Here's the next "finish" project, the one I alluded to as my next work-on-while-watching-the-news handwork. It was started in a Suzanne Marshall workshop which featured one of the blocks from her award-winning quilt "Rhapsody", probably around 2002. I didn't start blogging until 2006, where I found a post about it when the applique was complete and I was readying it for quilting. In that post, I talk about the value of working from patterns, and as I reread what I said, I find I still feel the same and I think it's worth a read. You'll also find links to both Suzanne's website and a photo of her Rhapsody quilt.
The only other post about it is in 2008, where I was planning to take it along to a retreat since I couldn't take my machine. Apparently, I'd not touched it since the 2006 post when I was marking a feather pattern in the corners. They were so faint that I had to find the pattern for the feather so I could remark it darker.
I vaguely remember quilting on it a bit during the retreat but I think most of my time was spent prepping the applique on sashing for a different quilt. I know I quilted on it after the retreat, getting those corner feathers done and starting the quilting along all those applique pieces, but there's no more mention of it in the blog that I can find, although if I wanted to take the time to leaf through my engagement calendars I could track down my progress and the last time I actually worked on it. What I do know is that it has sat in this hoop-on-a-stand in a part of my livingroom with a sheet thrown over it for protection since I moved into my current rental in 2012 - there was no where else to "store" it. So this UFO is not a case of out of sight, out of mind, as I saw it every day, while sitting on the sofa watching tv, passing by it on my way to the front door or the stairs to the second floor. For whatever reasons, lame or valid, it has awaited my return in a patient daily stare. Wait no more.
It has been so long since I've hand-quilted on anything that I wondered how it would go. Would everything feel foreign and awkward? Would I even be able to track down my tools and thread? Turns out the latter was more difficult than to get back into the rhythm of rocking the needle through the sandwich. Were those first stitches nice and even and not too large? Well, of course not! But not nearly as awful as I expected, and getting better with each session. I've gone around those teardrop shapes above the blossoms and up the left side of the stem and calyx of the central flower. When I make it around all the applique, I believe my intent was to fill the background with a 1/2 inch crosshatch. Lots more to do before it's ready to hang on the wall.
By the way, I have the patterns for all the other blocks in Suzanne's Rhapsody quilt. We had the opportunity to purchase them individually or as a set and the practical part of me said, "You'll never get around to making any more of these, let alone all of them," while the also somewhat practical part of me said, "But if you don't buy them now, there no doubt there will come a day when you regret it, ready to make more and the patterns no longer available!" And truly, I do think the chance of me making even one more of these gorgeous blocks is pretty slim, yet I don't regret hedging my bets.