Tuesday, March 08, 2016

I've been a bit disappointed in my achievements so far in 2016- normally I have  a spate of finishing early in the year and it motivates me to keep on going. I've completed two tops so far, but that's not enough. I've decided that there are some projects that are weighing on my mind ( not to mention cluttering up my shelves) and are stopping progress on all my sewing, so the easiest thing would be to just deal with them. Once I'm no longer expending mental energy trying to work out where to go with these stalled ideas I'm sure I'll feel a lot more enthusiastic about everything.

The first one I decided to tackle was this  project from 2012. I call it English Squares, and it was based on some photos of an old quilt in a small museum. It was folded so I couldn't see the whole thing, and once I'd pieced hundreds of the squares I decided it was all too boring for words and put it away.

On one of it's trips to the design wall I thought it might be nice to have some sort of pieced focal point in the centre, or maybe some applique...but that  never happened and it all got packed away again. However I was looking through a tub of large floral fabrics and was struck by the colouring of this Mary Koval print from many years ago....hmmm, just the colours I was using in the English Squares.

So I began the brain hurty task of working out what size I wanted the panel to be in the centre, mostly decided by the fact that I only had 12" of this fabric. Then I had to choose what proportions to make the overall quilt; did I want it square or rectangular, with the panel set in the centre or slightly higher towards the pillow area, and what about the borders? If I have an antique quilt that I'm reproducing this process isn't so exhausting, but I had very little photo information to use as a jumping off point and it's quite hard to make all these decisions as you go.

I finally settled on a size and then a frame to go around it, with a 1/4" strip of warm brown right next to the print. Other people might just sew a little flange into the seam to provide that bit of colour, but I'm a longarmer, and I hate dealing with that little flap when it comes time to quilt.

All righty, now we're getting somewhere! I threw whatever pieced squares I had up on the design wall and then started sewing them into larger sections, but I can already see that I need to go back and make a heap more ninepatches before I can finish this.

Here's where I am now, that whole upper piece is joined together, and I'm trialing some bigger squares of the same fabrics for a  border. (The centre squares are 1 1/2" finished, the ones in the border are 2 1/2" finished ) The jury is out on whether that will be the way to go, but if I change my mind  then these strips will end up on the back of this quilt.

 These photos look as dull as ditchwater, but the fabrics are nice in person. I think this will be a quilt that is interesting to examine close up, but looks boring from across the room.

So it's still pretty boring sewing, but  I have a plan now. It's so hard to move forward without a sense of direction, but at least now the end is a little bit easier to visualise.


keryn March 08, 2016  

Yay!! Progress at last.

audrey March 08, 2016  

Nothing wrong with those comfy sort of quilts. I can see that your fabric is wonderfully charming to look at.:)

Sue SA March 09, 2016  

You have made great progress, a lovely grown up eye spy quilt, to search and look at all the lovely prints in each square!

Kleine Vingers March 09, 2016  

I like the quilt so far and love the part you added in the middle. Not every quilt has to jump at you, I love the colors and simple pattern. Greetings

Patti Kilcullen March 10, 2016  

Great idea. I have projects that have been sitting around and dragging me down for way too long and I am moving on them this year too. One from 2007 is going to be finished this year!

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