Thursday, July 19, 2007

Project the First

I think I'll go with the slow reveal on this "10 Projects"... er... project. Not only does it build up suspense for all (one) of you that are reading this, but it gives me fodder for at least 9 more posts. Honestly, it's what has kept me from trying this blog thing out for so long... the fear of setting up shop, throwing the doors open and announcing "I'm here!" to the world... and then having nothing to actually *say*. Now, I can't guarantee that's not going to happen, but you know you'll get at least a few more posts out of me before I fold like a cheap card table. :)

So. The first project that I will finish? "Oh Tannenbaum". This was a Block Of The Month club from Wilton Creek Fabrics in Harrowsmith, near Kingston. My hubby spotted it first, and directed my attention to it... I knew I had to do it.

The one thing I didn't count on was the log-cabin insanity. Dear lord... most of the quilt is assembled from 1 1/4" strips... which I found impossible to keep straight. I tried spray-starch, pinning every centimeter before sewing and every other trick I could try... and still ended up with untrue blocks. Finally, I blocked the blocks as one would a finished knitting project, pinning them precisely into the size they needed to be, soaking with water and then ironing the snot out of them. It sorta worked, but I am still hoping that a combination of appliqué and quilting will hide the wonky ones.

Here's how it looks so far:
(Completed size is 57" square.)

I think I'm about 80% done... I need to do the applique, the detailing (vines on the houses, candles on the non-existent tree) and then, the sandwiching, quilting and binding. All that sounds like a lot, but after 400,000 fiddly log cabin strips and intricate paper-pieced houses, I truly believe the worst is well over. (I am indeed an optimist, why do you ask?)

The big ole' tree in the center gives me pause, though... I'm not particularly into Christmas and didn't even realize this was a Christmas-themed quilt until I got the first pack in the mail. (Don't ask me how I missed it, especially considering the name. Clearly, my powers of observation aren't what they could be.) I might substitute out the tree for a more neutral poinsettia wreath. I'll certainly play with that element before committing.

So that's project number one. It has a place of honour all picked out for it, and a correspondingly blank wall where it belongs, and that makes it a bit of a high priority for me.


~Velda said...

I think it's incredible. My MIL being a hand quilter/appliquer, I know full well the time and effort it takes to make these amazing for wonky, it gives it character...and just for the record, quilting is something I will never do :)

Kristin said...

What a gorgeous quilt! I haven't attempted anything approaching that complexity yet but I do love quilting. I will applique by hand but, overall, I consider myself a machine quilter.