Saturday, March 28, 2009

The logjam has finally broken free. The stuck has become unstuck. Water is flowing again. Whatever cheesy metaphor you want to use, use it. The fact is, finished objects have been pouring out of the studio this week. Finished quilted objects, not just knitted hats (useful as those are!).

It started with National Quilt Day last Saturday and a need to do something to mark the day. But with a table piled high with unfinished projects, it had to be something that I could reasonably start and finish in one day. Obvious choice was a baby quilt, and the Super-Sized Nine Patch was even more obvious.

I went in search of three fabrics. I got really inspired and pulled out a piece of flamingo fabric. Mingo fabric tends to be "precious," not to be squandered on mere baby quilts, but the day was right, and I realized I had hoarded this fabric for at least two years, and it was time to quit hoarding fabric that would ultimately end up in a yard sale after I die.

The other two fabrics were happy to be partnered with the mingoes and within an hour I had the pieces cut for the trio of quilts and was starting to put the first one together. By the time I quit for supper, and ultimately for the day, the first of the mingo quilts was finished except for a few feet of binding. Definitely an accomplishment for National Quilt Day.

But I still had not accomplished my goal, so Sunday saw me back at the machine finishing the binding on the first mingo quilt. With it done, it was on to quilt #2. Meanwhile I showed finished quilt #1 to Mary Jane, who promptly decided she needed two of the three for the newborn twins of one of her friends back home in Canada. (I had suggested that grandson Hunter needed some mingoes in his life, but she decided the quilt was a little too pink and a little too "girly" for Hunter). Back home to finish quilt #2, which was done by Monday and delivered.

The first two just had a flannel backing and no batting. I decided since #3 was to be saved for a future need it could be different, so it got batting and a cotton backing. It was done somewhere around Wednesday. It then acquired a rust stain from the iron as I was giving it a final smoothing, which then meant waiting for a sunny day so I could apply lemon juice and salt to the stain; that finally happened yesterday, so it is now washed and dried and waiting for a baby that needs it.

But then of course, that left Hunter without a blankie. On an expedition to the quilt shop on Monday I found a perfect piece, and bought a yard. Of course, since the print was directional, I should have bought an extra quarter to do the Super-Sized Nine Patch, but I didn't realize it was directional until I got it home and laid it out on the table. That meant coming up with a Plan B, but a very simple Plan B, since the same expedition resulted in the acquisition of a very large amount of fabric destined for a Double Wedding Ring quilt that needs to be finished on a deadline.

The result of Plan B is here:

I finally finished it today, all the way to a label on the back. It turned out quite nicely for a little boy with musical parents (his daddy plays guitar and his momma plays piano). His daddy's favorite color is orange, and there is orange in the print, so that was an obvious choice (the same color is on the back). The red has musical notes printed on it. And the other fabrics are just happy baby colors and prints. It was quick and easy and I hope Hunter enjoys it this summer.

I was also happy to see that Princess, the new ruler of the household, has taken on the job of nap-testing quilts:

This was mostly Callie's job, although Buster was quite capable at it. But since their departure, there was no resident nap-tester (Bart is more into yarn than fabric things). She immediately came to see what I was doing when I was trying to get pictures of Hunter's quilt, and knew immediately that she was to get in the middle of the quilt. Getting her to sit still long enough for a picture was not easy, but I suspect that this will change as she gets older.

Hunter's quilt was finish #4 for the week. After months of finishing nothing quilted, this was a major accomplishment. But the day was not over, and there is still a rather large pile of unfinished objects cluttering up the studio that need to disappear if I'm ever going to work on a gigantic DWR. So work continued.

The next closest project was this kitty cosy:

I had made a couple of these for Buster's carrier while he was making regular trips to the vet, Andrea, and he really liked them. So I decided to make some for Andrea to use at the clinic. This is a "biscuit quilt"; each square is individually stuffed with polyfill, then the squares are sewn together, and I've added an extra layer of batting between the "biscuits" and the backing. This one shows definite lack of planning in the arrangement of colors, but I know the kitties won't care, and it's off the table. They're not exactly a speed project, but they do use up scraps, and they serve a useful function. And Princess has already checked this one out and has certified its "nap-ability."

Five finished objects in one week. I know that's a record for me. But it feels so good to have something to actually take pictures of and talk about for a change. I'm still working at clearing the decks for the DWR. Next in the pipeline was the election quilt, and I made some progress on it before I quit for the day. I'm going to continue to work through the projects on the table at least through Monday, and possibly one more day (starting the DWR on April Fool's Day seems amazingly appropriate). Whatever isn't done then will have to be stashed away. I'm hoping that there will be very little to stash, and more pictures here.