The upward trek

The photography makes this look ghastly.  It really is much prettier in real life.

I've been working on the top panel for the Roseville Album Quilt.  It doesn't look like much but I've already spend a lot of time.  The house is in the center of the panel with two trees on each side.  The one tree with only 3 leaves looks pretty scrawny but it will end up with multiple leaves, long stems, and an abundance of fruit.  I can't decide if the fruit is supposed to be dates or coconuts.  Regardless of what they are supposed to be - I'll be using much more colorful fabric to represent the fruit.

I'm on the final border for my charm quilt.  This should have only taken me about 2 weeks to quilt using the big stitch but here I am almost 2 months in and it's just finishing up.  I'm having a hard time making myself go downstairs and stitch.  It has something to do with the heat.  The unusually miserable heat. . .

I cut out a scrap quilt last week so I would have a leader/ender project.  After it was all cut out I had to laugh at myself because I have no quilt I'm in the process of piecing.  This is it.

The scrappy bear's paw is from Miss Rosie's Spice of Life Quilts book.

I'm using a very random mix of FQs that I had stuffed in a drawer.  I have won FQs at various times through the years at my quilt club.  It seems like 2 or 3 times a year I win a drawing or someone is passing out FQs for part of their presentation.

Anyway, none of these fabric really go together and they are not all quilt store quality but it's a scrap quilt.  That's what scrap quilting is all about, isn't it.

The cute scrappy Bear's Paw block is below.  Miss Rosie has a different set of instructions for cutting out than I am used to.  It's taken me a little while to figure it out but I think I've got it down, finally.

I had a big piece of white kettle cloth (I don't know what they call it now) from the 80's or 90's that I'm cutting up for the neutral in this quilt.  It will be a good use for it.

I've also started a new cross stitch project for fall.  I've wanted to make this sampler for years, the pattern came out in 2011.  I found the sparkly gray Aida and then aged it all for a while.  The cloth isn't long enough to make the whole sampler so until I decided what to do instead, the pattern and cloth when into a box up on a shelf.

I love the sparkly cloth and hate the thought of not using it.  So I finally made myself make some decisions.  I picked out the colors I like, not all are the ones suggested.  I decided to shade the pumpkin differently than the original pattern (below)

And, I am only going to stitch the Halloween Eve part down.  I'm not going to stitch the alphabet and now I have enough cloth to get the most important part (the bird, pumpkin, and cat) all stitched.

Why do we take so long to decide. . . ?

Yesterday the question for the designers to answer on the Moda Blockheads BOW was "Do you wash your quilts?"

When I read Lisa Bongean's answer about never washing her wool quilts I wasn't surprised but, it made me realize that I don't make wool quilts for that very reason.  My quilts are made to be used.  And if that use requires cleaning then I want to make sure that can be done without ruining the quilt.

It's something we all have to decide.  How are we going to use the finished project?

Don't get me wrong, I think the wool quilts are wonderful.  But, I guess I think the wall hangings are even better because they can be tossed into the dryer on low (like Lisa suggested) and get clean without any problem.

What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said…
Great idea to shortened the pattern and use what you have on hand. It will look frighteningly beautiful. Yes, why do we make decisions so difficult and take so long. Love the big stitch. Some thing I would like to do on a KimDiehl Bittersweet quilt. It in the queue.

Dotti in CT
Karen said…
The Roseville Album requires a lot of stitching time but you are sticking with it. I look forward to the finished quilt top. I have a pattern set for the Mary Brown basket quilt. I think it will take a lot of time too but have no idea when I will do it.
Janet O. said…
Good progress on the applique, and the hand quilting. I think two months--even for big stitch--is wonderful!!
How funny that your leader/ender project didn't have a project to lead or follow. I can send you something. : ) I like your project, no matter what role it fills.
Nice solution to the short Aida cloth problem.
I have heard Lisa talk about not using her wool quilts on beds, and not washing them. I only make wool projects that can hang on my walls, so I never make large wool quilts. I don't have wall space to hand a large quilt.
Janet O. said…
That was supposed to say "hang", not "hand". : )
Nancy said…
Love your colors and the pattern for this new quilt you're starting. I guess it can be its own leader/ender? I think your big stitches look so beautiful and perfect and I think two months is quick to finish a whole quilt, even with big stitches. I'm with you about not using wool: I want to be able to toss my quilts into the washer and dryer. I was at a quilt shop a few weeks ago and admired a quilt on the wall. It had wool applique on it and the quilter was sitting at a nearby table. When I asked her about washing and drying it she said she thought there would be no problem since all the wool had been washed and dried before. My personal experience with wool is that it continues to shrink. I use cotton and sometimes cotton/linen.
My you have been busy despite the heat! I find I don't do as much hand quilting in the summer wither as it is just too hot for me! Your Roseville Album blocks are so beautiful! As for the wash or not wash question, I have the same feeling you do about my quilts. They are made to be used and if I can't wash them, it would create a big problem. I have made several wool quilts and I wash them all. I do pre-wash my wool fabric which helps and I wash all my quilts in cold water with no agitation. I also use wool batting a lot. Almost always in fact in my hand quilted quilts. I do not prewash the batting and I have never had a shrinkage or distortion problem. If it puffs slightly after it is dry, I simply press it flat again. That is the beauty of wool. Have a great day!
terry said…
I too read Lisa's blog on washing wool quilts and gave pause. Over the years I have made several quilts that contain wool applique ala Cheri Payne. Most are hanging on walls throughout my house. I have never washed any of them - what I do is "occasionally" dust them off with a feather duster. Some were done in the 1990's such as the ABC sampler and are doing okay. However, I have noticed that some critters have nibbled on some of the wool, but for the most part, they are doing okay. The nibbles sort of add to the "primitive look". Ha....

Terry in So. Calif.

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