Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Done piecing!

I've been on a piecing jag for the last five months, finishing one major quilt and working on three others.  For the last month it's been stripes, cut into tiny bits and assembled, like courses of brickwork, with a "grout" of very fine lines.  As with every quilt I make out of a myriad of little bits, the easy part comes at the front end, when the task is simply to sew up large expanses of piecing.  The hard part comes at the end, when all the expanses have to be fit together.

Sunday night

On June 24, a Sunday, I confidently announced that the top would be finished before the end of the week.  Maybe by Wednesday, I thought. All I had to do was fill in that hole on the top, then add a few inches on the right edge.  Piece of cake.

Tuesday morning
One day of work didn't seem to accomplish much, to look at the quilt on the wall.  But the separate panels had been sewed together and the top center had been resolved.  I added new rows of "bricks" at the top.

Wednesday afternoon
Getting there -- by Wednesday afternoon all I needed was to expand the last panel a bit and sew it to the rest of the quilt.

But wait.  Look at that little patch of pink in the top right corner.  Kind of like a bloodstain on a wedding gown.  When I constructed that segment in the first place, I thought it would go farther to the left and the pink would be just an extension of the medium tones at the center of the quilt. But it got pushed toward the right, and the pink was stranded.  It took me an entire episode of Law & Order to take out the two pink patches and replace them with something pale.

And look at that patch of white at the center of the top row -- equally out of place, in the opposite way.  Since it was at the edge of the quilt it only took me 20 minutes to get that replaced.

With interruptions for dinner guests, a critique visit, and Zoe's summer drama performance of Macbeth, I lost some of the end of the week.  But at 10 pm Saturday I got the quilt in one piece, fulfilling my vow.  Or at least pretty much fulfilling it -- the top and bottom are still raggedy and may require some additional piecing before I can slice off straight edges all the way across.  But I'm the one making the rules, and I declare that the piecing was done in June.  Not going to ruin this quilt's technical virginity by showing you a picture of its latest incarnation, but imagine another eight inches or so of pale at the right.

Now no excuses -- I have to get on with the quilting.


  1. Awestruck. Simply amazing. I need to see this one in person. Though I did notice the white rectangle at the top (and wondered if it was something that was holding the piece to the board) I didn't notice the little pink bricks in the upper right. I thought they looked like an extension of what was below-- kind of like an errant piece of popcorn popping up to be noticed. Funny how, as artists, we become intimately aware of every bulge, stitch and piece of color, each has its hold on our compulsive need to get it right. Love your work Kathy. Love your work.
    -paula kovarik

  2. Ohhh, I LOVE this! I enlarged it and it's incredible. I see what you mean about the bloodstain on a wedding gown - great analogy.

  3. I love this quilt. You do amazing work. I wish I had the patience to work with such small pieces! Just FYI that I've pinned this quilt to my "Quilty Goodness" board on Pinterest (with proper credit, of course!). Feel free to follow me if you'd like: http://pinterest.com/lipglass/quilty-goodness/