Thanks for dropping by to take a look at some of my thoughts and ideals. Hope you will let me know if this has been helpful, useful, inspiring or whatever, and remember to come back soon.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why is it taking me so long to finish this???

There are so many different ways to make quilts that it is really hard sometimes to decide which project to start next.  Sometimes projects are just so time consuming that I find them difficult to complete.  It isn't that they are not pretty, it isn't that I have made some kind of error that just ruins it for me and it isn't really because I want to have another unfinished quilt laying in my stack of to do projects, they just take so long and I have a desire to complete something, or see something that I want to do now!  I'm so sure that none of you experience the same type symptoms (tongue in cheek).  The fact is that we are all human and sometimes we just pick a project that is larger than our attention span.  (I have a few of those.)  Through my few years of quilting I have learned that there are some projects that I just don't need to start, and there are some that if the size is adjusted then perhaps I would have some hope of finishing.

I have one project that I have been working on (I should say working on and off) that is just one of those that I want to finish, I love what I am doing and the meaning, it's just too darn big.  I wish I had gone with something smaller.  What inspired me to start this was a class I took and in one short class, (4 hours)  I basically completed my project of a small wall hanging.

I really had a lot of fun creating this in a class I took a few years ago.
Lots of great machine quilting and completed in just a few hours.

This was really a wonderful class and we spent the majority of the time doing the machine quilting on this piece.  Actually most of the class was the quilting and quilting is one thing I love.  Every leaf has a different quilting pattern as does each of the different sections of background and the borders.  All the different patterns were really neat to learn.

I was so enthused about how quickly the project went together that I immedately when home and finished the project and the started looking around for what I wanted to do next using the same technique.  Here are some of the things I did not take into consideration when I dove into my new project.

1.  When you do a class project you typically already have the fabrics that are going to be used or they are supplied for you in addition to any special supplies such as bias tape, fusables and spray adhesive or whatever is required for the project.

2.  If the fabric is supplied then typically the pieces are already cut for you, or at least they are rough cut so most of your class time is not spent at the cutting board.

3.  The pattern is supplied in a ready to use format.

Okay, lets start with number 3.  The pattern.  I now have the know how and want to pick a pattern.  I had been told where to look for patterns.  This was not something you could run out to the quilt store and purchase.  The advise was to purchase a coloring book and pick your pattern from the pictures in a coloring book.  That is a great ideal.  I now know that I could have picked dozens of patterns that would have made wonderful blocks for a quilt and would have been really easy to complete.  I could have even used the blocks in a Georgia Bonsteel type configuration and had the blocks all quilted and then put them together.  I could have made an awesome quilt in just a few days!!  I actually found the pattern I wanted to use in a relatively short time in a coloring book with Christmas scenes.  I chose a nativity scene.  Since I collect nativity sets I thought this would be wonderful.  I still think it would be wonderful.  Of course the next step was enlarging the pattern to the size I wanted which was large!!  This I managed on my copy machine by coping portions of the page enlarging them as I went to the size I wanted, then I had to tape all the pages together.  I believe I have something like 40 pages tapes together for this project.  Needless to say this took quite a bit of time to complete.  It was like a 3 day project just to get the pattern enlarged correctly.  Next I had to get my fusible fabric and the pattern was to be traced onto the fusible.  This part of the project only took me a couple of days.  Boy I was moving fast.  I had just spent a week just getting my pattern and getting it ready!

Now lets skip up the the very first consideration, the fabric.  I had to pick the fabric for this project and I really do strive to do things right and I know there are fabrics out there that are prints that when cut correctly you can get some wonderful effects.  I started to hunt my fabrics.  This process took about 4 months.  Every time I entered a fabric store I was on the lookout for fabrics that would give me exactly what I wanted.  I had the wise men the animals the doves the wood in the stable the straw, there was a night sky, oh this was a very detailed pattern, in case I forgot to mention that bit of information.  I would wind up purchasing 1/4 yard of fabric or a fat quarter for a beard.  This was getting to be a very expensive project also, but the effects are really worth the effort.

It may be a little difficult to tell at this stage that this is a dove, but the fabric I found
actually is feathers and I attempted to cut it so the feathers on the wings were
going in the right direction.  Yes fussy cut!

This section, which I believe you can tell is a beard I think is great.

Another section of beard and notice the skin tones. 
I actually used different skin tones for all the wise men
which meant different hair colors and types.

This picture shows two of the wise men and as you can see they are
very different.

The last picture also shows that this project is not complete.  As you can see, finding the right fabrics will make a huge difference in the completed project, when that happens. 

Now for the other thing I did not take into consideration when I started this project, cutting the fabric.  Almost every piece of fabric is fussy cut.  Doing fussy cuts takes an enormous amount of time if you are being very particular about the effect you are striving to attain.  The orientation of the pattern piece and the the orientation of that item on the quilt both play a part.  There are some pieces that I have cut several times before I achieved the effect I wanted.

My project hanging on my quilting room wall.
As you can see from the above picture, my project is not yet at the half way mark of completion.  One day I'm sure it will be a great show piece for my collection and will beautiful hung with some shelves around to hold a few of my nativity collections.  I actually have at least one nativity in every room of my house and in some I have more than one and I love them.  They are a constant reminder of my Lord and what he gave up for me.

I hope you have a great day, and a wonderful time quilting.  Let me encourage you to sign up for my blog.  I promise you will not receive emails trying to get you to purchase my products or use my services.  I hate it when I sign up for something and then get a mailbox full of junk!!

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