September 19, 2011

So far in September...

In honor of 9/11 (or maybe just for fun) this patriotic balloon passed over our house on September 11, giving us all a treat—except for Tessa (our golden) who felt the need to protect us and bravely chased it off.

Then it was back to work (play).  This month’s UFO Challenge is #11, which for me is two quilts that both need to be quilted.  (What was I thinking--two??!)

One of them, the New Wave, is at the quilter's now.  This is a photo of the top when I first finished it a year or so ago.  I  pieced a back for it, and even though it was on my living room floor for several days, I apparently didn’t photograph it—guess you’ll have to wait along with me until the quilting is finished—likely not until sometime in October.  So it's as finished as can be for now!

The other UFO quilt is a Watermelon top, which is now all ready to be quilted—the borders are on and the back is pieced.  But when I thought about getting it quilted, I had second thoughts.  I’m not sure I want the expense—at least not now (the king size teal quilt and my daughter’s quilt were big and expensive, and I’ve two more currently being quilted.)  I would likely only use it for a summer tablecloth--it does fit perfectly on my picnic table.   Hmmmmm...

Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a two sided tablecloth?  I’d like to come up with a good idea for the back.  Maybe something summery—flowers?  Fireworks?  Fall leaves?  The backing is a tiny green check.  I would love suggestions. 

And what about the quilting?  How do I make it look ok on both sides?  Would I need to hand appliqué something on after the front is quilted?  Or would an all over design quilted right across appliqued flowers or leaves look awful?  Any and all suggestions are welcome!

So with the borders on the Watermelon top, and summer when I’d use the tablecloth coming to an end, I’m considering it done—for now.  Sometimes just making a decision about a project’s next step is enough progress.  While it is still a UFO, it’s a totally different UFO! J

I’ve also started working on the Roseville Album again.  Picking out little bits to appliqué always makes a horrible mess of my sewing room.  One day while I was sitting on the floor (my only clear area), folding up the many Kaffe fabrics I’d auditioned for the latest Roseville block, I came across this pattern.

Forgetful me.  Back in July, Kelly at I Have a Notion had a giveaway, and I was lucky enough to win this lovely pattern designed by Amanda Murphy called Portraits of My Garden.  I'd kept the pattern out—so that I would remember to blog about it, but of course, it got buried in the mess of Kaffe fabrics spread all over the sewing room.  So many THANKS Kelly--sorry to be so slow--I am thrilled to have won it!  (Kelly has several other patterns by Amanda Murphy available in her shop--check them out here.)
And since I was sitting on the floor, and since either getting up or continuing to clean would take effort, I read the pattern instead.  It looked like it would be quick.  I’ve been trying to resist buying new fabrics—except where absolutely necessary (which is pretty often).  So I started trying to remember any fabrics I had that would be big enough for the background piece (I think 2.75 yards if I remember).

Not sure why, but I remembered a piece of fabric I had bought during one of my pregnancies—at least 25 years ago.  I had planned to make a Laura Ashley sort of jumper  (very  IN at the time), and it took quite a bunch of fabric—enough to cover my growing baby bump.

Although I was a bit concerned that the flowers wouldn’t look very good cut up and resewn as in the pattern, the piece was large enough (and then some--that baby bump is now 6'6" tall, and it wasn't little then).  I started digging out any and all fabrics that would possibly coordinate.  This became my own personal stash challenge—no new fabrics.  And in no time, the center portion was done.  (It goes together really quickly.)

Figuring out the borders wasn’t quite so easy.  I confess I hate piecing borders.  I generally like to buy the full length and figure I will use any extra fabric on something else just to avoid having a seam.   So this was a struggle.  Anything I had that was long enough likely was purchased with something else in mind, and rather than use up something that belongs to another UFO, I forged ahead and pieced some borders.  The narrow pink I had plenty of, but the green floral was a remnant I bought on sale to make a pillow or something (??) and was just barely enough.

I followed the pattern as written, but after finishing, didn’t like the green borders.  I decided they were too busy and/or wide, or maybe too narrow for such a big print, so I cut them down and added some more of the background fabric to kind of calm it all down.  Actually, I added ALL of the background fabric that was left—which makes determining how wide the borders will be pretty easy.  Here's a close up view:
And here's the finished top, being double checked by my assistant, who is not my cat.  NOT.  Just the neighbor's cat who has decided she would rather live in my yard than at home, and the neighbor doesn't seem to care (or feed her, given her hunger level).  So I guess I have a new outdoor only assistant (I am really allergic).  She's a nice cat though, and wants to learn to quilt, if anyone would like a kitty....

And, I am still working from time to time on the hexies.  More on them to come soon!

Happy Stitching!


liz said...

I really like the New Wave, and I think those hexies look very appealing.

Cathy said...

Wow great post to see all that you have been working on. xo

Rachaeldaisy said...

You have been so busy!! All your projects look wonderful! I live your garden portraits quilt, it's great you only used the fabric you already have.