Saturday, October 11, 2014

To Finish is Divine!

"To Finish is Divine!" is a motto I don't live by. I am a super procrastinator, and I'd rather get onto the next new project, than finish what I'm working on now. But my husband is terminally ill, and we have been trying to straighten up certain things, a will, gifts to family and friends, and what to do with "Stuff" when he is gone. So I have also been thinking of all the unfinished projects I have stashed around my sewing room. I spent most of August working on Unfinished Projects, trying to get at least the tops done. I have pizza boxes with blocks and pieces of blocks, sometimes they just needed sashing and borders, sometimes more blocks, some times more hand work or details. I started with the ones closest to being finished. Instant gratification was a high priority. My sister has been bugging me to get my niece's quilt done. My niece Sophie had helped pick out the fabric, she loves green, and a gold and brown to go with it. My original block had the gold and brown but it was way too much yellow. So I redid the layout, and just used the brown in the flying geese border. There is still one more border, about 8" of the green print. The print has orchids and tropical leaves. So almost there.
"Donna's Flower Baskets" is my next effort. The blocks were put together with sashing and needed the setting triangles and quilting. It is about 50" square and I could quilt it on my domestic machine. There are feathers quilted in the triangles, and the rest just has small stipple quilting and in the ditch on the sashing. The designs are original flower arrangements, made with 3-D flowers. I made them sitting at my sister-in-laws dining table, while visiting Chicago for my parent's 50th anniversary party. So it has a lot of good memories and I named it after my sister in law, Donna.
"Bits and Pieces" is just that, I used miscellaneous blocks and pieces from my scrap bag to make the entire quilt top, except for the border. I started by fitting several rows together at a time, and making up 4-patch or pin wheel blocks to help fit everything. Square in a square, log cabin, flying geese and checker boards were the easiest to make with my scraps. I think it looks very balanced, not too much red, or dark spots. I got quiet a large twin size quilt top out of it, adding about 4 rows at a time, then making more pieces to fit. I could keep going for a long time with all the scraps I have, I hate to waste any fabric, and if it is pre-cut squares or triangles, why throw it away? It was fun because I could look at a fabric and remember what quilt or wall hanging it is from, more pleasant memories.

Vintage Handkerchief Butterflies are made by folding hankies and embroidering the details. "Flying in Formation" is named for Rena Talbot a Mary Kay Cosmetics motivational speaker, who always said "if you are nervous and have butterflies in your stomach, get them flying in formation, and go get done, what needs doing." I have picked up the hankies over the years at garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores and antique stores. I am only willing to pay about $2-4 for them, mostly cotton and Irish linen. The best ones have color in the center, and a scalloped or shaped edge. Since my hands were feeling pretty good this summer, I was able to applique and embroider to make 6 more blocks, to finish the quilt top. The last trip to the coast, I bought the sashing fabric, a nice soft green with multi color butterflies scattered across the fabric. Cutting a wide sashing helped so the butterflies weren't all cut in half. This came out a very large Queen size, as the blocks are all 16" square. Because of the large size I could not add the same fabric for a border.
"Miss Tillie's Dresden Plate" is made with vintage fabrics, all from the 1920's-40's I can't remember who gave me the blocks, partial blocks and wedge pieces. I added wedges from my own vintage fabric collection, to finish up 20 blocks. The backing muslin is the only new fabric I used. I still have 4 more plates to applique, but I finished about 6 of them, before my hand started to hurt again. I also cut all the sashing and corner stones trying to find scraps 14 1/2" long was difficult I had to piece several of the old fabric to get a piece long enough.
The mini Dresden Plates are 6" across on 7" new muslin, the blocks were all appliqued, but I needed to add about 30 of the centers. I also cut out the sashing and corner stones the same time I did the large plates. It is getting harder and harder to find larger pieces in my bag of garage sale vintage scraps. This began with small wedges fussy cut in front of the TV, with many of the scraps too small to cut out a 1 1/2" square. I really love the scrap Dresden Plates, they really show off a large variety of fabric. I have a large one already quilted, "Miss Lillie" gave me the blocks for that one, and I have made mini plates into several wall hangings. So my summer was very bountiful, getting tops ready to quilt. I have a "Handiquilter 16" to quilt the large quilts on, but again my hands have not been too cooperative in getting that done.

I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" to see what other wonderful textile artists have been doing this week, click on the badge in the right hand column.

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