Quilting Update: Pookie Edition

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted about my quilting progress and now seems like a good time. You see, I’m having a bit of a crisis. I haven’t finished a quilt top for any of my projects since before Christmas! That’s, like, ages ago! I need to be reminded that I haven’t been frittering all my time away doing nothing. Instead, I’ve been frittering my time away by dabbling on a zillion projects at once!

OK, actually, I did focus very much on one in the months after Christmas — the birthday quilt for my oldest sister, KtG, but I can’t show pictures of that until she’s received it. No spoilers for KtG! That was a queen-size quilt with lots of steps, including appliqueing tons of hexagons onto pieced blocks, which Boomer, Schnookie and I worked on together. It was the first in what we hope will be many “Quilt Factory” quilts, i.e. quilts we all want to work on so we might as well work on together. When the hockey’s over and the only thing on television is our DVDs of “Walker, Texas Ranger” (oh yeah!) we’ll have plenty of time to huddle around the dining room table cutting out bits and pieces for American Jane’s “Calendar Kids”. But since the hockey’s still going on, I have to work on my own, non-Quilt-Factory projects. Of which I have many. For some reason, though, it’s been hard to find a rhythm of what I want to be working on since finishing KtG’s quilt. And thus the anxiety over not finishing anything.

There is, however, good news! In my last quilt progress update, I mentioned that I’d cut the time it was going to take me to finish Darla in half — instead of 15 years, it was going to take 7. Well, let’s cut that estimate in thirds.

Darla In Progress April 2010

Fabrics: Darla by Tanya Whelan; Pattern: “Irish Criss Cross” from American Jane.

I have completed 10 out of 16 blocks! I have all the strips for the rest of it cut and ready to go. I’ve started in on three of the final six. The end is in sight! I am pleased as punch with how it’s looking and cannot wait for it to be finished. I have no grasp on how long it takes for me to finish a set of blocks (doing them 3 at a time seems easiest, since they have to be pressed frequently) but I’m thinking I can maybe have it all constructed by my birthday at the end of the summer.

Darla In Progress April 2010

Because it needs to be pressed so much — each round requires attaching 1.5″ squares to the strips, pressing them, then attaching the strips to the blocks, and then pressing those — I find that this project lends itself to puttering with other stuff on those nights when I don’t feel like going all the way downstairs to the ironing station (hey, that’s a lot of steps… look at that hobo!). It can also be a little boring to pick up my stitching and realize that once again I have to sew 36 1.5″ squares to strips, so while I could just focus exclusively on this project, that’s just not going to happen.

I had been working pretty steadily on my Dalarnanana quilt, using Rouenneries, and ended up getting about a tenth of the blocks done.

Dalarnananana In Progress

Fabric: Rouenneries by French General; Pattern: Dalarna from Quiltmania

I realized when I uploaded this picture that I laid these out all wrong, but there were yellow jackets everywhere and there was a steady breeze that kept threatening to carry all my hard work off into the wild blue yonder, so this will have to do. You get the idea. Anyway, I’m loving how this is looking, but something about this fabric feels very winter-y to me, so it’s not really grabbing me right now.

Not like Red Letter Day is!

Red Letter Day In Progress 2

Fabric: Red Letter Day; Pattern: From Kaffe Fassett’s Kaleidoscope of Quilts

I was so dissatisfied with this when I started it, I was pretty sure it was going to end up one of those projects. You know, those projects that you put away and then hope no one else remembers you ever started them because you don’t ever, ever want to see them again? My fears were all for naught. I have no idea what my problem with it was, because it’s been super-fun to futz with it now.

Red Letter Day In Progress

I’m still not 100% on board with how the fabrics are scaled for the pattern I picked, and I did sort of freak out over the fact that I looked at the pattern again and realized the finish size is something like 54″ x 41″, but overall, I think it’s going to be a darling summer foot-warmer quilt for sitting in front of the tv watching, say, “Walker, Texas Ranger”.

But that’s not all, there’s more! I’m just finishing up on a long vacation from work, which I had earmarked for doing lots and lots of cutting so that, among other reasons, I could work more on Taffy City.

Taffy City In Progress

Fabric: Everything But The Kitchen Sink IV; Pattern: Salt Water Taffy from RJR Fabrics (pdf).

No, it hasn’t grown much since the last update, but it’s on a roll. I’m a fifth of the way done and if I just buckled down and worked on it, I’d probably have it finished in a month. But that would mean I couldn’t dabble with Henrik Jane!

