Monday, June 6, 2011

My 2011 Summer Project

County Line Quilters Guild has a quilt show every 2 years. A major part of this show is the raffle quilt that members help to make. For the second show in a row, I volunteered to design the quilt (FUN!) Along with designing it, I have gotten the job of organizing the making of the quilt (NOT so much fun!) This leads me to these last couple of weeks and, especially the last couple of days, when the quilt has become one of my finish-it-by-yesterday projects. You know what I mean – it's those projects that need to get done yesterday because the wedding/shower/birthday/anniversary/deadline is today!

Pieces of the unfinished raffle quilt.
As I sat there sewing those sashing strips and blocks together, this idea that I've been thinking about finally jelled into a summer project. (Unfortunately, it's not a cruise or an airplane-to-somewhere-exotic vacation though those are on the to-do list!)

My summer project is Finishing School! If I spend a few hours a week just finishing a project, there would be a good sized pile of quilts by the end of summer. That's the theory anyway.

Here's how I imagine it working. First, machine quilting does not count. So, quilt tops cannot be an Unfinished Project (UFO). However, quilts that just need binding (I'm calling those qubies) do count. Have you timed yourself binding a quilt? They take a good 4 hours at the very least! I know I have at least 3-4 of those just waiting to get done. They're bed-size quilts, too.

Second, PIGS don't count. Those are Projects In a Grocery Sack – ie, fabrics (and maybe the pattern) still in the bag that they were placed when you bought them at the quilt shop. The thing is, I don't want to set up for failure because these PIGS may take too long to finish or may simply not work out the way they're intended. At some point, if these PIGS become UFO's (like leave them half-done for at least a day or two while you work on something else – whether intentionally or not), then sure, they qualify.

Which brings us to what exactly are UFOs? These are the collection of blocks that need to get sewn together or the quilt that really just needs its borders or the semi-finished blocks and pieces that are still in the same project bin. Don't you just hate the project that is missing one itty-bitty 2” square? So, we won't include those unless you have a substitute fabric you can use.

Now, just because I've enrolled in Finishing School does not mean I cannot work on my other projects. I will have projects that I need to work on but not necessarily finish in a week. Those don't count. Let's just consider them WIPS (works in progress) or, if starting from PIGS, part of the Possible UFO Replacement Program. After all, for every UFO you finish, you will have space for a future UFO!

Bottom line, it's finishing a quilt top or binding a quilt every week this summer – say now until early September – about 14 weeks.

So, are you ready to enroll in Finishing School with me? There's no tuition – just finished quilt tops and quilts along the way!

Here I go (deep breath!) – my first project – the Guild Raffle quilt:  Quilt top finished June 4.  I'll post a picture soon....

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