract layers of not-very-good and not-very-visible machine quilting. Looking at it today, I realised that I’d covered a lot more area than I remembered. That makes it worse.
Dead or Alive? I really don’t want this project to be dead, I think it still has potential buried in there if I can make myself spend some evenings attacking it more with the seam ripper.
3. The Wedding Quilt
What is it? The “wedding” quilt that I promised to give my sister and her husband when they got married almost six years ago.
Last Sighting: A Billion WIPs, back in January 2015! Eeep!
What’s The Hold-Up? I finally managed to baste it, with fancy bamboo wadding and all, but I am unduly nervous about tackling the quilting on this, especially as I’d like to do some (or all!) of it as FMQ. Right now I’m unsure how to start or what I want to do on it, and indecision is a total progress killer.
Dead or Alive? Definitely still alive. My aim is to get this one done in the first half of this year, so it can be their anniversary gift.
4. Damask Suns
What is it? A throw-sized quilt that I started as part of a group project at Quilt Club.
Last Sighting: Something Old, Something New, August 2015
What’s The Hold-Up? I can’t decide if I want it to be bigger or not. Also, I wish I’d used the blue batiks for the negative space around the stars to make them more star-like. There’s no way I’m going to try and retro-fit that, but I am considering using left-over strips to make more suns in my retroactively preferred blue/yellow combo so that it can 1) be more like I should have made it in the first place and 2) be a more sensible size. But it’s rather at the back of the queue in terms of sewing priority.
Dead or Alive? There’s a pulse. Just.
5. Black&White D9P/Batik Lonestar
What is it? A double-sided Disappearing Nine-Patch/Lonestar bed quilt.
Last Sighting: A Billion WIPs, again.
What’s The Hold-Up? The Lonestar back (or will it become the front? Ooooo, suspense!) needs to be finished. IIRC, it needs to be squared up a bit better and brought up to size. I’m also struggling with the fact that, at this point, this may just not be me any more. It looks like the last dregs of my teenage taste escaping. Hmmm.
Dead or Alive? It’s touch and go with this one. There’s bits I really like, mostly to do with the Lonestar. But there’s much of it that just isn’t speaking to me these days.
6. Marsala Spice
What is it? A bed quilt I designed as part of the Pantone COTY challenge in 2015.
Last Sighting: 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Top-Only Entry
What’s The Hold-Up? It needs basting. I have an idea for lining up the front and the back (or trying to!) and then doing some quite elaborate FMQ designs in the tile blocks. I have actually bought some special soluble threads to help me achieve this, I just haven’t taken the plunge with it yet. I also kinda wish that I hadn’t used that leafy print on the front, so that’s a bit off-putting, but I shouldn’t use that as an excuse to not finish it.
Dead or Alive? This one’s definitely still kicking! Despite my slight misgivings about how the final flimsy finished (morals of the story – always calculate your yardage before you go to the fabric shop and always listen to your own instincts when it comes to your own design), I like it a lot and I think it’ll be a really good canvas for some FMQ practice.
7. Irish Charm
What is it? Scrappy Irish Chain throw/bed quilt.
Last Sighting: Irish Charm, September 2015
What’s The Hold-Up? Not really sure, other than my butterfly brain! It needs borders adding (I have the fabric for that) and it’ll be backed with a sheet I salvaged from the great Airing Cupboard Clear-Out. It’s also a project that I am actively looking forward to quilting, since I have quite a clear idea of what I want to do.
Dead or Alive? Very much alive. I have quite a lot of affection for this one, cutting all those squares helped me through a stressful period and I love the shabby chic, country-cottage vibe it has.
8. Crying Over Spilled Tea
What is it? It was a test piece for me to practice the D9P block (clearly necessary, as the oops in the middle demonstrates).
Last Sighting: Lost to the mists of time….
What’s The Hold-Up? Lots of things, really. The colour? The fact that I stupidly trimmed the starting squares to 4-3/4″, thereby making cutting up the nine-patch blocks (or trimming more charm squares to make it larger) just that bit more annoying? The size?
Dead or Alive? Ehhhhh. The next-of-kin and executors are hovering vulture-like over this one. While there are things I could do to it, I’m really not sure whether the end product will be worth my time, which already has many claims on it. It’s not even the kind of project that I’d donate to Project Linus – unless I wanted to give some poor kid a complex! It might see new life as a test-ground for FMQ patterns. Maybe. And then possibly be relegated to the dog’s bed.
9. Paper Cranes
What is it? Blocks from a craft swap I participated in over on Craftster last year, based on my own design.
Last Sighting: Craft Swaps, August 2016
What’s The Hold-Up? I need to make more blocks to make the layout I’d like. The templates are printed, but I haven’t seized an opportunity to crack on with them as of yet. Alas!
Dead or Alive? Kicking and screaming! This is a project I feel very positively about, plus it has other peoples’ efforts in it, which adds an extra dimension of expectation. This will be a QAYG project, to cut it down to manageable size and provide some relief among all the BIG projects I seem to have! Those three cranes at the top are an oops – one of my partners made them too small initially (probably thanks to US/UK printer differences), but she very sweetly did three more full-size ones as replacements, so the first three will go on the back – they’re too cute to not use.
10. Disappearing Hourglass
What is it? Blocks I made by following a tutorial by the Missouri Star Quilt Company on Youtube.
Last Sighting: Apparently never?
What’s The Hold-Up? I made all these blocks with layer cakes of Moda’s Cold Spell and Snow, then decided that I wanted it to be a bigger quilt (just what is it with me and big quilts?!), so I halted progress on putting the blocks together until I got more Cold Spell (check! Bagged the last layer cake in the shop, in fact). New blocks will use both the stronger blues, as here, and the lighter all-cream prints, to mix things up a bit. I also found a Moda layer cake of blue/cream flannels, which are going to be perfect as the backing. Most of the delay on this one is down to my low distraction threshold and the comparatively low priority of this project currently.
