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Next step is to do a crochet edge.  I bought yarn last week at The Mulberry Tree in Milton.  My plan is to do a hand blanket stitch and then crochet into that stitch.  Thanks to my quilt peeps on Ravelry for the help figuring out how to do it.  I’m hoping that the blanket stitch covers the overlocked edge.  If not, I’ll have to cut it off before doing the blanket stitch.

Time for a restorative yoga class.  I’ve been looking forward to it all week!

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I might need to shift gears and pull out my paints for awhile.  None of my quilting projects are tripping my trigger.  They are long term projects that I’ve lost enthusiasm for.   A few of the traditional ones are in the ‘bleh’ category.  The improv ones are past the design stages and into the finishing stage which then leads me to the question of what to do with them when they are finished.

Here are pictures and discussion of my current UFOs.

Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell.  I’m doing this as a block of the month.  I like the fabrics (Japanese taupes) and the pattern is fine.  It’s just that it’s someone else’s pattern.  It’s like doing a ‘paint by numbers’ painting.

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EPP diamonds.  I started this a couple years ago to test out the Eppiflex product.  Love the product (and Danni!) but EPP hurts my hands.  And, this is turning out so BORING.  SO traditional.  I might need to follow the advice I gave a friend about her UFOs…put it in a box, tape it shut and put it in the garage or under a bed until I want to work on it again (if EVER).  Or give it away.

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My Favorite word is.  This is embroidery on fabric that my friend Candy gave me – graduated starburst-like shades of grey from light to dark.  I started doing freeform embroidery on it with the gorgeous Cottage Garden Threads.  In the center, I plan to embroider my favorite word.  (Any guesses???? lol)

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EPP bag.  A pattern I bought at a local quilt show.  1″ hexagons out of left over Liberty fabric.  I’m using linen for the main bag.  It’s finished except for putting a string through the top.  Another ‘what am I going to do with this’ project.

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Orange Kantha.  I do love this one.  It is simply a 1 & 1/2 meter chunk of fabric that I bought at Always your Design in Dell Rapids, South Dakota last year.  I LOVE the fabric and didn’t want to cut it up so I’m Kantha stitching it.  It may take a lifetime as the rows are about 1/2″ apart.  I like everything about it – but it’s rather boring work.  And, it feels like I will never get to the finish line.  I save it for days when I need mindless work or when watching cricket.

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Camelot.  I started this one on a whim earlier this year.  A group of us went to a quilt show and I found this gorgeous William Morris fabric line that HAD to come home with me.  VERY traditional.  Trish Harper had this pattern in QuiltMania magazine a few years back and I had it the back of my mind that I’d like to do it someday.  This fabric seemed to be the perfect fit.  Plus, a friend had a bag of WM fabrics to share with me so I could make it really scrappy.

I have 14 of 16 circles finished.  I’m still not sure on the background color.  I like the scrappy neutrals but I also like red floral and the red tone-on-tone.  I like hand piecing – but the quilt itself is feeling rather boring.  I keep wondering how I can add an improv/modern slant to it.

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Indigo and Lime Green improv.  I like this one.  I need to dye a back for it and then quilt it.  I have the back pieces prepped and ready for an indigo dye session – hopefully soon.

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She Was Loved 3.  I like this one too.  It’s next in line to be quilted.  The first picture doesn’t show the completed top – only the background fabric.  This tryptic might need to find a place on the wall somewhere in our home.  I really like it.  It feels like art to me.

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Ruby May.  Ahhhh, Miss Ruby May.  Liberty fabrics appliqued on linen.  Embroidered motifs with Cottage Garden threads.  It really is a quilt that wanted to be hand quilted – but hands are hurting and Sweetie was calling.  I started doodle FMQing this one a few days ago.  I’ve always wanted to be able to doodle with quilting but have let fear of sucking get in the way.  Well, I finally dove into the pool of doodling.  And on a fabric where everything shows.  It’s turning out ok.  I’m probably close to ‘over quilting’ it – but that’s the way it goes.

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Houses, houses, houses by Yoko Saito.  I love Yoko Saito’s work.  And I’ve always been drawn to this pattern of hers.  Not sure where I’m going with it but I enjoy the freeform cutting and applique.  The blocks are 5×6″.  At one point, I thought about doing a couple quilted pieces to recover Mr. W’s reading chair.  I’m using the same color palette for this one and Long Time Gone so I could combine them for that purpose.

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I think that is the extent of my quilting UFOs.  TIme to sit in front of the fire and keep warm before deciding which one to work on today.

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Sunglasses required!

