Saturday, January 24, 2009

Not giving things away - part 1

Whenever I give stuff away I get a lot of comments about how much stuff I give away and so on, and my response is always that I have loads of projects and what I give away hardly makes a dent. That is perhaps a slight exaggeration, but I thought you might find it interesting to see all the tops, sets of blocks and other UFO/WIPs which I am NOT giving away. So I braved my sewing room storage area and dug out all the things and have taken photos - this is a very photo heavy post - sorry about that! But hopefully it's a bit interesting. I also hope that it will serve as a bit of a nudge for me to actually get some of these projects finished. I did fairly well last year - didn't add to the unfinished stuff too much and did complete a few things as well, but I'd like to do even better this year.

Right. So here goes - "finished" tops first, in this post. I think I'll do separate posts for the blocks and other projects - way too long and photo intensive otherwise. And maybe even two posts for the finished tops - there are a lot (ok, 24, since you asked! Some of those are little.)

1. "Scrapbuster" quilt. 80x92". This came from a swap on Scrap Quilting Forum on Delphi back in (um, goes to check) late 2006, early 2007. We swapped blocks of 4x4 squares (the squares are 2") - unique fabrics in each block. I decided to "sash" mine with 2" black squares as well. I intend to use this as a picnic blanket, and even went so far as to look for backing fabric at the Farnham Maltings sale a few weeks back, but didn't find anything - I think I might use fleece or minke as it will make a better weight blanket, but I may change my mind and just do it the normal way. I don't really want to quilt this on my DSM as it's fairly large, but on the other hand, it seems silly to send it away to a longarmer - and my favourite longarmer is living in India at the moment, anyway, which is rather inconvenient of her. Also, it seems a lot of money to spend on a picnic blanket. So, it's in statis. I'm sure something will happen with it someday!

2. "Autumn Sampler". 66x80". 2006? I think this top came from blocks from a swap on the Quilt Shoppe Forum on Delphi, but I couldn't find it in the forum list - might just be too old to show in the discussions. Anyway, the swap was for any size or shape block, so long as it had an autumn theme, and it produced some wonderful blocks, as you can see. It took me a while to work out how to put them together, but I think the result was worth it. It has a border of vegetable fabric - like an autumn harvest, sort of. It's not been quilted yet because I'm wasn't really sure how I wanted to do it at the time, so it got stuck away until I came up with inspiration. And so it sits! Now that I look at it again, I think I will just echo around the applique and in the blocks and meander everywhere else. Maybe some leaves thrown into the meander. Nothing too complicated, but more planning required than an all-over pattern.

3. "Antique Neutrals". 66" square. Spring 2006. Again, a result of swapping - this time definitely on Quilt Shoppe Forum on Delphi Forums as I was able to find the discussion. No excuse for not finishing this one, other than inertia. I keep thinking it would make a nice wedding present for someone (which it would) but none of my friends seem to want to get married. Probably because most of them are already married. Or have been with their partners for so long without getting married that they are now unlikely to ever do so. Maybe someday I will finish it up anyway. Actually, this is a strong contender for the longarmer, when Lana gets back from India - and no, it's not really that silly to plan for something several years away, as it's already been sitting around not being quilted for several years!

4. "Bali Hai". 74" square. not sure when it was made. I got the pattern in a Christmas Scavenger swap - probably Christmas 2006, might have been Christmas 2005. But not sure when I made the top. It's all batiks and is very pretty. This would really suit an all-over pattern, but again, it's a bit big to wrestle with under the DSM, so unless someone needs a gift in the immediate future, I think this one will also wait until Lana gets back from India. And of course, even once she gets back, I can't afford to have more than 3 or 4 quilts longarmed in a single year, so... If it's a specific wedding present, that's different, but if the quilt is just being quilted either for me or to get finished "in case a present is needed" then I have to budget a bit more!

5. "Ostrich". 76" square. BQL Challenge, 2005. It's called an ostrich because it's kind of like a round robin (in that you have a different theme each month and add to the quilt in rounds) but it doesn't fly (i.e. you work on it yourself) and you had the option of "sticking your head in the sand" one month and not doing that month's challenge. I was very pleased with this top when I finished it, but at that time, it really exceeded my quilting abilities, so I didn't want to tackle it. And I was debating whether I wanted to try big stitch quilting with orange thread, or machine quilting, or what. I'm still not sure, but I do feel more confident about my quilting abilities, so might give it a go. I'm also debating adding some applique in the large blue triangle areas - celtic knotwork or something? Can't decide. So, nothing happens! It's not that I never finish anything, mind you - the BQL Ostrich for the following year, 2006, I did finish - and it hangs (sometimes) in my mother's house.

