Monday, September 03, 2007

New Quilt Year: the First Five Days

I've managed to put some time into quilting on all five of these first days of the 2007-2008 season, and it has felt good to get my head back into some projects. I feel like I made some solid initial progress. Right on.

I concentrated my effort on four projects from my list. Or maybe that's not the right word. Maybe I dispersed my effort over four different projects from my list. Whichever. In any event, here's what I did:

The Four Seasons. "Fall" and "Winter" are basically done. I laid out a possible color sequence for "Spring," and dropped by our local fabric megastore to fill in one gap. I'll let that sit for a week or two, and then revisit the sequence to see if it still looks good.

Niece #1's Graduation Quilt. I pulled fabric -- greens and tans, largely -- to try to establish a basic color set for the piece. Again, I'll just play with the colors for a little while until they feel right, before I start doing any cutting.

Batik Stained Glass. Did a respectable amount of tedious machine quilting on this one. That's going to be a constant for a while -- lots and lots of tedious machine quilting. Lots and lots and lots of tedious machine quilting. Why do we do this, again?

Labyrinth. This was the exciting one. When I started the weekend, this 3000-piece project was still in seven pieces. Lots of pinning, and a few quick sessions of sewing and pressing, brought it to the "finished top" stage. This thing has been in the making for four years, by the way, so it's especially nice to have it reach this point. I'm cautiously happy with it. Here's a sneak preview for ya:

The Focus Question

Do you work on one thing at a time, or do you like to have several projects moving forward at once? I can see why having just a single iron in the fire would be a good idea, but I like to mix up what I'm doing in terms of cutting, pieceing, pinning, quilting, and so on. Plus, I get excited enough about a variety of quilts that it's hard for me not to be distracted from the main one I'm working on. In addition to the four quilts above, there are no fewer than four additional projects from the queue that are also kind of on my mind. Is working on eight projects simultaneously allowed?

Fabric is Yet Still Drawn to Me

My odd little streak of tripping over free fabric everywhere I turn has slowed, but not stopped. Mrs. 5000 brought me home a yard or so of a nice upholstery fabric, and maybe five yards of a very handsome linen, but she had actually shelled out a few bucks for them at a garage sale, so it wasn't really free. I found about a yard of a faded maroon solid in a free box on my Saturday run, which is not great but if nothing else will be good for machine quilting practice. So maybe my luck is winding down. But I'll still keep my eyes open.


Jennifer said...

I'm lovin' Labyrinth!

Rebel said...

WOW! That labyrinth quilt is amazing. So awesome!

Kim West said...

Labrynth is totally amazing!!!

I have about oh - 20 or so projects going on at one time so 8 - is nothing! I do, however, try to focus on 4 or so at any given time. Now that my daughter is a bit older and the room I have to quilt in is a little more exciting for her (tv, computer, etc) I can get more done.

jovaliquilts said...

Welcome to Q4P! I've met some great quilters through the webring.

Labyrinth is amazing. Just amazing. Are those all little tiny squares in there? Can't quite tell from the photo.

And as for working on one or many quilts -- definitely many. It's a hobby after all, so I do what seems fun at the time. There are occasional deadlines, of course, and other people's expectations, but I like to have a variety of different kinds of projects all in different stages -- you don't have to be good at math to know that very soon that means a large number of projects in the works.

loulee1 said...

Labrynth is amazing!
Oddly enough, I have some free fabrics coming my way too. I'm adopting someones UFO quilt.
I seem to be a one at a timer, but that may change.

Ming said...

Oh my God, you are a real male quilter! How cool is this! Maybe you can come to our place for tea tonight? haha~

Karin said...

3,000-piece quilt? Holy Tenacious Boy Quilter, Batman! Awesome!

And about all that tedious machine quilting? Just remember that not so long ago, you couldn't even do your own quilting. 'Member that? So just be happy you've learned a new way of torturing yourself to a satisfying end.

Michael5000 said...

Why thank y'all. You're very sweet.

Labyrinth is indeed roughly 3000 individual 2" squares. There was nothing tricky about the design, I just sketched on graph paper until I got a labyrinth I liked. But the logistics -- aye, there's the rub. In the fullness of time, I'll do a post about the marathon process of putting this sucker together.

@Kim & jovaliquilts: Thank you for catering to my inclination to spread myself thin! I've picked out the "second group of four" projects that I'll let myself work on when I burn out on the first set.

@Ming: Yep, I'm the real deal. But since you live in Australia, and we live in Oregon, I don't think we'll be sharing tea anytime soon. : )

@Karin: Technically, I've always done my own quilting. It's just that it doesn't suck nearly as much as it used to, now.

Andrea said...

I found your blog through Libby and have been enjoying reading about your run of luck with getting free fabric even though some people are sceptical :-) I used to just work on one quilt from start to finish 'til I discovered blogs and saw what everyone else was making and now I've turned into a "starter" - lol !

Su Bee said...

Welcome to Q4P -- how cool to have a boy quilter! I enjoyed reading your spin -- and the Labyrinth is something to goggle at, for sure!

Sarah Nopp said...

Wow- your labyrinth is really stunning. I can't wait to see it complete.
I 'like' to focus on one thing at a time. In fact I usually do. To the detriment of the project I was just previously working on LOL
So I am unsure how many irons I have going at any point.
Although, I am about to complete one quilt now. (Crossing fingers.)

meggie said...

Hi, I love your labyrinth quilt!! This is my first visit to your blog, & I am very impressed to find a male quilter. I know they are out there, but you are the first one I have 'met'.
I like to work on several different things at once. Every now & then a little voice whispers in my ear, "But what if they never get finished?" & so I laugh, & answer, "So what!" I actually do finish things when the pressure is on, or it is a gift I want to give.