Friday, March 30, 2018

TGIFF, Good Friday Edition!

First of all, if you're a newcomer to Cheeky Cognoscenti via the Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday (TGIFF) linky party, WELCOME!  I'm so glad you're here!  I rarely -- VERY rarely -- am able to link up with TGIFF because my finishes are so few and far between, but it's one of my favorite linky parties nevertheless.  I just love seeing everyone else's brand new, beautiful finishes every week!  It's so inspiring!

Okay, so here's my most recent finished quilt to share with you:

"Math Is Beautiful," 51" x 51", Teacher Gift Based On My Son's Design
 I saw this doodle in my son's math notebook and immediately thought "QUILT!"  I used my EQ Electric Quilt design software to create a quilt design based on the drawing, found the perfect black fabric that had actual math printed on it -- like what SHOULD have been in Lars's notebook -- and paired it with some bright and cheerful girly Kaffe Fassett prints that reminded me of his teacher.  

My Son Holding Up the Quilt He Designed While Doodling In Math Class
This quilt is the first real quilt (other than practice muslin) that I completed on my new APQS Millennium longarm machine, and it was my first shot at pantograph quilting.  But I have a confession -- I completed this quilt back in JANUARY.  You can read more about it here.  

After finishing Math Is Beautiful, I discovered Tula Pink's Tabby Mountain quilt pattern showcasing her Tabby Road fabric collection for Free Spirit Fabrics, and I thought it would be a great "quick and easy" project to whip up for more quilting practice on my longarm machine.  Ah, but NOTHING I do is every quick OR easy!

Completed Tabby Mountain Quilt Top On My Design Wall
I finished piecing Tabby Mountain on March 4th, and I was really pushing myself to get it finished so I could show it off for today's TGIFF.  I mean, the photo below was taken last night at 3 AM when I was so tired that I didn't feel safe to operate machinery anymore and had to go to bed!  The path to hell is paved with good intentions just like mine...

I Finished the Ruler Work Quilting On This Row!  Does That Count?
Because I'm a new long arm owner and this is just my second quilt with this machine -- and my very first try at custom quilting with rulers -- everything has a huge learning curve, even simple things like winding bobbins and loading the quilt on the frame required checking the owner's manual and seeking out online tutorial videos.  We had scheduled a tour for my son (the one who doodles in math class) at Davidson College today and then I had Maundy Thursday worship service tonight with choir warmups ahead of time, so when I finally turned off the lights in my studio and went to bed on Wednesday night Thursday morning, I knew I was admitting defeat.  My time was up, it was over, and I had failed. I was exhausted, disappointed that my quilt isn't done yet, topped off with a dollop of guilt/shame/embarrassment that I committed to hosting this linky celebrating finishes and was not able to cross my own finish line in time to share it with you. I felt like I was letting everyone down.

Late Night Quilting Tools: Purple Marking Pen, Rulers, TOWA Bobbin Gauge, Scented Candle, Red Wine
And then I got to church today and spent a couple of hours reflecting on the Last Supper in Maundy Thursday worship and rehearsing the music for Good Friday -- and for Easter Sunday as well.  And it hit me -- Good Friday was the PERFECT day for me to host with my Failed Finish!  According to the Gospel of John, Jesus' last words were "it is finished," but that Good Friday wasn't a happy-feel-good kind of finish.  I'll bet his disciples were feeling grief, disappointment that the Messiah didn't come to overthrow Rome and establish a kingdom on Earth, guilt and shame for betraying and denying him and for falling asleep when they asked him to sit up with him while he prayed...  Maybe they felt foolish for throwing their lives and careers away to follow this man they thought was the Messiah, and on Good Friday they may have been doubting themselves and thinking this discipleship thing they committed themselves to might have been a huge mistake.

-- BUT-- even though Christ's last words were "it is finished," the story does not end with death on a cross.  The trumpets and hallelujahs are coming on Easter Sunday; we just have to be patient and wait three more days.  And you know what?  My Tabby Mountain quilt is coming along really nicely and I'm learning SO much.  I just need a little more time with it.  Maybe not three whole days, but at least one more day!  I'm publishing this post at the stroke of midnight EST on Thursday evening/Friday morning, and I know I'll have several hours of quilting time during the day tomorrow  today as well as some time on Saturday afternoon if I need it.  I'm definitely going to be finished with this quilt soon, perhaps in time for Easter, and I'll update this blog post again later today to show my additional progress.  In MY time zone, I still have 24 hours left in order to qualify for "finished by Friday!"

