The Final 5%

I know I’m not the first creator to feel the finishing touches of a work are the hardest to do. After the heady rush of creation and then the sometimes frustrating sewing, ripping out, redoing, and quilting steps, the last bits of edge finishing and hanging sleeve making can get put off. Sometimes they can be postponed a long while. As for labels, I write the quilt’s title, my name, and the year of creation on the backs. I admire beautifully embroidered labels, but done is better than pretty.

I have been forcing myself to do those last bits within six months of finishing a piece. Some of my earlier work has never been displayed because I never made a hanging sleeve. Over the years I’ve forced myself to fix that defect, but there are still some pieces without sleeves. They may stay that way as they are large works, and I can rationalize that they are lap quilts and don’t need sleeves.

Over the past two weeks I have totally finished three quilts. Two had been quilted months ago with binding strips cut, but left hanging in the closet. The third I managed to get faced within a month of quilting it.

“Homage to Escher” 21.5″ wide by 41″ high

I chose the darker fabric for the upper left triangle as it better reflected my mood following current events. All the quilting was done with my walking foot.

The other two quilts were made in Florida last winter. After I did basic walking foot quilting and bound them, I washed them to get a lovely crinkly texture.

“August” 26″ square

“March” 32″ wide by 33″ high

Both continue the month theme for what is now a quartet of quilts. Most likely I have enough scraps to make eight more, but I may fill in the remaining months with other already made quilts like “January Blues.” Now I have only seven more months to go.

“January Blues” 33″ wide by 24″ high

Speaking of finishes at long last, I want to share a photo of a years-in-the-making Dear Jane quilt. Jackie Vogel, its 92 year old maker, is proudly showing it off.

Jackie with her Dear Jane quilt

Sadly, Jackie has had a stroke and most likely will sew no more. Her family shared her fabrics and sewing supplies with local quilters, and I hope to put some of the fabric to good use. My visit to her overflowing sewing rooms convinced me to either finish projects or give away what I know I won’t get to.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Art quilts, Commentary, Completed Projects

10 responses to “The Final 5%

  1. Laceflower

    Love the monthly quilts, beautiful use of colour. I’m a finisher, no UFOs, if I didn’t, they would haunt me and take up precious brain space, so every one gets finished before the next one starts. I think I’m in a very small minority!!

  2. You are an inspiration and these quilts are wonderful. That dark fabric in the “Homage to Escher” piece was the way to go. My path has crossed a local quilter whose last name is Vogel (It may be a (former) married name). I wonder if they could be related. Jackie looks so happy in that photo, and that quilt is mind blowing. One of my cousins made one, took a long time!. It will be a sweet memory and story for those who love Jackie. Thanks for sharing.

    • You’re so welcome. I don’t know if any of Jackie’s six children or their children have ended up in CA. In addition to making quilts Jackie made her clothes, and was always very well turned out.

  3. Jane

    “Homage to Escher” continues to intrigue and inspire me, as do many of your creations. So good that Jackie was able to see “Dear Jane” to completion. So sad about her stroke. We can hope and trust that she gains some peace knowing many other quilt-makers and fiber artists will be able to put her fabrics and supplies to good use.

  4. IYour post spoke to me in several ways – get my UFOs finished (so i can make new projects.), make more sewing time and less “lollygagging”, and share my stash. I’m happy to say that I’m making some progress – I at least have a partial list of UFOs to finish, and I’ve invited a quilt friend over to peruse my stash to help her build a stash. Love your monthly series. And I absolutely love Jackie’s “Dear jane”. So sorry to learn she has had a stroke. Another reminder from the universe to “get busy”.

    • I hear you. While I brought home a bag of fabric from Jackie’s, I gave away 4 bags of fabric and sewing supplies to an acquaintance. My goal is to use my pretty fabrics.

  5. My favorite: “Homage to Escher” I love the depth you were able to accomplish with this one.

    I am happy for Jackie that she was able to see the finish to her Dear Jane quilt. I hope her family will understand how precious it is and cherish it for many years to come.

    • Many thanks. I think Jackie’s family treasures her quilts. When I was at her house I found out her children were trying to choose quilts for her youngest great grandchildren.

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