Most of the quilts I work on are complicated and intricate; I like a good challenge. But, this past weekend I went away for my guild’s Spring Fling, 3 days of basically non-stop sewing near Lake Winnipesaukee, NH. For that kind of event, I leave the complicated projects behind and focus on fun, easy, colorful projects. Here’s what came out of the weekend:
Doesn’t get more colorful than this, does it?
The second project was a fusible kit by McKenna Ryan (Block 5 from “In Full Bloom). These kits are great for retreats because it’s just tracing, cutting, and fusing with very little thought involved.
Next week, I plan to be completely on vacation and I am using this week to ease into that. Instead of working on my Victims quilt this week, I am finishing up some projects for Christmas. I made a wall hanging from a McKenna Ryan pattern (and sent an identical one to my sister).
I also made two sets of winter napkins for my holiday table. (My daughter is responsible for the gingerbread house. Not all of the piping is hers, but you could have bowled me over with a feather when my 4 1/2 year old took the piping bag from me and went to town.)
It’s Black Friday. I am not shopping. I don’t like shopping on a good day so Black Friday seems like Hell to me. Instead, I am spending time with family and starting to look ahead to Christmas. Each year, I think about quilting some things as decoration and last year, I actually got an advent calendar made for my daughter, but usually things end up in my UFO pile. That’s still true this year, but I have now finally finished the top (without the borders) for a McKenna Ryan Christmas quilt that I have been working on for, oh, like 10 years. Maybe it will be quilted and hanging for Christmas 2017!
It’s an embarrassment to me just how many things in my UFO drawer only require 5 – 10 minutes worth of work to finish them. This month’s UFO needed a hanging sleeve and then needed to be hung. The quilt itself has been finished since 2008? 2009? And now, it is finally hanging! Of course, it creates a new UFO because now that I see how nice it looks hanging on my stair wall, I couldn’t help but think how great it would be to finish the Christmas McKenna Ryan kits that I have to have a Christmas quilt to replace this “Storybook Farm” one with for the holidays. Maybe I’ll have that one hung before 2015.
While I was on a hanging roll, I also hung a quilt that was a going-away gift to me from the Garden State Quilters Guild in New Jersey. I think that I finished it before “Storybook Farm.”
I will say that though it takes me many, many years to get around to hanging something, the easiest part is the hanging itself. I am a big fan of the Magnetic Quilt Hangers, (now available on Amazon). They attach to the wall with the 3M Command™ Adhesive strips so you just have to stick the magnet plate to the wall, put a metal rod through the hanging sleeve on the quilt, and let the magnet do its work. I have had the earlier model of the hangers holding quilts in my studio for years and years.
In addition to having trouble getting started on a Monday morning, one of the other things that I know about myself from my work in Corporate America was that I could rarely expect two highly productive days in a row. I’d have one day when I was just cruising through my day, checking things off my to do list, getting a lot done and done well. But the following day I usually found that nothing seemed to work well and I’d end the day without much to show for it. I’m finding that the same is true with quilting as well. After my slow start on Monday, I made some progress in the afternoon, but not much. Yesterday, however, was a different story. I sewed most of the top of Tiles #1 together, conquering over 30 Y seams, and it came together beautifully. I left the studio at the end of the day tired but pleased, with just the top and bottom half rows to finish. Well, the pieces are still sitting next to the sewing machine. I sewed the first seam, had to take it out and found the next seam just as tricky. So, I put it down and moved on to a McKenna Ryan fusible applique project that I am working on for my daughter’s room, about as mindless as it gets. I’m feeling a little warmed up, but my tiles are going to have to wait today. Instead, I’m going to pick up some projects that don’t need much care and thought. I’ve decided that it’s good to have a few of those around.