Tis the season of good resolutions. Some are promising not to buy more fabric (I am trying to buy less…), some are promising to do more, or less, or whatever. But I love the sensible idea of simply trying to actually finish projects currently on the go. It’s therefore time to sign up to a Finish-Along, hosted by The Littlest Thistle. How does this work? Participants list what sewing projects are ongoing, then try to finish them to set deadlines, bribed by possible prizes (carrots dangling on sticks, no doubt). Incidentally, I wish I could get prizes for work projects! All those half-written book chapters, articles, research projects… Or is that just called a salary?
TLT, aka Katy-the-Finish-Along-general-coordinator-and–marvelous-hostess, came to play in the Alps a few months back during a retreat: it was lovely to meet her wonderfulness in person. This will make me feel even more accountable to actually getting down to finishing my current ongoing projects as it is like promising something To A Real Person, not One Of My Imaginary Friends On The Internet.
When I first started quilting, I would religiously finish everything before moving on to a next project. So sensible, so restrained. So boring. So when I got stuck on a project — like quilting my first Queen-sized quilt on a machine with neither walking foot nor a free-motion one — I was (self)punished by not being allowed to sew for weeks. (Ha! Solved that by buying a new machine…) But then I realised not everyone did this. A dangerous box was opened. I allowed myself to start something else whenever I wanted, even if the guilt pangs sometimes nagged. Then something else. And so on. Ms E asked me on Tuesday how many projects I was working on simultaneously. “Uumm? Five, six?”, I answered rather vaguely. A quick estimate followed using my fingers, but with the nagging suspicion that others might be lurking.
To qualify for this Finish-Along, projects have to be “at least a tangible project at the start of the quarter, eg at the very least, a pile of fabric pulled along with a pattern, or a quilt top needing to be quilted, or a half knit jumper”. It turns out I have eight.
Here is my guilty list:
1. Neon quilt (Kaffee Fassett and own hand-dyed fabric). Too bright for me really, but fun. If I ever finish it, it might look good on the wall of my office when we move building in 2015. This is rumoured to be to a grey building, made of grey concrete, with grey walls, currently under construction. This might be just what I need to get the neurons fizzing under a grey Geneva sky.
3. Rose stars (English paper piecing). Got stuck last summer. Must pick them up again now that I have discovered basting with a glue stick. I was driven mad by the thin paper templated popping out all the time. I want this to be some sort of lap quilt.
4. My Downton stars. Not got very far with that: only one evening of playing. Will probably be a throw quilt but I haven’t worked out the final size yet. Just playing with a pack of 10” squares and will see how far it stretches. Not so in love with the fabric. Preferred the telly series, if truth be known.
5. My red hexies, currently being appliquéed onto a white background (by machine). Got some pieced red blocks lined up for an impromptu border — but again not sure how far this will go. But I’ve got lots of red scraps if necessary to stretch them further.
6. My Japanese top that is finished and “only” requires basting and quilting. I’d love to do this on Ms E’s longarm (hint, hint, I might be free on Sunday…).
7. An inherited project paper pieced from my darling mother. She pieced these lovely Laura Ashley prints years ago. I rescued them from a drawer promising her a cushion, or something, then promptly did nothing yet. Oh dear.
8. My paper pieced sheets and scraps quilt. Now I need the ideal fabric to go between them. I had thought this would be white, but it looks washed out with that. So I need to buy some terracotta — because when I laid it out on a terracotta floor in Tuscany last year to count them, it looked great.
9. The Onions quilt. I just lifted up my nose having finished this list, and spotted this last one pinned to the wall. This is firmly known as the Onions quilt, because that is what Mr T thinks they are. And we are not about to repeat what Some People thought this looked like when a group of overtired ladies got the giggles during a retreat… Needs finishing (two corners), basting and quilting.
So merry 2014 to you all, and please keep asking me how I am coming along with these.
Happy finishing! JJ