VOWIP

We–or maybe just I?–need a new acronym. Very Old Work In Progress. Only because So Old I’m Embarrassed To Admit It Work In Progress is too cumbersome. I don’t even know how I’d pronounce SOIETAIWIP, so VOWIP it is.

Anyhoo. My best guess at the age of this WIP is eight years. It might be as much as ten. Yikes! These blocks were originally destined to be a quilt that would coordinate with the eggplant-colored sofas of a best friend.

Paper-pieced designs from Carol Doak's "40 Bright & Bold Paper-Pieced Blocks."

Paper-pieced designs from Carol Doak’s “40 Bright & Bold Paper-Pieced Blocks.”

Before I could finish, she met her Mr. Right. When they moved in together, he “made” her get rid of the purple sofas (too feminine), she “made” him get rid of the nasty-gross thing he’d been sitting on, and they bought something they both liked. Lovely for them, but bad for me–the new sofa was not going to look good with these fabrics. So the whole thing got sidelined.

Fast-forward to a couple months ago, and a comment by my mom provided me with an idea to re-purpose these into a gift for one of my aunts. She did all of the printing for my wedding in 2012 and would not let me pay for any of it. An incredible gift, right? Right!

So, I grabbed the blocks and all the fabric I’d stored with them and made two moreΒ  on Saturday for a total of nine.005 004Then I spent much of Sunday (more than three movies!) removing the paper backing from each one. BTW, does anyone else despise this part of the paper-piecing process? I love the end result, but egads! I detest that stage.

While doing that, I discovered some incredibly scant seams hiding under all that paper.

Yowza! I still have plenty of that green fabric left over, so I have no clue why I didn't just cut larger pieces!  :P

Yowza! I still have plenty of that green fabric left over, so I have no clue why I didn’t just cut larger pieces! πŸ˜›

Here’s what I decided to do to reinforce those seams.

I very, very narrowly top-stitched around the scant triangles.

I very, very narrowly top-stitched around the scant triangles.

Here’s a good tip from Lily’s Quilts if you have to fix one yourself. I skipped the interfacing this time because I felt I had just enough fabric that it wasn’t necessary.

Monday I cut setting squares and began stitching them together with the pieced blocks and finished this much of the flimsy yesterday.

This is more traditional than most things I make these days, and the only sampler quilt I've made to date.

This is more traditional than most things I make these days, and the only sampler quilt I’ve made to date.

Now I’m trying to decide whether to add borders. I kind of dig it like this, but my aunt’s tastes are more traditional (thus the reason this was perfect for her), and I feel like she might see it as “missing something.” Opinions?

Also since last Wednesday’s post, I got all of my Beanstalk strip sets sewn together. Now I’m just waiting for more of the background fabric to arrive in the mail. Heh. Bit of a mistake caused the need for that, but you’ll keep my secret, right?002

As always, I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday. (Never mind! Lee’s on vacation! Good for her!) May all your WIP’s and VOWIP’s become finishes!WIP Wednesday

Terra Australis

In my twenties, I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship to study in Australia. I lived in Sydney and attended the University of New South Wales. Exploring the city, dancing my weekends away in its nightclubs, traveling to other iconic places like Melbourne, Alice Springs, Darwin, and Frazier Island, playing rugby, seeing the penguin parade on Phillip Island, petting ridiculously soft Eastern Grey Kangaroos, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef–I even managed to squeeze in enough studying to earn a master’s degree–it was an incomparable year.

So, when I first learned of Emma Jean Jansen’s “Terra Australis” line for Ella Blue, I knew I HAD to have it. I waited patiently for it to show up here in the states. Then one happy day I received an email from Hawthorne Threads. Yippee! But I wasn’t quick enough. By the time I had a moment to sit down and place an order, they’d already sold out of most things. So I had to be patient again.

A few weeks ago I had some downtime at work and happened to be perusing quilting sites when I discovered that Hawthorne Threads had everything in stock again–and lots of it! I’m only slightly embarrassed to say I went hedgehog wild. πŸ˜‰ I bought the fat quarter bundles in both colourways (gotta have the “u” in there, since we’re talking about Australia), plus more yardage of my favorites. It was a major splurge, but I recently paid off my car, so justification was easy-peasy. (Hah! As if I ever really have trouble “justifying” a fabric purchase.)

FQ bundle in the "Eucalyptus" palette--lovely bright pinks and greens and turquoises.

FQ bundle in the “Eucalyptus” palette–lovely bright pinks and greens and turquoises.

LOVE the giant Warratah flower print.

LOVE the giant Warratah flower print.

Who can resist kangaroos?

Who can resist kangaroos?

FQ bundle in the "Outback" palette--light aqua, orange, and gray.

FQ bundle in the “Outback” palette–light aqua, orange, and gray.

I bought enough of the Warratah print in this colorway to back a quilt--or at least most of a quilt, depending on the size. :)

I bought enough of the Warratah print in this colorway to back a quilt–or at least most of a quilt, depending on the size. πŸ™‚

The "Spinning Gums" and "Grevillia" prints are perfect reminders of all the weirdly wonderful flora of Oz.

The “Spinning Gums” and “Grevillia” prints are perfect reminders of all the weirdly wonderful flora of Oz.

