The First of Many

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I recently saw a really cool quilt pattern that featured some re-released fabric from Anne Maria Horner, and though, hmmm. I need to make that quilt. And then I got this weird feeling, like I had some unfinished business and shouldn’t be starting a new quilt.

So I counted up the number of quilts tucked in my house in varying degrees of completeness, and I got to ten. Ten unfinished quilts. And then I found some squares I’d cut out for a quilted throw, which I suppose technically makes the number eleven.

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This really isn’t my fault. I used to be publisher of a craft line, and it was awfully tempting to see the new fabric releases. And at this stage in our life and in this house, it’s a pain to sew; I don’t have a dedicated space, so any time I sew I have to take everything out and put everything back, adding another 10 minutes to already limited sewing time. (All of those bloggers with their dedicated “studios,” which used to be called “craft rooms” — sometimes I think hateful thoughts about your lovely spaces.) And Phil’s no longer in a band so doesn’t go to practice two nights a week, which back in the day would leave me  some quiet time to sew and think.

The result is eleven quilts of varying degrees of completeness. I suppose the upside is that a lot of the fabrics are now out of print, so feel, as Tommy describes various Lego packs, “rare.” But it’s time to tackle them.

Here’s the first. This is a super-cool picnic blanket named Lunchtime Laminate Quilt that came from the book Sewing the Seasons. When I was publishing craft titles, this was one of the last to come from our group before pieces of the business were sold off last fall and I transferred to the sold cookbook division and now work for a different company. I had volunteered to test sew this pattern, noting any issues, but with all the tumult at work during its production, I got it to a point where I knew pattern edits were flushed out, and then I left it in a pile with some other unfinished projects. It seemed to kind of represent a tough time at my office. The book, which physically published months after I was into my new job, is really beautiful represents what my group did well. But that blanket had some baggage, so while it really only needed to be quilted and have the binding added, I let it sit for months.

The front is just a bunch of blocks of home dec fabric (yes, Max took these pictures before I’d totally finished sewing on the binding on the lower left corner, but trust me, this quilt is done):

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The back is this cool laminated cotton that can be wiped clean, or thrown in the washer, after a picnic. I’d originally bought this cool laminate fabric to make Sylvia a stylish raincoat, but Sylvia’s sense of fashion doesn’t remotely touch big floral prints, so into the quilt it went:

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So, now that we’re almost past picnic season and I’m drowning in a sea of unfinished quilts, I pulled the quilt  out and took a little time to finish it. I felt too lazy to actually make binding, and after much internal debate I used the only pre-made binding I had, which was a pretty loud, clashing pattern, knowing it would look horrible, but just wanting one of those projects finished. Turns out I love the combination of the main fabric and the binding; the front of the blanket is very muted, and the binding feels fun. Score one for laziness.

I’ve got the next several quilts lined up in my head, and will be sure to share them as I finish, to keep me on the straight and narrow. As for this weekend, Sylvia has gotten me to commit to a picnic, now that we have the tools.

By the way, you might have noticed that there’s a new photographer in town. Max is now this blog’s official photographer, having realized that he loves taking pictures and has a really nice eye. He was experimenting with his flash on these pictures — seeing whether flash or no flash looked better in the evening light. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite recent pictures of his:

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