Sunday, February 16, 2014

War on Works in Progress

My guild is launching a "WOW" or "War on Works in Progress."  We were all given index cards and asked to list our WIPs that we want to complete this year. Throughout the year we can ask each other for help and encourage each other to complete these projects.

We also had a discussion about why things become WIPs, and it was one that I found enlightening. Many of us were stuck because of a technically demanding section. Many of us got sucked into other projects that "just couldn't wait" (like a baby quilt!) and had difficulty picking these projects back up again. A lot of people had quilts that just needed the binding added (I love this step!) and others had tons of tops waiting to be quilted (this is where I get hung up.)

This provided me a good opportunity to evaluate my WIPs. I even made a list and stuck it to the wall next to my sewing area so I don't forget them. You don't need to hear my laundry list, but I have decided to ditch at least one WIP.

This top is going to come along to my next guild meeting, to see if anyone wants it. I just don't like it and I don't want the finished quilt. The only way I would finish it would be to give away or sell it, but it has a lot of technical mistakes so I'm not sure selling it would make sense. At this point, I've got better things to do than spend the time and money on quilting this guy. Whew, that feels refreshing to say!

This week I have been doing very little sewing, and I know it's because I am intimidated. I am at the embroidery phase of my veggie quilt, and that's pretty scary. But I think if I make myself do even 5 minutes a day, I will make a ton of progress. The biggest hurdle is usually sitting down to start!

I am also a little behind on my Skill Builder BOM. When the instructions for the next block came out, I finally had motivation to hurry up and finish quilting the last two blocks!!

I was merrily stitching along on this ruler block when I ran out of thread. Oops. And it is a rare variegated thread too. Double oops. So I drove to two different quilt shops with no luck. I ended up ordering more spools online. I do like how the quilting is going however. This is a design by Leah Day called "Super Circuit Board." It has its share of wibble wobbles but I feel like this design is somewhat forgiving on that front.
I darkened this a bit so you can see the quilting easier. I swear the thread isn't this dark in real life!

Yesterday I continued quilting, moving onto the pebbling stage. Has this ever happened to you?

Forehead slap. Oh well.

I do have one more project to share with you. For many months I have been mulling how I want to complete my layer cake bargello:

I see this bargello as a backdrop for something greater. I wanted to include some kind of applique element to it, that fit with pink and brown. I thought of pastries, cats chasing balls of yarn, or flamingos. On Monday there will be a batik sale at the local quilt shop, so that was the initiative I needed to sit down and figure something out, so I can go buy the rest of the fabrics I need.

Here is what I came up with:

I have had Java House Quilts' pattern "We Bearly Made it" sitting on my shelf for a while. The pattern is totally adorable:

This is a fun way to incorporate my favorite element of her pattern (those bears!!) into an existing quilt. The little goldfish are being converted to salmon, and I am going to find an awesome teal batik to tie it all together. The teal in that mock-up isn't quite right yet. Don't you think the bargello looks like a stream current? I am pretty excited to finally have a plan for this. Stay tuned for the actual quilt, coming soon!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Final Layout!

YES we have a winner! Thank you to Tammy and my mom, who both suggested moving the pinwheels to the outside.

Woohoo! Now when I look at this, my eyes immediately go to the sign that says "Larry's Garden," as they should!

There's still a lot to do on this quilt. I plan on enhancing each block with at least a little embroidery. I also wanted to add a bunch of cute insects, but now I'm thinking they may just clutter it and would be better off in the border. And of course, I need to plan the border! No idea what it will look like, but this sucker needs to be big enough to snuggle under, so it is definitely getting more fabric added to it. I really want some cool applique on the border, and I am still trying to plan out how that will look.

For now, I'm proud of the progress I've made. This thing is really shaping up!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Veggie Quilt - changing the layout

I've been plugging away at my veggie quilt and today planned to sew together all of the blocks. However, when I laid them out I wasn't quite sure that I like how things are looking.

When I see this, the pinwheels are just too bright and too busy. Here's the B&W version:

It bums me out to redo part of this quilt, but I really think those pinwheels ought to go.

Here I've laid out solid colors for those spaces. It puts the attention back on the applique blocks and makes the color scheme more consistent and less jumbled.  I'm thinking of doing some simple two-tone design, similar to those triangles along the edges.

I'm still waffling about redoing those wouldn't take that long, but the pinwheels are cool looking. Hmmm.

Edit:  Here's another option I worked up. The triangles now match the block color gradient instead of going in the opposite direction. It brings more consistency to the piece. I also moved around the pinwheels to match the block colors better. What do you think?