Thursday, September 22, 2011

Untouchable

When an unexpected spot came up at the long arm quilters last week I knew I had to take it.  With so many UFOs  it was too good an opportunity to let slip by.

My recent blogposts witnessed me scrambling to get a top ready for the imposed deadline.  First I thought I'd finish off a medallion  quilt that needed a whole lot of circles for the final border.  When it looked like I wasn't getting them made fast enough, I quickly swapped to a task more likely to be successful.


I have previously referred to this quilt as Sue Ross' blocks, but now its name is "Cat's Paw".  After making the final block I planned to put the blocks together quickly, add a couple of borders and send it off to be quilted.  The quilt had other ideas.   Finding the right border fabric was proving difficult, and after collaborating with my webpal, Carol,  I followed her wise counsel and "Cat's Paw" was shelved  for a more achievable goal.

Looking through my UFO cupboard I found 2 projects that could be finished.  With  6 hours before deadline (and that includes travel time) I only needed to construct two quilt backings and two simple borders.

Did I say simple?  The centre of the quilt is simple.  I copied the pattern from Kaffe Fassett's "V&A Quilts" page 25.  I even had some of the fabrics.  It was put together in the last couple of years, I couldn't say when exactly.  I felt my quilt needed a thin brown striped border before a larger 6" finished floral border.


Here is where the title of the post comes in.

I used a favourite, untouchable fabric for the border.  It is from the American Folk Art range from years ago.  It has been in my untouchable drawers for some time.  Yes, I have a drawer full of untouchable fabric.  Too nice to cut up, waiting for that special once-in-a- lifetime quilt.  If you're honest, I bet you have something like that too.


While cutting up my special fabric, I realized that it may never see the light of day unless it gets used and it seemed like the opportunity was ready to be taken.  No, the quilt top is not a masterpiece.  Far from it.  Very simple.  But I like how my fabric lifted the quilt and I know I am going to enjoy it more than I ever could while it is hidden in the drawer.


Without too much planning I cut my fabric and pieced the inner border.  Then I looked at my outer border fabric and realized  I would have to mitre the corners.  There are plenty of pictures of old quilts where the stripes just cross in the corners at 90 degrees, but I can't be so cavalier.   Time was running out and my stripe was not your ordinary stripe.  There and then I decided to make a different corner block and avoid the problem.   With 1 hour to go and I cut and sewed and cut and sewed, every now and then taking the time to breathe and glance at the clock.  For your benefit, I also took a moment to take this picture.

Briefly, my story ends well.  I will wait for the quilts to come back to post about and show the second quilt.




12 comments:

Janet O. said...

Whew! I was holding my breath until you made your deadline!
I have a box of untouchables and the other day when I saw it I thought I just need to use it. You have inspired me. That special fabric is a great touch to that simple, yet elegant quilt.

Donna~~ said...

I got stressed just reading! Glad you were able to finish in time. Funny how we all "save" our special fabrics, which means they never get used! Your quilt looks great--perhaps you should always work under deadline! ;)

Julie Fukuda said...

You were lucky to have untouchable fabric that worked. If I have a chunk of fabric big enough for a quilt border, I doubt it would suit the quilt at all. Some tops make the rounds of fabric shops for years until the right border fabric appears. Good going!

Maureen said...

I can see why you were waiting for just the right project to use that beautiful fabric. I think you made the right decision to use it on this quilt. Lovely! Thanks for taking the time to share your story.

Donna~~ said...

PS. I really like your Cat's Paw! It's fascinating to look at all the fabrics and patterns.

Audrey said...

i just want to keep looking at your shelved project, the cat's paw. bet it's a little more complicated than it looks at first glance!

Nicky said...

Love the combination of fabrics in your second quilt - your border is a good match making more of a statement and one you will love!

Your quilt at the top needs a little time for the right choice and you will get there - some things just should not be rushed!

Dawn said...

It feels like a moment of silence is needed - cutting an untouchable.
Good for you!
Someday I hope to be in that moment, I completely understand.
Besides, now you have more space for some new fabrics.

Mom said...

Your Cat's Paw quilt is gorgeous. I just love all the various fabrics you included. What an unusual combination and they look great together. Can you tell us what pattern you used for the blocks? I don't remember seeing anything like it in any of my pattern books.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Cat's Paw is really cool though! And I love that uncutable fabric as the border for the one you took to the quilter! Very fun!

taylorsoutback said...

Wonderful projects Liz and you have really been going at it! That paisley would be in my no touch group too...it is gorgeous. There is yardage of a red chintz that I hover over and get weak when thinking about cutting into - but it needs to be given a place of honor. All in good time...

Lovely quilts - you should feel very pleased!!!

Sherri ~ daintytime said...

Fabulous use of your untouchable fabric, with lovely results. How did it feel cutting into it?