Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seven Quilts in Six Months: Can It Be Done?

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. –Ellen Goodman

I'd originally planned this post for on or very shortly after January 1st, but a really bad case of the stomach flu combined with a huge amount first-of-the-month billing at work combined and caused a hiccup in my posting mojo. Nevertheless, I think the quote I began this post with is still in relevant, as New Year's resolutions are still fresh on everyone's minds. I know I'm still thinking about the goals I've set for myself. Some I'm still struggling with, some I'm getting a handle on and other's I've needed to modify. But self-improvement and forward motion and sewing finishes are still in focus.

A little over a month ago {has it really been that long :paranoid:?}, I signed up for Myra's Ph.D Quilt Challenge. And I took it as an opportunity, not to beat myself up for all the things I've started and not finished, but to evaluate my huge stack of half-done projects. I saw it as a positive way to prioritize and complete some of those fabulous projects that had captured my imagination and then I'd been sidetracked from {most likely with other fabulous new projects that captured my imagination}. I was conservative in my commitment, knowing there were a few other big things I wanted to do during this time, and I pledged to complete three of my half-done quilts; my Snowball quilt, my Pinwheel Sampler and my Woman's Work quilt. After I'd made my commitment, I made a list of just how many quilts I have in progress and another list of things I really want to do but haven't started yet, and decided I'd better up the ante. I'm committing to finish seven quilts {some started already, some, not so much} by the end of June.

Over the past 10 days, I've finished 8 projects {some blogged about already and some yet to be blogged about}. These were all projects that I had cut and were ready to start on, or almost all cut out and were just sitting, waiting for me to get back to them. And it felt really good to get back to them and get them finished. None of them were quilts, but as soon as I finished the last of the projects that have been sitting, all cut out and ready to go for a good five months, I started working on Mr. Bug's Navy T-Shirt quilt. It was originally going to be for his birthday which is two days before Christmas. Nevermind that I decided to make it for him a week before his birthday, when I still had all the Christmas shopping and sewing left to do. I made a mistake {I think it was my subconscious trying to take some of the pre-Christmas pressure off} and ordered the wrong fabric and so that quilt was put on hold until the fabric could be exchanged.

I made a lot of progress with Mr. Bug's quilt this weekend. The top half is all put together and the bottom half is ready to be put together. I had it laid out on the living room floor up on my design wall and I asked him what he thought of it. He said it was nice, but I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn't in love with it. So we talked about it and decided to make a few changes {which requires a huge amount of frog stitching :rolleyes:}. Mr. Bug pulled out a couple of other t-shirts {that were packed away in an old trunk, instead of in the closet with his other things} and I'm going to switch out a couple of t-shirt blocks that aren't as meaningful as these other shirts. He also pulled out his old uniforms, the everyday 'work' clothes and his dress uniforms with patches and insignias and ensigns and medals on them. I'm going to make the sashing out of his dungaree work shirts. And I'm going to add a panel for his patches and insignias and ensigns and things. Even though it will take me as long to pull everything apart as it did to put it together, I think that making these changes will make the quilt more meaningful. It will be a quilt of things that he wore every day in his travels around the world. And making something really special for Mr. Bug it what I really want to do.

I'd hoped to have at least one Ph.D. quilt finished this month. I've officially added Mr. Bug's quilt to my list, bumping the number of Ph.D's from three to four to finish by the end of June. And as if that wasn't enough, there are three new quilts that I haven't started yet that I need {or want, I'm not sure which it is :confused:} to make before winter's end. One of those quilts is for my Grandpa, who many not have too many more winters left in him.

I'm not sure where to proceed from here. Last night, the thought of all that unpicking had me ready to jump ship on the Navy T-shirt quilt and move on to something else. I'm pretty sure that the design I have in mind for my Grandpa's quilt will go together pretty quickly, which is really tempting because I could very possibly have his quilt done before the month is out. I'm planning on making a stop at JoAnn's after work to find the perfect fabric for the pinwheels, border, binding and back to compliment the Moda Marbles Jelly Roll I'll be using for the striped blocks. But in contrast to that, this morning I've already thrown some of Mr. Bug's work clothes in the wash {instead of a load of darks :rolleyes:} and I'm thinking about teaching him how to unpick stitches while I work on cutting things up.

As it stands right now, here is the list of quilts I'd like to finish by the end of June, listed kind of in order of preference for sewing time.
New – Grandpa's quilt
Ph.D – Mr. Bug's Navy T-Shirt Memory quilt
New – Stacked Coins quilt {I'm going to use some of my Frolic left-overs for this}
New – Polka-Dot quilt {I'm going to use my Go! Drunkard's Path dies and this quilt design}
Ph.D – Pinwheel Sampler quilt
Ph.D – Snowball quilt
Ph.D – Woman's Work quilt

I think I've got a small case of Obsessive Creative Disorder :lol:. It is interesting how, even though I am anxious and excited to get those Ph.D quilts done, the new projects have snuck right in there and taken top priority. I think I'm going to have to institute a No New Projects policy*.

{* New quilts already on the list are exempt from the rule.}


Just JaiCi's Crafts said...

I'm thinking you can totally do it!! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you :)

Shay said...

You can do this standing on your head.

I have a no new projects policy in place until I finish one of the 5 things I have on the go...which is a complete bummer because I am itching to start little P's new quilt!

QuiltNut Creations said...

go you!!!
last year was my quilt kit year; I have a bin that was stuffed full of quilt kits-I could barely get it closed! I would say 75% of what I completed last year came out of that bin. you can do it!

whimsyfox said...

I know you can do it!
I have a list of projects too. Not all quilts and not all fabric kind. Making progress....I hope to post about them by end of month.