Sunday, November 14, 2010

No jingling bells to mark the passage..

 but through the darkness, Ms Winter made her way into the WI countryside Friday night. I woke at 4:30 a.m. to howling winds and sleet hitting my windows. The ground has not yet frozen to rock hardness, and it's doubtful this snow will last. Not impossible, if enough follows it. We have had years were the ground wasn't frozen under the snow. Not often, but it does happen.
 The little sentinel tree in my neighbors yard serves as a season marker for me. Gone are the golden tones of autumn. We are into the gray, drab and cold time now. Luckily I have all that I need and can hunker down and sew *VBS* I finished up the last block for the North Wind quilt top I showed on Thurs, and Friday. Not as quickly as I had hoped, but at least the 20 blocks are done now. I get a break to play! And play is something I'm good at *VBS*
 Not so good is realizing I have managed to have no less than THREE(3, yes, 3) adult style flannel quilts all started and nothing finished! These Jacks over Six are 9.5" blocks and cut from scraps, mostly trimmings from backs. I really like this block and it makes a great on-going project to piece from scraps. Just slightly harder than a straight 9 patch, it works up fast from small pieces.
And then there is this one. I remember starting it back about the time I did the homespun scraps into that little Fence Rail. This kind of row quilt is perfect for using up almost every thing, trimmings, odd blocks, HSTs...they all find a home in one row or another. Simply piece the rows, left to right, whatever width you want. You can vary the height of the rows with no ill effect. This top will have 6.5", 10" and maybe even a 12" high row. It might have one or two 4.5" or less.
So, this is all fine and good....the snow, the flannel scraps, time to sew...right? Well, I'm discovering(altho it's been a slow discovery) that it's NOT all fine and good. As I've cleaned and re-organized my sewing life, I now realize it's way out of control! I'm not saying I need to finish each thing I start, in order of starting, but I've GOT to STOP jumping into every brainstorm I get!!!
Me, myself and I argued all day yesterday, because I'm avoiding the pressing of the seams in the string quilt top I just finished up. And that's true for at least one more of the UFOs on my Focus List.
Years ago I was smart(or disciplined) enough to press as I went. Somehow I got away from that. And altho I hate what you have to do when you have a whole quilt top to press out, and have sworn NEVER to do it again, I do. I think that has a direct bearing on why I have so many UFOs.
I'm finding myself in a place where I really WANT to finish up the older beguns, except of course I want to finish them ALL up and RIGHT NOW!! I'm in a struggle to keep focus on the ones I(sort of) have chosen for this challenge...wish me luck!!
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Chris said...

Oh, Finn.
I feel your pain. That is EXACTLY what goes on in my studio. It's not pressing that stops me it is either stitching the blocks into a top but more usually, adding borders. I have hanger upon hanger of mostly finished quilt tops. I finally started setting aside a weekend where I would just finish a top and the backing, put them together on a hanger and move them to a different doorway. I even bought a rod to put in the doorway to hang them. As of last night, I have EIGHT tops and backings all ready to quilt. I don't even want to admit to how many unfinished tops I have.
That is why I am in love with this UFO challenge. Short, sweet and doable. Just tackle ONE AT A TIME.

Sara said...

Absolutely with you. Yesterday I was at the point of putting the LAST border on a top, and I just shuddered to a STOP. Couldn't do any more, because I had been doing borders for two straight days,

I decided to take 15 minutes for Play, as Victoria of BumbleBeans calls it. I dug all the GREEN strips out of my strip container
and just messed around with them. Maybe a Chinese Coins block or two?

My real breakthrough was realizing before I went to bed that I needed to put all those green strips and partial blocks AWAY. And I did it. Out of sight until I need another 15 minute break.

Today I'm back to those borders. At least I'll take one more step and cut them the right length.

Scrappy quilter said...

I can totally understand. I love finishing the tops, then I put them aside to start another. Unfortunately then I have to spend days quilting them. One of these days I'm going to change that and finish one quilt before I start something else. Are all us quilters like that I wonder!!! Hugs

Gypsy Quilter said...

That jack over 6 block is a winner. Makes me want to star another project. . . hmmm. Be careful in that slippery white stuff.

AnnieO said...

No bells ringing here, Finn! Looks like lots of fun play, love the blocks you showed. It is easy to get pulled into new projects--after finishing a quilt recently and with another already basted and ready to quilt, I started TWO new quilts with some swap blocks. But my method for piecing is to do it in batches of four or five blocks, then pressing and trimming to size. When sewing rows, I always press after each is done. That way I don't have to face a whole PILE of blocks that need pressing or trimming, or have to iron a whole quilt top, and it gets me up and moving after sitting for awhile. I'm feeling overwhelmed by my scraps just now but plan to dedicate some time over the Thanksgiving holiday to tame them. Good luck with your self-control and focus. It's HARD, I know!

Clare said...

Oh Gawd - my downfall! Don't bother quilting it now, just get on with that other top you were planning to do. The quilting can wait. Stick it in the cupboard on the hanger with the others. That's now 3 tops hanging in there waiting to be quilted and at least 2 tops in the process of being thought about. However, you'll be pleased to learn I have made a concerted effort and ma hand quilting away at least an hour a day to get one top finished before 1st January. After that I won't feel so bad about the discarded tops as I won't have time to even think about them!

I used to think ironing slowed the process down, but in the long run it saves time.


Angie said...

I love that block too, Finn. One of my very first quilt book loves was a Thimbleberries book with a quilt made in that pattern. I've worn the book out and have yet to start that block. :) And I love how you just put strips, blocks whatever together, they work out size-wise, and make a beautiful quilt. I fear I'm seriously lacking in the originality department. And if you DON'T allow yourself those '15 minutes of play' as Sara said, now, where is the fun in this quilting life of ours if we deny ourselves the 'starting' of something 'else'. :D and in the big scheme of things, what is more important? 'DONE' or 'FUN'???? I'm just saying.....LOL

anne bebbington said...

Your winter pictures always look as though it is sooo cold - hope you're tucked up keeping warm Finn

KaHolly said...

I think, Finn, that many of us suffer from the same malady. Esp. scrap quilters!!! Every year I designate 2 or 3 of those UFO's to be finished. And eventually, they get done! I have several rogue blocks, though, because I have to try everything I see. ~karen

Greenmare said...

oh my goodness me too! I want to make a quilt for everyone I know! ahhhh if I was just independently wealthy and could afford to stay home and do it I would be in heaven!

em's scrapbag said...

Wishing you luck. I think you are to hard on yourself. You accomplish so much. Find the Good. Hee hee.

ROZ said...

I love your quilt blocks--and I know what you mean about the pressing. I got desperate and bought a cutting board that has an ironing side on it, so I can put the iron next to the sewing machine, if I need to.