Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Get It Done! October Recap, November Goals

With November here, the end of the year is in sight!  I'm pleased with what I got done for October.  As usual not as much done as hoped but two big projects I really wanted to get to, did get completed.  For the things I didn't get to, I was also able to see just when and how I got off track (there were nine-whole-days where I didn't get to quilt!).  Because of that, I immediately knew when or if I wasn't going to meet my deadlines.  Knowing that first hand rather than guessing or assuming is something that will be very helpful for me as I try to whittle down my project lists going forward.  So here was what was on the list for October
1.  T-Shirt Quilt:  Since this is a decorating project, it can start the list off this month. 
DONE and on the couch and blogged about here.
2.  Fall Decorating Projects:  Not even going to list them all out but let's just say if I can try to get to one a week, I'd be doing good.
Only got one done but it's a biggie:
 A Fall Barn Quilt (BQ #2) is DONE and blogged about here.
3. Halloween Quilt:  This one was started on last year but progress was slow.  This time I know I need to set it up as a leader/ender if I'm to make any progress on it.  Would love to "put it to bed" (pun intended) this month if I can! 
NOT DONE.  This is last year's shot of it -- this year I didn't even get a chance to pull it back out of the box!  And so it will stay until next Summer (if I really want to have a shot at finishing it) or Fall!
4. QOV #1 and #2:  Already noted that I'll be looking to nudge either or both of these to a finish if I can.

The "Cosmic Valor" QOV (#2) top is DONE (details here)....

....and I did get the backing for it.  Couldn't get it and "Combat Gratitude" (QOV #1) layered for quilting during the month so I know they won't get done for Veteran's Day.  However, I definitely will get them layered and quilted before the end of the year.

So what's on board for the November List?

1.  Fall Decorating Projects:  The other projects I had wanted to work on last month included two small table mats, a pillow cover and a treat jar to decorate so I'm going to see if I can try to get one, some or all of those done this month.  I have other decorating things to do around the house in prep for Thanksgiving so I'm hoping each thing will motivate me to get some of the quilt projects done to complement them.

2.  Slow Sunday Stitching: QAYG blocks.  This is something I'm hoping to pick back up after seeing a finished one on another blog (hopefully more on that later!).  I expect this to be an ongoing weekly project through the end of the year.  If I can stick with it, it will also warm me up for the hand quilted wholecloth project I want to start in 2017.

3.  QOV #1 and #2:  I want (at minimum) to get the backs made up and get these layered and basted for quilting.  Only if time and desire permits, I wouldn't mind getting them quilted as well.

4.  Double Wedding Ring:  I'd like to get this one off the list this year so want to get back to it.  Looking to at least get the applique borders on and if possible, layered and basted as well.

5.  Black & White Mini Quilt:  This is a decorating wild card.  Like the t-shirt quilt, it's a project I've been thinking of doing for a long while.  However, it is something I have to design and I've already established that DESIGN TAKES TIME in the project planning process!  What I am willing to try to do is give myself a day or two to explore what ideas I have.  If I feel I can move it forward I'll do so, otherwise it'll have wait a little longer for another time and place.

I can see everything except #5 scheduled into weekly "To Do" lists.  As always the challenge will be to then stick to that along with the other things in life I have to do.  Getting to #5 is going to depend on if I don't get derailed off of whatever I schedule and then wind up with some excess free time for it.  As always we'll see, we'll see, we will see!

Quilt Decorating II: Barn Quilt # 2

Back in June I made a Barn Quilt which I posted about here:

It is a quilt decoration that I had always wanted to do to hang on my terrace wall.  I have always planned to make a few so I could switch them out with the seasons.   When my DH had brought me a large board to make the signs with, I cut it into two approximately 24" squares that I figured I could paint on both the front and back and have four different designs.  Not to mention that if I wanted to do a new design, the boards can always be whitewashed and a new design painted over it.

The one I did in June is meant to be a summer piece so now its time for something for the Fall.  Since I have a wreath I also display out there, I wanted to get the sign done fairly early so I could switch to the wreath for late Fall/Thanksgiving and then leave it up but change out the foliage on it for Christmas.  It took me awhile to get the background paint I wanted for it and then to finally get a break between projects to work on it. 

Originally my plan was to use another of the quilt blocks from my original inspiration piece, the "Barn Quilt Trail Midwest Medallion Quilt" by author Suzi Parron.

My plan was to use the leaf design on the center right.  However, I realized there were couple of issues:  the first  was that I wanted more color for the sign and wasn't sure how or where to add it.  The other was that the original orientation of the Medallion block is on-point.  My board already has a hole drilled in it for hanging it "straight set".   So the debate was did I want to have the motif placed as a straight set so then it was oriented on the diagonal or did I want to drill a different hole and try hanging the board "on point"?  I was concerned about whether a hole in the corner would be able to hold the weight of the board and how the new hole would affect the original block that is painted on the reverse side.  I decided to look round for another design I could use.

Eventually I came across this one:

This the "Autumn Fantasy" block and quilt from Judy Martin's "The Creative Pattern Book".  I liked that this block was designed to be straight set and viewed on the diagonal (solves that problem) and loved the range of coloring in it.  Sold!  So after bringing in the Summer barn quilt and cleaning it off, I painted the background, traced off the design and pulled out my little pots of paint. Some colors had to be mixed.  

It took me a few days to tape off and paint sections and then let them dry before moving to the next section. I also added a stem because I felt it helped finish the design.

By the end of the last full week of October, I was almost done with all the painting when I ran into a problem:

I had planned to paint the last section by combining the dark purple on right with the burgundy color on the left.  However, it is a large area and I was out of the burgundy paint and had used up all of my blue paint when I made the summer sign so couldn't even mix up my own.  Truthfully, I also didn't have much of the purple left either.  Time for a change of plans!

It took me a few days to decide on a color.  Some of the block variations in Judy's inspiration quilt used more green in them and I liked the idea of adding more in mine also.  However, I also wondered if brown or some other color might also work.  I wasn't trusting what I was visualizing in my head but didn't want to paint test spots on the actual board that I might have to paint over.  Then I realized I could use the "Draw" function on my phone to test out colors. 

I finally settled on using a medium dark olive green and painted that in.  The last bit of painting was the final narrow border of black painted in around the edge.  Once all the painting and a few little touch-ups were done, it was time to seal it with polyurethane.  It was pretty cold that week so I had to wait for it to get warm enough for that step which finally happened the Sunday before Halloween.  Once finished, here's it hanging:

I'm thrilled to get another one done.  I'll see if I get any feedback (positive or negative) from my neighbors again.  I'm already thinking about spring --- I want to take the other (empty) board I have and do a basket design with some "applique" motifs.  We'll see!