Saturday, August 18, 2012 last

I should take out an ad in the newspaper (am I the only one who still reads a newspaper?) but since I'm a 21st century kind of gal, I'll use this forum to announce that I have finally finished the "quilt from hell".

 I can't remember exactly when I started this beast, but I know it's been several months.  I decided I would make a new quilt for my bed--one that actually covered up the sheets so they didn't hang out on the sides.  Then I came up with the bright idea that it should be something really special--not "quick and easy" or "down and dirty", but something that might someday be considered an heirloom.  Of course that would mean that I was dead and gone, but that's okay, too.

I had seen a beautiful quilt at Sunday Best Quiltworks in Ellerslie, GA, made by Teresa Singleton.  The patterns were based on Italian floor tiles--gorgeous.  She assured me it was not that difficult, so I bought the book.  My first mistake was to choose a quilt pattern from the book that was not the one Teresa had made.  I hadn't taken into account that patterns published by reputable companies sometimes contain errors and/or omissions.  Let's just say my life with this quilt got a lot easier once I found the "corrections" page of the author's website.

The center of the quilt is a mariner's compass, which had to be paper pieced.  Not a problem, I've done that before.  Unfortunately the pattern gave me a 20.5" square and the quilt required 22.625".  Once I had found a "fix" for that problem, I discovered that the borders I had already cut to pattern specs were too long.  It was during that stage of ripping my hair out that I found the above-mentioned website with the corrections--big relief.  

It was also necessary that I enlarge the original pattern by adding about 30 inches to both the width and length.  That meant making an additional 250+ paper-pieced, square in a square blocks (2" finished) to go with the 240+ I had already made.  Oh joy!  At this point I did seriously consider scrapping the whole project and maybe converting it to a wall hanging, but I am a very stubborn person (my Mom could tell you stories about that).

I finished piecing the top and lay it on my bed.  I wasn't sure I even liked it, but by this time, it had become a struggle between me and this demon quilt.  I began to quilt.  At 102" square, that was no small feat.  I have an HQ Sweet Sixteen quilting machine, which is a sit-down machine like my regular sewing machine, just with a wider throat to fit the quilt through.  I went back and forth between it and my Bernina machine and completed the quilting in about 3 weeks.  Sewing the binding on was a cinch and I was absolutely thrilled to put the final stitch in that baby on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at about 6 p.m.

At the suggestion of my friend, Maryanne, I named it "Perseverance".  That's a bit nicer than "The Quilt From Hell", which was the working title.  And, oh yeah, I LIKE IT.   


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Inspiring Day

This was a fun and inspiring day.  I spent the morning with a great group of ladies in Smyrna, GA at the Georgia Friendship Quilt Guild meeting.  First, let me say, they do some beautiful work.  I thoroughly enjoyed their "show and tell" where members brought some awesome quilts to share.  Then, it was my turn to show my art quilts to them.  Sometimes people who do mostly traditional quilting are a little put-off by the kind of work I do.  There was none of that today.  Everyone was so receptive and enthusiastic. 

It's always a treat to hear the oohs and aahs, and I love to answer questions about my work and get the feedback from a group of fellow quilters.  I hope I inspired just one to try her hand at art quilting.

I also got some exciting news via e-mail.  I had responded to a "call for entries" at Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine.  They are doing an article on quilts depicting mountains, so I sent photos of "Smoky Mountain High" to see if they'd be interested in including it.  Even though it doesn't depict a mountain, it is a mountain stream.  I got word from them that they do want to include it in their article, so I'm doing a happy dance.  I can't wait to see it in the pages of a real magazine--too cool.

I've decided to do some editing to my most recent piece--"Black Hills September"--that I posted here last week.  I knew there was something not quite right about it, so I took it to show my good friend,Linda, because she has a great eye and she's always totally honest with me--she calls it like she sees it.  Friends like that are rare and to be treasured.  Now I just have to do some tweaking.  When I'm done, I'll post another photo and see if you can see the difference.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.  Talk to you soon.