I have little to report as PROGRESS on this project since my post a month ago, since I haven't worked on it at all. But Kellie has asked us to all post updates...so here's the synopsis.
I have 25 blocks finished and ready to piece together, a fact that is unchanged from January 5th. I am in the process of working on 11 more blocks which, when completed, will be the next 3 rows. I have all the background and joining pieces nicely pressed and ready for action.
I like to work on this project while watching TV, which is why I got so much done in the Fall: I'm a fan of (American) football. I thought I'd get more done during the Olympics, but finished working on a number of other projects instead (see blog entries re: original columbine blocks, and the 2 Ashley quilts). If I know that I'll be sitting in a waiting room (doctor appointments, etc), I'll tuck a square or two into a Ziplock bag to take along. And every few months, I have to attend an all day staff meeting, with a group that is not offended if I do handwork. I also knew going into this semester, that I would not have any spare time in the evenings, which is one of the reasons I tried to get so far ahead over Christmas break. (I'm a consultant and teach a university course as adjunct faculty.) With no plans for Spring Break, except relaxing, I hope to increase my "finished" count to 36. And I'll be finishing this bad boy in May/June (when my classes end, but my daughters are still in school).
Admittedly, I have not been following Kellie's directions exactly. I couldn't afford the fuseable at the time the project started, and I'm too lazy to do the freezer paper. I used the back-basting needle turn approach. This saves me a ton of time with the fuse, glue and positioning steps. The "up" side, is that I save several hours per block this way, and my points are perfect. The "down" side is that the points aren't perfectly symmetrical, and the joining step is a little more fussy. I blogged on those steps in January. Also, because I'm picking the fabric colors as I go, I have to be more thoughtful about distributing the fabrics evenly, and b/c it's a scrap/stash quilt, there are a few fabrics I'm having to save for the final 2 rows, so things look a little more even. I find it best to baste & applique 3 alternating center petals first. This decreases the amount of bulk of fabric hanging around at the center. Then I baste & stitch the other 3 center petals. The 3rd round is the outer 6. I prefer to work on 6-10 blocks at once (the exact # usually determined by the next goal cut-off). I typically work one color at a time, across the stack of blocks. That way I don't have to continually switch thread colors.
One thing that I hadn't planned, but worked out very well, is that I took the project with me to several social gatherings, and let my friends pick out their favorite color combos for the center 6 petals. This helped me to keep things random. And if their choices were a bit odd, I'd just balance it out with the outer 6. Though I can no longer tell who did which, it's fun to think about the fact that a 6 year old picked one set, and another grouping selected by my-husband's-best-friend's-girlfriend.
This quilt is my older daughter's High School graduation quilt. She is graduating, 9 months early, in August '10. She picked the fabrics from the stash. That has been part of my challenge. I would have NEVER chosen to use this many different colors of fabrics. And some of her favorites are the ones that I think don't really go with the rest. Given my druthers, this would have been hot pink or red scraps on black.
I plan to make this a completely reversable quilt...since the last quilt I made for the daughter, lives on the bed backing side up (but mom, I really like this side...) I plan to take the big pieces that are left and make a filmstrip quilt. I plan to quilt by hand between the petals so the quilting on the back side looks like a field of curved triangles.