27 September 2013

It's a wrap!

main panel for color cycling quilt

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.

Squares Galore

The Dress, and The Quilt-to-be

Gone Green

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.

Welcome to the Jungle

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.

Sunrise Cycling

Sunflower Cycling

Wildflower Cycling

Autumn Cycling

Spring Cycling

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!!!

thorn in my side

rag pile

grease wipe

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.

sunflower seed stitches

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!



  1. Wow! You super talented gal! What a great day to pop over and visit you. The rains have arrived, first dusting of snow up here and I was googling 'new hobbies' last night. Yup, that's just how desperate I've become to find something to while away the evening hours this winter. Every list began with 'crafts' ~ which require patience AND skill. Two qualities I don't have. Anyhoo... You're warming me up to the idea. :)

    1. You can do it! You can do it! You can do it!

      Actually, Kate, you know what you could do to preserve all those gorgeous colors in your garden? You could soak them in the sun for a day or two in a covered glass jar with vinegar and water, then strain the fluid and soak mordanted wool or cotton in the fluid in the sun in the same jar with the fluid for a few days, and I'd LOVE to see the spectacular, eye-popping colors you could come up with!

  2. I finished a lap size quilt this month. Last year I made a paper piece quilt square of the Mt. Timpanogas Temple. MDH and I were sealed in said temple this last May, so I printed out two pictures of us at the Temple with our family, and put them below and above the temple. Then I added fabic to bring the quilt up to size. I have a friend who has a quilting machine and she quited it for me. I hand sewed the edge and I will be giving this lap quilt to MDH for Christmas. Hurray - one more Christmas gift DONE! I am not good at quilts, but his one turn out great. Your skill as an artist in quilting makes me happy. Love you!

    1. Susan, I would absolutely LOVE to see your lap quilt! I'll bet MDH is going to love it. Are you going to share it on your blog???

    2. Just need to take the pictures. MDH doesn't look at my blog, ever, so I fell pretty safe sharing it, yet he is home right now, so I can't take the pictures. Thank goodness I haven't gift wrapped it yet. HAHA! I will see what this week brings. My daughters say I have done a very good job. Love you.

  3. your biking images is stunning. But it helps to have a partner that likes to be photographed. .)

    1. That is so, so, so true, Monica. I couldn't do any of these awesome shots without a husband who initially didn't like being photographed and who now will cheerfully get up at 4 a.m. so we can pedal together to some great location where I can snap eye-popping sunrise shots!!!

  4. Very fitting for the season indeed, awesome

  5. You have some gorgeous photos here. Your quilts are lovely

  6. You are marvelous in everything that you do. Mostly, showing us such glorious photos has brightened our gloomy day outside. The wind is a blowing here too, and the leaves, that are still dry, are flying by quickly! Yikes, give me a longer autumn, as it should be. They say tomorrow will be back to much like your photos here! WooHOOOOO!

    1. Thank you, Karen! We're expecting our first overnight freeze this weekend, so the season is rapidly changing for us, too... I guess hold on tight and grit your teeth; cold is coming!

  7. Wow, nice stippling job!

    Bike Me sounds like the PERFECT name for that project, given the implications.... Its conversion to a grease rag is poetic justice. (Uncharitable remark about a certain person typed, then erased here.)

    So fun to see all those Lizard-on-a-bike-in-stunning-surroundings photos!

    Now, the burning question: What colour binding will you use for Welcome to the Jungle?


    1. Sue, I thought the very same thought when we decided to liberate me from finishing the project I could no longer find joy in. I thought, what poetic justice it's going to be a grease rag now!!!

      I had been planning to use the same lavendar to bind Welcome to the Jungle, but then I thought maybe I could piece together a bias strip from more of the remnant, and more recently, choke, choke, I thought I could take apart all the basting I've done and relayer it, stitch almost all the way around it, turn it back inside right, and stitch up the opening by hand... I've done that with two other quilts, and I really like the look, but there's a part of me going, "You've GOT to be kidding!!!"

      So, I don't know yet what binding I will attempt. :) It will be spur of the moment!

  8. I found your blog through pinterest and just wanted to tell you i love your snowflakes. That is what led me here. You have a beautiful talent and i want to thank you for sharing. Such kindness. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    1. Thank you, 2Bis2Do, and welcome! I do have quite the obsession with snowflakes, so if you're looking for snowflakes, you've definitely come to the right place. :)


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