Monday, May 2, 2011

Various and Sundry Monday: Vol. 5

Sometimes the best lessons learned in life are those intended for others. –Unknown

Project Polka-Dot
{140 different polka-dotted fabrics. Really. No repeats!}
This polka-dot quilt has been rattling around in my brain for nine months or so. I guess you could say it was gestating :rofl:. I've been puttering around with it for about five months now, refining the idea and figuring out a layout. I used my Christmas money to buy the small Drunkard's Path die and will use both sizes of Drunkard's Path pieces in it. I've also been assembling the perfect polka-dotted fabrics for about the last three months. I rummaged trough my stash and came up with about 70 different polka-dots and then begged, borrowed and swapped for dots from anyone who would let me {a huge thank you to: Annelise, Iris, Jerrilynn, Michelle, P., Sara & Wanda}. I cut the fabric into 3¼ or 6¼ squares and distributed them into piles with no repeats {fabrics from the same line — like Moda Essential Dots — in different colors don't count as repeats}. This weekend, I got out my Go! and did a little cutting. And as usual {:crazy:}, I decided that if one was good, more was better, so I cut enough dots for more than one quilt. I'm not saying how many more than one quilt. But more than one. Let Project Polka-Dot begin!

Tweet Tweet Tweet
{A week into May still counts as April, right?}
I've kind of stalled on the Tweet Tweet quilt. Not because I don't love it {which I don't yet, but I'm going to finish anyway because as Shevvy pointed out, it isn't over until the binding is on} but because I'm going to try some new free-motion quilting and I'm nervous. I had the label finished weekend-before-last and the back was all put together last Monday. You can see by the date that I'd planned to have it finished long before now. But I spent last week finding other things to do during my quilting time {I even did laundry a couple of days instead of sewing} and I realized it was because I was nervous about thread choices and trying some new quilting. I don't want to stuff it up. Friday, I finally bought a spool of chocolate brown thread {which I'm still not sure about} and Saturday night I doodled out five or six pages of the quilting I want to do. I've got the quilt all laid out ready for pin basting, which I'll have a minute tonight to finish if I can get off the computer. And then tomorrow I can quilt and hopefully it won't be horrible.

Technically It Is A Scrap Quilt
{Someday this really will be a quilt.}
Last June, I decided that I wanted to work on a quilt I'd started a really long time ago. I'd shopped every fabric store from here to my mom's to find the perfect shades of blue to make an entire quilt of Checkerblock Stars because I didn't have enough of my first choice of fabrics to do the job. I had all the triangles cut for the top and borders, and half of them put together. And then I got bored. But I was motivated by leaders and enders projects by Susan and Lane to get back to it. It has been really slow going, because you only sew one block at the beginning and one block at the end of whatever project you are working on. But it still adds up — if you remember you are working on leaders and enders. After 11 months, I have all the small dark triangles pieced with the small white triangles to make a bigger triangle, and have started to piece those with the larger light blue triangles. I did the math and the quilt top {not counting the borders} has 3520 pieces in it. At this rate, it will probably take me another five years to finish this quilt. Or, I might decide to chain piece myself into a coma and get these triangles finished up so I can move on to the four-patches.

No Worse for the Wear
As you can see, my flowers didn't seem to mind the snow we got last weekend. The early bloomers are hardy enough to withstand a little bit of cold weather. The blossoms on the fruit trees, however, are another story. I hope that the orchard farmers aren't too hard hit this year because I know the trees have started to bloom and if the cold kills off the blooms, there is no fruit. It has been a really weird year for weather.

The List
I just realized that today is the 2nd of May and I have a list of quilts that I've committed to finish by the end of June. It started out at 3 Ph.D's and 3 completely new quilts, but as lists tend to do, it has sort of grown. The new quilts keep taking precedence over the Ph.D's, and I think I'd better get my booty in gear and get some quilts done. It helps me to look at the list and see what's done and what is left. So, here's the run-down.

