Thursday, October 16, 2014

Slow, but Steady, Wins the (UFO) Race

Now that the quilt show season is drawing to a close and I have "retired" my latest 3 crazy pieces from the circuit, it's time to assess my progress relative to finishing a number of UFO's.

  • Fabric portrait of Molly Bloom
After a frustrating afternoon of finding the right match of needle and machine settings to accommodate the monofilament thread, I'm pleased with the progress I've made. I spend no more than an hour at a time sewing down each individual piece of fabric that comprises this portrait. Today I worked on the right eye and nose. It's amazing how just this bit of functional sewing affects the overall portrait. I can't wait to begin the thread painting.

  • Black and White "Wonky" Quilt
I finally put the finishing touches on the third crazy quilted circle. I have the backing for this piece and am ready to sandwich and quilt it before appliquing the spheres onto the quilt. I have decided to use a medium grey Aurifil thread to do organic quilting. First, however, I will do some quilting in the ditch to stabilize the piece.

  • The Peacock Quilt
This top has been done for well over a year. The reason it hasn't been finished is my fear of quilting it. I tried to have it done by a longarm quilter, but the minute I mentioned the beading, she did not want to touch it. This is not the kind of beading you could do AFTER the quilt was made. I designed the four corner blocks and each of these took approximately 10 hours to bead. I don't even  want to know how many hours it took for me to apply the sequins. After much deliberating, I've decided to hand quilt this piece myself using perle cotton and "big stitch" quilting. The backing is ready to be pieced, but I'm waiting until after a workshop I'm taking in February to begin the quilting.

  • Cathedral Window Quilt
I've made cathedral window pillows and wall hangings in the past, but never a quilt or large wall hanging. After learning how to make the background squares by machine, I decided to make a king-sized scrappy cathedral window quilt. To that end, I purchased 4 bolts of white Kona cotton. Then reason set in. My cat LOVES to lie on my quilts. White quilt--cat lying on quilt. I decided instead to make a good-sized wall hanging and to use, instead of scrappy windows, a rainbow effect. I used graph paper to design the layout of the quilt. While I know how to join the blocks and sew down the windows by machine (in fact, I'm teaching a workshop on this technique soon), I personally prefer to join the blocks by whipstitching them by hand and to sew down the windows by hand as well. I have over 150 squares completed and decided to start joining them and adding the windows.

The only major UFO not mentioned here is my postage stamp quilt. It is king-sized and is over 90% done, but for some reason I can't seem to get back to it. I'm hoping as I finish some of these and it gets uncovered on the "pile," that that will change.

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