I finally finished the "Over the River and Through the Woods" hand embroidered quilt from Crabapple Hill. I thought I would never finish the embroidery, and then I got a little sidetracked on the piecing/finishing side. It isn't quilted yet, but I don't really have a place to store it when it *is* quilted, so that aspect of finishing will wait for awhile.
And I see that they have a new blackwork quilt (Snow Days) coming out in May. Sigh.
I have a wonderfully open day--time to quilt, knit, read (sleep!)-whatever I'd like to do. And, wouldn't you know, I have a day to sleep in, and I'm up and at it earlier than on work days! I think I'm anxious to get down to my studio and do something creative. I have as many UFOs as the next person--maybe more--and I've been working on those but after some upheaval and stress in other parts of my life I'm feeling the need to try something .
In the spirit of rationalizing the start of yet another project, I *did* finish a couple of things at the quilt retreat last weekend, and make progress on some others.
My friend Karen collects Santas and I like to do handwork while I watching movies (or when I'm traveling) so I made a redwork Santa quilt for her. She agreed to have it quilted, so our friend Sandy is going to work her custom quilted magic on it. The photo doesn't show the redwork very well but that reflects that many of the questions I was asked at the retreat were about the alternate block, 54-40 or Fight.
"Spiced Cider" (from More Laps from Fats) has been a retreat project for 2 or 3 years and it is finally finished. I like the rich colors, and it will be a nice touch in the office hallway during the fall. The border is actually a nice, rich-looking country check in red and gold. I may have to rethink that, as it seems to dulls things down quite a bit, at least from a distance.
My sister just told me about Colour Lovers, which shows color palettes (and lets you create your own.) It looks like it could be very useful to quilters who aren't comfortable with color just yet--studying various palettes and those that appeal to you could be a fun learning experience. Or, use a palette that appeals as inspiration and guide for choosing fabric for a project.
There is nothing like a quilt retreat to start catching up on UFOs. (Of course, there aren't enough retreats on the planet for me to finish all the projects, but it's encouraging to complete at least a few of them!) I finished 2 projects completely, and made very good progress on two more.
Though I can "retreat" to my studio just about any non-working hours, there are always other things staring at me, needing to be done, when I'm at home. And it's wonderful to be a room with all those fellow quilters, seeing what they're working on, and being inspired by their creativity and support and humor.
I'm checking out the April/May issue of "Quilters Home," especially the blogs. I could get lost in those pretty easily. So, if I don't post for awhile I'm hyperlinking my way around the blogosphere. (My friends tell me I'm "random," but I think it's because they don't have hyperlinked brains like I seem to have--it's much too easy for me to get lost in exploration!) I just happened onto "365 Days of Free Motion Quilting." Awesome. http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2009/08/can-i-create-new-free-motion-filler.html
I'm beginning to gather photos of family quilts; there aren't many surviving quilts and I'd like to document what we know (or think we know!) about those we do have.
Quilting friends know that 1930s repro fabrics are not my favorites to use in quilts, but I appreciate and admire quilts made with the fabrics, especially those made in the 1930s, from feed sacks. And, if the quilt was made by my grandmother, well...then I love it. Here's a star quilt made by Grandma Susie, my mother's mother.
On may home from Dad's after Christmas I was reading "Treasures in the Trunk: Quilts of the Oregon Trail" and renewed my resolve to better document my own quilts. They won't have the historical significance of those made by the amazing women portrayed in the book but if nothing else it will help me to keep track of the quilts I've made!
I sheepishly confess that, while I am an historian at heart, I am not very good about putting labels on my quilts. I have taken photos of many of them, but not all. I am in the process of sending out appeals to people to whom I've given quilts, asking them to take photos and send them to me. And I am beginning the tedious task of putting all that together--so much better had I done it to begin with! Did I mention that I have renewed my resolve?
I also would like to document, as much as we're able, the few quilts of my grandmothers' that we still have. With both grandmother's and my own mother gone it will be brief, at best. But it's important to tell as much of the story as we can.
Documentation forms Rather than reinvent the wheel I went in search of existing forms, and found many. Some of much more extensive than I probably will need (or, more accurately, more than I can realistically expect myself to complete) and I may end up creating my own but here are several that I located: