[If you happen to be related to me, you probably shouldn't read this post until after May, 2008.]
This Saturday and Sunday just past was probably the last big quilting weekend of the 2007-08 Season. Longtime readers will recall that the Quilt Year, in my world, begins with the first Oregon Ducks football game in September. Since I generally listen to at least two college football games every weekend throughout the season, the autumn months are when I make the most dramatic progress. Things typically slow down in December due to Christmas preparations, pick up again for January and February, then start to lose steam about, well, now.
There are lots of reasons for the slowdown, but the biggest is that spring in Oregon starts around Valentines Day. Outdoor recreation, work on the house, travel, and the garden all start to make their demands on the weekends, and within a month or two they'll want my time after work as well.
That doesn't mean that I'll stop dead in my tracks, though. I used to not touch quilting at all from Mayish to August, but I those days are pretty much gone. Still, progress is likely to be a lot slower, more putter-ish, and with no whole weekends given over to a particular quilt project.
So, as we enter the slack half of the year, it seems like a good time to look back at the goals I set at the beginning of the season and see how I did. Here goes.
The three quilts I was most bound and determined to finish this year were Ice & Fire, Labyrinth, and the high school graduation quilt for Niece #1. The first two are safely and completely finished; I've submitted them both for my guild's annual show, where I'm confident they'll be accepted, and submitted Labyrinth to the Pacific Northwest Quilter's Association biennial show in Seattle, which I'm much less confident about. We'll see!
The graduation quilt was the focus of this last weekend. I finished its quilting, which was only about 1/3 done at the start of the weekend, and made and attached the binding. It still has quite a bit of handwork to be done, as I bury the threads, seal the binding, and attach a sleave, so there will be a few movies in my near future. It should be done in time for me to enter it in the show of a neighboring quilt guild, up in Vancouver, Washington, before I send it up to Alaska. Since I warned the fam off up at the top of the post, and since I doubt my neices spend too much time hanging out on their uncle's quilt blog, I'll give you a quick shot here of the graduation quilt, still with all of its shaggy threads hanging out all over.
SECOND & THIRD PRIORITY
There were three quilts that I listed as being my second priority back in August. It turns out I haven't touch any of them since. I guess I had a change of priorities.
There were four quilts I called my third priority, and I made good progress on three of them. What I'm now calling "Devil's Claw," although that name is in flux, went from being a vague wish to do something with the old blocks I'd found to being a complete quilt face. I also completed faces for the last two of a set of Four Seasons that I've been puttering with for ages. These two projects continue to capture my imagination, and will likely be ones that I make some progress with over the summer. It would be nice to put "Devil's Claw," in particular, in some fall shows.
The other third priority quilt was Two Complex Shapes, which I completely requilted to good effect. I trotted it out for show and tell and the guild earlier this month, where it had an interesting love-it-or-hate-it effect. I got a few compliments, but as I was showing it a few people were only a few notches short of heckling (I followed it with Labyrinth, though, which shut them up pretty effectively). I'll put it in a few smaller shows later in the year, I think.
Well, finishing work on the graduation quilt is the main thing. Tinkering with Devil's Claw and Four Seasons will probably occupy a few summer hours. A couple items from my Second Priority list -- a scrap utility quilt and something called Batik Squares -- will probably finally get some attention. And then there is the plan I keep refering to with the code named "QuiltStorm 2008," a project to make a large number of simple lap quilts from scrap and recycled materials. That should be fun.
The summer months are also a good time to do non-quilt sewing, the little garment work I do and the baby's blocks I like to make. There's some mending piled up. And... I am almost afraid to mention it... there has been some design work for a Labyrinth #2. Maybe I'll explore that in the coming months, or maybe not. We'll see.
Lastly, some time in August, I'll do the very last thing I need to do every quilt year. That, of course, is to draw up a list of goals for the coming quilt year.
Do you do more quilting in the colder and darker half of the year? Are you happy with your progress over the winter?