This piece is a UFO. Long story, but aren't they all?
I was making a very traditional double diamond Storm at Sea quilt with a small Mariner's Compass inset. When looking online for inspirations, I came across a mind-blowing wall quilt by a German quilter, combining an applique of Hokusai's Great Wave off Kanagawa print with a pieced Storm at Sea. I looked, admired, and showed it to my son, who said "You can't." I said, "OH YES I CAN!" He said, "You're crazy."
Okay, I finished the first Storm at Sea, and then started this one. It's for my son.
A link to the inspiration piece: http://textiledreamer.wordpress.com/2007/06/08/storm-at-sea/ I did not draft my pattern from this; I went to the original print and did my own rendition. Hers is WAY more nicely done, but mine is at least original in that respect.
Another element suggested itself. Son and I are fond of Das Boot, both the book and the movie. L. G. Buchheim, who wrote it, mentions the Hokusai print in the chapter about the ferocious North Atlantic storm the submarine encountered. Hmmmm-- there are two fishing boats engulfed in that wave-- how about putting the U-96 in their place!
Most of the applique is cut, and the pieced sections where the two elements come together are completed. I've put some of it together, but the biggest problem I encountered was finding a large enough work area to lay it flat with nothing hanging off the edge. I never quite did, things didn't go together right, frustration occurred, and I shoved the lot in a bag.
Well, it's out of the bag, and somewhat pressed. I have a folding table that will extend the work surface just enough, so that's solved. The submarine needs some shading to make it look more convincing; maybe need to pick up some FQ's from Batiks Plus-- my local quilt shop's owner doesn't favor gray very much. The bright green spot may be too bright-- it's going to be the U-96's famous Laughing Sawfish emblem with the addition of some embroidery. There's plenty of time to re-think it. Right now the whole thing just looks crude..
I've been hung up on design and technical decisions too long-- I'm to the point of JUST DO SOMETHING, and hope it'll work out. (Usually does!) So I've got the applique parts of the conning tower done and installed. I found a gray ombre fabric, and used that for the boat. I decided to embroider the Laughing Sawfish rather than applique him. I'll also add some embroidered details when it's sewn together-- the railings and periscopes, the limber holes in the bow section, and the tops of a couple of heads in yellow sou'westers. ( Those guys better get down in a hurry before that wave hits them!)
I have procrastinated for a few weeks, but today I buckled down and worked on it. There seem to be a few bits that never got cut, so I'm systematically making them and getting them pinned on. I also found several stray pieces that I'm GUESSING belong over on the left side, but I'm not sure. This is what you get when you shove a complicated project in the closet for a few years!
Making good progress today, and will probably be able to post a picture tomorrow. The applique should be completed by the end of the week. I'm going to quilt it in two sections-- bottom first, then the rest of the pieced part. It'll save my sanity.
On the homestretch with the piecing. I'm going to push very hard to finish tomorrow. Planning to assemble the blocks the day after Labor Day, giving me until September 27 to get it quilted. That is easily do-able.
Piecing completed last night! Taking a break to catch up on housework. I did buy the batting and quilting threads today, already have the back, from eQuilter, since the local store doesn't have wide backing. Ready to start quilting next week on the Elna.
Got back to work today, and put together four of the six remaining Storm at Sea rows. Tomorrow I'll complete the other two and assemble the top half of the quilt. I am hoping to get it sandwiched and pinned by the end of the day.
Did a marathon quilting session yesterday and have the upper portion done, except for a bit of free-motion work on the top border. Also have extremely sore shoulders! Be that as it may, I'll get the Bernina rigged anyway and finish the dang thing. Next up is to get the embroidered bits drawn on the lower part and start working on them. I would like to be well along with the quilting by the weekend.
Finished dealing with a minor setback. I'm inclined to use my eyes more than my yardstick, and sometimes it bites me. When I laid the top onto the back and batting, it became obvious that one side was shorter than the other at the bottom, After considering the lazy solution of just trimming a little here and a little there, I decided to take a wide strip of the fabric I used for the top border, cut the bottom edge of the applique into a few gentle curves, and applique the crooked onto the straight. It looks like my ocean is overflowing just a little. Very pleased with the way it looks, and getting ready to pin.
Quilting away on the applique section. Like all my machine quilting, it is UGLY, and will be until the quilt is assembled and washed. I'm using the Bernina and the BSR, which is doing well, except for a few cranky moments.
Free motion quilting is finished. After a rash of broken threads, I did a needle survey to find anything that would work. The winning combination was a heavy embroidery needle, with the BSR unplugged from the machine's computer. A salesperson talked me out of buying a Bernina darning foot a few months ago, telling me I could do this, and it works perfectly. I began the walking foot quilting tonight and may finish tomorrow.
I finished the walking foot quilting on the lower section. Did some cleaning up of thread ends, and fixed some mistakes. Stitched the top and bottom of the upper layer together. This morning, hand stitched the two parts of the bat together, then hand-stitched the back together. Put the walking foot back on the machine and quilted the two pieced rows on either side of the joint.Then I made the binding and stitched it to the front side. Tomorrow I'll fold it over and hand stitch it to the back.
Binding is done, it's washed and dried, and I've got the porch picture so you can see the whole thing. Son seems to approve. I just had another session of picking little angora pills off the back. I'm not subjecting it to the feline quality control team until after the show this Saturday.