2 PM EST Update: Two More Rows of Solid Triangles Quilted!
I Am SO PROUD of the SID Between the Green and Yellow Fabrics!
I am learning SO MUCH with this quilt.  I can already tell that I'm getting much better at controlling the ruler so nothing slides and the presser foot doesn't stray from the edge I'm trying to follow.  Marking those long, straight diagonal lines is a huge help, definitely worth the extra time it's taking, and I am seeing significant improvement in my SID (stitching in the ditch) since I started at the top of the quilt, too.

You know, singing in several different choirs at multiple church services and shuttling my kids back and forth to their youth events definitely eats up a lot of my time every week, but it feeds my soul, reminds me again and again of what really matters versus what is trivial, and I walk out of worship feeling restored, renewed, forgiven and redeemed -- and ready to take on the world!  To all of you who are celebrating Easter with me this weekend, to those of you who will be celebrating Passover seder this Saturday, and to those of other faiths whose holidays fall on other dates, may we all feel the power of God's love, mercy, and redemption in our lives not just on holy days, but for all of our days (especially the days of disappointment, failure and despair).

And now, without further ado, it's YOUR turn!  What have YOU finished -- or partially finished -- this week?  Link up your fabulous finishes here (be sure to use the direct URL of your post) and don't forget to visit and comment on the other finishes, because the comment love is what makes this a party! Please include a text link in your post and/or a button for TGIFF so your visitors can come back here to discover other people's finishes as well.

I'm also linking up with Finished Or Not Friday and with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.


Gretchen Weaver said...

I remember you posting about the quilt your son designed earlier. You both did a great job on that project. Tabby Mountain is a lovely quilt and your quilting is looking very nice. Before you start quilting today, take some time to relax yourself, it will make the quilting easier. Thank you for your words about Good Friday, they were very meaningful to me.

Izzy said...

I really like your finished quilt and that Tabby Mountain quilt is going to be amazing! I love the colours! Both wonderful projects. Thank you so much for hosting TGIFF this week! :-)

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Being a young mom with teens is enough to keep you busy busy busy. I say continue to enjoy it!!! I mean my long-arm came during my empty nest phase....and now I'm a "young" Grandma. (LOL I just had to add that one) But really, working moms too....finding time to quilt IS hard. I'm glad you found a peace of heart....because you are amazing nd doing everything with such a good heart. Thanks for hosting. Happy Easter.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I managed to finish this 4th round of the Hertfordshire Quilt - a long way to go though before the whole quilt is finished.

Jayne said...

I love that you took a design from your son's notebook! You may have a future quilter on your hands! Tabby Road is beautiful. Those triangles are so great and your quilting is very cool! There is never enough time in the day sometimes...but a candle, sewing machine and are speaking my language!

Ramona said...

First of all, I love that you have a glass of wine and a candle burning in your quilting studio. You are my kind of quilter. Secondly, your quilting on Tabby Road is wonderful! For it being your second quilt, you are doing an awesome job. I'm glad you didn't do any harm to yourself or the quilt trying to finish it before today. We get to see your beautiful math quilt again and, once again, congratulate your son on his design. Happy Easter to you.

Lynette said...

This is a beautiful post, and a perfect hosting for Good Friday at TGIFF! Rebecca, your ruler work is AMAZING.

Unknown said...

Lovely post. Happy Easter!

chrisknits said...

I like your thoughts on this! All too often we get ourselves in a dither over man made deadlines and goals. I am sooo guilty of this. And while it's good to set goals, it's also good to remember there are more important things in life. May you find time to finish your goal and enjoy all the joys of Easter!

Laundered Cotton said...

What beautiful quilts, and a beautiful reminder of what this weekend is all about. Thanks for hosting TGIFF. I hardly ever finish anything!

Lisa in Port Hope said...

Thank you for sharing your humility. We are a community and know that every failure is a learning experience. The math quilt is Beautiful, and tabby road will be worth the time taken to get it right.

Have a joyous Easter.

dq said...

I just love Tabby Mountain. The pattern is fun and the colors are happy add vibrant.