To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
At the start of the year, I made a resolution to address all of my works in progress in one way or another. I cheated in a few ways (mostly unintentionally), as I only listed quilt projects and accidentally left off one entire quilt. Then, I spent most of the spring not sewing anything at all.
I haven’t made as much of a dent as I’d hoped, considering it’s the start of September (even my mid-year progress report is behind), but I have whittled down the list.
High-school T-shirt quilt—I pieced the entire top together in July, and the backing is in the mail. Status: plan to finish by the end of the year.
EPP Crosses (née Farmer’s Wife)—I’ve continued to slowly piece these EPP blocks together, although months go by between times I work on it. Status: long-term project, no estimated finish date.
Witches Bubble Brew—I sewed the background together, and added embroidery to the concept. There’s still a ton of qpplique and quilting to do. Status: plan to readdress in 2016.
Meta History quilt—I scavenged the scrap bin for 2.5″ squares from older projects, made sure I have squares from all of my recent projects, and modified my plan a bit. Now, the squares have a dedicated home and I’m committed to adding squares of the scraps of each quilt to this box before I call a project “done”. Status: long-term project, no estimated finish date.
Miniatures 9-patch—I’ve been using the strip-pieced chunks as leaders and enders for another project, and have 75% of the blocks finished. I can’t find the heart section that I pieced 5 years ago, so that will keep me from finishing until I figure out where I put it. Status: blocked, plan to finish by 2/2016 one way or another.
The last time I mentioned my english paper piecing project (blocks from Lucy Boston: Patchwork of the Crosses), I’d sewn together about fifteen pieces—not even half a block. That was two years ago. Unlike many of my once-mentioned (even twice-mentioned) projects, I have continued to work on this one, albeit unhurriedly.
I go through phases where I’m content basting the individual pieces to their paper foundations, and make a bit of progress that way.
Then, I go through phases of piecing some together, building blocks a bit at a time.
This is where it stands after a bit more work while we traveled to New Jersey to see family last weekend.
In another two years or so, I may even finish an entire block.
We took a trip to Trenton Falls this weekend. What was once one of the places to nature walk in the 19th Century is now only open two weekends a year. This is the first year I’ve been, and the short walk was definitely worth it. The falls and foliage were gorgeous.
Perhaps some year I can convince a group to go in 19th century clothing like in the days of old (granted, the trails are much improved and restrictive in modern times—we couldn’t see the falls further up stream this year). Carl just rolled his eyes when I suggested such a thing, however.
I think the changing seasons really got to me though, as I spent yesterday morning in bed, and the afternoon watching the second series of Sherlock, a bit of Doctor Who, and making progress on my first EPP block. It’s quite slow going, but fun nonetheless.
Finally, if you are in the northern New York area, consider going to the Women’s Day for the War of 1812 Bicentennial Workshops being held in Ogdensburg, NY on November 3. It’s a day of workshops including making a bonnet, chatelaine, and English dancing, as well as readings from women of the period. You can learn a bit more and get information about registering on the 1812 Quilt Challenge Blog. It’s a bit of a drive for me (2.5 hours or so), but it sounds like a good excuse to break out my Regency gown again (and take photos so that I can post all about it, finally).
(which is not going to become a regular thing, but I can’t seem to get any projects to the point of being post-worthy on their own)
Last Sunday, we traveled to Sackets Harbor for the 1812 Reprise show that displayed the 26 quilts comprising the traveling show (which is booked through 2014, wow! My quilt is really getting around). As much as I enjoyed seeing the ~150 or so at the original show, I liked this one more. It gave me a chance to take in details that I’d missed before, and I saw a few quilts that I didn’t remember seeing the first time around (not including the few additional quilts entered just for the reprise show).
I met Diane Shink, a certified quilt appraiser and author. She has a quilt in the show that used antique linen to great effect, and I enjoyed getting a closer look at her quilt. We had a great discussion of knife edge techniques (which I used on my own quilt, in a sort of cobbled way considering that I had no idea what I was doing when I was doing it [an ongoing theme for me, I think]). We even made the Watertown paper. (In other news, I’m extremely jealous that Watertown has a Buffalo Wild Wings and a Chipotle and Utica has neither.)
