Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Progress Being Made

Remember the wool hand appliqued blocks I was working on last year? That sounds like it was forever ago but remember this is just January so last year really wasn't that long ago. Except I think it might have been longer than I think since I finished all 12 of them. Anyway, last week I made all 206 half square triangles and put them together to make the sashing. Actually I counted wrong and really made 216 half square triangles; hate it when that happens. I used Thangles so they were perfect but, as usual, when I started sewing them into rows the rows weren't perfect. What is it about a quarter inch seam that I can't get right? Six of those in a row should have been 9 1/2" long. Instead it was 9 5/8" long. I know that doesn't sound like much and I could have eased it to make it fit ok but the long rows - they had 22 half square triangles in them. If I'd left the seam as I had it that row would have turned out to been nearly 1/2" too long and that's too long to ease. So I moved the needle. Not enough. I moved it some more. Too much. I moved it back. Too much. You get the picture. Between all the needle moving and the trimming I did I was brain dead! Which is why I put two blocks in upside down and one sideways. :( Had to take them out, turn them around, and resew. But isn't it wonderful now, if I do say so myself! I can see a place or two where I might want to take out a short bit and ease it in to make the seams and points match perfectly but that won't be hard. The black and the khaki background fabrics are flannel and that's all machine stitched. But every piece of every flower, every leaf, every bird or dragonfly is wool and every piece is hand appliqued. This pattern is Folk Art Album from Primitive Gatherings and I bought it in a kit at Houston 3 or 4 years ago. I know, I know...3 or 4 years ago and I just started it this year. I'm a tad behind.
I have it up on my design wall and I'm working on the borders. It will have a 7" black border all around it with vines and leaves and flowers (all of wool) all hand appliqued. It took me 4 hours to draw just one fourth of the border pieces onto fusible and iron them onto the wool. Now I'm trimming them and placing them on the border. And I still have 3/4 of the border to go so this won't be finished any time soon.
Don't you just love having a big project going though? I do, and I go through stages while I'm working on it. I start out excited and eager and going full speed ahead. Then I kind of slow down, start to get maybe a little bored, but plod along. Sometimes I take a break. A long break. But then something sparks and I get a little boost of adrenalin and I restart. At some point I can begin to see the end and I get excited again and eager and start to speed up. When I'm finally finished I'm sad to see the end of it.
How about you? Any big projects going? Some of you are doing Dear Jane and I love seeing your blocks. I saw the real Dear Jane in a museum a few years ago and I just stood there mesmerized. For a very long time. So long that Jerry came to check on me. :) I bought Jennifer Chiaverini's book Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and I'm thinking of joining a group from my guild that's working on that quilt. The blocks are 6 1/2" and I'd like to hand piece them. Oh my. Maybe I'm having a senior moment.
P.S. Have I told you lately that I hate Blogger? Why won't it put paragraphs where I want paragraphs? Blogger is like a cranky three year old - it will when it will and it won't when it won't!


karenfae said...

you should enjoy the Sylvia's Bridal quilt - I know a couple people making it. Hand piecing is relaxing - just a bit slower than machine :)
Love your quilt.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I would still be working on the first square. Its beautiful.

Michelle said...

It's beautiful Marlene. I have to enjoy yours, because I would never work on a complicated project like that...not enough time or patience.

You need to download and use Windows Live Writer. It is wonderful! The pictures go where you put them, and it behaves beautifully. I think Suzan from The Reluctant Quilter told us and I love it!

Have a great week!
be blessed,

Glenda said...

Marlene, that is absolutely beautiful! Now I see why you could see hope in my little scrappy quilt. What patience you must have. When I lived in Houston, I used to go to the quilt show and was amazed at the intricate work there. What pride you must feel when you see your finished product!...Glenda

Marge said...

Marlene, that is an absolutely beautiful quilt. What patience you have to do all that applique and small piece work. I chuckled at your statement 'what is it about a quarter inch seam that I can't get right?' I'm with you! I spend more time moving my needle to adjust the seam than I do sewing!

I am working on another style of purse/bag. And aprons. And have fabric sitting here for at least 4 quilts. I just lack the energy right now.

Blessings to you,

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

So beautiful! I'm getting ready to start a blackwork cross stitch sampler.

Colleen said...

Oh I love this one so much! It is beautiful. And I do the same thing you do with a big project. You described the process perfectly. :o)

Needled Mom said...

It is beautiful - no matter when you do it. It will be a timeless classic.

nanny said...

I made a quilt by hand years ago....thought I would always be working on one.....not! Nearly went blind and now I just enjoy my "completed" quilt/ha

Yeah blogger is so maddening...I put spaces, returns, etc and it just does what it wants!

Milah said...

I love this quilt! I tried to pick a favorite block but I can't....'cause I love them all!

One of these days I'd like to try to applique with wool, but it will be a much smaller project.

Tracy P. said...

That is absolutely gorgeous!! Wow! Where will you put it?

I have a quilt going for Bethany that I've been working on forever. I'm still cutting out squares, actually. It is a rag quilt, so there isn't any hand stitching ahead. I MUST FINISH it this year. Preferably for her birthday in June. Trust me, you will know when I do!

I put all my photos in the center and don't try to wrap text around them. The paragraphs behave pretty well. But yes, you sort of have to baby Blogger. It's annoying.

Memaw's memories said...

Absolutely beautiful. I have a dresden plate quilt that I must have started 20 years ago. I have all the plates ready to be put on the squares. Just don't know when I'll get around to it.

kanishk said...

I would still be working on the first square. Its beautiful.

Work from home India

Purple Pam said...

Beautiful job on a beautiful quilt. Way to go!