New – Grandpa's Candy Dish quilt: Done :biggrin:
New – Gracie's Pinwheels: Done :biggrin:
New – Cozy Posies Stacked Coins quilt: Done :biggrin:
Ph.D – Magic quilt: Done :biggrin:
New - Tweet Tweet Stacked Coins quilt: ready to be quilted
Ph.D – Mr. Bug's Navy T-Shirt Memory quilt: top is finished
New – Polka-Dot quilt: in progress
Ph.D – Pinwheel Sampler quilt: in progress
Ph.D – Snowball quilt: in progress
Ph.D – Woman's Work quilt

As discussed, I'm going to quilt the Tweet Tweet quilt this week. As soon as that's done, I'll work on the embroidered {:crazy:} tag for Mr. Bug's quilt {something I've been procrastinating because I wasn't very concise}. That will be the next to quilt {another something I've been procrastinating because I'm not looking forward to marking it, even though it is just straight lines :rolleyes:}.

The Woman's Work quilt has been removed from my Ph.D Challenge committment because I had only planned to finish the top by the end of June and have it ready to be professionally quilted. That is still my goal, but tick, tock already. I substituted the Magic quilt in its place, so I have one Ph.D finish. I think to meet my Ph.D. goal of four, I'm going to have to move the polka-dot quilt to the bottom of the list and finish the snowballs and the pinwheel sampler quilt first. I quilted a meander in the first snowball quilt and planned to do that for this one, but I've been contemplating other things. Suggestions? And I'd always intended to quilt the entire pinwheel sampler in straight lines ¼" on either side of the seams. But now, I think I want to do something much more fun, like feathers. And while that is exciting, it is also scary because I really am just a beginner at free-motion quilting.

Considering the size of my list, I think that's enough gabbing. And if there is an inordinate amount of typos and incomplete/nonsense sentences, it is because I didn't do a final proofread. Leave me a note in the comments and I'll fix it later. I'm going to quilt instead.

xo –E


SewSara said...

wow -- so awesome that you got 140 dot fabrics w/o repeats ... can't wait to see how it turns out. :)

Impera Magna said...

Wow... you've been busy! Love all those blue fabrics... I've been collecting similar fabrics for a project I have in mind... Looking forward to seeing how your Checkerboard Starts turns out!

Barb said...

You have quite a list....

Can't wait to see your dots have alot going on over there....hope you have a wonderful week!

Shay said...

I dont even know where to start took me almost as long to read your post as it would take you to finish one of these gorgeous projects. Wow you have a lot on your plate!

I think the Dresden polka dots is going to be a super fun quilt. I love tweet tweet and Im sure the quilting wont be horrible. Nothing else you've quilted has been -so why would this be?

Love the shot of the tulips still partially covered in snow!

I have every faith in you to finish all these projects and more and they'll all be lovely!

pinksuedeshoe said...

HOly Crap Girl! You continually amaze me with the amount of projects you are able to finish, and finish well! Amazing. Absolutely amazing!

Michelle said...

Elizabeth, the list of things you have going makes me tired just reading it!

QuiltNut Creations said...

that's a lot of dots! have fun quilting the Tweet quilt; you can do it!

Jennifer Lovell said...

Sometimes I wonder what is more satisfying to the soul--finishing a project, or starting a new fun one? It looks like you get to experience both kinds of satisfaction more frequently than a lot of us : ).

Paulette said...

The polka dot quilt(s) is going to be sweet! I enjoyed seeing your other plans and projects in the works. Funny, I was going to do a post like this a couple weeks ago, but then figured that since it takes me so blasted long to do a post, I was better off spending what limited time I had actually doing something instead of talking about it. Those last few PhDs have been waiting...and waiting...and waiting for me. Yikes!

Angie said...

I love how it gives you the little tabs to match up the curves so you can skip that finding the middle step. And I didn't know you were looking for dots or I would have sent you some. I have a couple if you still need em...