A Lot of Fun Stuff Going On

It’s been a while since I’ve showed you my current work. A couple of weeks ago I finished binding a project started last year. It was the one that made me tear my hair out, along with thousands of quilting stitches. It’s finished, but it’s for a loved one and I’d like to get it to her before showing it off here. Just in case.

If you’ve been a reader for a long time, you may have noticed (or seen me write) that I often don’t post about projects in their early stages. Mostly that’s because I don’t much like taking pictures, and it’s hard to describe a project without them! The project I’m working on now is much the same. I actually started it months ago, and now finally am getting around to posting. This time, however, it really still is in the early stages.

So what’s been done so far?

  1. made 112 flying geese to use in a strip quilt
  2. found and pieced together a long strip of border stripe, to use in said strip quilt
  3. changed my mind and decided to use the geese and the border stripe for a medallion quilt
  4. drew house block to center the medallion
  5. sewed house block
  6. embroidered embellishments on house block
  7. framed house block to stabilize it and standardize the size
  8. prepped border stripe (most of the way) to serve as the first showy border

I began the flying geese as I finished making Union. As mentioned before, I was still enjoying the double pinks and browns, and I wanted to combine them with reds, aquas, and teals. Since the fabric was still out, I started cutting pieces for the four-at-a-time method of making geese units, but I didn’t start sewing them until this year.

I’m not sure what inspired me to make a medallion with a house center block. I’ve always been charmed by folk art including early American embroidery samplers, which often featured houses or school buildings. Recently Barbara Brackman posted about quilts with yellow house motifs. Maybe that got me going. I also had a hard time imagining the strip quilt I originally intended. I couldn’t figure out the numbers of strips or what, besides the flying geese, to use. It seemed like it would be a lot more piecing than I wanted, and perhaps without a good enough payoff.

At any rate, I drew that house.

Sometimes the easiest way to do things is the old-fashioned way, and here graph paper and pencil worked just fine.

I’ll show you what happened from there next time. Before that, the title of this post might merit some explanation. There IS a lot of fun stuff going on, which is good, since one of my primary intentions this year is to have fun.

I’ve had lots of RPT (Real People Time) already this year, and a lot more coming up. On Thursday I’ll have lunch with a dear friend from grad school. She and I lost touch several years ago, and it will be a treat to catch up.

Guild stuff keeps on comin’! Between the presidenting and committee-ing and bylaw reviewing, there’s always enough to keep me busy. Besides that, I decided to go to the three-day retreat in mid-February. That means I have to FIGURE OUT WHAT TO TAKE to keep me busy for three day!!! ACK! So much fun! πŸ™‚ (Imagine that smiley face with a slightly crazed look to the eyes.)

I’m also doing things in my non-guild quilty life that are new and different, but things I’ll wait to explain. Could be a crazy year with that, too.

I updated the blog a bit, gave it a little fresher look. My galleries are finally up-to-date, after languishing without much care for too long.

And then the other personal stuff, including travel coming up. We have four trips pegged already this year and forgive me for hoping that’s all we do!Β  But really, Son’s wedding? FUN! Granddaughter’s graduation? FUN! And a couple of trips for fun? FUN!!

Okay. That’s enough for this time. I’ll show you more of my house project in the next post.



18 thoughts on “A Lot of Fun Stuff Going On

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I need a photo fairy to follow me around, take pix at appropriate moments, and load them in WordPress, ready for me to write about. Then I would find sharing a lot more fun!

  1. tierneycreates

    I predict 2018 will be full of fun and smiles! Looking forward to hearing what non-guild quilty life that are new and different things you are doing (you tease). I will check out your updated galleries, congrats on catching up! πŸ™‚

  2. knitnkwilt

    Retreats are a delight, once there. πŸ™‚ Getting ready is another matter. Especially the back up projects just in case you finish everything you’d intended to do all weekend.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I have been to one retreat and did not have a good time. That was several years ago, but it put me off going again. But I thought I would try once more! At the very worst, I could always go home early. πŸ™‚ But yes, I anticipate this time the worst part will be getting ready. Maybe I’ll prep 3 or 4 VA hospital quilts to piece. Or something of that type.

  3. snarkyquilter

    It’s obvious with all your travel plans you need some portable projects. Embroidery may be that, though I find it difficult to do over rough roads. I stick my fingers more than the cloth. My experience with quilt retreats is that I need to work on projects that I’ve already designed rather than attempt design there. It’s also helpful to sew stuff that doesn’t require finicky counting as there’s always distractions – food, shopping, etc. Maybe a lot of piecing that could turn into borders?

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yep, lots of piecing. It will be best if I have something already cut, and then rather mindless to stitch. I have a couple of things in mind but nothing going on it yet.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks, Chela. I’m to a stopping point on it right now, but will post about getting this far. Then it might wait for me while I take care of some other things… πŸ™‚

  4. KerryCan

    I started reading and thought, “she’s doing a strip quilt?! No way!” And then I saw it was going to be a medallion quilt and the universe was at peace again . . .

  5. katechiconi

    Love the house design, and love the other fun stuff you’ve hinted at. I’d love to think this was the beginning of more process posts, because HOW you actually achieve those amazing quilts of yours has got to be of abiding interest, but given your dislike of photographing stuff like that, maybe not. But I’d also love to hear about the other things in your life πŸ™‚

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I love process posts, but you know quite well how time consuming they are. Between the time involved and the photos, my habits probably won’t change much. πŸ™‚ Thanks!


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