From Procrastination to Completion


Here is the Background

In 2008 I authored the book called Quilted Star and Logo Banner subtitled, For Organizations and Individuals with a Big Ten Affiliation And Anyone Interested in Making an Eleven-Point Star Where Each Point has Two Colors. Now is not that a mouthful? I designed and made an eleven-point star quilt and wrote the book about the process. The project book shows how to make that small quilt which not only has a point containing two colors of each Big Ten university, but it also displays a lapel pin from each university. The group, for which I made the project, used it on their podium at general meetings until the Big Ten went to twelve universities! I made two of these, a sample to test the design and one for the Michigan State University group.

Recently accepted for exhibit, the sample quilt will be at the Houston, TX Quilt Market in October and November 2011. The exhibit title is, Every Pin Tells a Story: Celebrating 25 Years with the Pin Peddlers. I am delighted at being accepted.

Full-Circle-Publications published the book. It is my company for self-publishing. I may write about why I decided to self publish as this blog grows. The company website is full-circle-publications.com. Another shorter address for my company is fcp123.com. See the book cover at either web address. Since I only had 100 printed and do not intend to have more printed, I consider the book to be a “limited edition.”

At the time I wrote and published the book, I knew my book would reach a small audience and have a narrow focus of interest. I also knew that never before had I seen an eleven-point star in quilting.

I felt the eleven-point concept was solid and I wanted to design and make another eleven-point star-quilting project. After the book was complete, I did design a large, complex eleven-point star quilt. I created my design work in a drawing program called FreeHand (I am migrating to Adobe Illustrator). The outline design was complete on October 8, 2009. I made and printed the patterns sometime later.

I purchased most of the fabrics for this project during and after the Jinny Beyer Hilton Head, NC quilting retreat at the end of January 2009. I washed and pressed all the fabrics. I scanned fabrics I would potentially use and I filled the outline design with fabrics so I could see how it would look upon completion.

The design center was a challenge. I was not sure how I would sew the center and needed to make a sample to work out the techniques. I cannot remember exactly when I made my first sample, but I hand stitched it using a paper piecing technique and was not happy with the result. I started another and set it aside without finishing it.

Folding all the fabrics, I placed them into a project basket along with the patterns and I set the whole project aside. From time to time, I would think about how to make the center. So instead of continuing until I figured it out, I procrastinated for a long time.

Late this summer I did slightly alter the center of the  pattern, I also altered how I added each piece that made up the center. On July 31 and August 1, 2011, I was successful in this new sewing approach.

Some of the other parts of the design are also complex. I also tested the next hardest section about the same time I initially tested the center. I found that to be doable but was not completely satisfied with the accuracy.

There are lots of diamonds and some curves. Right now, I feel comfortable doing those. After succeeding at the sample center, I began the project in earnest.

I needed to make some templates. Initially they were to mark and cut parts of the design center. Then I made additional templates for specific places. I began by cutting the fabric for the entire project. I could not cut fabric as I sewed each section because much of the fabric is “fussy cut” and I had to cut the larger pieces first to be sure I have enough fabric for the remaining quilt parts.

If I make a cutting mistake, I have little chance of finding replacement fabric a couple of years after purchase. As I progress, I need to be sure I cut pieces correctly or be ready to adjust my fabric choices.

Thus far, I worked each day on various aspects of this quilting project. Each day from July 31 on, I will list project accomplishments, books I listened to, exercise I engaged in, tools I used, observations about the process, diversions and other pertinent activities during that day as a running chronicle toward completion.

By the way, my goal is to not only finish this project but also have it accepted into a major quilt show. I have not been successful at acceptance for a while.

I will work out how to post entries made before establishing this blog. Please feel free to comment, encourage and suggest.


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