Every three months or so, quilting buddy Mary and I get together and wear each other out with marathon days of quilting until we can't hold our heads up. This time it was my turn to go to her house. For our project, we chose a complicated quilt called Lucinda Brodie, which we found in the Australian Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, Volume 18 Number 5, 2009. We both fell in love with the intricacy of the quilt the minute we saw it, and we had spent several trips to various quilt stores in MD, VA and NC looking for fabric. However, it is a testament to this same intricacy that neither of us started on it in the ensuing 9 months, so we picked it as one that needed lots of mutual support to get through the throes of initial effort. Throes can cost you a quilt. Throes can be so terrible that you never go back and finish the thing! And throes often need lots of support to even get them started. So on January 11th, I loaded up my car and descended upon my BFF, throe-ing caution to the wind.
By a few hours into the beginning of the third day, we had created six and five (hers and mine, respectively) centers for our blocks. We did this by paper piecing them in six segments and then joining all the segments. The original instructions called for doing them all by hand, one small piece at a time. But that was NOT going to happen in my lifetime! So I figured out how to join them through paper piecing, which worked very well.
We started the third day of quilting with good cheer. (The picture of Mary, above, shows her smiling with good cheer.) Mary is a very clever quilter. She had a large bureau that she had inherited from her MIL and on which she had placed a Big Board ironing board, which fit perfectly! The height was just right to save your back from aching, and believe me, after all those hours of sewing and ironing, our backs were getting pretty tired.
By the end of the third day, Mary had 8 and I had 7 centers done. Doesn't seem like much, does it, but remember -- the first day I did only two. The next day I did two more, and this third day I did three. By the end of the third day, we both wanted a break big time. Not that we weren't pleased with the centers. It's just that that sort of work is very tedious and time consuming, and we wanted to do something that was nearly instant gratification for a change.
So we made these beach bags out of plastic mesh and gaily colored fabrics. My fabric was a sort of Caribbean batik, and Mary's was a yummy Kaffe Fassett. By now it was almost midnight, so we crashed for the night. I must say, Mary's family is extremely tolerant about our obsessive sewing. We barely came out of her basement -- which is almost entirely given over to quilting and sewing areas since she is also a longarmer -- to fix meals or even go out to eat if we were too tired to fix something.
More tomorrow on subsequent progress.