Another One Bites the Dust

/ Sunday 27 June 2010 /
Another WIP bites the dust!  This one is the Round One sampler from Modify Tradition.  I finished the top near the end of last year and it sat neglected until now.
Quilt and daylilies
I generally don't like samplers, and I'm still not crazy about this one.
Modify Tradition Round One sampler
I do find, however, that once it's been quilted, bound and washed, even a ho-hum project gains a mysterious aura that makes it attractive.
Churn dash block
Card trick block quilting
I had originally intended this quilt to go to the lab so that Lindsay could stretch out on the sofa and rest her weary head in comfort, to facilitate the thinking of brilliant thoughts.  But a secretary in our department has been quite ill and is starting a long recovery process at home.  I thought a cheery quilt like this might be nice for her.  So I'll have to make another one for the lab.
Sampler blocks post quilting
I realized that the last three quilts I have completed have gone out to others, and in the meantime, I don't have a quilt that's big enough to cover my bed properly.  The next quilt I finish is staying home!
Modify Tradition sampler blocks
When I was editing my WIP list on the sidebar, I started thinking about the difference between WIPs (works in progress) and UFOs (unfinished objects).  I first heard them differentiated by Jennifer.  I had always lumped them together in my mind, but classifying them separately does make better sense.  A UFO is at a stage where it is sitting around and just needs a little push to be complete.  Perhaps it's a quilt top, or a quilted piece that needs binding, but it's languishing in a limbo of neglect.  A WIP is a project that is being worked on, perhaps blocks are still being constructed, it's on the design wall, but it the quilter is actively engaged with it.

By classifying WIPs and UFOs together, I added to my sense of guilt whenever I started a new project before finishing the old one.  I don't think anything is sadder than the prospect of having stacks of uncompleted quilt tops in the closet.  But this way I only have one UFO -  the gorgeous Paprika.  I have several WIPs, and I am making progress on all of them, bit by bit.  I like having several projects on the go at once, because they are all at different stages.  Some require careful piecing and thinking at each stage, others can run through the machine chain piecing like a house a-fire.  I can always find a quilt that needs exactly what I feel like doing at any given moment.  I'm not sure if this is reasonable, or merely a way for me to justify starting new projects!

What about you?  Do you feel differently about WIPs and UFOs?  Do you worry about justifying new projects when others are still in the works?

Updated to add to this week's Sew and Tell over at Amy's!

The wanderer returns

/ Sunday 20 June 2010 /
Friends!  Have you missed me?  I have surely missed all of you!  Settle in for a long post - since it's been so long, I feel super garrulous!  First of all, let me sing the praises of Felicity, who sent me this amazing mini quilt as part of the Modified Tradition swap.
MT swap - incoming
Is it not just the bees knees?  She calls it Starry Snowballs - how appropriate!  Can you see the meticulous quilting in the yellow snowballs (click through to Flickr to see it closer).  And the back is just as stunning as the front!
Back of Starry Snowballs
But yes, I have been away from my blog for awhile.  My absence has been due to a trip across the border.  With my lab manager and soon-to-be-doctoral student, Lindsay, I went to a workshop at Harvard last week.  We drove down to Boston after spending the night chez my mother in law in Montreal.  We were able to take a little stroll downtown before dinner and picked up some delicious macarons for dessert.  Wow - move over, cupcakes, this is one food trend I can sign up for in a hurry!

On the way to Boston, we stopped in Burlington, VT.  There may have been a quilt store there.  And a shoe store.  Money may have exchanged hands.  Ahem.  Moving on....  Driving in Boston is not for the faint of heart.  We got lost many times.  But at last we arrived at our destination.  You can imagine I felt smarter just being on the Harvard campus!  After a couple of days of hobnobbing with my fellow wizards, Lindsay and I took my colleague, the lately-married Clare, and her doctoral student, Luisa, to spend a couple of days at the beach in Ogunquit, Maine, before heading home again.
foggy beach day
The weather wasn't so great at first.  The fog was so thick you could barely see the breakers.
The season had barely begun, so there were no crowds.  We did have some glorious weather just as we were leaving, with a spectacular sunset.
Qgunquit sunset
We walked to Perkins Cove and along the Marginal Way.
The Ugly Anne
What a beautiful part of the world!
It was hard to return to work, but wonderful to come home to family.  I managed to catch up on some outstanding bee sewing, making a lovely tulip block for Norma and four scrappy Arkansas Crossroads blocks for Greta.
Modified Tradition block for Norma

Today being Father's Day, we went to Prince Edward County for a bit of lunch and a drive around.  Eve drove, since we opted not to take the 401.  She was excited to get a good chunk of driving practice, since it's about 65km along Hwy 33.
Eve driving off the Glenora ferry
We went with a young couple who met in my lab as students, but have since moved to Toronto together.  They were visiting Kingston for the weekend, and it's always so nice to see them.
here's looking at you, kid
I don't normally like pictures of myself, but I like this one well enough to share.

We walked around Picton for a bit and ate some gelato.  My little girl is getting big, but she still loves her Daddy.
Eve and her daddy on Father's Day
We finished up the day by driving across the County to Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Factory, the smallest, tiniest shop off a gravel road in the middle of miles of farmland.  And who should we run into but my friend Mary, to whom I gave the Sunny Side of the Street quilt.  Small world.

Trying something new

/ Sunday 6 June 2010 /
QAYG blocks
I've been intrigued with the notion of Quilt As You Go, and on a whim, I decided I would give it a try.  I read over the posts at Sew Take a Hike and followed those in general principles, although I wanted to make blocks with a larger scale.
Quilt as you go block
I made seven blocks over the course of the weekend.
QAYG blocks on the line
You start with a square of batting and basically cover the front with pieces, stitching each one down with rows of straight line stitching, before you sew the next one.  These blocks are roughly log cabinish in construction.  The jury is still out on what I think of this approach.  It will probably come down to how onerous it is to put the back on it.  We shall see.
Quilt as you go block

MT Swap complete!

/ Saturday 5 June 2010 /
Quilted and bound
I finished my outgoing miniquilt for the Modify Tradition swap.  It will go in the post on Monday to some unsuspecting female.  Here's a view from a step back so you can the whole thing.
Modify Tradition swap: outgoing
These are not really colours I would normally use, but I do like them together.  It makes me think of summer by the pool.  One fat quarter wasn't quite big enough for the back, so I augmented with the yellow and blue inset pieces.
MT swap back
And, look!  I got to use those fancy stitches on my machine for once, in putting this label together.

Edited to link to Sew-n-Tell over at Amy's, hosted today by Nicole.

Catching up and cashing in

/ Wednesday 2 June 2010 /
Trying to catch up with my bees this week! Here are the blocks I made for Alison of the Incredible Shrinkers. Simple 2.5" squares of Hope Valley. This was a lovely, easy block to make since she had already cut 2.5" strips for us. I put them together while watching an old BBC rendition of Martin Chuzzlewit on my computer.
And what about cashing in? Take a look at this loot! I won this yardage of Erin McMorris' Sock Monkey fabric from Julia on Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.
Loot from Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day
And what about these goodies from Karen, as part of the Old Red Barn Co. group's May Swap? There was a chocolate bar that got stolen by thieves before the photo session, and the other things are some cool shoelaces, long quarters of fabric in moody purples and greens, some interesting "stash record" binder pages where you can staple swatches from your stash for record keeping.  And the most amazing thing of all was this pieced block that you can barely get a glimpse of.
ORBC May Swap - Incoming loot!
It's a pickle dish block! Wow! Is that not amazing! It's simply the best! Thank you so much, Karen!  I love it!
Loot: ORBC May Swap

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