Assessment Time

I’ve been a bit under the weather with a cold, so I haven’t really felt like starting a new project right now. But having finished the purple and red projects, I thought this might be a good time to take a look at my UFO pile–maybe with an eye to elimination of some of them. Very unlikely that I will throw away a quilt top, but I could easily pass it on to my guild for a charity quilt. And, yes, I will feel guilty about not finishing it myself for our charity, but sometimes you simply cannot embrace a project enough to finish it!

I have pics of lots of UFO’s—that are still UFO’s! Most are samples for classes when I was teaching other people’s designs, so they are pretty old. I’ve been doing only my own thing for at least 8 years now, so they are at least that ancient!

This is one of the first improv-originals that I started with.

There are some like the one below that may actually see the inside of a waste basket…or maybe it’s another one that I can pass on to someone who loves purple!

This one is less than a year old and ready to quilt….and sits in the pile, neglected.

And that’s just completed tops!

There are more and this time I am trying to be very realistic in my assessments. If I truly cannot see myself finishing them, I need to unburden myself. There is at least one that I really love and yet…it sits. That is a prime candidate for ‘quilting by check.’

And in the back of my mind, there are two new project ideas swirling around. They are pressing to become priorities, but I’m trying to hold back. Soooooo much UFO guilt that I need to get rid of…………………………………………..sigh!



Go and not go…

Often life is simply waiting for the paint to dry…I thought I wanted this dark background for this piece, but now I’m second guessing that decision.

It may end up like this because I don’t want to get out the paint again and make any more decisions about color right now!

I stocked up on canvases (is that the correct plural?) and decided to label them as long as I had the paint out for the larger canvas.

I have two screens with my logo, one quite large and one pretty small. I think I need to order a medium, too, but this is what I do with them.

I also use them on fabric to make labels for pieces that are not placed on canvas or that are too small for the screens to fit.

Feels like a good day’s work when I see the stack of finished canvases!

Ready to go!

Abundant paralysis

Too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing! I wanted to work with black and white today and I knew that I had a ton of scraps from at least 2 previous black/white/red quilts that I had made.

And the scraps were all together in one place! I felt super-organized. And then I started spreading them out on the table,

sorting through them and they kept spreading and spreading…

And these were only the scraps! I have a bit more on the shelves, too.

The scraps mostly had text, but some were pieced nine patch blocks and there was even a diamond already pieced.

With so much more than I had anticipated, I couldn’t figure out what to make with them. I had planned on using them up in another small art piece, but I have enough for ANOTHER entire quilt, with only the scraps!

So I resorted to the only logical course of action. I put all the black and white away and did a thread sketch!

And quilted yesterday’s small quilt. (No pics of that. I spray basted it and I always wash after basting, so it’s in the wash now!)

Obviously with so much black and white fabric from which to choose, I MUST have a definite plan in place before I get them out again. As my dad always said, “Plan your work and work your plan.”

I’d better get planning!

Little bits of finishes

This year’s Artisan Showcase is fast approaching and I need to finish up whatever pieces I can. Occasionally I mine through the stacks of fabrics that clutter up my worktable and organize what I find. A pile of ‘to be finished’ pieces grows on one corner and I sometimes admit to myself that there are pieces that will never make it to a finished afterlife! Deadlines are the motivators for going through that pile and actually doing the final finishes.

This piece is the cornerstone of  my unfinished pile.

It was a challenge piece from my Knot Even Quilters group and was finished for a show deadline. Unfortunately,  it was too big to be hung in the available space. I don’t want to take it apart and return the sections to their owners yet, because I would like to find at least one venue for it!

I got another piece close to the finish line…just needs a label and the sleeve sewn down!

It was originally going to have a bunch of beads on it, but I fell out of love with that idea. I finished it up with machine quilting, sewed a sleeve on it and now it only needs a label. Done!

And I can’t resist one more photo and a detail of my little village. It’s actually hanging on my  wall as I’m writing this. It’s just so cute and I really, really love it.

There will be more of these little villages in my future!

But it’s the weekend which is grandson time. I’m much more concerned with quality time with him than I am with any pile of unfinished art pieces or deadlines!

But those deadlines are still there, so I do hope to have a few more finishes next week….


Moving ahead

There was progress made in the studio today, but it did not come easily!

Planned on getting all those canvases wired up and ready to hang today. See that drill with no battery pack? I have TWO batteries for it and both of them were dead as a doornail. Delay number 1.

Thought I would relax and quilt a bit while the battery was charging, but that didn’t work out so well , either.

I finished it later in the day, but I broke two needles in the first 15 minutes of working on the background. Thread was catching on the spool and when I got that adjusted, there was a cut spot in the thread so I had to unroll through that…………..sigh! But at least I did finish it. I’m going to add some small beads to this one.

This is the stack of stuff that needed to get ready to go to an exhibition. I needed to get these ready, at the very least. Time was getting short, so I had to screw on the hanging hardware by hand—-oh, the rigors of manual labor!

See the green and black piece on top? 30 minutes before it was to be picked up, I took it off a hanger and discovered that I had NOT made a sleeve for it! Seriously? How lame is that? Thought it was ready to go. I did a quick search in my scrap basket because I thought I had an unused sleeve there–and I did! Phew! Quickly cut down to size and then I pinned it on. Good enough for this exhibition and if someone wanted to actually buy it, I’d be happy to put a real sleeve on it! And ready before the girls came to pick up the stuff. Hooray!

And as I sighed in frustration from a broken needle, my gaze crossed an older, unfinished piece on the design board and I had a lightbulb moment on how to proceed. Much of the problem I had with it was solved with machine stitching, rather than more of the hand stitching I started with, which you can’t see well in this photo. Sometimes letting things sit in time out is the way to find a solution.

Finally, I was able to really relax and the rest of the planned screws and wires can wait until tomorrow. I made this little piece for an example of fabric manipulation and I’m going to use it without any additional stitching, but I’m going to add beads. It’s only a 6″ piece so I’m hoping I can handle it without any more delays or issues!

Today was another case of the hurrieder I go the farther behind I get. Looking for better results tomorrow!

And every day until Oct. 14, this will be on my mind!

Tired of paint!

I’m really getting tired of waiting for paint to dry, but unfortunately, that’s where I’m at right now!

Part of the finishing process is mounting my work on canvas and all that canvas needs to be painted.

And then all the canvases need to have hanging hardware attached.

And if I’m not doing that, I’m adding sleeves and labels! Final finishing details are so incredibly boring…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

I did decide to use the little birdhouses on this piece instead of the buttons. Those buttons will find a place in another piece soon, though!

That’s the extent of my creative endeavors for this weekend! So boring—can’t wait to get back to creating something fun!

Gosh-I made a decision!

Many decisions are hard for me and I put them off as long as possible…it’s that I always see so many ‘what ifs’ and when a decision is made, that eliminates all the other possibilities. That’s a momentary sadness, but also a victory for moving forward!

This decision was aided by your input and I am going to finish each one of these pieces separately.

Which then involved some more decisions about edge finishes, final size and canvas paint color…mostly resolved when I found this great silk recycled yarn with which to finish the edges.

ALL the colors and thin enough that it wouldn’t overwhelm the pieces.

I especially loved the fuzzier bits! Decided on a nice deep brown paint for the canvases, after considering mounting the pieces on burgundy cotton or brown wool. I’m waiting for the paint to dry now before I mount the pieces and then I will actually have some total finishes for the upcoming Artisan Showcase.

Progress comes in little steps and I am continuing to take those steps, one after another! Soon I will have them done, right? Right?

I keep saying that, but then I start something new. It is a good thing when you never run out of projects or ideas….