I guess today was the payoff for the past two days, because today things began to come together. The work I had planned on the Christmas gift project is nearly done; I have about 2 more hours work on that and I will be where I want to be at the end of the retreat. In the course of the piecing today I got out the "leaders and enders" project I had worked on while I was piecing the DWR; I have a plan for those blocks when I have enough of them, so it made more sense to stick those blocks in the string instead of pieces of waste fabric. I kept having to stop and add more fabric to them, so it made sense that the "real" project was getting done too.
I also took advantage of a nice sunny afternoon and decent light to work on the Tilted Stars. I think it's at the stage where I'm ready to call the layout "done." I can see places where I might tweak it, but it's going to be hard to come up with a layout where two blocks of the same fabric aren't at least in the same neighborhood. And the overall effect looks balanced. So it's time to quit obsessing about getting it perfect and just start putting it together. It's a kid's charity quilt after all; perfection is not a requirement. I'll take it down from the wall in 4x4 sections, photograph the sections as I lay them out on the flannel board, and hope to get them put together the same way I have them laid out now. I make no guarantees, knowing me. But I can at least try.
I did another stint on the DWR, also taking advantage of good daylight. I'm nearly to the next corner, another marker of progress. I think the plan to quilt close to the edge, then bind the quilt and secure the edges is still a good one. Maybe with forward progress on a nearly daily basis I can get there by the end of February.
That leaves just the spring wall hanging untouched of the projects planned for this weekend. And in a moment of serendipity, there was a segment on ruching on "Sewing with Nancy" this morning, a technique I have thought about incorporating into the quilt. I suspect I will not get to this project until Monday, because there will not be a lot of sewing time tomorrow, and I will probably use it to move the Christmas project off the list. Ultimately I think it will be a process of auditioning things and making choices. That means trusting my creative instincts, always difficult for me. On the other hand, I'm getting tired of seeing this at the top of my UFO pile; I'd much rather see it finished and hanging on the wall.