I didn't actually finish anything yesterday except the old year. I made a batch of amaretto cookies if that counts. Some friends took us downtown to the State Theater to see Grease and then to watch the cherry drop. It was wall to wall people on Front Street, there were so many people that we didn't even get cold!
So today I worked exclusively on the Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt and guess what? I Finished it! Here is the finished product.
Now let me tell you about this project.
I started it in 1989 when a customer of mine at Erickson's brought in a finished top wanting to know how to finish it. I loved the look of her quilt top and thought that I could have done a better job of hand piecing it myself. So I started the project right away when I got home that night. I wanted the look of those wonderful pastel thirties prints but since they had no reproduction fabrics at that time I had to find prints and solids that mimicked the look I had in mind. I used whatever odds and ends of muslin I had in my stash, and this I wish I had not done. Of course, at the time, I didn't know that it was going to be my masterpiece!
I finished the blocks in 2000 after working on them during my breaks at Polk. Then I finished the top working on it at Border's with the Border babes in 2005. I layered it so that we could use it as a hand quilting demo at the Northwest Michigan Fair. We began to hand quilt it bee style. Members of the Rumpled Quilts Kin Guild worked on it on and off for the last five years. Members who worked on it included: Eleanor Howard, Char Blanchard, Alice Rogers, Karen Hill, Laura Munck, Arlene Kish, Nancy Larson, Nancy Crow, Mikki Gauthier, Sue Shipman, Dorothy Weber, Marsha Frick, Sharon Siladke, Elaine Penny, Terese Gavar, and Diana Siloff.
The last time I worked on it bee style was in the home of Eleanor Howard. Eleanor is a 89 year old woman who has been quilting her entire life. She is our guild's hand quilting guru! She has single-handed taught probably over a hundred people to quilt in our guild alone. She is a very dear friend of mine and she has been getting after me for over a year to finish this quilt. Finally last July I signed the UFO contract.
For those of you who don't know, I usually run a UFO (Unfinished Object) club for our guild. We had just gotten finished with the UFO club and I challenged everyone in the guild to take one of their UFO's their biggest baddest UFO and work on it for the next six months. I gave each person a contract to sign. The deadline is the January meeting, January 4th! I named this project as my biggest baddest UFO, I've been working it for 20 years now so it's also my oldest UFO.
Today it is finished~!!!! So being that I finished it on January 1, 2010 it will also count toward the new UFO club. Which reminds me, I need to send this link to Sue Shipman to prove to her that I did finish it today!!!
I sewed the Label onto it about 8 pm this evening which made it officially finished. I will dig out the permanent marker and write the finishing date on the label as the final touch.
I was raised by my Grandmother who had a very lovely flower garden behind her house. I always remember helping her plant annuals in it. She had tulips and lilies that came up every year too. Her garden was the first thing I saw when I came over to her house and there was a lovely little garden path that one had to walk in order to get to her back porch. Doing this project put me in mind of her nearly every time I worked on it. It was her house in Dixboro Michigan where our family gathered every Sunday night for games, TV, Pizza, conversation, and it's where I learned my values and my responsibilities as a member of a family.
This project is a tribute to my Grandmother and her lovely house and garden!
In finishing out the old year I also want to mention that in my little black book I have listed 68 projects that I finished last year. Of course many of those projects are multiples. Often if I made multiples of something I just wrote how many on one line of the list. Such as 14 wallets for sale, 7 jewelry bags, 2 green bags, 3 apple blocks, 8 video tape bags, etc. I also want to go on record that I completed 61 bags or wallets, some of which I still have in the box that I take to craft shows. I also finished 12 quilts this year, and ten hand knitted projects including three pairs of socks.
I'm very thrilled at everything I got done this year. When you consider that two years ago today I was looking forward to having my stomach stapled, I was depressed, had no energy and was awaiting my own death. So much has changed in these last two years. I am 100 lbs less, I have renewed energy, I have a job that I love with a boss that I love and I am so energetic about finishing these old projects. I really want to work on some new exciting techniques this year. I want to explore more embellishing techniques and surface design. But meanwhile I'm also going to continue to set weekly goals to rid myself of these older projects as well. I'm very excited to get started, so what I accomplished today is symbolic of my new life! Get finished with the old stuff, have that feeling of accomplishment and then go on to the next new thing!
So, on to the next thing!
Finishing the old stuff!