Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oak Leaves and Reel

Isn't this cool fabric?  Yup, it's fabric...printed to look like appliqué and half square triangles.  This is my current work in progress.  Formerly a resident in the UFO box, this project was purchased in December of 2007 with the thought that it would be a quick gift.  I do not measure time as some would measure

"Oak Leaves & Reel" by Terry Clothier Thompson is a "convenience" quilt produced by Moda.  When finished it will measure 86x86.   

First off let me say that "convenience" might be the wrong word for this project.  Yes, countless hours of hand work were avoided.  The center and outer border are giant faux appliqué.   With another twenty years I might be able to produce a replica of it, ....maybe.  However, the notion that this quilt is somehow easier is probably wrong.  There is a whole other set of skills required here.  Have you every fussy cut something?  You need an engineering degree and nerves of steel.

Over the weekend, in a turkey induced euphoria, Gilbert and I decided it would be a fun project to do for the dogs.  Yup, you read it right.  We thought we would whip it together in an afternoon, free motion quilt it on the Gammell the next day, and have it on the couch by Monday.  (Have I told you that we are not engineers?)

The dogs like the couch in the library.  It is their room, a.k.a. formal dinning room turned book depository.  We got a new couch and moved the old one in there thinking that it would be a nice place to curl up and read.  

Gilbert doesn't like the dogs on the couch.  He boobie traps the room, placing obstacles between the dogs and the precious leather cushions.  He says their claws will ruin it.  I do wonder how a 80 pound dog is going to ruin the hide of a bull, but I respect my fella so I'm not going to argue about it.  I leave the obstacles in place even though it makes the cozy reading room uninhabitable.
Enter me with a bright idea.....not so very as it turns out.  If we covered the couch the dogs wouldn't hurt the leather.  Look, we could make this convenient quilt just for them.  I could practice free motion quilting it.  The dogs won't care how it looks.

The center of the quit is a giant nine patch of faux appliqué. The were ten blocks in the pannel.  While my engineer was busy fussy cutting I played with some free motion quilting. 

Oak leaf before...

Oak leaf after...

I thought that twitch had gone away.  

There is no way I can do this with the grace and efficiency that Waldorff does.  Even if I frog it and start over the quilting won't follow the lines exactly and I know the dogs don't care.  I think in this case we need some more quiltng to destract the eyes, create some faux appliqué puffiness, and secure the quilt from dog claw damage.

This is where I left my sample.   In it's next life it is going to be a big pillow.

Note to self: Base you expectations on an achievable goal.  Accept the limitations of the tool you are using and use it to your advantage.  Human tool = imperfection in repeted patterns, tallent for adhoc fly by the seat of your pants measured chaos.  Computerized tool = stunning symetry. 


Lynne said...

Fun lessons to learn, eh?

Anonymous said...

I just finished this quilt yesterday. Exact same one purchased in 2008. I took it to my cousi, a long armer pro, and she suggested an edge to edge oak leaf and acorn pattern. Looking for other suggestions, I see by your experience, and I believe your are a pro as well, that her suggestion is valid.