Sunday, October 4, 2020

Too Many Projects


Having made so much progress on UFOs during furlough, I decided to pull out another stalled project.  It's the Benjamin Biggs quilt.  A reproduction of a quilt from 1848 that was done as a block a month quilt along at Just Takes 2.   I did mine in traditional red/green, but using batiks.  I had 12 of the 25 finished when I stopped working on it in 2014.

There were 3 additional squares that needed the annoying 4 corner flowers added. 

It took a month for me to finish those 12 flowers plus block #16.    I have the next 3 prepped with a goal to finish them by the end of October.  They are a perfect partner to watching football. 

Meanwhile I got sucked into another quilt along that is active.  A paper pieced fall theme quilt from Twittletales.  I thought it would be a good way to use up some rusts and olive greens that I don't usually use.  I failed to realize how annoying it would be to make 100 paper pieced blocks.  I'm a little over 1/2 way done. I've been challenged by using 2 different background colors (didn't have enough of the first which was leftover from another project.) and the fact that I can only stand to sew about 5 blocks at one sitting before I get bored.

I had a lot of "good scraps" from the Monet quilt.   I should have just thrown them out.  Instead, I started a leader/ender project that resulted in some tiny 4 patch blocks. 
Which after some consideration became this 6" block. 
And ultimately a Road To California bonus quilt using up the sea / sage scraps.

The combination of being back to work, and taking advantage of the cool down in the weather to complete another garden makeover in the back yard, has cut into my quilting time.  We'll see what October brings.

Monday, September 7, 2020



I spent the weekend working on a rack of ribs.

Because I needed to be able to manipulate the whole set while designing the quilt, each  piece was cut out with a muslin backing, sewn then turned right side out.  The ribs are all sewn in place, but the spine sections just pinned. 

The reason for all of that, is that the whole quilt is designed around this t-shirt.  
It was cut off my buddy Boomer when he had his heart attack. 
Fortunately he survived the ordeal. 
He and his wife have been helping me design this quilt with all of his favorite things.  
In the style of Day of the Dead. 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Scraps Beget Scraps


I added the backing to Monet and top-stitched the edge.  I had every intention of stitching some stabilizing lines vertically.  Instead, I threw it in the washer and drier and declared it done.  Quarter for size reference of the 1" squares. 
Since there's no quilting, I shall henceforth refer to this as the Monet Coverlet. 
After placing all those 1.5" squares, I was so ready to throw away the extras.  But there were so many "good fabrics" in the mix.   I started a leader/ender project while I was finishing up the Monet top, and today combined the pairs for 100 4-patch blocks.  I have some vague ideas of combining these with HST using the blue leftovers.  

Twiddletails posted this quilt along of Leaves in the Forest, just as I was wondering what to do with the weird olive leftovers I wouldn't usually buy.  

I was able to pull these scraps together to match the pattern colors.  
And did these test blocks (Block #4 on top, #1 on bottom) that include 9 of the 12 colors in the quilt pattern.   They appear to play well together.  

On a bright note, both of these somewhat random piecing projects are good start/stop type projects that allow me to work 30 minutes at a time, unlike the larger, more complex projects I've been finishing up.  Hopeful that will keep me on task. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Monet Finish


11 years and much cussing later, Monet's Lady with Parasol is pieced. 
Finished size is 85"x 107"

This is how it looks on a Queen size bed. 

Definitely larger than the original. 
On the back of the flimsy, you can see 3 different brands of fusible that was used to position the squares.  There are even some sections I put together without the fusible. Once it's positioned, it is sewn, right sides together a row at a time with 1/4 inch seams.  Since it is so secure, and there are SO MANY seams, my plan is to add a double wide backing but no batting.    Almost done!

Addendum:  Ended up just adding a backing and topstitching the edges to make a coverlet.  Details in next post.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Final Push


Over the course of the week, I finished sewing 4 sections of the side panels, and discovered a section (top left) that was only 1/2 sewn.  I'll do the vertical seams when I do the last 4 panels. 
The top and bottom left panels are fused and ready for stitching.  I am out of 50% of the original fabrics, so did some clever substitutions.  Laid down the fabrics that I did have, and filled in with similar options. 
This morning I organized what was left of the original colors.  Added 7 more substitutes from the stash.  Will do my best to match colors to the original where it meets the other panels, and freestyle the rest.  As par for this project, I seem to be a panel short of the fusible.  SIGH.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Furlough Finishes

I often joke that my job really gets in the way of my hobbies.  A 4 month work furlough for Covid-19 really proved that to be true.  While I typically finish 4-6 quilts a year, depending upon complexity, I've finished 17 of varying sized and difficulty, not to mention about 3 dozen face masks.
Loud was started a couple years ago.  The hand applique took forever to finish.  It was a re-work of 2 other designs. 
 Then a series of original designs.  Vizsla is a fund raising quilt for a friend.  
Covid quilt for Chris, started before the furlough and finished during.
His & Hers wedding quilts.  
An octopus for my daughter.  

Then I got a little obsessed with underwater photos.  So a jellyfish.
Squid (or is it a cuddle fish?)

Of the 21 projects on my 2020 goal list, I completed 8, but only 1 from my oldest UFO list.  I started a quilt for my mom in 2010 that was going to include 80 squares with themes about her life.  I made 9.  The week before her birthday I planned to put them together for a pillow for her.  She insisted she had no use for a pillow.  So in a couple days I made 6 more blocks and quickly quilted it.  Still need to take pictures of the final outcome as I was putting the binding on at 5am the day we were headed to her house.  

And somewhere between projects, I cleaned up the sewing room and put together packets of scraps, leftovers and random fabrics to make a series of NICU donation quilts.

I am scheduled to go back to work next week.   Leaving me just a few days to make progress on Monet so it doesn't get abandoned again.

Saturday, August 8, 2020



It is hard to properly express how much I hate this project right now.  This represents a day and a half of placing squares.  There are in the neighborhood of 2270 in these 5 panels. The center panel is the missing piece of the previous post.  Following the design as accurately as possible. 

I don't have enough of any of the fabrics to finish the plan as it started.  The outer panels, I focused on making the first 4 connecting squares true to the pattern, then free styled the rest.  

I am down to 4 panels, each 30 x 12 pieces.  So 1440.  Unfortunately, they are the top and bottom panels which have darker squares.  And I am pretty sure I don't have the fabrics needed.  Good thing I'm the queen of improv. 
Claude Monet 'Woman With a Parasol'