Saturday, May 03, 2008

Dredging Up the UFO's

I'm going on a trip next week - headed for a weekend retreat for quilters. Everyone else will be driving there, but I will be taking the train. Thus, I will not be hauling a machine and all the other paraphenalia one usually takes to a retreat like this. There's no formal program, no workshops, no group project planned, just uninterrupted time to work on whatever one feels like working on. And of course, plenty of time to socialize, share, laugh and eat! These women, I believe, will mostly be working on traditional projects and so will I. I see it as the perfect opportunity to dig out some projects requiring handwork, things that won't take up much room in my suitcase and only require a few notions to tote along, things otherwise low on my priority list.

So much of last week was devoted to getting these projects out and seeing what needed doing before packing them for the trip. What did I really want to take along? What did I really think I'd feel like working on? How about some hand quilting? I unfolded Rhapsody and was reminded just how much I love this design by Suzanne Marshall. I'd traced a lovely feather design in the corners (see picture above), but after basting realized it was really too faint to see. It took me awhile to track down the original pattern, but once I did, I could follow the faint lines and darken them. One down!

The next project posed more of a problem and I circled it for the better part of 2 days. What I found set aside with exchange blocks and sashing/border strips did not match my memory of the applique I planned to design for them. The picture of the antique quilt that I remembered giving me the idea was no where to be found. I was thrown off guard and was having trouble taking that first step without my safety nets to refer to. Oh well, I finally realized I had to get something down on paper, and then something in color.

It's been awhile since I've fired up my Electric Quilt5 program, so I wasted a lot of time stumbling around and looking up how to make it do what I knew it could do. But it was worth it to be able to see clearly two different options and how the colors work, and to print out blocks and templates for a starting point. Below is the one I'm leaning towards, although it needs improvement still. I initially thought I'd get my design all drawn out so I could transfer it to fabric and maybe even get the applique basted in place before leaving. Now I'm just happy to have the beginnings of a plan to take with me, and look forward to fleshing it out in the company of women who no doubt will give me good advice when I wonder, should I do this or that?

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