Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mini Quilt Retreat

For Canadian Thanksgiving, I went home to my parents' farm in Saskatchewan.  I love it there, it's so peaceful, quiet and distraction-free.  Before this trip, I'd decided that I needed to stop calling myself a quilter.  The plan was to finish the projects I've been working on and then hand over leftover fabric (there's a lot), patterns and magazines to my mother to add to her massive collection.
This here is her collection of fat quarters (2.5 rubbermaid containers), fabric from my grandmother (large cardboard box) and batiks (another rubbermaid container).   The toys in the background belong to the grandchildren.  This doesn't include her Christmas stash, or the projects she's already got bagged with their patterns waiting to be cut into.

Why is this all spread out on their living room floor?  She had a few projects she needed to pick fabric out for.  So, while she was planning to go out and run the combine, I was supposed to pick through and make fabric matches.  One of her projects is kinda awesome.

She needs to take that little panel of the woman (beside the stuffed dog paws) and turn it into the centerpiece of a bag.  I needed to pick the fabric for it.  Unfortunately in this picture, the fabric is all buried under that tulip fat quarter that I never, ever thought we'd find a use for.  Imagine my surprise.

Anyway, my goal was to finish one specific quilt top - the one I'm furthest behind on.  I'd gotten to a point where I had stacks of pink and blue four-patch blocks sewn together (Seen here with the pattern)
I had completed one block before I'd put it away, and had the rest of the fabric cut out and waiting to be sewn up
I just needed to make it into the actual quilt top.  So I got started sewing.  (I LOVE my Mom's sewing machine!)
I love all of the fabric for this quilt.  Most of it was actually bought with other projects in mind.  The pink batik in the large squares was meant for a fantabulous pieced tulip quilt.  Unfortunately I misplaced the magazine with the pattern for it.  The orange and purple swirled batik was meant for a table runner, but it got commandeered for this project since I NEEDED to use the awesome pink batik.  Yes, it was a need.  (And I doubted that I'm a quilter?)

I got the quilt to here (love the toys lined up against the wall) before the grandchild invasion happened.  My brother and his family got out for Thanksgiving dinner and my quilt quickly turned into an obstacle course for that large truck in the background.

I think it looks pretty good though.  The yellow in the middle?  Let's talk about that.  This quilt probably would've been further along had I not made a few key mistakes.  First was assuming I had enough strips to make the large blocks so I went ahead and cut the smaller strips for the corner four patches.  I didn't.  I came up ONE block short.  What to do?  Hey!  This yellow will work!  Yeah.  It doesn't so much work as fill the gap.  But once it's all put together, there are flowers applique'd on it.  That yellow is the yellow of the flower centres (as well as the sun).  Sooooooooooooo we rationalized it.  That center piece is the sun in my flower garden.  And all of the applique'd flowers will be turned gently towards the sun.

You see it, right?  No?  Oh well, it's just going on my sofa anyway.

The pattern I used for this quilt is called Dandelion Wishes.  I took a picture of it as well because apparently I was bored.

Next time I might actually try to make the quilt in the colours pictured.  I also signed up for the quilt retreat in my home town in April.  I guess I'm not giving up quilting yet.

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