03 April 2018

WIPped Cream

I first discovered the quarterly Ravelry quilt WIP challenge in the spring of 2013. I had seven WIPs listed back then. At the time, I had many more stored away and forgotten. Finishing one of those hidden and unlisted projects back in Summer 2013 and not being able to claim it as a challenge finish thrust me into my full list, which until this year, has not been fewer than 30 projects since Winter 2015.

For the fun of it, I thought it would be personally entertaining to go back to my first list and see how much progress I've made. I was right!

My Spring 2013 list featured a wall quilt with black and white photos I printed on fabric at home with my own printer, then lined with yellow strips because I was so caught up in cycling's then-popular yellow wristband fight against cancer.

I won't bother identifying the ignition of such craze because I am no longer a fan of said fallen hero. Yet I will always support the battle against cancer, and I currently am wearing a purple wrist band in honor of a co-worker who just began chemo for pancreatic cancer. My boss bought wrist bands for everyone on our floor, and everyone who knows my co-worker is donating vacation time and volunteering to take in meals.

I ended up throwing the yellow band PhD (Project half-Done) in Lizard's rag pile, where it has since been used to dry up Finish Line Teflon Bicycle Lube splotches and clean bicycle chains. A fitting end, since I couldn't really take it apart and put pink bands (to symbolize the fight against breast cancer) around photos of my manly husband. I mean, he wouldn't have complained, but he wouldn't have loved the feminine color surrounding quilted photos of him as much as he loves the soiled but classy yellow and gray rag...

Lizard Photo

Next was Hawaiian Punch, which, sadly, had not found a way out of deep storage but is yearning to be finished. I pulled it out of lurking when I composed this blog post, and it's now on my list of quilts that need to be finished this year.

This Quilt As You Go (QAYG) project, which began after a trip to Hawaii I won at a church singles dance, is hand-quilted and still on my current Ravelry challenge list. My trip to Hawaii back in 2004 infected me with incurable passion for Hawaiian quilting. I hope to create many more Hawaiian quilting-style projects once I finish a few more of my current WIP list quilts.

Third is Lizard Leftovers, comprised of bandana remnants over the years. One of my favorite go-to gifts for my husband for any occasion is a homemade bandana. I've collected reptile and southwest fabric for this purpose for going on 14 years now. Lizard Leftovers is done and beautifully showing off on our guest bed. Or comforting guests when the room is occupied.

Snowflake Heartbreak, a QAYG occasionally still on my list, has made a couple of significant contributions to my well-used kitchen potholder collection. The fabric content (velour... what was I thinking?!?) and my (former) shyness with FMQ stifled this project, which currently is in the "Not Sure I'll Finish This" box.

Round Robin Rage/Square Robbin is with owner Esca.

Esca's grandmother Donna is to be the recipient of Leaf Me Alone, which is a sandwiched flimsy now but still awaiting quilting and binding. I hope to knock it off the list this year, and preferably this quarter, since Donna's birthday is coming up next month. My goal for the last five years has been to finish it for her birthday or for Christmas. Now that all her grandkids have quilts, I think a quilt for her one remaining single and childless offspring is in order, so I'd actually like to finish Leaf Me Alone plus a (not started yet) masculine quilt for my nephew Mathew.

I haven't touched my green batiks project, Welcome to the Jungle, in years because for years I was afraid my free-motion quilting would ruin it. At one point, I wanted to enter it into a quilt show. So I longed to be able to quilt it perfectly.

I'm no longer afraid of free-motion quilting. I don't necessarily think this quilt will be ruined if I free-motion quilt it, even on a small machine, but sometimes I think it would be really cool if I hand-quilted it, mostly because it's SO huge and my current domestic sewing machine has such a small throat.

Fall 2013 saw an expansion of all WIPS I could think of for a total of 11. Wow, how I'd love to be down to that few WIPs again one day!!!

