Sunday, February 2, 2014

Looking through the treasure chest

Quilt treasure chest
For the last few days I've been assembling a quilt top from a set of blocks from a block exchange I did in 2007. As I got closer to finishing, I started thinking about what I might do next, and decided to dig out my treasure chest.

My treasure chest was once a display piece in a drapery and decorating shop. When I brought it home, in about 2002, I was able to put all my UFOs in it, as I had just started doing block exchanges and had yet to make an actual quilt. Over the years, it's been a great place to stash sets of blocks until I am ready to get to them.

I have a slightly different take on UFOs than most people seem to. To me, quilts have two "resting stages", sets of blocks ready to assemble, and assembled tops. While they are unfinished, I don't consider them UFOs.
Blue & White 2001

UFOs are the projects I started in a class and haven't finished all the blocks, or the one I cut out, planning to take a class but didn't. The difference, I guess, is whether they are at a natural stopping point. Since sometimes I am in the mood to piece, and sometimes to quilt, it's nice to always have some things ready to move on to the next stage.

Of course, this is just talking about my traditional quilts. My art quilts are a whole different story, as I have components waiting to tell me how they want to be put together, and pieces that are almost finished just waiting for that something that tells me they are done. I'll talk about them another time.

Winter theme exchange
When I pulled out my treasure chest I realized that almost all the blocks are from Treadle On block exchanges. They are always fun to do, as I try to use my more interesting machines for them and it's always interesting to see the fabrics other people choose, and the machines they use.

I think I've decided next up on my assembly list will be a Winter Exchange set from a few years ago. Seems appropriate for the weather we've been having this winter!

The oldest set of blocks is a Blue & White, from 2001, my first exchange, ever. The exchange offered the option of Blue & White or Red & White, or both. I did both - I didn't know as a beginner to quilting I was "supposed" to do simpler stuff! I finished the Red & White quilt several years ago, but the Blue & White is still waiting.
30s repro Bowties

Two sets of 30s blocks, a batch of Bowties from last year and a set of makers' choice blocks from several years ago. I'm going to combine them for one quilt.

Century exchange. All machines had to be at least 100 years old, and repro fabrics appropriate to that time.

Basic exchange. The three basic exchange blocks are rail fence, half-square-triangle and 4-patch.

Jewel tone HSTs and 4-patches. These were from a couple of different exchanges, but the colors planned so they could go together.

30s Makers Choice blocks
Pre-1900 Bowties. These have a folded fabric center and had to be made on machines from before 1900. I had so much fun with these blocks I made bunches more, and finished a quilt several year ago using just the ones I made.

Split 9-patch. Another exchange from several years ago. Along the way I got some cut pieces from someone who planned to do the exchange, but didn't, so have bonus blocks.

Century exchange - all machines 100 years old
White exchange. We occasionally do exchanges with specific brands, and this was for the White brand machine.

Extra 9-patches. Several years ago I started a mystery quilt. I got the 9-patches and a few other pieces assembled, but was not happy, the fabrics didn't have enough contrast. Rather than waste time on a quilt I didn't like, I threw the 9-patches into my box, the partial blocks into a crumb block bin and the cut pieces into my strips bin.  Sometimes you gotta "know when to fold 'em."

basic exchange 2001
TOGA exchange blocks. Treadle On Gathering and Academy is the name for our regional gatherings. I've been going to the North Carolina TOGA since 2001, missing last year for the first time, and made it to Florida and Tennessee TOGAs several years. I have exchange blocks from almost every TOGA I've been to.

And that's it, other than a few stray bits and pieces at the bottom of the chest. Now I think I'll go sew, instead of just talking about it!

More later.

HSTs and 4 patches

pre-1900 Bowties

Split 9-patch bonus blocks

Split 9-patch exchange

White (brand) exchange

extra 9-patches

TOGA exchange blocks