Monday, February 22, 2010

Stars & Stripes Update

I finished the two appliqued eagle blocks this weekend and the two paper-pieced Blazing Star blocks, which meant I could put together the wall hanging blocks. I still need to add the borders before I can start quilting it. I'm hoping to do that during the week. We'll see.

Here's the Blazing Star block. It looks nice but I hated the paper piecing. Well, at least for this block because you have to leave the paper in place until it's all sewn together to stop the bias of all the triangle pieces from stretching. By the time you get to the intersection of all the points in the middle, that's a LOT of layers. So I cheated and ripped off the paper at the points before sewing them. And then spent another hour removing the rest of the paper from the finished blocks.

Here's the wallhanging on my cutting table to give you an idea of its size. (And yes, the mending pile is still there. ;-) It's minus DS's jeans but only because he took them back unmended. LOL!)

Here's the original Fons & Porter version, for comparison. You can see I took some liberties in block placement and colors.

Here's a refresher of what the big quilt will one day (sorta) look like.

And here's my progress. Only 4 more (BIG) blocks to go.

This thing is killing me though. I will never, ever, EVER do a sampler quilt that has so many different blocks and techniques. Each block is a major production because you have to totally switch brain gears like you're starting a new project for each block, because … well, you are. It's not the kind of tediousness that I enjoy. Instead of just knocking it out, I found myself wasting far too much time this weekend in the time-suck that is the PR message board. So for the time-waster reason and a few other things about the board that have gotten under my skin, I've decided to take a break from participating on it for an indefinite period.

I just re-read this and I sound pretty grumpy for this Monday morning, don't I? Complaining about a quilt I hate making and message boards that are ticking me off. LOL! I'm not really grumpy, I promise. I am enjoying the process with the quilt. I just never thought it would take so long and I'm impatient by nature. And since I've decided I want it done and off my to-do list forever, I can't move forward with anything else, so OK … maybe that part is making me a leeeeetle grumpy. ;-) But it's nice to see real progress, even if all these quilting posts are probably making your eyes glaze over.

Have a great week!

ETA: Just so it's clear - it's not the PR message board participants who are ticking me off, just some policies and other admin stuff. I enjoy a spirited discussion which includes all opinions and responses and do not become offended if someone is abrupt or disagrees with me. But because I do enjoy these discussions, I find myself losing a lot of time that I didn't necessarily want to spend on the computer. So, while I'm taking a break for a while, I'll be back arguing participating again at some point.


  1. I agree with you about paper piecing. My "favorite" (meaning I do it quite often) trick is to cut off the joined piece when I am trying to trim the seam allowance. Very frustrating.
    I am sorry to hear that you will not be taking part in Pattern Review. Your advice or opinion was always one that I trusted.

  2. Debbie, I'm going to miss you on the PR Misc board.
    I do understand why you are choosing not to participate.

    Your quilt is going to be beautiful.
    I'm not a quilter but admire the patience it must take to put one together.
    (Mermie on PR)

  3. I give you a lot of credit for going on with a project that you clearly are not enjoying. Even the thought of quilting would make me suicidal. Regardless of how you feel about it, you are certainly doing a great job on it.

  4. I admire your fortitude in sticking with a quilt. This is why I don't do attention span is way too short. I am always distracted with...oooh pretty shiney...other things. I have the same problem with garments, too, but have slightly better staying power. I admire people who quilt and love to see them in the LQS. But another reason to collect stuff I don't need.

  5. I do not like paper pieceing. At all. Your quilt is coming along nicely. Learning new techniques is time consuming, but--it's also good to have a lot of techniques at your command, just as in garment sewing.

  6. Your blocks look wonderful...that will be an awesome quilt when done, and well worth the time you are spending on it now.

  7. The quilt is looking good. I do understand about patience with quilting. I turned to garment making a few years ago and still have some unfinished quilts. I'd like to finish them but the process makes me grumpy now.

  8. You are much more patient than I am. I would have abandoned this project after two blocks or so. I bet you'll be happy to get it done!

  9. Your quilt! WOW! I have a long way to go before I can call myself a quilter!

  10. The quilt and wall hanging will be beautiful. I've never made a pieced quilt, the one I made with photo blocks for my mother in law's 80th birthday cured me of wanting to quilt forever! Good luck getting through it, so you can get beck to more fun projects!

  11. I'm pretty over the attempts to sanitize PR. I think they just took it too far. Sure, it's great to get rid of the trolls, but in the process they got rid of the right to state an opinion and/or disagree with one as well.

  12. I don't get the terrible fear of controversy on PR, either. It seems a tiny bit neurotic.

    Vibeke in Oslo (I'm vibekeinyork on the PR boards - forgot my password on a trip to York)

  13. I love paper piecing! I'm a big weirdo (which you already knew). I'll have to post a photo of a dress I made Lu when she was 2 or so. It had a paper pieced Noah's Ark scene, and some of the pieceing ended up about the size of a pencil eraser when you're done. Wow. I don't know if you saw Gary's shirt I posted a few week's ago, it had a paper pieced farm scene too.

    But I'm not a quilter...I can't finish anything bigger than a table runner or a lap quilt! I aspire though. Mixing up all the colors and prints is my thing (which you also knew). Your quilt/hanging is going to be GORGEOUS though. I've been enjoying it, even if you're not. HA.

    And I hear you on PR. I pretty much gave it up months ago, and just dabble around and visit now and then. Every time I do I get annoyed though. I actually gave it a year (last year) after I renewed my FoPR to get better, but instead its gotten worse. I'm no longer contributing to the FoPR pile of money. I'm just a freebie occasional visitor now.

  14. Your wall hanging and quilt look magnificent, but they hey, you made them so of course they do. I quilt too so am not bored by the quilt posts. I hate paper piecing the way you are doing it, sewing through the paper; there is another way that doesn't and I love it.
    I thought the surge in quilting in the last decade or so was because garment sewing was more difficult that quilting; but your comments section doesn't seem to reflect that.


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

To help keep spam comments under control, any comments to blog posts that are more than 30 days old are moderated and will not show up immediately.