What are the resolutions most quilters make every year? Complete the UFO's, use up more of the stash, don't start so many new projects, don't buy so much new fabric, right? I am right there with you, but I think we should all accentuate the positive.
Most of us refer to our piles of fabric as our "stash." Jo Morton says that word has negative conotations and prefers calling her piles of fabric her "collection." Personally, I view mine as my big box of crayons. No one ever wants to use up one box of crayons and then close up shop. You need to get new crayons if you want to keep coloring. Sometimes, when you don't have a particular picture you are working on, you just want to admire how the crayons all look together.
Quilt shop owners have gotten really clever in their packaging of quilt kits and I commend them! My favorites are the kits that look like wrapped gifts. Let's be honest, many of us have significant others who just don't get this whole quilting thing. At least that's the case for me. So I never get gifts like those pictured below. And, they look so darn cute all wrapped up that I am loathe to open them. So, that's resolution number one. To use something from my stash I will open just one of my personal presents and make the darn quilt.
In 2011 my theme will be "more is better" when it comes to quilting. See the example below from an old quilt? Nothing fancy, just lines. They aren't evenly spaced, they aren't particularly straight, but they fill the space. Hasn't it been said, "the quilting makes the quilt." My problem is, instead of actually doing the quilting, I spend too much time agonizing over what is the Perfect quilting pattern when I should just quilt the bejeazus out of it and call it a day. This goes for both hand and machine quilting.
I will continue to learn about this splendid legacy we call patchwork, the techniques and stories of our quilting foremothers. The UFO pictured below is a class I taught years ago at our LQS. I used traditional blocks and some new variations and combined piecing instruction with stories about Maryland women during the civil war. 2011 is the 150th anniversary of the start of that conflict so what better time to delve more into that era - particularly the stories about women. Barbara Brackman is beginning a fabulous new civil war blog that combines history and quilting so be sure to check it out weekly. It promises to be a real treat.
The red and green quilt below is one of many UFO's that were conceived from the desire to have festive Christmas quilts. As you can see from my last post, I found a new solution. Collect red and green antique quilts. This one stalled when I realized that I didn't like the gold I was using for the stars (see the one in row 3) and I had to applique 42 of them to finish the top. In an effort to keep it simple, I am going to skip the stars, get the top machine quilted and use it as next year's tree skirt. Unless I cannot get the "kids" to give up the one I made when they were small. In that case, I will save it and make it a Christmas gift when one of my kids gives me a new son or daughter in law. That won't happen in 2011 but I am open minded and optimistic we might see some action in 2013 or 2014. My DD told me to keep those desires to myself so you did not hear it from me.
I will acknowledge that the box of crayons has gotten quite full and might be tearing a little around the edges so I need to remove a few. That's where my blog friends come in. Below are the pattern and kit from a wool applique block of the month program I joined at Temecula Quilt Co. in 2010. Well, it's months 1-11. Number 12 will arrive later this month. I am going to get real and admit that I am not going to make this quilt. I hope one of you will take on the project. Leave me a comment - nothing fancy, a simple "add my name to the basket" will do the trick. The kit includes the pattern from Lori Smith, black background fabric and wool for each block along with a photo of what it is supposed to look like when finished. It is really great.
I will pick the winner on Monday morning (January 3) when I drag my unwilling self back into work and am looking for a distraction. I am guessing that will be about 9:30 am EST. I will pop what I have in the mail next week and will send #12 along when it arrives.