Saturday, 19 January 2013

Some progress on the Mystery Quilt

I think that I've done enough foundation piecing to have overcome my mental barriers.  The final foundation pieced star is the Lone Starburst (tutorial here).  I love this block, and I'd like to make an entire quilt from it, but I doubt that will happen.

Since I was also trying to resurrect some long-dormant quilting skills, I decided to spend a bit of time on geese.  Here I did two blocks.

The Ribbon Star block  (tutorial here)...

and the You Are Here block (pattern here)...

Then, since I hadn't included any English paper piecing (not for lack of trying), I thought I'd squeeze in this circle of six-pointed stars that I adapted from an All People Quilt table runner pattern. 
I'm glad that I did this one.  I can see a hexagon quilt in my future. 

Now, I just have to decide whether this is sufficient or if I've totally screwed up the proportions and need to make more to balance it out.  The process is much like sawing bit of chair legs off to level them, but in reverse. 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Setting first quarter goals

I'm really happy to be signing up for the first quarter of the 2013 Finish Along.  It's both motivational and inspiring.  It can also be a bit intimidating when I see those long lists of projects people hope to complete. That goes double at the end of the quarter when I see how much they accomplished.  I'm no where near that productive.  Mind you, I don't really have a lot of unfinished quilting/sewing projects to finish up.  Maybe what I really need is a start along--something to get those ideas out of my head and made up.

On the other hand, I noticed that some participants include non-quilting/sewing fibre related projects.  Maybe I should include some spinning or knitting or needlepoint finishing goals.  Or not.  Maybe next time.

For the next three months my goals are simple.

1.  Finish my Modified Mystery Quilt.  I think that I had this on every quarter in 2012.  Turning it into a skill-building exercise--specifically a paper piecing skill-building exercise proved more challenging than I expected.  Here's where I'm at with it.

All four quarters are done.  No, it's not exactly like the original, but the four blocks in the top right are.  And so are both borders--tippy canoes and jaggy points. And the Mariner's compass and the 3 smaller star blocks.  So, really, there are only the two large corner blocks and the two small white stars that aren't part of the original.  The only thing is, I'm not really thrilled with square quilts, or at least not with asymmetrical square quilts. I know that Sheila didn't design it this way, since she balanced the whole thing with asymmetrical borders, but I'm not a big fan of borders either, so I'm not going to use them which means that I'll need to add another row of blocks to the bottom.  That's okay.  There's still one foundation pieced star I want to try, and while I'm about it, maybe some English paper piecing or geese.  Or both.  Whatever I decide to do, it will be done by the end of March.

2.  I was looking for the perfect way to show off the terrific Half Moon Modern charm packs I was hoarding when along comes Christa and her Sea of Squares do-it-yourself quilt along.  Perfect.  I don't think that I'll have any problems finishing this one (touch wood, cross fingers) because I love this fabric so much and can't wait to see it as a finished quilt. 

3.  This one is definitely one for the history books.  Whilst tidying some boxes in the basement, I came across an old baby quilt that I started in the early 80s (maybe late 70s) and never finished.  These are 1.5 inch hexies.  The fabric is a mix of cotton and poly-cotton blends.  The batting is polyester, and not particularly high quality.  It all hand quilted.  I really dislike the bits of quilting on the white background, so my goal is to pick out the quilting and machine quilt it for durability, bind it, and give it to the girls for a doll quilt. 

I decided not to include my vintage dresden plate this quarter.  I know that I'm not going to finish it this quarter, so there's not really any point.  I plan to keep working at it here and there, but I'm going to focus on getting the first three finished and, just as important, starting on some of the new projects I've been thinking about for too long.

Now, it's time to link this up to the 1st quarter link-up which is being hosted by Leanne throughout 2013.  Thank you for taking this on, Leanne.

she can quilt

Friday, 4 January 2013

Quarter 4 finish-along--not too shabby

I could have done far worse.  Of course, I could also have done better, but let's not go there.

Of the 5 projects on my 4th quarter goal list,  I managed to finish 3.  Better than half. 

I hate to admit it, but I don't think that I stitched a single stitch on the dresden plate.   At this rate, it's going to take me another 30 years to finish it.  I really need to focus on this one. I've made some very small progress on  Sheila's Mystery Quilt, but the top isn't yet finished.  Almost, but not quite.  And I have no idea at all about how to quilt this one.  No point in posting a picture of either of these. 

On the other hand, I got the time sensitive ones done, and that's what counts. 

I finished the two quilts for the girls in time to wrap them up as Christmas presents. 
I didn't expect them to elicit the same excited reaction as their new toys, but I was wrong.  They loved them and immediately started looking for the matching squares. The blocks with their initials were a big hit.

And the Christmas lap quilt really did add to the atmosphere.  Folded in half, it was just the right size for the back of a not very festive brown leather chair sitting in a dark corner. Dark enough that the photos don't look particularly wonderful.  This outdoor shot will have to do.

Fast, easy, and effective.  That's my kind of quilt. 

So, now, I'm going to link this up to Quilter in the Gap's Q4 FAL link up.   With 3 finishes in 3 months, it's my most productive quarter yet.  Thank you, Rhonda, for a very motivating 2012.

2012 Finish-A-Long