Dead or Alive? Alive, just dormant.
What is it? A thing that should not be, horror personified in fabric form.
Last Sighting: …In Which I Create a Monster
What’s The Hold-Up? It’s hideous, I hate it I hate it I hate it.
Dead or Alive? Due for a lethal encounter with the seam ripper. RIP! 😉
So there you have it. I’ll be honest, I was actually expecting the list to be much longer, but perhaps 11 projects is plenty when 7 of them are throw-sized or larger! Clearly some are much more likely to see completion this year than others, but most of them still have a spark of life that makes me want to see them done and dusted. I really want to be crossing at least some of these off by the end of 2017!
Follow these hot tips for an authentically frustrating and stressful experience!
First, make sure the client is a friend of a family member – this means that backing out or saying “no” is that bit harder. Oh, and they’re only paying for the materials, not your time.
Next, make sure the client has no idea what you do or how a quilt is constructed. Ideally, they should also have no idea about size, colour or design and no apparent interest in discussing any of these points.
Lastly, time the commission so that it coincides perfectly with a really stressful event in your own life, such as a house move that falls through *after* you moved out of your old place.
Congratulations! Now you’re all set for maximum hair-pulling and ARGH! moments! 😀
Grizzling aside, I think it actually came out ok:
These are also the only WIP shots I have of this quilt, since I only got re-united with my camera a few days ago. I usually like to have a good progression of WIP pictures, but it simply wasn’t possible this time. 🙁 The brief was for a “king-size” quilt for a wedding at the end of August. However, I couldn’t get any dimensions other than the standard measurements for a UK king-size mattress, which I based the size of the centre panel on. And I did manage to eventually get a colour brief of “maybe blue, definitely NOT brown” and some fabric picks to work with. I took it upon myself to throw in some cream-coloured fabric to warm things up a smidge. Given the circumstances, I shamelessly chose the simplest design I could think of – rail fence with some sashing. I think it actually took me longer to figure out how to sort out the sequence of 2″ squares around the centre than it did to piece the rails together.
With the borders, the quilt has ended up being approximately 80″ x 90″, so it’s a bit on the small size for a “proper” king-sized quilt, but there should be at least a bit of spare quilt to hang over the edge of the bed. It’s also easily the largest thing I have quilted to date. Nearly all of the construction and quilting was done while camping out for three weeks with my aunt and uncle, so I’m feeling like it’s lucky there’s a quilt at all. Also, I now feel I very much owe my aunt and uncle a quilt too – this beast would never have reached the quilting stage if they hadn’t engineered a chance for me to borrow the floor of the local village hall to do the pin-basting on and let me take over half their dining table and living room with quilting stuffs.
The rail-fence centre is quilted in straight lines, with some wavy lines courtesy of the pre-programmed stitches of the Pfaff. Originally, it was all going to be only straight lines everywhere, but the cream border was crying out for something extra and luckily I’d bought some cream-coloured thread of exactly the right shade and weight, so I essayed a filler design of leaves to hold everything down and give it a necessary finished look.
It came out pretty well, I think, and I discovered an important truth about leaves – they can be almost any shape at all, but if they have a sort of point and a mid-vein then they’ll look like a leaf! I call this the “Quilter’s Fancy” Tree, aka the Lolwat? Vine.
It’s almost complete now – all that’s left is hand-finishing the binding, which I’m about half-way through already, and burying some thread ends from the quilting on the stripy outer edges. And I should probably sort out some manner of label to add to the back, once I discover the names of the happy couple…
Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social, Free-Motion Mavericks (when it goes live), Can I Get A Whoop Whoop (when it goes live), TGIFF (when it goes live; I ought to be done with the binding by then!)
Doing that WIP Wednesday Thing again! Does twice count as a habit?
I’ve been muddling along with quite a few different projects recently. Why is finishing things so hard? But actually, I am beginning to feel more on top of my current projects. Woo!
I’ve never done this before:
So that’s a Thing right there. I hope I did it right. Work’s been quiet recently so I’ve been doing quite a lot of sewing instead. How did I do that with an apparently broken sewing machine? Well, turned out that the problem wasn’t the machine, it was my walking foot. As long as I don’t want to quilt anything, I can sew to my heart’s content. And speaking of hearts, I’ve finally made a major leap forward with a major project, the project that kind of kicked all this off:
So it’s been a while, but I haven’t been completely idle! I’ve been away and then busy with work, but I have squeezed a few crafty things in here and there. Below is the little coin stack top I made:
I bought a big budget pack of charm squares and some marble charm squares and made this up quite quickly (for me!) It was originally going to be a quillow, but in the end I decided that it was fine as a regular quilt. I’m annoyed that my “coins” don’t line up exactly, but it’s quite fun anyway. I have some red starry fleece to back it with, I just need to get on and baste and quilt it. It’s a good size for a baby quilt at ~ 36″ by 48″, and people keep having babies at me at the moment so it seems a good idea to make up some appropriate quilts! I don’t really hold with gender stereotyping of colours, but this does feel more like a boy’s quilt than a girl’s quilt. Mind you, depends on the child!
I’ve always been of the opinion that wedding lists (indeed, wishlists in general), are really only for use by people who don’t actually know the couple (or person) especially well. And also to prevent couples from ending up with five identical toasters from well-meaning distant relatives. Thus, when my sister announced she was getting married, I started plotting something a bit more personal, something not stocked by John Lewis – a hand-made Wedding quilt.