Sunday, September 26, 2010

Progress on a UFO - The Seasons Quilt

I started this quilt more than a year ago, and had been thinking about making it for a few months before that but, almost as soon as I had started piecing it a hit some stumbling blocks and all work seemed to cease.

My quilt is based on this pattern in the second book from Material Obsession. Material Obsession: Shared Inspiration is filled with two quilts made around each theme, with one being made by both ladies from Material Obsession the store.

In the beginning the quilt seemed meant to be. I bought the book on the basis of this pattern, mostly. While I already had their first book, and really found it inspiring, I saw this one at just the right time. I had spent the afternoon at a professional development session (I am a psychologist and work exclusively in schools) learning about a program that I was to implement based on seasons.  A lot of time was spent talking about developing environment in which the group was to be run. When I saw this pattern I thought {insert light bulb picture here}. I had this lovely idea of using the quilt to set the scene and having the participants from each of the groups over the years writing or embroidering their names on the back.

I knew I would have to alter some of the colours chosen to reflect the seasonal colours represented in the program and not to use so much purple but I thought those differences were easily accommodated and it was an achievable project.
[incidentally there is so much feature purple fabric in this quilt because it is the theme of this pair of quilts in the book. It is a Kaffe Fassett print, he handed it to the girls and challenged them to come up with a design around the feature fabric, or so it says in the book]

And so I bought the fabric, choosing browns to go with all the colours was not easy but I did it. And I sewed the 'leaves' of the trees and cut out the templates for the trunks.

And then I started the applique. I didn't think it would be a problem. I already knew I generally don't enjoy hand sewing but I can do it, it is fiddly and takes time but I find if I take the time I need and don't cut the thread too long in principle it isn't that difficult. But I don't enjoy it. I really didn't enjoy sewing the trunk I have already done. The trunks have a lot of sewing in them and a lot of really narrow branches and lots of corners and curves.

And I'm stuck as to what I'll use in the wedge sashing (between the brown that I have cut out but am not that attached to) and as the border.

For the backing I'd still like to use the signature idea, maybe having a pieced back and having a strip down one side of signature blocks without signatures in them, a sash and then the rest of the back in a solid piece. But what solid piece?

I still really want to finish this quilt. The idea of how it can be used when finished is still appealing and the techniques needed to finish are within my grasp. It is the motivation to get over the mental block about the hand sewing that I need to overcome.

My plan at the moment is to finish the applique when I am stuck in the hotel in Melbourne while we are looking for a new house and I'm without my sewing machine. But then again it was my plan to finish the hand sewing when we were in Perth for a few weeks last Christmas visiting family as well.

Hopefully, inspiration will strike in the meantime about the wedges and the backing, unless any of you have any ideas....

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