I was at a wonderful quilt retreat this past weekend.  From Friday afternoon until Saturday evening, I pretty much focused 100% on putting together the blocks for this quilt.  It’s made using (nearly) all my batik orphan blocks (i.e. blocks left over from previous projects, reject blocks, practice blocks), several improv filler blocks and the Ravelry 2BOM blocks.

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It is always fun for me putting quilts like this together.  I view it as a puzzle.  First I lay out the blocks and try to distribute/balance the colors/sizes into a pleasing arrangement (trust me, I don’t spend MUCH time doing this – I mean really…..with a quilt like this, I don’t think it matters much WHICH block you put WHERE).  Then I randomly figure out 3-5 ‘sections’ and start working on those sections.  The sections are then made to fit and joined together.  I did a blog post early in the year about how I do this – I think it was for the Gypsy Wife 2 quilt.

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I’m also PRETTY DARN SURE that this is the last BAQ (Big Ass Quilt) that I will be doing.  I know, I know…..I’ve said that before but I mean it this time.  It will have to be a mighty big deal for me to piece another BAQ.

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Now back to FMQing Magnolia.  I started the last border this morning.  Feathers.  I need my head examined.  I’m also putting together a little ‘class’ for a local quilt group on improv/freeform/wonky/liberated techniques.  AND, I’m working on an idea to combine wool dyeing, Shibori tying and Wagga quilts.

Plus, I want to start on my Hundertwasser urinal-inspired quilt.  I know you can’t wait to hear more about THAT one.

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Here’s what I’ve been working on:

Bro’s and Sista’s (Brother’s and Sister’s from the book Kindred Spirits (Yellow Creek Quilt Designs) – It’s ready to hand quilt.  It’s sitting in the tv room waiting for me.  It’s ALMOST cool enough in the evenings to sit with this BAQ on my lap.  I’ll be using Big Stitch technique with size 12 Finca perle cotton thread.  Circles.  Freeform circles.  Last night while catching up on my blogs, I ran across the idea from Tim Latimer Quilts.  Time to start forming a callous on my naughty finger again.  This is a King Size so I’m guessing it will take me all winter.

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Mr. W’s favorite reading chair has sprung a leak so I’m thinking to make a slipcover for it from an extra quilt.

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Below are the blocks I have so far for The Splendid Sampler quilt by Jane Davidson & Pat Sloan.  They are 6.5 inch blocks.  Two per week for a year.  Did I mention **free**?  I’m using batiks from my scrap bag.

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Below is my version of The Circle Games by Jen Kingwell.  Two borders finished (appliqué circles) two to go.  I’m really enjoying the appliqué work.  Think I need to find another appliqué project once this one is finished.  I’m tempted to start on the Quilty 365 project – or perhaps my version of it.

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Next we have my next 2 projects from Sherri Lynn Wood‘s book on Improv quilting.  The first one is called Rhythmic Grid and the second one Patchwork Doodle.  They are both in the preliminary stages on the design wall.

And finally, we have my version of Sue Spargo‘s Magnolia.  Again, two borders finished, two to go.  This quilt is such a RIOT of color but I’m really liking it.  I am enjoying learning new embroidery stitches from Sue’s book Creative Stitching.  I’ve also been drooling while looking at her book Stitches to Savor – an amazing coffee table book of her work.

 

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I’ve been auditioning borders for The Circle Games, pattern by Jen Kingwell.  I’m not having much luck.  I have one more idea but before I try that one on for size – I’m just going to take this down from the design wall and give it a rest for now.

Here are the possibilities I have tried so far:

Option 1:  narrow teal border with wide floral print.  (Tame.  BORING yet the centre is so busy, it calms it down and gives the eye somewhere to rest.)

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Option 2:  Crumb block border like I made for my Liberated Hexi quilt.  (I do like this one.  It’s probably the one I like the best.)

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Option 3:  Pieced New York Beauty border.  (The border is actually too wide for this quilt – however, I’d have to make all new so I could adjust the width.  I remember how much work those paper pieced spires were though.  I also think it’s almost too angular or stark with the softness of the centre blocks.)

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Option 4:  Improv drunkards path blocks randomly placed.  (I tried random because I need an odd number of blocks to make it fit with the top/narrow border.  I don’t like this one at all – too much happening; no rhythm.  It just looks like I’m slapping blocks onto a quilt.)

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Option 5:  Improv drunkards path blocks set with 1/2 circle orientation.  (A little better than option 4 but I’m not in love with it.  Disappointing as I put much work into these blocks – about 40 – and I really thought this was going to be my favourite..  On the bright side – I have 40 blocks that I can use for something else.)

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It’s at this point that I’m also considering going with the 1/2 circle appliquéd border on the original pattern (see below).  I’m not sure if I have enough of the teal for the background or not but that would be my color preference.

Another project on hold while I ponder my options or come up with new ones.

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