So my starting point this time is 140 quilts that I have all the materials for, 46 of which have been started. And here we go.
There are bright spots to report this time: there were two sets, of four placemats each, in the “bind me” pile that I make up pretty quickly. And, um, well maybe there’s just the one bright spot.
The exciting thing is that my Guild’s spring retreat is coming up soon and I have secured my spot. I love retreats! No housework, no cooking, no reliable internet, no distractions of any kind. Just time to relax and create and quilt.
The more I look forward to this retreat, the more I think back on other retreats I’ve been to. There was the one in Michigan that I took mom to, at which I started an enormous paperpiece. Everyone was impressed. Truth was, I chose that project because I had the pattern and fabric pack and they fit in my suitcase really easily. A plus for the person who was borrowing a machine for the weekend. Unfortunately, I haven’t worked on that piece since even though it’s been on top of the pile for most of the last two years.
Last year I went to my Guild’s spring retreat and took more projects than I could possibly have finished over the course of the weekend. I believe that’s required on any retreat. We quilters tell ourselves that we just want to have a project to work on to match any mood that we may be in. The truth is that we honestly think that we’ll get through most of what we bring. But then we socialize. And sleep in. And maybe go for a walk. And socialize some more. And we come home with a bunch of unfinished projects. And we’re okay with that and we sign up for the next retreat. Quilters are weird. I came home from that retreat with four new unquilted tops of various sizes, all of which are still unquilted. Sigh.
Anyway, for this retreat I decide to try and make a dent in the UFO list somehow. Reading through the list I spot a bunch of jellyroll projects. A few years ago I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in my sewing room (shocking, I know) and didn’t let myself buy anything new. Unless I saw a jellyroll that I liked. And I found a pattern I liked while still in the store. And then I bought not only the jellyroll and the pattern, but the rest of the coordinating fabrics to make up the quilt top too. And that’s how I got eight jellyroll projects in my project pile. And a layercake. Throwing all of these into the car, I’m ready for retreat!
I admit I didn’t socialize much that weekend but I did come home with five, count ‘em five, new quilt tops. Huzzah! Of course, that’s five fewer project bags but five new UFO’s. Eek!
Desperate to finish something – anything – on the list, I hear rumor of a daytime retreat nearby. This particular retreat lets you set up all your gear on a Tuesday morning, leave it in place while you sleep in your own bed Tuesday night, quilt Wednesday, and then take everything home after two full days of production. I can only go for one day, but surely I can make some headway.
I pull out a tablerunner that I quilted just enough to enter in my Guild’s last show. It’s a two-color spiral that I’m quilting in two colors as well. Time to put in the background quilting and finish this sucker up. I get through the first color fine but shortly into the second color I run out of thread. Bummer.
Next up is a tabletopper/tree skirt/wallhanging/I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-this-but-I-liked-the-fabric piece. It’s been done for about a year while waiting for inspiration to strike on the quilting pattern. After consulting with my fellow retreaters, inspiration does strike but it’s going to take some basic drafting equipment to make it happen so this one gets set aside too.
Third time’s the charm? I pull out a small wallhanging that is partly quilted and miraculously get it finished. Yay! Another successful retreat! Yeah, quilters are weird.
Just when I think I’m home (relatively) safe I blab to my Guild’s President that I think we should have a stack-and-whack challenge this year. Well who gets to demonstrate stack-and-whack to the Guild? The lady who, now that fabric has been cut on a new project during the demonstration, gets to add another UFO to her list. Oh, and in the course of preparing for the demonstration, that same lady finds (and buys) a lovely tan chrysanthemum fabric which would be AWESOME as stack-and-whack. Which is a brand new project bag. Somebody stop me. Please.
Quitting while I’m way, way behind I channel my energy into a charity quilt to take my mind off of everything else. Now if only I had the thread color that I want to use. Hmmm…this means I’ll have to go into a quilt store in the near future. Uh-oh. We’ll have to save that story for another time.
All things considered, I think three projects finished this time is a remarkable success even though the numbers tell a different story. Now we’re at 138 total projects, 49 of which are in progress.
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