Sunday, March 04, 2007

I rethunk it

I've left Happy Days near the machine for the past week or two waiting for me to frog stitch it. I finally decided I'd count it as a learning experience and bind it. It's bound and washed and I may give it to DD to put on the bed in the basement to cheer up the room. I have way too many other fish to fry to unstitch the whole thing!

Yesterday was our yearly mini-retreat. A friend by the name of Melody organizes this every year -- it's held at our little town of Byron's Prairie Center, which is a museum, two floors of meeting rooms and a little kitchen -- it's rented out for birthday parties and weddings, etc -- and relatively cheaply. We commandeer the main room on the main floor with the little kitchen in it. (There may be another kitchen in the basement -- not sure about that!). Anyway -- the views are spectacular of the surrounding countryside and prairie -- in the summer there are tons of wildflowers flourishing in the area. There's also a walking path which takes you down by the mighty Rock River -- hope to get back to walking there in the spring. There's also an Heritage Farm (an old farm-museum). And the whole thing is adjacent to the very nice golf course. This whole thing is run by the Byron Park District. Anyway -- the room is set up with tables next to all the windows and plenty of outlets for sewing machines. Melody brings barbecue and buns and chips, someone else brought a salad, and someone brought donuts, and cookies and cupcakes, and chocolate, lots of chocolate. Half of the attendees are Byron quilters/crafters and the other half are relatives of Mel's from Wisconsin. She's been organizing this for about 4 years now. I've gone every time -- it's really a wonderful day spent quilting and catching up with everyone. I brought some hand applique this time so I didn't have to haul the machine and because I didn't have anything prepped to piece anyway! I actually got a lot done on my windblown tree applique -- an ongoing project of about 4 or 5 years now! I haven't worked on it in over a year, so at this rate it will be a couple more years of the mini-retreat to finish!

While I was re-thinking Happy Days, I've also been re-thinking my ufo's. Today I pulled out most of them and made some hard and fast choices. Some are tops ready to be quilted and they went back into the drawer. Some were partially started projects that I knew I'd never finish because I no longer like them -- so I salvaged the fabrics I wanted to keep and tossed the rest. Some are partially finished projects that are just plain ugly -- some of the "what was I thinking" fabric. Those are waiting in a pile to be cut up for scraps (like Bonnie says -- if it's still ugly, you haven't cut it small enough!) Some are projects I completely forgot about. I have a stack of smaller tops -- table covers, table runners, and maybe lapsize quilts that I mostly designed myself, but didn't have time to quilt them, so they got added to the piles of ufo's. I have some really ugly ones in that stack, but I'm going to finish them to use as practice on the longarm. I have found that the stuff I really liked in all of these piles were all scrappy projects! The ones that were "planned" fabrics didn't catch my eye as much. Anyway, I have a pile of tops laying across the counter stool in the kitchen and I spent the afternoon adding a border to one top and increasing the size of the pieced backing for it and making a binding -- 1 top, backing and binding pressed and waiting to be quilted. I did backings and bindings for 3 others and I had one already done and waiting, so I have a total of 5 quilts of various sizes pressed and ready to pin on the longarm! Yay, me. I still have a pile of tops in the kitchen, but I'll work at them a bit at a time. And I no longer have a pile of ufo's that don't have a purpose -- I whittled down the list and prepped some to finish soon.

I also decided to buy a wide backing fabric for the Hour a Day/Quilt of Valor. I'm going to do a Stars and Loops pantograph (by Linda V. Taylor that came with the machine) on it, bind it and get it in the mail this month. I ordered some "Stars and Stripes" variegated thread that will be here tomorrow and I hope to get the backing tomorrow, or at least by Wednesday and then get it quilted this week. Tuesday is my second class at the Quilt Center.

Getting rid of some of the ufo's that were bugging me -- clears the slate.
Leftovers for dinner -- easy cooking.
Friends and family.
Catching up with old friends at the mini-retreat.


Norma said...

I am glad you decided to bind Happy Days and put it to use. You know that a famous quilter once said, "It isn't a mistake if you can't notice from the back of a galloping horse!" I don't see anything wrong with Happy Days at all. It is a very cheerful quilt! Enjoy!

Rebecca said...

I really like this quilt too. But if you give it to somebody then it won't bother you all the time! :)


Dona said...

Your retreat sounds like a lot of fun. Happy Days turned out lovely. So bright and cheery.