6. "Flying Pigs". 82" square. Oct 2005-Oct 2006. Another "ostrich" type project - Nesting Round Robin, they are also called. This one was on the Scrap Quilting Forum on Delphi. Each month one of the players gave an instruction as to the type or style of border. I made my quilt entirely in hand-dyed fabrics - most of them mine, a few from swaps with others. On the right is the whole quilt - or as much of it as I am able to show indoors on my bed - the twisted ribbon border is the outer border. On the left is a little more detail of the central part. If you want to see the whole thing from centre to complete top, I have an set of photos in my flickr album. Once again, this originally wasn't quilted because I didn't feel my quilting skills lived up to it. And I didn't know what I want to do with it. Still don't!

7. "Participant's Mystery Quilt" - 56x72". April 2004- Nov 2005. This was another swap (well, not a swap precisely) on Scrap Quilting Forum - each month, a player would nominate a block for everyone else to make in her own choice of colours and fabrics. I did mine all in batiks. I can't remember why now, but in the end, I only chose 12 blocks to work with from the 20 I made with the swap. Perhaps I didn't make them all. I know that I picked at least 2 or 3 not to use because I didn't think they went as well with the others. Maybe I just chose my favorites! I have vague memories of using a few of them for gifts - cushions, maybe? Anyway, this is another top which is just knocking around because I haven't bothered to do anything with it yet. No excuse really. Looking at it again, I am reminded how much I like it, so I really must do something with it soon. I even have backing and binding for it, so there's no excuse!

8. "Japanese Fans". 53" square. 2006? This quilt pre-dates my blog, but not by much, I think. It was from a swap with the Yahoo Group EuroQuilt, and the theme was Japanese fans - with oriental fabrics, of course. Once again, it was put to the side because neither Lana nor I could work out what the most sensible way to quilt it was - either by DSM or longarm. Now that another year or so has passed, I think I will probably quilt it on my DSM - the problem is that there's lots of applique and some pieces have lace and so on on them. But it's a manageable size and my quilting skills are much better than they were in 2006, so... I even have backing made for this one, so it should move up on the priority list, perhaps. I think I will try to get this one done this year for sure.

9. Hand-dyed squares. 51x72. Not sure when I did this one. Early on in my fabric dyeing days. The main problem with this quilt is that I don't really like it. I like aspects of it, but not the whole thing. I think I might take it partway apart, turn some of the blocks into a baby quilt and then get rid of the rest. I think the main thing I dislike is the pale orange fabric, so if I separated those blocks out, perhaps I would like it more! Most of the tops I had that I didn't like, I got rid of, but somehow, this one has stuck around... I do have a decent sized piece of hand-dyed fabric to use for backing if I decide to quilt the whole thing up. We'll see. Now that I've thought about it again, it can stew around in the back of my mind and perhaps it will inspire me in some way.

10. 57x69. This one I made a long time ago - probably right after I started quilting again (I did some in university, then nothing until I moved where I live now and found a neighbour who quilted). So although I don't know the date, I'd place it around the year 2000. I guess that's not "a long time ago" by some people's definitions, but it's a long time to have a quilt top sitting around. Maybe 2001, who knows. Just looked it up in another place, and apparently, it's only the centre which is that old - the borders went on in 2006. Which is still pathetic, but at least not quite as pathetic. Again, there's no real excuse for not having quilting it other than the fact that I just never got around to it. I have backing and binding for this one, too. So if I ever need yet another last minute gift...
OK, long enough - I'm going to publish this and start another post to finish the tops!


Gail said...

All beautiful! Have you considered tying your picnic quilt?

sewkalico said...

So many really lovely quilts!!! I like the hand dyed one, I think you're being hard on yourself :-)
The fans are also gorgeous - I remember that top, but my all time favourite has to be your scrapbuster! I would love to see these all in person. I'm sure I'd be going "ooh!" "aah!" LOL

black bear cabin said...

Bali Hai and the Mystery quilt are both stunning...but then, i LOVE batiks! :)
Go Kate, Go!!!

anne bebbington said...

Good to see your Ostrich face the light of day again - those large blue setting triangles are crying out like a siren for some celtic knotwork in a burnt orange colour - so much so they make my hands itch to steal it and make a start on it!

Ati. Norway. said...

Oh my goodness, what a production and all so beautiful. I wish you good luck to finish them all this year. It must give you a very good feeling to empty all those boxes when they are ready :))

Lana said...

It's all my fault...I'm sorry. On second thoughts, blame my husband!

quilting forum said...

All the quilts look nice but my favourite is the antique neutrals quilt.