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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quilting Resurgence

I have been a quilter for about eight years and have probably made about 50-60 quilts.  I keep a scrapbook of them with photos, dates, pieces of the fabric, etc. About a year ago I decided I had too many unfinished projects, so promised myself I wouldn't start anything new until I caught up.  Here I am a year later still finishing the last one.

It's an Easter quilt with a center panel and blocks and borders around it.  It's not really even my taste anymore.  I've been working on it (or not) for about four years.  I started hand quilting it, but when I finish the center panel I am going to switch to machine quilting to finish it.  I just bought the fabric for the binding and I will finish it before April is out!  We call it Frank and if you've seen Donnie Darko, you understand why.

About the same time as my UFO revelation, I decided I was tired of quilting and ready to branch out.  I've learned some hand embroidery, sewed scarves, a handbag, drapes, etc.  For 2010 one of my goals was to learn knitting, so I took a class and am working on a scarf.  Now, I am re-energized to quilt again.

After cleaning out/organizing/spiffing up my sewing room, I have come to the conclusion that my stash of fabric is embarrassingly large.  Like Hoarder large (at least to me).  I don't even really like some of it.  My new plan is to make scrap quilts until my stash is MUCH smaller and try not to buy any new fabric until it is depleted significantly.  The other night when I started going through my fabric, I discovered a bin I had labeled "orphan blocks" and lo and behold, there were dozens of quilt blocks inside.  I can quickly and easily stitch up several quilt tops from them.

I have separated some of my scrap stash by size and some by color and I now have plans for at least the first three quilts I will make using existing fabric from my stash.  I am still deciding on some of the patterns and looking for modern scrap quilts to make.  (If you have interesting links, please post in the comments!)

Just as I was ready to begin my big sewing binge, I had to take my machine in to the shop today as it was squeaking when I sewed.  I won't have it back until next Wednesday - grrrrr.  I guess I will just have to prep and stage all my projects for its return.  Crossing my fingers that it isn't a big repair.  I had it serviced less than a year ago, so it should be covered. Still...

Some things that have me excited about quilting again:

1. spiffing up my sewing room
2. new ten pack of rotary blades (sometimes it's the little things)
3. this quilt
4. Noelle's first quilt top with the gray background as the neutral...already purchased four yards of gray to get going...Noelle, I'm using your photo here.

5. Audrey's tumblers charm quilt.  I halfheartedly attempted tumblers about a year ago, but didn't have the proportions right.  Now I have a good template for them (Thank you, Audrey)
6. Anna Maria Horner's post on hand quilting with perle cotton.  A revelation!  I can't wait to try this.
7. Last, and most certainly not least, the upcoming annual quilting retreat with my friends.  It's only a week away!  This is a most precious group of women to me and I am over-the-moon excited for our trip.  It's always inspiring and energizing and I learn so much from them.  They each have different special gifts that they bring.  I've been looking forward to it for months.  It's been, shall we say, a complicated year for me and I really, really need this trip with my peeps. Three days of camaraderie, Jane Austen film adaptations, sangria, cooking together, reading, walks, and oh, yeah, some stitching!

Look for new quilts here hopefully soon!  Are you energized to sew?  Tell me all about it...

1 comment:

  1. Oohhh....I'm honored my very first quilt is on your blog! The gray is a gray chambray. I've fallen in love with them! The orange/peach is lovely and the natural is a great replacement for linen.

    You ask about inspiration, mine comes from tons of places but since I'm new to quilting I am picking up tidbits all over the place. I have 2 new quilts underway and I'm working on my back for the one pictured above. - I think Jacquie does lovely work. - Quilt backs, some of these are prettier than the "fronts"

    We've also started a Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. There are about 55 members and many of them have blogs. We do not yet have all their blogs listed but will soon. There is some very inspiring work out there from this group. There is no cost to join, you can follow the group for a while and watch for when we get a 'blog list' posted.

    A friend of mine is teaching a class at Fabric Crush - a stacked coin quilt that would be a great scrap buster!

    OK - now that I've taken over the comments section I'll leave. Talk to you soon.