Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hope for UFOs, More Chinese Coins

I've been quilting for over 40 years, so you can imagine that there are many unfinished projects in my sewing room closet.  I've never been one of those people who works on one thing at a time.  I like to have lots of projects going at different stages.  I can always find something to work on.  If I want to machine sew, something is waiting construction.  If I want to quilt, I have a stack of tops.  If I want to hand sew, there is always something that needs finish work.  Many of my unfinished projects, though, outlive their relevance.  I'm no longer interested.  But with the Guatemala Quilt Project, these unfinished never-to-be-masterpieces have new purpose.  Several of them have become the centerpiece for a new bed quilt.  I've been using those handy precut Chinese Coins strips to border these older projects and get them to a useful size.
This applique cottage was from a Rhoda Cohen class I took in Anchorage in the 1990's.  I typically don't do applique and was not inspired to finish the piece.

The center portion of this quilt was an unfinished challenge done in one of the early quilting groups I was in in Anchorage.  I'm glad I didn't finish it!  I like it much better as part of this larger bed quilt.  This one isn't going to Guatemala.  It's headed for my son's bed!
These two baby quilts take the prize for the Projects Unfinished for the Longest Period of Time.  I ran into the two center blocks just a few weeks ago.  They are leftover blocks from the very first quilt I ever made, back in the 1960's when I was a teenager in California!  I can't believe I've been carrying these around for 40+ years!  They've traveled from California to Alaska to New Mexico, back to Alaska, and to Washington.  They're destined for their final home in Guatemala.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vancouver Update

The Vancouver group got together yesterday to visit and work on bindings.  We finished up two more of our 9-Patch and Stripe quilts!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chinese Coins - Guatemala Quilt Project

This series of quilts using the traditional Chinese Coins design was again inspired by the Gee's Bend Quilts.  My friend Pat was visiting from Alaska when we made the first quilt pictured here, based on "Stacked Bricks" made by Nettie Young in 1928 (see page 45 of Gee's Bend: The Women and Their Quilts, Tinwood Books and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2002).  Pat cut and arranged strips and ironed while I did the power sewing.  We constructed the top in one long fun-filled day.  I later made two more Chinese Coins quilts based on Nettie Young's "Stacked Bricks" and also on "Stacked Bricks" by Rachael Carey George (see p. 352).

Since I completed these quilts, I've gotten into the habit of cutting all my scraps into 10" long strips, 3/4" to 3" in width, as I'm cutting for other projects.  Whenever I have a leftover scrap too small to put back on the shelf, I cut it into strips. I store these strips in a pizza box.  When I want to construct a Chinese Coins border or quilt of a certain color, I just go through the box, and usually have enough strips already cut to complete what I have planned.  I've finished up quite a few UFO's with Chinese Coins borders.  I'll have photos of those in another post.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Vancouver Work Day

Thursday the group in Vancouver got together for a work day.  We continued around the color wheel to add green/yellow/orange.  We made four tops, two pictured here.  This brings our total 9-patch-&-stripe tops to eleven!  The priority now is machine quilting.  Our next work day will be a binding party.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Guatemala Quilts - Vancouver Work Day

Thursday we had our second group work day in Vancouver.  Marie is babysitting while putting the binding on the first of our collective quilts to be completed.
We had another great day!  We moved on around the color wheel to purple/blue/turquoise/green.  We mixed the new colors with leftover pieces from the orange/red/purple group.  We completed 3 tops and have another in strips ready to assemble.  We're on a roll!