Too Many In Process

Right now I have too many projects in process. It is a tiny bit stressful for me, as I usually only work on one or two at a time. In addition to there being a lot (for me,) they are all very different from each other. Redirecting and refocusing takes some effort.

    1. Untied. I’ve been hand-quilting this with a hoop for the center, and no hoop for the rest, which I can reach more easily. It’s been on hold for a couple of weeks, but the center is almost done and soon I’ll move to the outer borders. They should go a little more quickly. 20160328_092719
    2. Moonlight Waltz. The top is beautiful. I loaded it onto the frame with a back and wool batting. My longarm machine has had unreliable tension, but after testing extensively, I plunged ahead. It was awful. Rather than baby the project along, a few inches at a time, I stopped. I took my machine to the factory. Last week I picked it up. They installed a new tension assembly and a new shaft for the bobbin assembly. The price of repairs was very modest. Jim re-installed the machine. I removed the whole project from the frame and picked out the quilting I’d done. I’ll need to add a big test strip to the back before loading it on the frame again.20160615_182518_resized
    3. Diamonds. I don’t have a good name for this yet, but it’s my most recent start. The top is done and the back is ready. I need to cut batting and make a binding. I will quilt this one before getting back to Moonlight Waltz.Harlequin Diamonds
    4. Testing. This actually is my highest current priority, and it is what I’m working on today. I put plain muslin on as backing and top fabric and used a scrap of polyester batting between. To evaluate the tension, I am using a different color of thread in the bobbin than on the top. I think it’s adjusted pretty well now, but the batting scrap is a different loft than I usually use. After a few more squiggles, I’ll switch to my usual brand and test some more. 20160621_120133
    5. Local guild challenge. This year’s guild challenge is to create a quilt inspired by Iowa. “What does Iowa mean to you? Corn and prairie grass? The Old Capitol Building? Family and friends? In 2016, Iowa will be 170 years old and we thought we should show everyone what Iowa means to us through our quilts. There is no size or technique limit to this quilt.” This is a hard project for me because I can’t easily distill my thoughts and emotions into a design concept. However, while instant-chatting with my son one evening, he described the Iowa in his mind as he flew over early this year. I’m still working on how to incorporate his words. The challenge meeting is in July, so time is running out! 20160621_115949

The only thing I have managed to finish is my round robin border for the month. My small group is doing a round robin again, and we’re on the third border. I made a border and was ready to attach it, but I wasn’t sure I liked it. Jim and I agreed that it was too spiky, so I modified it and turned the spikes inward, which helped soften the effect. I think it sets up the top well for a last border. 20160621_120408

I hope to be done with all these projects by mid-July. This very minute that seems both very doable and a little insane. No telling which one will win out! A lot will depend on how well my longarm machine works. Wish me luck!

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31 thoughts on “Too Many In Process

  1. piecefulwendy

    If I were to name your diamond quilt, I’d name it Lucy. (Think “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”) My favorite quilt of all of them? Untied. I love the fabrics!

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Hi Wendy. I did think of Lucy in the Sky, but I’m not sure what will stick as a name. I love the fabrics in Untied, too. It was fun to put together. Now I just need to finish it!

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      1. piecefulwendy

        Sometimes you have to live with it for awhile, then the name will come! I love to do quilt tops; finishing the quilt is a bigger challenge!

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  2. djw531@gmail.com

    I love them all but especially Diamonds. I am going to attempt to make it if I can get a little more instruction. It appears a lot like a piece of artwork I purchased at the time as I was diagnosed with cancer 8 years ago. It was named Faces of Joy and the diamonds will be a coordinating piece and will have a complementary name. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Debbie

    >

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks, Debbie. I’ll be putting some more information on when I get a grip on some of these projects! I don’t write patterns, so it won’t be in that format. But you’re always welcome to ask questions, and feel free to email me. The picture in this post is just the software sketch of it. I love the name “Faces of Joy.” Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  3. katechiconi

    The Diamonds quilt seems to me to be begging for the name Harlequin, such a joyful motley mix of colour restrained by the discipline of the diamond shapes. Good luck with the repairs, and I hope your fingers and other parts return to their normal configurations soon!

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  4. jmn111

    Wow, busy or what!
    I finished quilting quilts #8 & 9 for the showing end of August. I’ve got all the fabric for #10 and an ready to go, now that I’ve packed as much if the house as I can. I hope to get this new quilt done before the move out.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Speaking of busy, you’re packing in a lot (no pun intended) in a short time. I don’t envy you the move, but it looks like you’ve cleared out so much of your belongings that it will be a little easier. I wish you good luck with the whole process.

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  5. KerryCan

    I’m amazed that you can switch gears among so many quilts. I have a lot of projects going but they are different types–weaving, embroidery, quilting– and that seems easier to me. It’s like leaving one room and entering another. But all those quilts, jockeying for attention . . . I’ll be very impressed if you meet your mid-July goal!

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Switching gears would be easier if I used lists or notes of what needs to be done next. But I don’t. I don’t have habits for this type of working, because I don’t usually do so many at a time. Thanks.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      The center block is African fabric. I don’t know the types but if you think it is a wax print, likely that is so. I love LOVE the vibrant colors of it! I have two more pieces of different prints and look forward to seeing what those become, too.

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    2. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I just looked into this a little more. The design is not the same intensity on both sides of the fabric (like a batik) so I believe it is an imitation made with regular printing. Thanks for asking, as now I’ve learned an interesting tidbit.

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  6. jimfetig

    I think all creative people tend to launch too many projects from time to time. I hate it when I do that because then I have to prioritize my babies. That’s no fun.

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  7. snarkyquilter

    You seem to be at the point where you need a schedule for each quilt you have going. If it’s Tuesday …. I think it’s harder to switch between projects if they’re all at the same stage, such as quilting. It’s easier if one is in design, another in piecing, and yet another in quilting. Each activity engages different parts of one’s creativity.

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  8. zippyquilts

    Well, I couldn’t resist telling you what Iowa means to me. Back when we were all in college, my husband and I were driving through Iowa and decided to stop and visit his sister at Grinnell. We couldn’t find her, it got late, and we pulled our pickup into a big parking lot, got into the camper in back, and went to sleep. We were awakened the next morning by lots of noise, and looked out to see a carnival setting up all around us! So when you say “Iowa”, I say “carnival” 😃

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  9. threadcrazy

    Where t start as all of the quilts you featured were beautiful. I must admit the “Untied” catches my eye, while the Round Robin is very appealing. Seems like you’re going full steam ahead and no stopping! Hope that quilting machine of your is ready to roll –

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      It’s working, though my thread is shredding when I drive from right to left. So… only drive left to right! That’s okay for this quilt, the diamonds. But it won’t work for every quilt! I’m hoping the problem lies in the thread and not the machine. (Also I should try a new needle, as perhaps there is a burr…) Thanks for reading and commenting.

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