This piece of redwork started life as a sample for one of the last classes I taught over two years ago. I fell in love with patterns in the book "The Quilted Cross" and developed a multi-technique learning class using it as the text. I'm not that keen on redwork, but I liked the four designs, everyone was buzzing about redwork at the time, and I'd done enough embroidery in the past for me to feel competent to include it as one component of the class.
At one time, I planned to work the various demo blocks from the class into a sampler quilt and donate it for raffle. More blocks needed to be made and a plan devised for making their various sizes work together. Too many other things had higher priority and so the blocks and fabric were relegated to the "when I have time" bin. All except this piece of redwork. It is small enough to carry around for odd moments, and since I almost always bring along some handwork when I travel, I didn't think it would take very long for it to get completed.
Unfortunately, I didn't find that I enjoyed working on it very much. I found the use of one stitch and one color thread to be tedious and boring (and yet I don't find hand quilting the same stitch with the same color thread boring). I also found that when I traveled, I wasn't quite so apt to pull out handwork in free moments. I guess I was learning at last to relax, and the redwork went in and out of luggage with nary a stitch being added for quite a while. In the meantime, it would sit on the end table by the couch and irritate me every time I spotted it.
So although my trip to spend a few days with friends was brief, I was determined to finish this while we sat talking. I was quite pleased to get something "productive" done while away from home. My new plan is to finish out the various blocks in smaller projects over time and NOT make the other three redwork crosses. This one will get a border and some quilting, hopefully before December 16 so that it can be included in an auction fundraiser. Those deadlines are sure helpful motivation.
I was also pleased to happen upon a calendar store while we were out shopping. The kind of calendar I'm inclined to hang in the studio changes each year, and has been getting harder and harder to decide upon. It was much easier when I could just pick up a quilting calendar, but these don't fit what I'm doing these days. I was delighted to find this one on fractal designs. Several quilt artists have been playing with these (check here and here for starters), and although they fascinate me, I don't think it is something I'll be pursuing. They sure provide inspiration though.
Oh, and thank you for the comments about my poor puppy. The trip was a little rough on her but she perked right up once home. The harness confuses her a bit - she can't tell when she's hooked up to the lead so just stands there patiently waiting even though I'm ready to go! If you have a dog of your own, you might be interested in this quiz (which my lovely did quite well on):