One thing leads to another

No, this is not a blog post about the song from The Fixx. Tonight, I was reminded of a quilt project I almost completed a while ago and also reminded of work to be done.

Back in May 2007, I had a lot going on in my life and I needed a getaway. So on very short notice, I took off on a vacation to Oak Island, North Carolina. But my idea of a vacation is probably not exactly like yours (or maybe it is)--mine consisted of taking off alone, reading, walking on the beach, baking strawberry shortcake to eat for breakfast and snacks, and checking out all the ways the southern restaurants can cook grits. So along with a stack of books to read and suntan lotion for lazy beach time, I grabbed a clear plastic container filled with a pattern, fabric chosen for that pattern, and my quilting supplies. I arranged to rent a sewing machine near my destination. I did start the project that week, but, as you know if you've ever done foundation or paper piecing, it's a slow process, exacting, but slow. Later that summer I completed the piecing of the quilt top (that's it in the photos). However, the project is still not complete. "Why?" you ask. Well, despite the fabulous new quilting machine that resides in my craft room, I can't figure out how to quilt it, exactly. And, to compound the problem, after a frustrating search through said room and various stacks and containers and drawers and... well, you get the picture... I can't find the pattern ANYWHERE!

This brings me to my weekend plans. I'm taking an extra day, giving me a four-day weekend, and I have grand ambitions to finally get through all of the things that got forced out of the sewing room when the quilting machine arrived on the scene over New Years' weekend 08/09.

The saddest part of this story is how long the fabric and pattern had been waiting in that box. I purchased all of it one weekend back in the spring of 2000. The pattern sample was done in a white background with red and blue flowers if I remember correctly, and the border fabric was also on a white background. But as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to do it with a black base, and I was thrilled with the way the colors really pop from the background. Unfortunately, it doesn't match the colors in my house right now, but it does match the other decorative items in my office AND it would fit on the tackboard in my office, which is the place I hang my quilts so I'm not trying to hang quilts on the office wall.

And that all brings me to the work to be done. Somewhere in the dark, lonely corners of that sewing room are two things: the fabric to bind this quilt and the pattern pack including a photo of the quilt. I'm hoping the pattern, which I know I've seen in the past 6 months, will give me some inspiration on how to quilt this piece--it seems like I've been down this road before, trying to get guidance for quilting from the pattern. Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions on how to quilt said quilt, or if you're blessed with psychic abilities and know what container or paper stack the pattern might have been filed in, please leave a comment.


Robin said...

I hate that, "I know it's here somewhere" feeling...I actually had it the other night. LOL Good luck finding your pattern and other supplies this weekend!

Eileen Bergen said...

Oh gosh ... we've all been there, done that. It is sooo frustrating. I hope you find it soon and look forward to seeing how the project progresses.

P.S. Your blog looks terrific. I just love the notebook idea with all the little tabs.

Debra said...

For dense quilting: do a meader stitch in the black background to make the flowers pop, in the ditch for the inner border, and a nice leafy vine for the border.

Too much for you in the center, freehand the shapes of the flowers with curving lines instead of the sharp linear lines of the piecing. A "wiggly" line down the stem and a loose "in the ditch" for the joining star. Do the rest the same.

Both easy-peasy and exactly what a quilting mahcine can do well.

Linda Augsburg said...

Thanks, Debra--great ideas! Being new to doing my own quilting, I don't "see" how to do it yet. I hope that will come with time--the way I "see" a piecing pattern before I even play with the graph paper.

Robin and Eileen, I didn't end up in the sewing room after all this weekend, so no pattern yet! Soon, I hope...

Quiltrobin said...

Here's what I do when I'm stuck for how to quilt something, which is all the time! I take a photo of the quilt, print it in color, then overlay a transparency and start doodling with permanent marker on the tranparency. This lets me try out all sorts of designs quickly and easily. If I'm at a loss for images to include in my quilting, I print photos (my own or from the internet) of trees for example and use the transparency technique above to develop continuous line designs. One last suggestion - make a sample or warm up piece and just start doodling with the machine. Good luck - I know it's going to be beautiful!

Linda Augsburg said...

Thanks for the great suggestion, Robin. It's nice to know other people get stumped too. I think part of the reason that this piece isn't quilted yet is that I'm not comfortable with the machine, so the doodling idea is one I need to tackle. I talked about doing that with some fabrics I bought a while ago but haven't gotten that done yet.

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