Writing my last post about ten days ago was very helpful to me. The realization that I didn't have to think about April as a deadline for finishing Shelter gave me permission to enjoy simpler piecing projects without feeling they were a distraction from the larger work. I started up a routine that has been very productive as well as satisfying. I would "warm up" by laying out and piecing together a few blocks of the "Spectrum" quilt, and then I would move over to Shelter. To help me focus on the more difficult work, but not get overwhelmed or discouraged, I decided to limit a stint on Shelter to the length of a CD--about 40 minutes. (I generally listen to instrumental only for work that takes mental concentration--quiet jazz or solo guitar.) Alternating back and forth (though generally not doing more than one or two stretches on Shelter in any one day) has had significant results. The finished Spectrum quilt above, quilted and washed. This is 36x36. I really enjoyed making this quilt, and I think I'll do this pattern again. Below you can see the quilting a little better, along with the back. (As always, you can click on the photo to see a larger image.) I would have liked to handquilt this one--the shot cotton is so soft that the machine quilting seems crude--but I wanted to get this one out to its young recipient.
With the Spectrum quilt done, I wanted to find something else really simple, to keep up the alternation. I've had the "Turning Twenty" pattern in my drawer for a long time, and decided to adapt it for a crib quilt. I down-sized it by 50%, and ended up with this little quilt, 36x44, made from small pieces in my stash. I like Spectrum better, but it was satisfying to use up fabric that I have on hand, and this pattern is adaptable for a wide range of fabrics.
OK, enough on the easy stuff. Here's what happened with Shelter. The next photo gives you a bit of an idea of how I lay out strata, and then have to cut away what's underneath before basting the pieces onto the stabilizer.
Once I get a section set, I baste it all together. I'm putting off the final applique until I'm sure of the composition. With it only basted, it is easy to add something in later.
Today I finished basting up the turquoise tier. I've pinned it up above the blue tier on the design wall, roughly turning under the edges to get a sense of how they'll look when they're pieced together. The piece is now about 60" wide. It will be taller once the black and then orange-red tiers are added.
(For a post that shows all four colors, and that explains the origin of this quilt, click here.)