I have about a hundred Sydney Harbour Bridge photos. It is beautiful. I love that this print is reminiscent without replicating the bridge in exact architectural form.

I have about a hundred Sydney Harbour Bridge photos. It is beautiful. I love that this print is reminiscent without replicating the bridge in exact architectural form.

I have absolutely no clue yet what I’ll do with these fabrics beyond “make a quilt–or two.” Emma Jean Jansen has plenty of inspiration on her site, but I’ll mull it over for a bit before making a decision. Regardless, I know I will love it for all the memories these fabrics inspire for me.

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash–’cause Molli’s place is always where the party’s happening.

molli_sparkles_sunday_stash_button

WIP Wednesday: Beanstalks

I had Monday off from work, so this happened:014I mean, why work on other WIPs when you can start a new one? But none of my other WIPs were inspiring me on Monday, and these colors are so cheerful that I couldn’t resist. Already I have a number of strip sets sewn together….002And here are the rest of the strips, queued up and ready for the next chain-piecing session:001Ultimately these are destined to become the “flowers” (?) in the Beanstalks pattern from the book Quilts from the House of Tula Pink.

Since my last post, I also managed to finish the MIL quilt top and back and get it to my quilter. I even managed to get it out in the sunlight first, with the hope of snapping some truer-color photographs. Voila.

You be the judge--does this qualify as "deep teal" and "true red?" (I know, I've leaned toward aqua in a few places, but variety was necessary!)  :)

You be the judge–does this qualify as “deep teal” and “true red?” (I know, I’ve leaned toward aqua in a few places, but variety was necessary!) πŸ™‚

Most of my points matched up beautifully. Thank you, Julie Herman, for creating such great tools and patterns!

Most of my points matched up beautifully. Thank you, Julie Herman, for creating such great tools and patterns!

 

One of my favorite blocks, made from a who-knows-how-old fat quarter. I love the way the subtle stripes radiate out from the center.

One of my favorite blocks, made from a who-knows-how-old fat quarter. I love the way the subtle stripes radiate out from the center.

And that wraps up my recent quilting efforts. I hope your day is a good one–whether you get to quilt or not.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced–I’m glad Lee likes to post pics of her Aviatrix Medallion quilt, because I love looking at them!WIP Wednesday

Kay is for Quality

Today’s finish is a retirement gift for the manager of our blood bank. At 60-something, this woman has more energy and drive than anyone I’ve ever known. (She did her first sprint triathlon at 60!!) Over the course of three decades, she has created and implemented a quality program that is unsurpassed. This is pretty much the safest place you could possibly get a transfusion. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to learn from her/work for her/be inspired by her.

Based on Lee Heinrich’s Sugar Snow pattern, most of the blocks were made by co-workers while I assembled the top and back. I also printed a personalized label with the names of all the co-workers who made the quilt possible, either by sewing or chipping in for materials.

I changed Lee's design just a smidge--she has two half-blocks which I left out. Instead I had my co-workers make only whole star blocks.

I changed Lee’s design just a smidge–she has two half-blocks which I left out. Instead I had my co-workers make only whole star blocks.

The back is a Violet Craft print from her Waterfront Park line in navy blue.

The back is a Violet Craft print from her Waterfront Park line in navy blue.

I found a photo of red blood cells online and used it for the background of the label.

I found a photo of red blood cells online and used it for the background of the label.

A close-up of the quilting pre-wash.

A close-up of the quilting pre-wash.

Quilting post-wash.

Quilting post-wash.

Her first glimpse of the label.

Her first glimpse of the label.

The unfurling. She loved it! :)

The unfurling. She loved it! πŸ™‚

Linking up today with Quokka Quilts, hosting TGIFF (or at least the dog is–adorable!).tgiff-button-blog

WIP Wednesday: MIL Quilt

I really have to start brainstorming a “real” name for this quilt. “The MIL Quilt” just won’t do at all. It is coming together rather quickly, though. The triangle blocks are large enough that, once they’ve been assembled, the rest goes lickety-split.

I had to pay close attention as I sewed, otherwise I had a tendency to stitch bits onto the wrong edge.

I had to pay close attention as I sewed, otherwise I had a tendency to stitch bits onto the wrong edge.

While none of the points came out badly, I certainly improved in the "matching up department" as I went along.

While none of the points came out badly, they certainly improved as I went along. I achieved a “top speed” of four blocks per 30 minutes. Even with chain piecing, I was back & forth between the ironing board and sewing machine A LOT.

I really love the secodary pattern created by the inner triangles. I'd like to try this pattern again using different colors to really enhance that aspect.

I really love the secodary pattern created by the inner triangles. I’d like to try this pattern again using different colors to enhance that aspect of the design.

Like I said--this one grows quickly!

Like I said–this one grows quickly! All of the blocks are complete.

I am finding that the reds are difficult to photograph. Do you have any tips for me? I’m hoping my problems will be solved once I can get it outside in the natural light, but the sky has poured rain each day I’ve worked on it thus far, so a “design floor” near the window is as good as it gets for now.

Linking to Freshly Pieced, where WIP Wednesday is being guest-hosted by Lindsey. WIP Wednesday