Friday, October 17, 2008

Works in Progress

A number of my favorite fiber arts bloggers post their works in progress regularly. For example, SharonB over at In a Minute Ago posts pictures of each crazy quilt block as she completes it. Vickie over at Field Trips in Fiber posts as a weekly fiber arts things to do list and shows the progress of her embroidery in her Handwork Wednesday posts. Joe the Quilter said during his workshop, the best way for him to get through a creative block is to have a deadline. I wonder if posting pictures of my works in progress will motivate me to complete them, like a deadline might.

This is a project started in a Sue Spargo class presented by the Bloomington Quilters Guild in the fall of 2007. Lots of applique to reckon with. I could just machine it - maybe using Sue Nickel's buttonhole stitch. I don't have a recipient in mind for this piece, so it gets bumped farther down the to-do list with every baby my friends have.
This is a lone star quilt started in a Jan Krentz class presented by the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show. I'm making it for a friend's baby boy, who is now almost eight months old. I have the fabric for the setting squares and the border and probably even the backing. The next step is to block all the diamonds. But I feel like I need to block the diamonds, cut the setting squares, and finish piecing the top all in one day or all the hard work of blocking those diamonds will be for nothing since they'll just get all wonky again sitting around my studio.
This is a set of New York Beauty blocks finished in a Jacquelyn Chiddister class at Shiisa Quilts. She worked well with students with VERY different levels of experience. I had never foundation pieced before. In addition to covering the class material, she willingly demonstrated all of the neat techniques she uses to create and embellish her beautiful quilts. I even got to pick out my fabrics with her! She has an amazing sense of color and pattern.
This is a precision patchwork block finished in a Julie Higgins class at Shiisa Quilts. I included the AA battery so you can get a sense of just how tiny this block is. Like Jacquelyn Chiddister, Julie Higgins worked well with students with VERY different levels of experience. But where Jacquelyn was happy to sew some beads on seams that didn't quite match, Julie was ready with her seam ripper to unsew and resew until it was just right. But she gave us so many excellent tips and tricks for working with small pieces and getting the points and intersections to line up, I don't remember unsewing even once. While I don't think I'd make a whole quilt of three inch blocks, I do think I'll apply the lessons I learned from Julie to every seam I sew. And the great thing about doing a three inch block: you can actually finish it in a three hour class!
This is an invisible machine applique block started in a Donna Stevens class at Shiisa Quilts. She is an excellent teacher. I’ve never taken a machine applique class before. She gave clear instructions and responded to questions with a wealth of knowledge. We made very helpful samples that will help me refresh my memory of the technique even after the project is complete. In addition to the class material, she demonstrated applique techniques that went beyond the project we worked on. The sample of the project hanging in the shop was done with homespuns, but Donna was very helpful with design decisions in a completely different pallet. This is only about 1/5 sewn down. I imagine the sewing won't take too terribly long. But I just have to sit down and do it.

I envision putting the New York Beauty blocks, the precision pieced block, and the invisible machine applique block together in one quilt top. I got the idea from Design Your Own Quilts by Judy Hopkins (That Patchwork Place, 1998), which my friend R.J. recommended. And now that I see the colors all together I'm tempted to back it with the top from the Joe the Quilter class, though it might be just too darned big. Eh, that's what ginormous borders are for.

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1 comment:

Jan Krentz said...

Hi Sarah!

You can do it! That Lone star is achievable! After blocking, determine whether any sliver trimming is needed. Then, mark all 4 edges (at the tips & sides) with the stitiching lines.

Pin the 8 diamonds on a piece of cardboard or your design wall. They should not change shape. Measure the seamline, make the setting squares, and assemble.

You can do it! I believe in you! Jan