Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sunshine and Shadows - WIP Wednesday

Today was unusual.  Having just finished up a couple of minis for swaps (I'll post more on Finish Friday), I decided to dust off one of my UFO's, which led to dusting off a few more.  Now before we get all excited, I didn't actually finish any of these UFO's, but I did touch them!

First, I decided to get a jump on my Lazy Bum challenge for March.  My goal is to get my Lucky Star 2013 BOM top, backed and pin basted.  I know that doesn't sound like much of a challenge, but it is!

Lucky Star ready for basting

I spent at least an hour cutting and sewing up a proper backing, then another 2 hours with the tweezers picking out the tiny bits of paper that I missed when I removed them from the blocks.  Man!  That was a chore!  I have changed up my paper piecing techniques a bit since I completed these blocks and don't usually leave the papers in the seam allowances any more.  Today, I pledged to continue that practice so I could avoid the hassle of today.  Finally, I started pin basting everything together.

Lucky Star pin basting in progress

I got nearly finished and ran out of pins!  So I had to get another UFO out that is partially quilted and steal some pins off of it.  I still didn't quite have enough, so I concocted a plan to do a little more quilting on that UFO tomorrow so I can have enough pins to finish basting this quilt.  Sounds a lot like robbing Peter to pay Paul to me, but I guess I will get a little further along on both UFO's.

****CAUTION: Please excuse me one moment while I talk about FEELINGS.  It is abrupt and the transition back to quilty talk is awkward.  Skip ahead if you need to.****

I couldn't shake a feeling while working on this one today.  I think it started by thinking of the fabric bundle that started this project - Sunshine and Clouds from Connecting Threads (I don't think it is available any longer).  Somehow, these thought led me to think about a high school friend that passed away last year.  Tracy Hayslip.  She died of breast cancer.  Other people from my graduating class have passed away, but none struck a chord like Tracy's passing.  It's a combination of 1) knowing the person well, remembering all the times we rode around in her mustang, toilet papering other people in our church's youth group (believe it or not, this was an acceptable form of reckless fun in the group), how she wouldn't take crap from anyone, always told you how it was and should be, and was always willing to defend a friend, and 2) not really wanting to acknowledge that people still die from breast cancer.  My head was in the sand.  I recognize that there is no cure, but I guess I just thought that the people who die from breast cancer, just didn't realize they had it until it was too late,  Even when my mother was diagnosed several years ago, I didn't once doubt that she would survive.

Anyway, this quilt really made me start thinking about Tracy.  The yellow reminded me of her laugh, and the good times we shared in the Florida sunshine.  The light gray makes me think of all the years since I last spoke to her, not good, not bad, just time passing by and growing apart like people do.  The darker spots make me think of the sadness associated with losing someone we care about.

I was going to give this quilt away when I was finished with it; but, I think I need to hold on to it.  Not only to remind me of Tracy, but also that crap still happens to people we love.  I hope the next quilt I make that reminds me of someone has a lot more sunshine, and a lot fewer shadows.

***OK, emotional outburst over, quilt talk resuming NOW***

I also got out one of my oldest UFO's today and put it up on my new design wall.

NY Beauty possible layout 2

The way I had my blocks stored suggested this layout.  But I think I like this next one better.

NY Beauty possible layout

I'm leaning heavily toward the 2nd.  I think it feels more balanced.  What do you think?

I don't want to apologize for today's little blurb of emotions.  I really needed to get them out.  As this is like my online journal, it really helped me to try to put into words what I was feeling.  I am not good with feelings, and even worse at expressing them sometimes.

Thanks for sticking it out, and for reading today,



  1. I agree the second is a more balenced look. I often find myself thinking about different people or things inspired by colours or patterns in things I nake.

  2. So sorry to hear about Tracy, I too thought breast cancer was one that didn't kill you. It's the one that's had s go a more of our friends than any other type, but luckily they've all been treated successfully. The Tracy quilt is beautiful, good for you for keeping it! As for the second quilt - also beautiful, and yes, I'd go with the second version too :-) xxx

  3. The second is my pick! Love your UFO's!!!

    My mind goes on a wandering streak and think back to high school, things I did and perhaps shouldn't have done. Not just with quilting, but everything. Vacuuming always does that to me!

  4. I vote for layout #2, by a landslide :-) No need to apologize for the emotional non-quilty stuff: I am going through a tough situation right now and if I didn't talk my way through it, I'd go crazy, so go for it.

  5. So glad you're the one deciding which way to lay out your quilt and not me. I do like the first one though as the scalloped "diamond" makes the quilt look longer. The second layout is nice too but looks squattier, although you do get more of a 3-D effect on the second layout than the first I think. Where you place the blocks with lighter background vs. darker backgrounds can make it look even different still.

    As for your "Sunshine & Shadows" quilt, I think we all have moments of remembering folks we used to enjoy spending time with but in the course of life have let slide out of our lives, keeping in mind that while we were letting them slide out of our lives they were letting us slide out of theirs. I've always found it amazing how something small and otherwise insignificant can trigger memories and emotions that weren't there just seconds before. Definitely keep that lovely quilt because now that you've tied it to a real person and the times you shared together it will mean even more to you than just another challenge that you met and finished. We all deserve to be remembered, so if the quilt helps you to remember Tracy and the good times and fun you had as teenagers so be it. And remember, never apologize for being human.

  6. I vote for number 2. I like the Sunshine and Shadows quilt. It is funny how something can trigger memories and bring them to the forefront. As a cancer survivor I am very much aware that cancer can and does kill. I am thankful everyday that I am alive and can enjoy my children and precious grandchildren, But I also think about those that lost the battle and the family and friends they have left behind to remember them, hopefully with happy thoughts and memories. I better stop now before I get too long winded.

  7. I vote for number two as well. The layout just looks happier to me. The center seems to burst forward, while the first layout seems to fold in on itself. In this case, the quilt is conveying a feeling, instead of just acting as a reminder of the joys and sorrows in life.

  8. Quilting is wonderful therapy. Sometimes deep feelings bubble up out of nowhere or I turn to quilting to distract my mind from something that is weighing on me. I lost a favorite aunt to breast cancer almost 20 years ago and it still hurts when I see her children who were forced to grow up without her. Some people are so vibrant they stay with you forever. Thanks for sharing.


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