It's tiny, and it's old, but it's finally DONE!
I'd joined a WIP (work in progress) quilting challenge on Ravelry back in the spring with the intent of finishing at least one of my numerous unfinished quilts within a three-month period. Didn't make it. Gardening and the bicycle got in the way.
I signed up again for the summer challenge, determined this time to finish at least one quilting project.
The plan was to finish working name WIP Leaf Me Alone. But once again, too many other commitments got in the way, although I did finish cutting out the tiny leaf squares for the foundation of each of the remaining blocks.
Welcome to the Jungle is still high on my list of things I want to finish this year. I'd planned to submit it for exhibition in the 2013 Denver National Quilt Festival and the 2013 Quilts at the Capitol. The top is done. (YAY!) Quilting and binding still needs to be done. I hope it will be ready for the 2014 Denver National Quilt Festival. It's a big quilt, and although I'd like to see if I can free motion quilt it, I'm still leaning toward hand quilting. This project likely will take a lot longer than any goal I set.
One recent rainy Saturday, I sat down to work on Leaf Me Alone, and suddenly I realized if I did a smaller project instead, I could boost my enthusiasm and self-confidence, plus, I could practice free motion quilting again. So I neatly put away the bits and pieces of Leaf Me Alone and pulled out Bike Me, which I have been considering renaming Hard Luck Cafe for several months now, thanks to last summer's big cycling reveal. This quilt has been a thorn in my side ever since THE news. How could something I once loved so much morph into something that now turns my stomach?
I had come up with a great way to get rid of the yellow bands that at one time symbolized something special and now leave a sour taste in my mouth. (I still support the fight against cancer every chance I get, but I no longer associate my efforts with the legend-turned-liar whose shame has nearly toppled a great organization.)
I dreamed - at night, in bed, asleep - I could photograph the tread on The Lizard's huge 29er bike tire, then use my Photoshopping skills to make new graphic narrow fabric frames to applique around the existing photos and cover the unwanted yellow frames without having to take the entire quilt top apart.
Getting a good look at the wall quilt for the first time in many years, I decided the only thing I like about Bike Me now is the overall Delicate Arch frame background, which I can print again very easily. I've shot many more photos of The Lizard on his bike since I put this thing together, and I have MUCH better photos I can use now.
I consulted with The Lizard, and he agreed. Bike Me now gets the most unusual WIP status of any project I've ever done. It's in The Lizard's rag pile and will be used to clean up a future lube job on one of the bicycles!!!
The only problem is our photo printer is not compatible with our 18-month-old laptop. I refuse to buy a new printer as long as the old one works perfectly well. Which it does. Just not with newer computers.
The old, dinosaur computer does still work well enough to print photos as long as I do all my photo editing on the newer computer. The old computer doesn't have the guts or muscle for memory-hog photo manipulation anymore.
This project now is relegated back to the drawing board for a few months. I'll select my new favorite cycling photos this winter, play with them in Photoshop to prepare them for printing, move them to the old computer, hook up the old printer, print the new photos on fabric, colorfast the photos, and then make a whole new wall quilt, better than ever, hopefully before the 2014 Ride the Rockies. Maybe even before the 2014 Ride the Rockies route is announced in February!!!
In the meantime, I still had one more cycling quilt top up my WIP sleeve. And it was even smaller in size than Bike Me! It would be a breeze to finish! With but days to beat the summer challenge deadline (September 30), I sat down to the freshly serviced and properly calibrated 1986 Viking Husqvarna and whipped this baby out in about six hours.
Binding took another two hours, and Ta Da! Finished! Done!!! Dance with joy! Sing with gusto! Then settle down and get busy on another WIP!
After finishing, I realized I had not listed this particular WIP on the Ravelry challenge, so I might not have earned fat quarters from other quilters in the group. At first, I was a little disappointed, but then I realized the whole point of the challenge was to finish a WIP. I've had this wall quilt top on my rack since 2005 (buried beneath Bike Me, and I forgot it even existed). Now it's done. DONE! Mission accomplished, reward or not. Plus, it feels SPECTACULAR to have finished a quilt on deadline! That's reward enough all by itself!