Wednesday, June 01, 2005

In The Pink --- Dear Jane At Sea!

That Dang Dear Jane UFO!!

I started a second Full Sized "Dear Jane" Variation in 2003, upon my move to Irmo, SC. I was teaching a class, and needed demo blocks, so why not play with another variation? Below is my recorded progress, spotty as it was. This post was formerly on my website, and I have uploaded it to my blog in an effort to consolidate posts! This quilt is currently being hand quilted as I write this post, Aug, 1, 2011.

Top Together Happy Dance!

May 17, 2008

After 5 years, the top is TOGETHER!

This weekend it finally came together. I haven't worked on this project since last October at the Southeast Dear Jane retreat. It's sat in a box through my move from Irmo, SC to Winston-Salem, NC this february, and I grabbed it on my way out the door to teach a class at the Upcountry Quilter's Guild retreat at Table Rock Wesleyan Camp near Pickens, SC, bound and determined to get the last 2 rows on the quilt center, piece the star points that went into the borders, and get that final border on there.

At first, I wasn't sure if the star points were going to extend into a border of shirting to float them more....or into a border of South African chocolates. Did I want one chocolate for the whole border routine? Did I really WANT to buy more as pricey as they are?

At one time, I probably would have bought more yardage and done it uniformly. But lately....I like a more carefree approach, and using ALL the chocolates I had was a great way to showcase what the fabrics really looked like, as the blocks used such miniscule amounts it was hard to tell what the print of the fabrics were. There are some great ones! And I'm glad I just did this, sewing random lengths together until the border was long enough to go around the outside of the quilt, letting the seams fall where they may.

I'm torn now what to do with it. Of course I'd love to hand quilt it, but I'm not sure when I can start it. The blocks are too intricate for me to feel like I can do the machine quilting justice on it. So...for now it willwait. I've got some other hand quilting projects all ready in the works. I guess from here it gets folded up, and lovingly put away until I can once again take it out and "resume the journey."

This is my baby spartan machine. I finished this quilt top on this machine,and I have to say it sews like a dream and I love it better than either of my featherweights.

I love this little machine. It was made by Singer but sold through Sears or something, and it dates into the 50s. It is heavier than my featherweights, but that is great...sometimes the featherweight just is too small when it comes to working on big quilts. And too light weight when working on big quilts....but with this Spartan placed into it's little oak extension table, I had no trouble with a lightweight machine skittering away from me when trying to sew on borders. My featherweights may get jealous...I think I love a bigger machine!

I also love my Spartan because of the drop in bobbin! It easily holds TWICE the amount of thread that my featherweights hold. And it has no bobbin case to lose. We all know how expensive THOSE are to replace. The more I sew on this baby, the more I think featherweights are highly over rated....unless you need to travel with it as a carry on or something.

After Retreat!

Jan 16, 2006:

10 rows together, only 3 more to go!
Close-up of quilt center

Jan 16th, 2006:
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee I am so tired I can't hardly think straight! I am back from retreat. A great time was had by all. It was even mentioned several times how nice this retreat was, and then we realized it was because certain cantakerous people who always seem to throw a wrench into everything, no matter what the situation.....were not there! *heheh* We won't mention names, but we know who they are, and we didn't have to deal with them ;c)(Definate Quilt Police, if you get my drift!)

This is really a fun group to retreat with. Where we stay has duplex cabins, and each cabin signs up for hosting a meal for everyone, so every lunch and every dinner was at a different cabin. So much FOOD! WAY TOO MUCH DESSERT! (you know why Dessert has two S's in it? So we are allowed Two Helpings.. :cÞ) We walked from the cabins to the meeting rooms where we sewed, walked as much as possible to work off all we were eatting, but it was SO good.

Lets see....I got there a bit early, and claimed my place in the corner since I had SO much stuff to work with. I also packed my MP3 player and we listened to celtic and massage instrumental music for stimulation the whole time we sewed. It was great! I set myself up to be as functional and productive as possible and since I posted the last pic of the quilt, I have added FOUR ROWS to it! :c) I now have 10 rows out or 13 rows done and set together. It feels like a huge accomplishement.

This pic is after I added the 9th row

The first weekend in Feb is another retreat, and though it isn't as long, I'm hoping to make a good push on it then too. If I can keep myself motivated, I'm thinking of making myself do one block a day, and the sashings that go with it...so by the time I go on that retreat I've only got 2 more rows to go. Wouldn't that be awesome? I will also need to finish the outside edge, continuing the star points into the border...but will deal with that when I've got the rest together.

It's early to bed for me tonight. I do feel like a complete non-functional zombie! It's so good to be home and have my own bed to look forward to.

Jan 10th, 2006:

Since pulling everything out and finding what I had and what I didn't, I was able to find some time on Sunday afternoon to make one more block for Row G and put Row G together and add it to the quilt! Although the pic above doesn't show it, the quilt top is already bigger! Tomorrow is the retreat and I am ready to go. Several blocks for Row H are done, they just need their sashings and cornerstones. I'm making the blocks in order, and doing the sashings for each block and attaching them as I go. It helps break up the monotony! I don't know if I will get any more done on it before I leave for retreat tomorrow, but once there, watch out!! :c)

The 6 row UFO!

Jan 8th, 2006:

You know how it is when you have a project you love, but you can't make yourself work on it for whatever reason?

I have a project like this. I'ts my double pink and chocolate Jane Stickle variation that I started almost THREE *cough* years ago. It's sat at way over 1/2 done for almost 2 years now. I love it....every time I pull it out I pet it...and yet I have had the hardest time making my mind want to work on these tedious little jewel blocks. What is with that? Why do projects get this far only to stagnate?

One of my goals this year is to finish the top. I have pulled it out to take inventory (again!) of what I have done. It is 1/2 assembled into the top..I just need to do 6 1/2 rows left..The blocks for these rows are about 1/2 done too. They just need the storm at sea sashing and little square in a square cornerstones pieced and set with the blocks, and sew them in rows.

Close up of one corner

I have a retreat this weekend with my guild....we go up on Thursday, and come home Monday so that is a HUGE chunk of sewing time! Can you feel me trying to pump myself up about getting into gear with this quilt again? I have printed out all the block patterns by row...I have printed out all the foundations for the sashing parts...I have the fabric pulled and ready to go. Please please please let me have fun with this project again! I don't want to force myself if it is a drudgery. I want that spark of *YES!!!* When you are excited about something and it is coming together just as you envision it, and all your muses are working together with you to keep you inspired.

Close up of another corner

I'm taking this project! I'm gearing up for working on it! I hope that after the Martin Luther King weekend when I return I'll have a lot to show for my efforts and the time I spent. Everyone who retreats with me knows that when at retreat I basically chain myself to my sewing machine! *LOL* Other people go off talking, walking, shopping, eating.....and I've always put the pedal to the metal and cranked on the quilts while at retreat. I hope I can have that kind of energy for this project that has been at a dead end for so long :c)

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