Saturday Odds & Ends

When we jump from project to project and then back around again, it often feels like {watching} a chicken peck, peck, pecking away. That’s the way I like to approach my quiltmaking—little bites. Thank goodness I have lots of lists. They help keep me on track so that my inevitable restlessness will eventually add up to something of substance. The Marsala quilt below currently has all the hand quilting completed, a binding attached and is now awaiting the final hand sewing stage. Which I will do later ‘cuz I’m just not quite in the mood yet!

Marsala {An Unexpected Crossroads} ready for binding

All in due time. For over a year I have tried to sandwich and pin two quilts at the same time. It’s such a hassle to get help moving the dining room table out of the way and finding that block of time when the whole clan isn’t tromping through the room. Next up in the line-up is the scrap-bin tulip quilt and Learning Curves, where I challenged myself to get drunkards path units figured out once and for all!

Next in line for quilting!

I stitched-in-the-ditch in between every 16-patch block and now I’m coming back to hand quilt the quarter circle units. It probably didn’t need the machine quilting, but it was fast and easy to do and now I can hand quilt without any pins in the way. This is a large quilt so the hand quilting may take awhile. We’ll see how motivated I get!

In the hoop…

After much contemplation, I finally settled on a solution for the blue applique heart blocks that had been shown before. Sadly, they will not be residing with the brown coin units anymore. This idea has completely separated itself into a new project that makes a little more sense. When I distilled all the elements down from the project before, it seemed like the two blocks {blue applique blocks & the coin units} were both equally determined to have their own way. So different directions here we go! I found a classic, ticking fabric to use instead of the coins and a Liberty look-alike voile to use as the cornerstone squares. Together, alongside the blue applique blocks, it starts taking on a much more serene look. Hopefully that doesn’t mean boring!

Preparing Blue Plumes project

My rough drawing pattern has been edited and changed so much it’s starting to get thin in places, but it served well enough to allow the basic rows to be sewn together. So far I’m leaving them in 2-row sections. This will keep the units small enough to manipulate while I applique the blue ‘plumes’ into place. Most of them at least! The ones at the top of the quilt will have to be attached after the entire quilt top has been sewn together. Ughh. Hate that. But there’s no way around that as the plumes will overlap the seams above.

Units ready for more applique work

In the end I just couldn’t discard the ‘plumes’ or exclamation marks as one person called them. It feels whimsical and fun. Right up my alley and it always seems worth it after the work is done.*wink  So that’s the prep work—just a few hours. That’s all! Done and all ready for the next phase though, that’s the important part. It helps more than most people realize to have the prep work totally ready for the exact moment {or window of opportunity} when our hands are itching to dive in and start stitching. I get tired of a project, look around for the next eye-candy project and you just never know, it could be this one!

I’ve also figured out the direction forward for the brown coin blocks and hopefully will have some progress on that front sometime next week. It’s a constant source of amazement to me that even when I’m deliberately trying to tamp down on the amount of open-ended projects around here, they just sort of happen anyway!