Zen Quiltmaking

I had an appointment with Colleen yesterday to talk about the quilting for the Frosted Stars, the Frosted Stars Leftovers and the Purple Quilt. I wanted to bring the Fabric of the Year 2010 top over as well, but I wasn’t able to even start the back. My life felt like it was spiraling into complete craziness this past week as things just continued to get heaped on to me. To add to the general life craziness, my work computer is acting up. It has been for awhile, but it reached new heights of not working on Wednesday afternoon and I lost patience. Nothing would load (web pages, local programs, nothing) and I could hear the hard drive churning away, which I knew was a very bad sign. Finally, on Wednesday afternoon, completely and totally fed up, I went to my boss, told him him the problem and asked him if I could just read my email from home on Thursday if my computer was working the same way. He said if my iPad was faster, I should just go home and use that on Thurs. WOOHOO!

Sadly, his IT staff came in early and did a stopgap fix on my computer. It was much better on Thursday, so I had to stay at work instead of hang out at home with my iPad next to my sewing machine. 😉 Oh well.

The computer problems just added to my stress and in light of the craziness, I decided I had to be okay with not getting the back of the FOTY 2010 finished. I talked to Colleen and will bring it in two weeks when she is back in town and ready to quilt again. That means I have two weeks to finish the back.

FOTY 2010 Top - Finished
FOTY 2010 Top - Finished

This past week wasn’t a complete quiltmaking desert. I did get a break on Monday when I didn’t have to take the Young Man to his regular Monday appointment and I took the opportunity to finish the FOTY 2010 top! Yay! I feel so good about that.

All the diamonds were sewn together and the border strips were cut, so I just had to sew them on to the top. It took me a long time – about 3.5 hours. I never think that borders and backs are going to take long, but they always seem to take longer than I expect. Oh well.

I learned a couple of things making this top. First, my deadline was to piece the whole top at the CQFA Retreat. It turned out that I wasn’t ready to piece this whole top. Diamonds require finding my sweet spot of piecing. I had to develop a rhythm and a method and I hadn’t done it by the time I reached the retreat. Second, this was a top that needed me to take my time. I ripped out much of the piecing I sewed at the retreat. A lot of people don’t care about points being cut off and I am not going to beat myself up about every single point, but I absolutely don’t want my bad technique to distract viewers from the overall look of the quilt. Finally, this quilt needed to be pieced slowly and carefully.

FOTY 2010: bottom left
FOTY 2010: bottom left
FOTY 2010: top middle
FOTY 2010: top middle

I have been lamenting my pictures (my whole blog, really) lately and these two show great detail, but they are not great photography. I am pretty pleased with the color layout on the pink and white section.

The diamonds are not in perfect positions colorwise, but I have improved since FOTY 2009.

In the photo of the pinks and whites, I am really pleased that I clustered the whites in the corner. In FOTY 2009 I put them along the left side one on top of the other and I decided that wasn’t as effective in terms of the colorwash idea. It is very difficult to get a really smooth colorwash effect when using prints. As I said, I think I improved over last year.

My mom kept telling me to move diamonds AFTER I had already sewn them and finally I had to tell her to make her own colorwash quilt!

FOTY 2010: alternative universe
FOTY 2010: alternative universe

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, I will be making a block or two from Joel Dewberry fabric. I have the fat quarter laid out on my ironing board (see previous comments about horizontal space in my workroom!), because my design wall is full, and there is no horizontal space.

As I was finishing the FOTY, I kept pressing bits and pieces. When I was pressing the corner of the inner border on top of the JD fabric, I noticed how interesting this particularly corner looked with the JD fabric as the border. I didn’t want that active a print on the outside of this quilt, but I thought it was interesting.

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

6 thoughts on “Zen Quiltmaking”

    1. Thanks. I did a lot of ripping out, but I found it to be quite meditative. In the case of diamonds, I found, it is harder to recover from bad piecing as the piece progresses.

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