Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January WISP

WISP--that would be Works in Slow Progress (otherwise known as UFOs), which is the name Kris is using for her One Project a Month Challenge; and this quilt will be my project for January.

Does anyone make watercolor quilts anymore? Watercolor Bars is one of two watercolor quilts I made back when I was living overseas, so it's probably 9 years old. This one was made square by square, as opposed to the second one which was made with strips which were then cut apart to make four identical blocks. I really enjoyed making this one, but was it ever time-consuming to choose each and every square. I'd really like to make another one.

It started out life as a round robin. At the time, I couldn't fathom how a watercolor round robin would work.... and apparently neither could any of my four swap mates, because what I got back was a mish mash of squares with no discernible pattern whatsoever. I'm pretty sure theirs were no better. I took all the squares apart and reassembled them into this bar pattern, the goal being to reuse every single square that had been part of the original project. I remember now I only had a very few squares left over that I simply couldn't find a place for.

Probably the main obstacle to completing the quilt back then was indecision about how to quilt it. This morning I made the monumentous decision to simply quilt diagonal lines through each square. The second obstacle was deciding to use either invisible nylon or regular thread. I'm really not crazy about invisible nylon because of the shine, but in a quilt with so many colors like this one, it would probably work very well.

In any case, I have the entire month of January to finish it and fulfill my challenge obligation, so I'll spend the rest of this week choosing backing, creating the quilt sandwich, and choosing some thread. No need to rush into it, is there?

My pillowcases to go with the Tug of War quilt are finished, and I put together the little chickadee ornament last night. The glue is dry, and it's finished! The back of it looks just like the one on the right, which is a little nutcracker I made long time ago. I want to work on some other ornaments this year, mostly but not all crosstitch--the list of things to do in '09 is growing! I also finished sewing another strippy top but haven't loaded it for quilting yet. I'm going to do that probably this evening.

It's snowing in Maine today, and the weatherman has predicted 4-8 inches. The weathermen are rarely correct up here, and I'll be surprised if we get four inches, especially since right now it's sleeting. Soup is perfect for supper tonight!


Exuberant Color said...

I still make the colorwash/watercolor type quilts. I have used 2.5" squares in most but have done some with as small as 1" squares. I label my posts so there is a colorwash label on my sidebar if you want to see what I have done. I still have trays and trays of squares and 2" strips.

I use the clear monofilament on the colorwashes most of the time and usually just do stitch in the ditch since I don't always want a secondary design. On others I have quilted flowers and grass with the monofilament over the whole quilt. I have used rayon embroidery thread on some too.

Exuberant Color said...

and then I forgot to say how much I like yours!!

Belvie said...

I really like the way you are doing your colorwash quilt. It's such a creative way of doing it with the bars.

Love that little ornament too. Chickadees are my favorite little bird.

Gina said...

I love the quilt. it looks like a garden of flowers

Love and hugs Gina xxx

LC said...

This is one of the nicest watercolor quilts I've seen. Love the effect of flowers in front of the bars... like they are growing through a picket fence. Very cool!

Teresa said...

Hi Sue,, I made a watercolor quilt when they first became popular way back when. I don't think mine turned out near as nice as yours. We need blooming flowers & lot's of color right about now!

Stephanie D. said...

Watercolor quilts were too complex for me at the time they came out, and I don't know that I'd have the patience to learn and do one now. But I've never seen one with the bars before, and I really like it.

Nice not to have that hanging over your head anymore isn't it?

jovaliquilts said...

That's a stupendous watercolor quilt!