Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Start to Finish

Yesterday, I finished a quilt.  It's a small quilt, about 38 in. x 44 in., but it's quilted and bound and ready to donate to a child who needs it.
I got the pattern out of an old Quilt magazine.  It was pretty easy to do, just 4 patches made from 2.5 in squares for the centers, and triangles cut criss cross from a larger square (I think it was 5.5 in. or so) in either solid white or solid red, and sewn to the sides of the 4 patches.  I just love the print on the back.  I don't know what I've done with the magazine, so I can't check the measurements.

Until Monday night, when I decided to finish this quilt, here's where it lived:
Feel free to gasp.  This is supposed to be my on-deck projects pile.  Some of these quilts have been added recently (you might see the Celtic Solstice top in there) and some have been in progress for literally years.

But wait.  There's more!
This is the view across my sewing room.  In the foreground, beyond my awesome Davis VF, is a small pile of baby quilt tops (3 of them) that need borders.  I've even selected the border fabric.  They've been sitting in the on-deck pile for months.
Beyond that, folded on the table, is a layered baby quilt, complete with backing and batting, spray basted and ready to go.  On the ironing board is another baby quilt, also complete with backing and batting, that might get worked on today.  Behind the ironing board is a quilt rack, with my recent feedsack Flying Squares quilt in pieces.  The pieces are quilted, they just need to be joined together, bordered, and then I'll quilt the border.
We're just getting started.  Here's what I've actually been working on the last few weeks:
Two projects here, the string quilt (being sewn) and the pinwheel blocks waiting for their turn, leaders and enders style.
Finished string quilt blocks, plus some triangles for corners.  I have 65 blocks so far.

The little pinwheels, 5 in. square finished, in bright kid fabrics.  I have 56 of these done (and 12 more waiting by the machine).
And last but not least, the top I started at Debbie's house.  The blocks (224 of them) are done and sewn together, and I'm auditioning these two fabrics for borders.

If you're feeling guilty about having too many projects started, you're not alone.  Most of us struggle with it.  You can probably tell I'm not struggling too hard.  Why is that?  It's because I surrendered.

Quilting is my hobby.  It's not my job.  There are lots of things I have to do in my non-quilting life that must be completed in a reasonable time frame--paying bills, grocery shopping, cooking meals, cleaning bathrooms, feeding the dog and cat.  But when it comes to quilting, I'm the boss.  If what I really want to do is piecing, then that's what I do.  I know that eventually I'll be in the mood to set the blocks into a top, choose, cut and sew on borders, and quilt.  Quilting is an artistic pursuit, even for those of us who don't consider ourselves artists.  At its best, it's a flow experience that relieves stress and gives us joy. 

Eventually, the giant messy pile does start to bother me, especially when I've just been piecing and not finishing anything for a while.  That's why I pulled the baby quilt top out on Monday night.  I thought it would be a good test of the Davis, which has had an uneven track record lately.  It worked nicely this time (hurray!) so I'm hoping to get some more quilting done this week.

But what if I have more projects started than I can finish in my lifetime?  (This is a real possibility.) 

Then, honey, don't miss my estate sale.  There will be something for everyone.

You don't have to finish everything you have started.  But you CAN'T finish if you don't start.

So start something!

And think spring, like my little Gerbera daisy in the window.

It's blooming away, even though it looks like this outside:
(The orchid is looking for some sunshine, too.)

Wishing you sunshine and stitches.

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