Thursday, April 19, 2007

Unfinished Project Queen




Tanya posted on this a while back and tossed it out for whoever wanted to take it up. My spirit was willing but my abyssmal photo uploading nonskills seriously slowed me down....

First off, you should know that I'm the undisputed queen of unfinished projects. Want to take away my crown? OK. How far back do your unfinished projects go? Thought so. Not as far back as mine! Since mine date back into the mists of history, before some of you were born. Case in point: A crewel embroidery pillow kit. It shows a scene depicting a seagull [Jonathan Livingston] flying over a stream. Remaining to be done? Some leaves and the bark on some trees. Number of years I've been procrastinating? Thirty plus. Aghast, are you? How do you think I feel? I started it when Liz was in diapers. Cloth diapers. 'Nuff said. I'll post a picture when it's on the couch!

Fast forward to 2004 when I started the Star of Bethlehem quilt for my little grandson, D, who will be three this summer. Who still does not, to my shame, have a grandma-made quilt of his own. The problem is I bit off more than I could speedily chew. In that I decided to do a lot of hand quilting. Big mistake. Hand quilting is not my forte. My forte is in the starting blocks. There with the adrenaline of a new project. With the choosing of the colours. With the thrill of the first cut. With the thing taking shape before your eyes as each block is finished. With the design decisions about borders and binding. The eyes of the non-quilters are glazing over by now, as they think "this woman needs a life!"

In the meantime I made him an interim quilt, entirely by machine, with no hand work save for the basting and binding, and which will be in the mail this week. The star will get finished. I'm hoping by his birthday, in July.

In between the Jonathan pillow and the star quilt there's a deep pile of other projects, sighing in the closet, patiently waiting for their turn to get finished and brought out into the sunlight.

It frustrates me, this inability to stick with something until it's finished and then, and only then, begin something new. It is a serious character flaw. Am I afraid ,that, like an only child, one project would be lonely? That it needs siblings? So they can mutter darkly together in the closet about the neglect they are suffering?Come to think of it, if I had raised each child completely before giving birth to the next, I might have made a better fist of it......do I thrive on chaos? I yearn for a tidy life, but even now, on the eve of my dotage, it's not happening.

Neither of my daughters has shown an interest in quilting. Liz knits and crochets and is generally handy with a sewing machine. California Girl is too busy with horses and dogs and keeping body and soul together to bother with the domestic arts.......so who will finish my mound of half made quilts before I die? Who will layer and baste and quilt them? Who will label and bind them?

"Not I," said the Pig.

"Not I," said the Cat.

"Not I," said the Duck.

So, like the Little Red Hen, I'd better get cracking and do them all by myself! Two more birthdays and I'll be face to face with the big six o. And then the slide down the slippery slope will start to pick up speed. And time will be running ever faster through the hourglass. The time to start is now.....the way to start is to quit jabbering about it, pick up a needle and sew!


If you're a quilter and made it this far without falling asleep, maybe I could get some input on how to bind the star quilt, when it finally gets that far. I'm thinking black, but welcome suggestions.....

15 comments:

meggie said...

I do so relate to this post!!
The thrill of the new!

That is a lovely quilt, it vibrates with colour! It will be treaured I am sure.
What about a really bright stipe in matching colours for the binding. But I am sure black would work too.
As to the 'what will happen to them when I pop the clogs' ....well my daughter is a quilter, but with 20 ongoing projects, I doubt she will be the one!

meggie said...

Stripe- of course! these mistakes are getting far too frequent, I need to slow down or get new specs!

riseoutofme said...

Molly dear, do you not know that 60 is the new 40?? I have a feeling that by the end of June, you will have several masterpieces completed..... Just a hunch .....

Now where did I leave my whip ....

Miss Frou Frou said...

Molly, found you via aubirdwoman, I too am a major starter of things...

I think a stripe of the brights would also look good, particularly if the stripe was cut on the bias.

sheilaC said...

Molly... we NEED unfinished projects... for the times when we can't afford to buy new ones. Well thats my excuse anyway.
The Star quilt is stunning. How about making your binding from the same colours as are in the quilt (plus black) you dont have to have then all the same length, just join together, then make as normal binding. btw love your stories. AUBIRDWOMAN

Princess Banter said...

Haha -- if it makes you feel better, I'm the queen of the lack of follow throughs. I have all these marvelous plans for various projects, and I rarely get started on them. I reckon that's worse off than you. At least you get to start it!

Ali Honey said...

I think the binding in red could look good ( to match the very thin outer border)

I think you are missing the satisfaction of a completed project...it can be a real buzz!

But we are all different so don't stress over it ...it is meant to be for pleasure you know.

Isabelle said...

Yup, I'm another who doesn't often get started. I'm too mired in work apart from in the summer, when I need to garden. But when I retire, when I retire...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

It's gorgeous! I love quilts, and have several antique ones which hang on walls.

I have only made crib quilts, though, because of the difficulty of having to do other things (like blogging.)

Your family is so lucky to have your very own handiwork, finished or not. And I'm sure you will get them done when the time is right.

Tracey Petersen said...

You know that every work in progress is a step along your learning curve, don't you. Not one of them is a waste because you learnt something every time.

Definitely a black binding required.

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear molly. Surely the interim quilt is a project finished? I'd be counting it as that! Meanwhile, I took 13 years to crochet a blanket - and it's neither complicated or big! Boy, I'm bad...

Sooziii said...

I have to wave my hand in the air also and admit I have a cupboard full of UFOs - I keep getting sidetrack into someything new that I just can't wait to start....
Black would be nice but some of the vibrant colours used in the top would be nicer - cut either on diagonal or different sized bits.

Liz said...

Oh dear. It's genetic.

Stomper Girl said...

I say good on you for starting beautiful projects Molly. It's more than I do.

But if it helps any : Stop reading this comment and go finish that poor grandson of yours' Quilt.

Happy to be of assistance, no need to thank me.

Tanya Brown said...

You may not have more unfinished projects than I do, but yours are certainly prettier and I'll have to take it on faith that they're older.

The star quilt is simply stunning. I admire the way you've juxtaposed the bright colors with black. And oh, my! The quilting you've done is magnificent. Incredibly laborious, though. Just thinking about it makes my hands hurt.