What I did with the Forgotten Project

Maybe when I started the double wedding ring quilt that I subsequently forgot about I was a fresh new bride of 48 and eager to commemorate my union.  Eight years later, that is still an admirable goal, for I am quite happy with said union.

However, I am currently celebrating our retirement and move to Bebbanburg, and that calls for a different commemoration (said I to myself).  So I put the perplexing double wedding ring project aside for the moment or for another eight years, and began to design a different quilt, also English paper-pieced.  I call it the Bebbanburg Homecoming quilt.

It made sense to me that this should be done in the colors of Bebbanburg which have been slowly thought out over the last year.  Here is my palette of Sherwin-Williams colors used in the house that I used as inspiration for the quilt.


From left to right, these are Colonnade Gray, Watery, Garret Gray, Constant Coral, Blue Nile, North Star and Alabaster.

I have to say it is a lot more fun to design something when you don’t have the specter of having to go to work the next day hovering around you.  I designed and redesigned to my heart’s content.

The Homecoming quilt is a hexagon quilt, all hexagons are one inch.  Here is the first section that I have now sewn together.


Although I tried hard to pull fabrics from stash, I also took the opportunity to discover the local quilting shop in Hendersonville called Beginnings. I was somewhat disappointed that they like to focus more on pre-cut packs like layer cakes, jelly rolls and charm packs and and so their stock of bolt fabrics was smaller than what I had been accustomed to in Seattle, though still reasonably robust.

After I had been in the shop for about 5 minutes and had one bolt in my hands, the clerk asked if he could ring me up. “No way!” I told him. I was just beginning.

An hour and a half later I had finally settled on most of the fabrics, though I still need some more subtle corals.  I hear there is a quilt shop near Asheville that has 9000 fabrics in stock.  Be still my heart.   Since this photo was taken I decided to eliminate the green.


Here is a rough idea of my plan, but ignore the diamonds that are not consistent with the rest of them– I was playing around with ideas but decided that simpler was better.  Also, ignore the borders and pretend that the fabrics match the ones I bought.  Got it?!


Next post I will show you my start on the gansey I have designed for myself!

Forgotten Projects · Quilting

Forgotten Projects

Let’s say I was in my sewing room a couple of days ago, shaking my head forlornly at all the boxes to be unpacked but having nowhere to put things yet due to there being 30% fewer finished walls than there should be and no flooring yet.

Suppose that I chose a box that contained the label “sewing and needlepoint stuff” and, thinking that I might sort it out, opened it up to find this:


This, dear reader, is what you call a Forgotten Project.  It wasn’t abandoned– I really like it!  It’s just one of those things that had to be put away about 5 years ago and slowly settled into the mists of forgottenness.

This is the makings of a double wedding-ring quilt, using the English paper piecing method.  I had very carefully chosen coordinating fabrics and bagged each color set up individually.  I quite conscientiously kept everything together, even the paper pieces and the instructions that came with them.

The problem is, I have no idea what my plan was!

For there was a plan.  I love to plan things like quilts, to play around with colors and values until I am satisfied.  Now I look at these pieces that are put together and the following observations come to mind:

  1. Well, this is not right!  First of all, this fabric combination doesn’t have a bag, and furthermore one does not attach ring sections in this manner if one is doing each ring differently (or a set of rings differently) which, obviously, I am.  I am going to assume this was for a different idea and does not belong with this quilt.IMG_1066
  2. Whoa, this section was pieced upside down.  All sections should curve counter-clockwise, ending with the connector diamond.IMG_1065
  3. This pattern I scribbled numbers on– it looks like I had identified each color set with a number (there are six sets) but I only filled in 1-3 and not even all of those.  Yet I did not label each bag with its number.  That was foolish.IMG_1055
  4. I wonder what size it is supposed to be.
  5. I wonder if I got the fabric to applique the rings onto.
  6. I wonder if I got backing fabric.
  7. I wonder if I designed a border.
  8. I probably created a plan on my PC, which is not hooked up yet, and even if it was, I have no idea where to find the file, and whether it is an Electric Quilt file or not, but I haven’t upgraded my EQ for ages and the last time I tried to use it it wanted me to give it the serial number that was ON THE PACKAGE!  In other words, I bought it in the Stone Age when dinosaurs packed up things called CDs and you stuck them into an opening in your computer to install software.  I am not making this up!

After worrying about this for a day and a half, I decided to try to solve the puzzle by thinking about how I might have thought about it lo these many years ago.

I always create some kind of formula, so what was that formula for this quilt?  I asked Loki to help me brainstorm, but he was already exhausted from all my questioning.


Were the connecting diamonds supposed to be all dark, or all light, or alternately all dark and all light?  No, wouldn’t work.  The shades aren’t distinct enough in the right numbers.


Was I attempting to go through a sequence of colors?  Maybe.  I could lay this out, but couldn’t get it to make sense in an assembly plan.


Was I trying to alternate rings with lighter and darker colors?  Probably.  The best thing I can come up with right now is this, which is sort of like a portrait artist sketching a freckle and asking you to recognize the person.


Hopefully I have figured out enough to continue.  One thing seems to be obvious– the colors in each section mostly progress from one hue to another and then back.  At least that makes sense!

Do you have forgotten projects in your house?  Tell me about them!