Monday, September 20, 2010

My AWOL Project

I thought I had finished my 'report' about AWOL....but I've been asked to show the project I worked on at my weekend retreat. Other people finished a lot of projects, but me, No. I began a project. One that will not be finished until maybe the next AWOL. You never know, though, I might be quicker than usual on this one. It's my usual combination of quilting and embroidery.
Since I work by hand, and most others are constantly revving up their sewing's just natural, if you ask me, that I am slower to finish a piece of work. Well, that's my excuse anyway!

If you did manage to find my red featherweight sewing machine in the last group of photos, then you know I did speed up my process a little bit. The squares were pieced on that machine and the borders were sewn on that way too. With one exception....the outside edge of the curved border is hand appliqued.

If you will remember from a previous post, these fabrics were given to me by my friend, Susan. They were LEFTOVERS from a quilt she made her mother. Lucky for me, she brought the leftovers to me at our last group meeting. The only fabric that wasn't included in that batch is the curved border fabric.

I TRIED to do random squares. It is very difficult for me to do anything randomly. It's just not in my brain to work that way. I can only wish. So, this is the best I could do. I wanted to use as many of her fabrics as I could, but also wanted to embroider on the plainest ones so the embroidery would show. It turned out that I could embroider on seven of the squares, so I chose seven embroidery motifs from the patterns Susan also gave me. I got four done while at the retreat.

The quilt has mitered corners. I tend to miter my corners using applique. It just works for me.
Some people look at me as if I'm crazy...but that doesn't bother me at all. So, here's a photo of a corner of the quilt. Make whatever judgements you like.

I've also included a closer photo of the appliqued border. I know you are noticing that I've marked the embroidery with one of those blue washable pens. Yes, I realize half the people reading this, if not all, will have a heart attack over that statement. I was questioned about it at the retreat. All I can say is....1) I need to SEE what I am going to stitch so they help me do that...2) I've used them since they were first available way back in the late 70's, early 80's.
3) I've sewn many, many things since these pens came out and have never had an issue with them. 4) I think it's because I wash every single item made using these pens in the washing machine. If really small, I wash them in the sink. Carefully. You cannot remove the ink just by blotting with a damp towel and such. So, consequently, I am still using the pens. IF I had any qualms about using them, as on specialty fabrics and such, I would take a scrap and test first.
And, I would NOT use them on fabrics that are NOT washable.

A word about the embroidery designs in this quilt....the motifs in the squares, the bow and birds at the top are included in the pattern Susan gave me. (I'm going to move the birds around a bit before I do the embroidery.) The border design is one of my own, drawn 'by the light of the moon...probably after midnight" when I get so much more done than in the daytime. I also have to add some little bows to the corners which will be from that pattern. Gosh, I love doing this kind of stuff!!!

And, one more little item. Sometimes friends (and new acquaintances) seem to get the idea I do everything perfectly. On the contrary. And, just so you know this.....I'm telling a secret. While adding the borders onto the the retreat....I really mismeasured those borders. So, when I got home and put this quilt on my working wall...I realized it would never lie flat! Don't you just hate doing that? Me too. So, yesterday, I took the borders off, remeasured correctly, and sewed them back on. They are now nice and neat and flat! So much for talking and laughing and having fun at AWOL. But, you know, I wouldn't give that up for perfection...not at all.

This little quilt may not be finished until the next retreat in April. But working on it whenever I can will remind me of Susan, for her generosity and friendship, and my friends at the retreat who gave me fun memories I can fondly recall as I embroider and quilt it. I'm very lucky. Take care out there. pat


Amy said...

I LOVE it! It's so beautiful! I can't wait to see it completely finished!!!

fiberdoodles said...

Well Pat, if "some of us" would have let you have five minutes to yourself to do it right the first time ;0) It's amazing and will look absolutely wonderful when ever you get the chance to finish.

Vivian said...

Hey Pat, I know what you mean about randomness. I have to lay out and think about every block. Don't want any of the same color too close together. Oh no, I have 2 fabrics of the same color in the same row. And on and on and on. I just need to loosen up.

Love your mitered corners and can't wait to see it finished. If you wait until the next AWOL retreat, maybe I'll be there. Have a great day and thanks for sharing.

Peonies & Magnolias said...

Gorgeous and it will be well worth the wait to have it finished. Love the colors and what great scraps to receive, the curved embroidery part is fantastic. Have a wonderful week.


Maggie Ann said...

That is very pretty, and I like how you explain things in your posts....

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.