Friday, January 9, 2015

Love It or Leave It

This project has been lurking 
since 2004 or 2005.
Nevertheless, it's 10 years old.
It's time to either love it or leave it.

Each year
 I continue moving
this wool applique over
 to the next new year to finish.

Every once in a while,
 the guilties
have surfaced
 and I've stitched a little bit more on it.

But the question is
why haven't I finished it?

 Are there things I can do to
make me keep going or
is this year for a final good bye?

It's a design that was is the Spring/ Summer

Quilt Sampler Magazine, 2004.
The wool applique , I think,  is patterned after
an applique kit

 called Poppy Wreath by
the Progress Company.
(This photo is of the quilt Mary Schafer made in 1953
which is from the book Mary Schafer, 
American Quilt maker by Gwen Marston.)

I really like the pattern, but there's a whole
list of reasons why it's been neglected.

First, the finished size is about 55" x 70".
It's all wool and very bulky to work on as one big piece.
Fun factor = 0

Secondly, I originally didn't want to fuse
 the wool pieces onto a wool background.
I didn't want the top to feel too stiff.
(Remember, products have changed in the last ten years.)
  So it was a challenge
placing the pieces and then keeping them in
their proper places.
Fun factor = 0

We, meaning my other quilting friends
who wanted to make the same quilt,

 had to create a giant plastic overlay pattern
in order to place the pieces properly.
The pattern got slightly skewed
so when it came to using it, there
was quite a bit of adjusting that 
needed to happen.
Fun factor = 0

I decided to use wool that I already had.
I liked everything but the gold wool.  It
had a looser weave so it tends to look ravely
 around the edges even though all
the wool had been prepped properly.
I should have gotten a different piece, but I didn't
Fun factor = 0

The pattern suggested buttonholing
around each piece, but I decided,
in my wisdom, to just whip stitch

around each piece.
It would be fast.
 Thinking back, maybe if I had buttonholed
the edges would have been more defined
and less ravely looking and 
maybe I would have gotten it done....faster!
I have way too much done to start over.
Fun factor = 0

I also decided to use DMC wool embroidery thread to do the stitching.
It blends in nicely, but
again doesn't create crisp edges.
Fun Factor = 0

Oh, one more thing,
when I do eventually quilt this,
 probably with black perel cotton using a big stitch,
it will be black on black.
Fun Factor,  a great big = 0

Okay I know, it doesn't sound like I want to go on,
but I'm going to see if I can.
Really, 10 years is way too long to have something lingering.

I have to start with more whip stitches around the pieces, which are all
in place.  I think, I must have glued the final pieces.

 Sounds like I did one thing right!
I'll keep you posted if the fun meter changes.

Until Next Time


  1. I don't know, it sounds like you are really not have fun with this! Maybe make it a priority for a week, it might get you back in the groove?

  2. I like what you've done so far but a large wool quilt does seem like it would be heavy and awkward to work on. Could the center section that you have so far become the center block of a wall hanging or small quilt, with pieced cotton blocks around it?

  3. It is a very striking design done in wool. I can easily understand why the fun factor is so low on the scale. Myself, I would have a hard time going on with the project but also a hard time giving it away for someone else to do something with.

  4. I think it’s very pretty but if you are still stewing over it after 10 years maybe it’s time to let it go.
    After all this hobby is supposed to soothe our souls not stress them .

  5. 10 years? A drop in the bucket, Dear, :-). This project is a mere youngster! And I feel your angst - perhaps after a few more stitches that fun meter will be pegged and it will be time to pass the project on to someone else. I periodically have reassessed where things are at and decided to pass them on. It lightens the shoulders...and have found with passing years the memory of it is gone.
    Your quilting heart will lead you to the best decision.

  6. I wish I knew how to encourage you with this project. It is so beautiful, your post almost sounded like you were trying to find a way to justify abandoning it. I agree with the others that our stitching needs to make our hearts soar. Such a lovely airy pattern. Poppies are so timeless and ethereal. Sometimes when I get bogged down I ask myself "If my family were clearing out the house, what would they do with this?". It helps to sway me.

  7. I think it's always so interesting to see how much we evolve and change over the years as Quilters.
    I've always loved that Poppy pattern! I guess the biggest question would be "will you ever use or display this if it were finished?"
    It looks stunning so far, but if the joy factor isn't there I can understand the hesitation to continue on.
    Best wishes on your final decision!

  8. It is hard to return to old projects. I have some like this. They are fine....but.....
    what's up with that? Tastes that change or just a momentum loss.
    It is lovely

  9. I think this piece ooks amazing but when you pointed out the reasons you lost your motivation I can understand. I think it's great that you're going to give it another go. Good luck, but don't force yourself if it's really no fun.

  10. It's OK to mix your stitches, button, whip, vine whatever you want. I did this on a large throw I did 2 years ago. Try stitching for 10-15 minutes when you have time: are on the phone, waiting for water to boil....Also, you can 'color' the gold wool with dyes, crayons, paints...
    I like the design though and yes, I too have projects I started several years ago. My goal for this year is to finish, finish, finish!

  11. Kyle - It looks like the center of the quilt is finished? If so, I'd call it done and just bind the thing. Sure is pretty.

  12. I'm sorry you keep getting stuck with this - it is very striking. I can totally understand about the fun factor - 0. That's how I feel about embroidery... Lol Cheering you on from the snowy,cold North.

  13. The fun factor is very important.:) Best of luck getting over the hump of not wanting to continue!

  14. I am always more motivated if I have a place to use the project or, it's a gift with a deadline. I admire your chipping away at it though!

  15. If it's not fun, how about gifting it to a women's refuge or somewhere else where someone can learn some new skills and enjoy it? I've done that with a couple of projects in the last few years and it feels good!!

  16. This is a wonderful design, it has a timeless beauty! I understand your frustration with it. i am going to be working on a wool project this year, I was going to use DMC floss, you would not recommend that? Should I go with the Valdani thread?

  17. Oh, I can identify with this post! If I had the answer as to why projects get pushed aside, I'd have lots more done. LOL I love the Mary Schafer poppy quilt. Was the original done in wool?

  18. It`s beautiful! Keep slugging away, but have another fun project to work on when you get tired of it. Your work is exquisite!

  19. Hello Kyle! I think this block is absolutely amazing. But if you can't finish the original project, you should keep it simple. Try making a little hanging or something less laborious. This block is really beautiful! Happy stitching!