Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The First of the 2nd Quarter Finishes

I've got a finish for the second quarter -- the little mini quilt that has been was a permanent UFO from 2003.

It started as this.....

When I originally started this, it was supposed to be the first gift for the same friend I recently finished three gifts for (you can see those gifts here, here and here).  Back then, it was supposed to be a surprise for her to coordinate with one of the rooms of her then new house.  I wound up being the one surprised when just as I had finished the top, she called to say she and her husband were painting all the rooms of their house!  Of course when I visited after the painting, the gift was no longer suitable for the new color scheme.


After that,  I displayed it in my own home folded up in a frame where only the center showed.  That was partially because that was all that fit in the frame that I had and partially because although I liked the center of the quilt, I thought the borders "needed work".  The center is the same center motif (and paper pieced blocks) in "Our Amish Friendship Garden" quilt in Carol Doak's "Easy Machine Paper Piecing" book.












When we moved in 2011,  I had no place to display it in our new home so I stashed it thinking it would just be one of those never finished projects.  But then one day in 2012, I pulled it out and knew just what to do for it although I wasn't able to actually work on it then.


When I recently finished the gifts for my friend, I thought it was only fitting that I also finally finish this one. 


So I'm happy to say it's now up on the mini wall with the rest.


Hopefully this will not the be last of the second quarter finishes!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My List for the 2nd Quarter of the 2014 Finish A-Long

http://www.the-littlest-thistle.com/p/finish-along-2014.html

I'm checking in for the 2nd Quarter of the 2014 Finish A-Long.  It's being hosted this year by Katy Cameron of the The Littlest Thistle blog.  I had participated in the first two quarters of the 2013 Finish A-Long and actually got a couple of big projects done (seen here and here).  But I also made a list for the third quarter (here) then didn't get any of those done (although two of the projects from that list have since been finished).  I was so preoccupied during the last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of this year that I didn't even get to draw up lists to participate.  Now I'm trying to get back on the horse so here goes the ambitious list for the next three months:

1.  An Unfinished Mini


This was actually a quilt I started way back in 2003 which was to be a surprise gift for a friend of mine.  I had made it to coordinate with the colors in one of the rooms of her (then) new house.  Before I could finish it, she decided to completely change the color scheme of the room so I had to ditch the gift!  In the past, I've displayed this little top in a frame but now that I have a wall of mini quilts (and recently finished some other gifts for the same friend), I decided that it was also a good time to bring this one to a complete close. The plan is to add the triangles to the borders (which I always felt needed a little added "umph!"), quilt, bind and hang it up.

2.  Fabric Gal


This one is slated to be my spring bed quilt.  I've had the fabrics bundled together since 2008 to make this quilt from Eleanor Burns' 25th Anniversary book ("Still Stripping After 25 Years") so again it's an opportunity to get an old PIG (Project In A Grocery Sack) off the shelves and on the bed.  I'd actually like to get this done this month and then also be able enter it in the "Let's Book It" challenge being hosted by Sharon over at Vrooman's Quilts

3.  Spring Fling


Additionally in the spirit of freshening up the bedroom for the season, this is a Jan Patek wall hanging that I'd also like to get done if I can.  Another reason to complete it is that I've got a similar Phd (Project Half Done) that I'd like to try to finish up for display in the Fall when that season comes around again.  But that project will be something to report for the next quarter!

4.  Civil War Lap Quilts


I started these blocks to make two lap quilts featuring Civil War reproduction fabrics.  Both are from quilt patterns by Kaye England, one from her  "Re-Piecing the Past" Craftsy class and the other from her book "A Civil War Legacy".  I only have three and four blocks left (respectively) to make for each.  The border, backing and binding fabrics for both are also already in house.  When finished, these will be added to a gallery of reproduction quilts I have made.

5.  Civil War Chronicles


Another addition to that CWR gallery (and to be displayed on my bed) will be this quilt when it's finally quilted. I had completed the top back in 2012 when I participated in Sinta Borland's BOM Rehab when she hosted it on her Pink Pincushion blog (and she and Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life also do the wonderful Schibbles Parade QALs).  I'm hoping that putting it in yet another challenge will help me bring it to a close.  I expect this to be the big challenge of the quarter, not the least of which will be deciding how to quilt it.

6.  Liberty Hall (aka Sweet Land of Liberty)


Another one from the "To Be Quilted" pile.  I'm hoping this will be easy to finish up as it's also for display in the house and I'd like to be able to put it up.  

7.   Let Freedom Ring 


Another mini and a small companion piece to the above quilt (it will hang in the same room).  It's a wonderful little wool project, one of many I hope to get done this year.  The design is from the Summer 2013 issue of Primitive Quilts magazine.

8.  A Gift Quilt and Tote Bag


I have a neighbor who has graciously shared with my family the bounty from when she and her DH go fishing and when they have excess produce.  They won't take cash for any of it and we have wanted for a while to give them a special thank you.  How does a quilter do that?  Make them a fish-related quilt and produce-related market bag!  I've had the fabric gathered for both for a while (dipping into and adding to my Batik stash for the quilt and a kit I got on sale at Connecting Threads for the bag).  I found the the perfect pattern for the quilt in the (e)book "Man Cave Quilts".  So now's the time to try and get these in gear too!  I'm hoping that the parts and pieces of these can be leaders/enders for other projects too.

9.  Journal Covers


Ever since I started quilting, it has been my tradition to keep journals of my quilt projects and thoughts and inspiration about creativity in general (and if you are interested in doing something similar check out Lori Kennedy's "Quilt Notebooks" posts at her blog The Inbox Jaunt).  It has also been my tradition to make quilted covers for the journals, usually using fabric scraps and orphan blocks (something I shared about on Finn's Orphan Train blog way back in 2009).  I have unfortunately been lax on that second part and now need covers for journals 3 - 5.  So if I can get one done a month, I'll be happily up- to date!

As an aside to all of the above (but not part of this list), I have a big and long overdue commission project to work on.  I'm hoping that keeping myself busy but focused in general and being able to bounce back and forth between different projects will keep me fresh when I'm stumped on (or tired of looking at) any particular one. Three months always seems like such a lot of time at the start......

With that, I'm looking forward to joining everyone for a very productive three months!