Monday, July 4, 2011

Various and Sundry Monday: Fourth of July Edition

Love your country. Your country is the land where your parents sleep, where is spoken that language in which the chosen of your heart, blushing, whispered the first word of love; it is the home that God has given you that by striving to perfect yourselves therein you may prepare to ascend to him. –Giuseppe Mazzini

Monday Music Spot: America the Beautiful
Parades and barbecues. Fireworks and time spent with family. But the Fourth of July celebration goes deeper than that. It is wrought of a love and loyalty for the land in which we live. I would say that I'm proud to be an American, except that's not really the right word. Blessed? Certainly. Humbled? Indeed. Grateful? Definitely.

Red, White & Blue Sampler
Once upon a time, about seven or eight years ago, I started a quilt. My mom had done a block-of-the month sampler at her LQS and I borrowed the four patterns from her. I only did a little bit of work on it; I gathered fabrics {which is one of my favorite parts of making a quilt} but was dissatisfied because I couldn't find the same fabrics that the quilt shop had provided with the patterns. I only finished two blocks. Then the project sat in the closet for a few years, until I had a renewed interest in quilting. Two or three years ago, I pulled the quilt out and decided to add some more blocks to the original four. I searched the internet for patriotic patterns and found The Quilter's Cache to be a really great resource. As I auditioned blocks for my quilt, I refined the ideas in my head to come up with a layout for it. I narrowed the patterns down and got to work.

As it stands, I have 10 blocks finished and need to do three more 12" blocks {all paper pieced}, one 5" block and one 5" x 9" block, plus twenty-seven 1" paper-pieced five-point stars for the setting squares in the sashing. I left the outer border on my diagram empty because I want to do flying geese on the border, but the quilt finishes at 53" x 40" so the geese don't divide evenly into the 53" sides. I've figured out how I'm going to do it though, and I think that the border will be awesome.

Although I really love this quilt, I think it stalled for a couple of reasons. First, paper piecing is so tedious. I love the results, but am not overly fond of the process. And second, it needed a little rest period. I needed to hash over the details of it in my head and figure out the best way to finish it. However, I've got a renewed interest in it and hope to make some progress on it soon.

The List
I am distracted by anything shiny and new, as evidenced by the eight year-old Ph.D I just showed you. At the beginning of the year, I set a pretty lofty goal of finishing seven quilts during the next six months. While I did finish seven quilts between January 1 and June 30, they weren't precisely the seven quilts I set out to do. Goals and priorities changed and some of the quilts got bumped down the list and new quilts took their place.

Grandpa's Candy Dish: Done :biggrin:
Gracie's Pinwheels: Done :biggrin:
Cozy Posies: Done :biggrin:
Magic quilt: Done :biggrin:
Tweet Tweet: Done :biggrin:
Service Rendered: Done :biggrin:
Rainbow Sherbet: Double Dipping: Done :biggrin:

It is really nice feeling to have those quilts finished and checked off my list. There are a few projects that will carry over to my new list for the next six months. I'm not exactly sure how to prioritize this list. There are several quilts I'm itching to get done. And then there are the projects that need to get done. I'm going to focus as much as I can on Ph.D's, but I do have a couple of things I want to do for Christmas. Starting early will be the only way to arrive at Christmas without going completely crazy. I've ordered the list roughly in the priority that I want to work on things, but I'm going to have to see how things go.

Pinwheel Sampler: current project
Boo to You!: blocks are nearly all completed; I work on it when I need a project-to-go and want to finish it in time to hang for Halloween this year. I haven't decided if I'm going to quilt this one myself or take it to the shop where I got the pattern and have the pattern designer herself quilt it. This will dictate somewhat how soon I need to get the top finished.
Project Polka-Dot: fabric partially cut
• Chicken Table Runner for family White Elephant party at Christmas: fabrics washed
• Floral Table Runner for family White Elephant party at Christmas: fabrics washed
Sudoku Quilt: Blocks cut; working on this monthly for a quilt class I'm teaching
• Red, White & Blue Sampler: See Above
Woman's Work: half of the blocks finished
Metro Blues quilt: fabrics cut and super awesome variegated thread purchased for quilting.

The Pinwheel Sampler, Project Polka-Dot, and Woman's Work carry over from the last list. Besides what I've listed here, I'd really like to get back to my Twilight quilts and the Twilight BOM. If only there were more time in the day to quilt. I've got my work cut out for me and will love every minute of it!


Shay said...

Your 8 year old PhD looks wonderful. Heirlooms take time to make you know!

Happy 4th July. Hope you've had a wonderful day .

Congratilations on all your sewing in the first half of 2011! Gosh you've been busy!

mom said...

I went to look at Grandpa's candy dish again and started to cry. I cried and cried all through all of your seven quilts and the rest of your blog. I miss him so. And I feel pretty dunb that I can't seem to get much done like that.

Paulette said...

That is a beautiful PhD you've got going there. You do such nice work on all your quilts.

My head is spinning from all you've gotten done and plan to do. Amazing. Good luck with the project list!

Michelle said...

Your patriotic quilt will be a thing of beauty. :-)

As for projects and, I've got so many PhDs, it's not funny. Yep, shiny and new, that's me. Unfinished, well that's me too.

Jennifer Lovell said...

I enjoyed the music. Thanks for sharing such a unique selection of a beautiful song.

Richard Healey said...

I love the Red, White, and blue sampler that is amazing.