Monday, October 03, 2016

It is October

Hard as it is to believe, 2016 has 3 more months.  I have 4 more quilt shows this year.  Four.  And then it is the 3 month waiting game until the January shows begin again.  This is a time when I should be further along with projects for next year, but that is just life.  I have one quilt which is at the same point today as it was 10 months ago.  I am hoping to resurrect this in November when I return from Houston, and actually get it finished by April.  It is possible, with a bit of focus.

Focus and time have been my biggest distractions.  I work for a short time on something, then put it down, quilt a few client quilts, go to teach, and then try to pick up where I left off, but I find myself stuck or disinterested.  I need to push my projects through these stumbling blocks, not allowing them to go into unfinished boxes.  I have always been a great starter.

That said, I did finish my quilt The Twisted Sister.  If you are scratching your head and wondering what this is, be patient.  It has gone with my buddies that run MQX, getting the extra-special courier service transport to MQX in Springfield, IL.  They sure are great that way!  This quilt was about 18 months in the making, and I really love how it finished.  I will definitely show some photos in 2 weeks.  It has the hand-pieced, fussy-cut hexagon stars set on silk (the one that took 3 months to do the are thinking "oh...that one!").

Back in the mid-summer, during a week when I just needed a distraction, I pieced some orange/pink log cabin blocks.  For whatever reason, this pattern has been on my bucket list for a while.  Ten days ago, I decided to draft the design for the applique border.  It is crazy complex, but it will be amazing when done.  I'm not sure where the quilting will go, but that is a detail for another day.
The flowers and leaves partly come from the 4 applique blocks I already did that are on the center  (maybe if you scroll back a few weeks you will see), but some of the leaves and flowers are new too.  There are LOTS of pieces to prep!
 I used a freezer paper prep for the center section, but it was a total pain to remove the paper.  I even stabbed my pointy scissors thru one of the applique patches, so...I opted to use a Templar and starch method for ALL of the appliques of the border.  It takes forever, but once they are prepped, they can be stitched when I am ready.  FYI - the white background is just paper.  The actual fabric is to be ivory silk Radiance.
This was from last week.  I have a few more pieces prepared.  None of the stems and vines are done, naturally, since they'd be the first to be stitched down!  As I got the border to this point, I could see all of the flowers, and colors and textures working together.  Believe me, I love this so much.  But (and there is always a BUT!)...I somehow needed to bring the brighter shades of green into the center of the quilt (here is the before..., just scroll down a bit in the post).  So the border prep got put on hold last weekend, and in between passes of a large E2E for a client, I pondered how to brighten this.

I chose to add a brighter green sequence of arches around the flower applique blocks.  There are still 4 of the arches not prepared.  I also added the green wreath of leaves at the center.  Bringing the eye to the middle focal of the quilt is always critical with my designs - whether you choose to do this with the piecing, the color, the quilting, or all of the above.  I think this fits the bill, even if it means I created an extra 25 hours of work for myself! I love the handwork.

I need to take a few days off to do a client quilt, then get myself ready to travel.  And maybe I will also get some handwork prepped to take with me on my trips.  I have something like 150 tiny dots to prepare, sigh.

So, as I joke, maybe in 2019 you will get to see this finished :-)


Vicki W said...

That's going to be spectacular! I love the wreaths added to the log cabin blocks.

Susan Lawson said...

Very! pretty! I love your colors

Diane said...

Twisted Sister looks amazing and this pink/orange quilt is looking good too. I do hope you're joking about 2019, but I get it. I'm a starter too. Still, once you add your magical quilting, it will be fantastic too.