Thursday, February 23, 2006

What's Next?



My online group has an Elimination Club. Before the 1st of the year we had to list 11 projects that we wanted to eliminate or make significant headway on in '06. The host pulls a number on the 1st and that's our project for the month. One of my listed projects was to make 25 more Dutch Treat blocks, and she pulled that number for January. I knew I wouldn't get 25 done, but I have finished 23 of them! That makes 85 or so completed DT blocks. Here's a picture of the first 50. They're not sashed yet, but you'll get the drift. There are a total of 196 in the quilt. These blocks are 4.5" unfinished, all reverse appliqued.

Since the Polka Dot quilt top was my February elimination project -- check! -- I'm kind of at loose ends until she pulls the March number. So I pulled out all projects on my list and thought I'd work on something - seeing as the early bird gets the worm! The other picture is my very first applique project. It's "Botanika," a Robyn Pandolph BOM. I was such a newbie! In fact, such a newbie that I had not yet taken Rotary Cutting 101, the prerequisite for all other beginner classes at The Fabric Patch. But this quilt sung to me and I knew I wanted to learn how to applique. So why not start collecting that BOM? (I don't think I've mentioned that I learned to swim by diving in the deep end head first!!)

I'm just going to machine quilt Botanika myself. It's not the best applique in the world, but it's my learning quilt and is real special to me. I have a new Aurora 440 with the stitch regulator, so I thought I'd take that puppy out for a spin and see what she can do! I'm just going to stitch around all the applique, and then maybe grid the rest. I don't know. It doesn't really matter to me how I quilt it. The mere fact that I persevered and actually finished the thing astounds me! LOL!

I know it looks like all I do is applique .... not the case at all! I just wish I were better at it. I started off great, and then my shoulder deteriorated to the point that I couldn't pull the thread through after I took a stitch. So for two years I compensated for that by taking a stitch with my right hand and dropping the applique piece with my left hand to pull the stitch taut. After I traded in my old shoulder for a new one a year ago, I've been trying to break bad habits - and I think I'm getting there!

Today's thought: Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth. Amen.

15 comments:

Linda_J said...

those Dutch Treat blocks are wonderful, Vicky. I was not sure what you were referring to when you mentioned it the other day---looks just like delft china. Tiny blocks!

Carolyn said...

Your BOM is beautiful. I did the same thing with applique...jumped right into Robert Callaham's Grandma's Album quilt that was in McCall's Quilting about 9 years ago. I've never looked back and I love applique. The Dutch Treat blocks are amazing...makes me want to get back to work on my Dear Jane! *Carolyn*

QuiltingFitzy said...

I just started the Dutch Treat blocks the first of the year. I'm in love, and in awe of your work. Some of these blocks are real stinkers, lol...and if anyone asks, this is NOT the way to learn to applique!

The Calico Cat said...

Botanika is lovely! I once considered Dutch Treat.... (Are you using 1 blue or a selection of different blues?)

Vicky said...

Thanks for the nice comments. I'm using two "lines" of blues, both indigos. Plenty of prewashing to get the excess dye out. It's been an interesting journey with these little babies!

anner said...

Hi Vicky with the Daisy!
Love the Botanika, can't wait to see it quilted and bound!
You are a wild woman - all those little 4.5" blocks??? Wow! Makes me tired just looking at all that work!!! I agree with Linda J, they do look like my grandma's Delft china. So pretty. I can picture some sort of lace embellishment maybe in the sashing or as little cornerstones . . . just a thought. :-D

Laurie Ann said...

Wow, you're cooking with gas! Way to go!

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Both of these quilts are absolutely wonderful! So much time spent on them - I think I should stop complaining when a top takes me a week to make (but I do look for the fast patterns!). Really truly wonderful and with such tiny pieces!

It sounds like your new shoulder is working out for you too- that is always good news.

Cheers!

Evelyn

tami said...

your quilts are beautiful. you can't tell that you aren't proficient at applique from the look of your quilts.

Dee said...

The idea of an elimination round is brilliant. Your blue and white quilt is just exquisite...you are a brave woman to take on this challenge! Your Dutch Treat will be a treasured treat when it is completed.

JudyL said...

Vicky: That applique quilt is the one that first got me wanting to learn to do applique and I'm going to do it one day!

Judy

Vicky said...

Yes, you are!! LOL!! Since you got me to use lime green, it's the least you can do! xoxo

Mary said...

Your blocks look great. I love that book but have refrained from buying it because applique really isn't my thing. Great job on getting so many of the blocks done and on working on finishing up UFO's - also a goal of mine this year.

Laurie said...

Vicky,
I remember the blocks that you brought to Alex's retreat 2 years ago. That applique is GORGEOUS...I saw it up close and personal! Don't be so hard on yourself!!! ;o)
Hugs
Laurie

Vicky said...

You're right, Laurie. I had forgotten I had those there - well, the first eight blocks or so. And I was gabbing so much that I miscut the background fabric for a block! You can hardly tell, but I think of that retreat every time I look at it! I can't talk and cut at the same time!! And you're way too generous on your compliments! But thank you!