My own quilt was in good company, hanging next to the wonderfully embroidered quilt that took First Place.
After Monday night, you can count me as another quilter addicted to EPP. This is all I’ve accomplished so far, but it’s fun. I just need to get more fabric pieces cut out so that I can sew over lunches, while watching TV, and in the car when Carl’s driving… it may get out of hand. I also need a nice bag. And better small scissors that haven’t been chewed by Moof.
I joined a block swap that the LQS is doing. We’re doing puss in the corner blocks for this month, and we have to use repro fabrics, which is pushing me out of my comfort zone (a good thing, I think). Here are the fabrics I picked. I haven’t started the blocks yet (we have to make 20).
Last night, I swapped out the HST blocks that were predominately red for ones made with the leftover yellows in the Impressions Baby Quilt, and finished piecing the full top. I should be able to quilt it this weekend.
Finally, my experiment with DWR has reached its conclusion. I’m not finding myself interested in the project. Instead, I’m taking what I have done, doing some cobbled together trapunto-like technique that I’m making up as I go along to make some of the puffiness look intentional, and turning it into a medallion as part of another project. So far, I’ve sewn the rings to batting and turned half the edge under (you can see my basting stitches on the outer edge that hold the batting, and provide a guide for turning). It’s laying on top of the background fabric in preparation for applique. I haven’t decided on a size for the background, yet.
It’s not a total loss of a project; it’s a new direction. I like how the idea is shaping up in my head way more than how I liked what I thought the double wedding ring would look like finished. And, I think I’ll actually finish this one, as opposed to having another project boxed away because I don’t want to work on it.
The lesson: it’s okay to not finish a project the way you initially envisioned it. The world will not implode, your stash won’t suddenly disappear, nor are you promising your first born to the devil by not finishing.
… and possibly divorcing the Farmer, but more on that after I explain the EPP.
I’m really trying to get more involved in the local quilting community, and meet more local people. When the LQS announced that they are going to have a monthly sit-and-sew focusing on English Paper Piecing, I decided that it is a great way to do that, as well as try EPP, as I’ve been wanting to do lately, all in the cold winter months.
So I am, starting today.
It’s not something we have to pay for, but we are required to get one of two books and must work on an EPP project while we are there. The two books they specified are English Paper Piecing: Fresh New Quilts from Bloom Creek and Lucy Boston: Patchwork of the Crosses.
I bought English Paper Piecing, as it was the one in stock (and was cheaper, and struck me as a more general-purpose book, and “of the Crosses” didn’t seem my style, etc.), but I’m rather disappointed. For a book titled as a specific technique, one would think more than a few pages would be dedicated to that specific technique. But, that’s all there is. And, most of the projects in the book simply combine small bits of EPP with other techniques (mostly machine piecing and applique). I don’t have an alternative to recommend, but frankly, if you’re looking for a beginning EPP book, I don’t think this is the right one unless you’re particularly drawn to one of the projects.
Meanwhile, I looked up Lucy Boston. She was a rather interesting lady! Somehow, I made it through childhood having never read her books (a point I plan on remedying post haste). But, her patchworks are very interesting as well, so I think the second book may join my library eventually (although I have doubts that it is a great resource on EPP too). There’s a coffee table-style book about her as well (Patchworks of Lucy Boston), which I wish my local library system had, but alas.
As to my statement about divorcing the Farmer—I haven’t even opened the box in which my Farmer’s Wife project lives for over a year, yet I truly love the fabrics I was using. So, I think I’m going to shift them to this EPP project and plan a way to use the Farmer’s Wife blocks I did complete (perhaps minus a few I wasn’t happy with, plus a couple more if I feel motivated) in the EPP quilt. They could make an interesting border or a patchwork medallion—but most of all, they will get out of the box and into a quilt top someday.
I think it’s a good compromise. An amicable split, if you will. Here the blocks are again, looking bright and happy last August before I put them away.
Now I just need to sort out the type of EPP project I want to make before the first event. I better get brainstorming!