Of the 11, two are flimsies ready to be quilted (Leaf Me Alone and Welcome to the Jungle), two are blocks in waiting (Snowflake Heartburn and Hawaiian Punch), and seven are finished, including my most recent finish, Blue Scrappy Block a Month, finished with just three hours of March remaining!

I should change the name to Doodle because that's what I did for three solid nights after work! I practiced my free-motion quilting, and I'm pretty darned proud of a couple of motifs! Especially since, as I keep complaining and whining, my domestic machine has such a tiny throat!

The backing for this quilt of scraps and leftovers is the remainder of the dress fabric I sacrificed to finish Blue Floral Nostalgia last week. While Lizard was helping me sandwich Blue Scrappy Block a Day, he said he wouldn't mind a bandana made from the blue daisy print. Um, there's not enough left now!

I told him I'd bought it for a dress and opted to use it for backing so I didn't have to buy more fabric. He said it would make a beautiful dress.

Does that mean I get to look for more and buy it all over again??? With a yard extra for another bandana??? Ha ha ha!

Oh, my gosh, I found some, and it's half price!!! Turn me loose!!! (Lizard just said yes!!!!!!!!!!)

This quilt is more densely quilted than any of my previous quilts except for Skinned. Many years ago, one of my quilting friends once commented on a densely quilted best of show at a quilt exhibit that she wants her quilts to be soft, cuddly and used, not hung on a wall as art. That must have formed my opinion of dense quilting, even though I'd not really experimented at that point. I didn't do dense quilting because I wanted the quilts to be soft.

I recently read it's a common misconception, and that each wash causes densely quilted quilts to become even more soft. My niece has never complained about Skinned, which I densely quilted to make the colors seem more puffy and eye-catching (successfully!). I'm going to wash Blue Scrappy Block a Day a few times to test the theory. It's been washed once now, and I have to say, I still love this quilt, and even one washing improved the softness! Lizard certainly thinks so!

Blue Scrappy Block a Day is not perfect, but my free-motion quilting skills are improving. My favorite block has a boo boo I decided to leave because it's like an identity characteristic. Lizard says no one will ever notice. I think Sue and Maryann will, thanks to the Eye of Smaug inspiration...

This quilt does not have a destination yet, but I may have to consider Jo's suggestion to present it to my cancer-fighting co-worker. Especially if several washings render it soft.

This quarter's WIP list, thankfully, is, pleasantly, under 20!!! The goal once again (not met last quarter, although I did finish four from the list) is two a month for six, which would bring me down to... drum roll, please, 13, my lucky number!!! If that's not motivation, I don't know what is!!!

1. Hawaiian Punch

2. Leaf Me Alone

3. Welcome to the Jungle

4. Lizard Toes

5. Hexie Booboo

6. Tickled Pink, the Sequel

7. Teal Shadows

8. Goodbye Hollyhock Road

9. Snowflake Strip Bar

10. Green Floral Batik Postage Stamps

11. Lavender Sunrise

12. Giant Dahlia

13. Showcase

14. Snowbike II

15. Autumn Splendor

16. Cool Edge of the Rainbow

17. Citrus Whip

18. Time for Me to Fly

19. Venetian Squiggles

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Sure have/had a ton of ideas and keep bringing new ones forth. Best way to be. Looking back we can see how far we come. Great of all to do for your co-worker. Yeah, for hero to rag pile haha good spot.

    1. He does make a good rag, doesn't he, Pat! Smirk...

      I have too many ideas. I can't start anything new until I finish a few more, so I'm anxious to finish a few more!!!

  2. I would never have noticed the "boo boo" if you hadn't drawn my attention to it! :D
    So many of these projects seem like old friends. I'll miss seeing them when they finally make it off the WIP list.
    The quilt on the guest room bed looks great. Makes me feel nostalgic. I hope we'll be able to get out there again sometime.

    1. We'll have to see if Maryann notices, Sue. Wouldn't it be funny if she misses it, too? Dragon magic!

      I agree that some of these projects have been around for so long, they are like members of the family now. But I still want to finish. And I can't wait until we get a chance to visit each other again!


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