March 29 2010

Fabric: Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey; Pattern: Chippewa Nine-Patch by Minick & Simpson

I feel deeply in love with this pattern when I first saw it, and deeply in love with the fabric line when I first saw. It was a match made in heaven! I just knew that the big floral prints in Nicey Jane would look fabulous in the big snowball blocks in Chippewa Nine-Patch, but I couldn’t pick just one, so I decided to change it up and use a few of the colorways with big roses and a few of the colorways of the bouquets, and then picked a few colorways of two of the medium-sized geometric prints for the snowball corners. Then I started cutting up the rest for the nine-patches.

Henrik Jane Test Shot

So, it seems picking small patterns for big fabrics is a bit of a consistent problem for me. Heh. I considered replacing a few of the nine patches with squares the size the of the nine patches, but once I laid it out and got some expert opinions, I’ve decided it looks pretty cool the way it is. I’m calling it “Henrik Jane” because Chippewa Nine-Patch is pretty, Nicey Jane is pretty, and Henrik Zetterberg is pretty. Since one of the designers at Minick & Simpson is a Wings fan, it seems appropriate. I’m sure Hank appreciates it, too.

While the pattern helpfully provides strip-piecing instructions, I’m hand-piecing all of it. That should be a giant pain in the butt, but if you do one or two nine-patches a week as a little amusee bouche when you’re bored of attaching 36 1.5″ squares for a single round of Darla, it’s quite fun! Sure, it might take me a few years, but it’s fun!

And last but not least, there’s a special project that’s in the works, too. One of our best hockey buddies, the one and only Heather B., is going back to school to be a teacher, so we’re making her a quilt to celebrate her future classroom.

A Quilt For Heather In Progress

Fabric: American Vintage; Pattern: Octopus Garden by Abbey Lane Quilts

If you look closely, you’ll see some seams that Heather stitched herself, and some that were done by the lovely and talented Amy! I was hoping we might hook them on quilting, but we might have to make a few more trips to Buffalo with stitching in hand to accomplish that. (Note to self: Plan another trip to Buffalo…)

Heather Hard At Work

Look, here’s Heather! See how dutiful her future students are?

So that’s the state of my stitching since Thanksgiving weekend. What are the chances any of these quilt tops are done by this coming Thanksgiving?

{Posted by Pookie}

9 Comments

Filed under Progress Reports, Quilting

9 responses to “Quilting Update: Pookie Edition

  1. Tram

    Speechless.

    Zetterburg was so flattered, he scored a goal tonight.

  2. euge (zot's sister)

    Pookie – the Kaleidoscope one reminded me of fun. Keep at it :)

  3. pam

    Holy.
    Crap.
    Amazing.

  4. Tram, I’m pretty sure all of Zetterberg’s goals since I started this quilt were because of how flattered he is.

    Euge, “reminded me of fun” might be the best compliment ever!

    Pam, thanks!

  5. Eeeee! That’s my quilt! Look at how wonderfully my students are sharing the clay and paint! I adore them all!

    I did actually find the stitching to be very relaxing, and I can understand why you guys enjoy it so much. When I’m done with school (i.e. in a million years), I’ll come over for a real lesson, I promise!

  6. Heather, your students are such models of comportment. And when you’re ready for the lesson, we’ll fire up the car and zip up to Buffalo. You supply the 2′ pizza, we’ll supply the sewing supplies. Wait, scratch that on the 2′ pizza front…

  7. KTG

    I’m so excited that my birthday quilt is done!! Thank you! (Though if you felt like sending a little spoiler, I promise I wouldn’t tell anyone and I wouldn’t be offended at all that you’d let the cat a tiny bit out of the quilt bag….)

    And have no fear about having too many projects on and not having finished anything in a while. Didn’t you post here not too many years ago about how the journey is as much or more the draw as the completed projects along the way? I hope you’re still backing that notion, because I have been totally inspired by that during this past stretch. And that’s not only because I’ve been trying to find some sort of philosophical excuse to give for why I’ve hardly laid a *stitch* this past year, let alone finished nothing…

    Keep enjoying, though–all these projects look faboo! (And if you decide in the end that the Kaffe Fasset needs to be stored somewhere other than your house when you are eventually done with it, I promise also not to be too upset if you decide to send it to my house instead.)

    Love you!

  8. Didn’t you post here not too many years ago about how the journey is as much or more the draw as the completed projects along the way?

    No, no, it’s true, and I do still believe that. I think it’s just that Schnookie finished 2 quilts and I got jealous. Heh. I’m still really enjoying having a zillion projects going at once. I just had to go to a project management training thing and the trainer was all, “Write down 5 goals you have and make sure they’re measurable.” Since I have zero ambitions about work, I was like, “OK, I have project goals at home. Let’s see, measurable goals… Um… Quilt… a lot? On a lot of quilts? Is that good?”

  9. Pingback: Oh. Em. Gee. « IPB Living

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