Saturday, July 21, 2012

Forever Project: hand work done!

Recently the Pirate family went on vacation.  Whenever I am away from home .. vacation, long car rides, doctor appointments, etc .. I always take my current Forever Project with me.

What, you might ask, is a Forever Project?  For me, it is a hand-work project, whether it be counted cross-stitching, piecing, quilting, applique.  I have a grab-n-go container that holds all the supplies I need to work on that specific project.  The project has no deadline, hence the "forever" aspect.  It gets finished when it gets finished.

I have been working on a needleturn applique Forever Project for a long time.  Gosh, it feels like ... well, forever. :-)   This pattern is "Grapes" from Pacific Rim Quilting Company and is designed by Nancy Lee Chong.   I *LOVE* Nancy Lee Chong's 2 Fabric Applique designs!  Using her method, I learned to love needleturn applique; previously, it was a technique that I admired but would never do. (And yes, I have tried *all* *those* *other* methods.)

Grapes, while not difficult, does have, as you can see, a LOT of curves.  I wouldn't call Grapes a beginner project and you should pay attention to the smoothness of the curves that you are stitching.

When finished, Grapes should be about 24" x 36" ... a very nice size for a wall-hanging.

I figured that I'd have a pretty good chance of finishing it.  It would be AWFUL if I didn't have something else to work on!  So, I prepped another 2 Fabric Applique in anticipation of finishing Grapes.

 The other project I brought along to do, should Grapes get finished, is called "Peace".  Normally I don't make a pattern more than once, mainly because there are so MANY patterns that I want to do that I don't want to take the time for a repeat.  But, I was sorta pressed for time getting stuff ready for our vacation and wanted something that would be easy to prep.

I had stitched Peace once before, in August 2007.  I love the simplicity and elegance of the Asian design.  It so happened that my dearest Oldest Daughter thought the same.  Being the gracious and loving Mom that I am (and I am, right?), I gave her the finished wall-hanging.

But that meant that *I* still didn't have one for myself.  It was this design that I prepped for the second project to be worked on.  Fortunately, I had two fabrics on-hand that would work nicely with each other.

It was about the 3rd day into our vacation that I finished up Grapes.  I was very pleased with how it turned out.  I then picked up Peace and started working on it. 

I was surprised at just how EASY this design is to stitch!  There are inches and inches of perfectly straight lines to needleturn and even the curves are nicely gentle!  The only tricky part ... and after Grapes, it wasn't too tricky at all ... was the character for "peace".  This design is definitely a good beginner piece!  You can get your feet wet with the long straight lines before you start messing with the smaller, curved areas.

It took me exactly two days to finish Peace.

Now, I was REALLY in a pickle because I had NO needlework to do.  I really hadn't anticipated just *how* easy Peace would be after Grapes!  I did make a journey to the two local quilt stores (about 45 minutes away) but neither of them had a hand-piecing project kit available.

I realized that what I was looking for wasn't in high demand so the chances of me finding something like it was very slim.

That meant for the duration of our vacation (another 2 days), I read books.  I absolutely, positively adore reading books and brought several with me.  It was just that I wasn't quite in the mood for book reading; I wanted to be stitching!  

In any case, I managed to FINISH all 3 of my books, too.  Luckily, by then, it was time to pack up and return home.  :-)

After we arrived home, I was poking around my sewing room, looking for "something" when I ran across (which translates as "I rediscovered where I put it") another applique pattern that would be just *perfect* for Nancy Lee Chong's method!

This pattern is called "Manzanita" by Random Threadz.  It has some very interesting variations that I am also intrigued with.

ah, choices, choices. :-)

Note: the pattern is designed for raw-edge applique so don't think that you HAVE to do this as a needleturn project.

Isn't it amazing how different all four patterns look?  Fabric choices really make a difference!

Different versions of this pattern are:
"Branching Out"
"Spanish Sunset"
"Mediterranean Morning"


1 comment:

  1. You give me hope that I will actually finish a forever project!