Nothing says "long term" like a Sue Garman pattern.
You can read previous posts here and here.
If you haven't read previous posts, here is a very short recap. I started this project in June 2020, and thought 4 blocks per month was an achievable goal. After finishing 2 or 3 blocks, I realized that 2 blocks per month was far more reasonable (as each block was a total of 7-8 hours) and that was my plan going forward. Reality was about 1 per month as I'm on month 33 and I'm working on the four center blocks right now.
In Sept of 2020, while I quarantined for two weeks, I got a lot of prep work done. All the backgrounds were cut, stay stitched around the edges and I drew out each motif for my back basting applique. Nothing says commitment than cutting up several yards of your favorite background fabric. (RJR French Vanilla)
My reds were all picked out and cut into the sizes I needed and I would baste the reds onto 2 - 6 blocks at a time. Next up was doing the back basting. Since this part doesn't require much concentration, (you are just following the stitching lines on the back) it could be done any time, and I picked it up and set down with no need to get into any rhythm of stitching.
Here is what 1/2 way looked like. 16 blocks done and 16 more to go (minus the center 4)
One thing I do is put up my blocks on a design wall and admire them. I used to think I was wasting valuable sewing time, as I would put the blocks up, stand back and admire them, snap a photo, then take them down and put them away. In hind sight, this was very motivating. Once I started to see how far I had gotten, I would become re-energized on the project. After crossing over the half way point, the applique got a bit easier, I had all but 4 blocks prepped, and was starting to see an end to the center being completed.
26 blocks were completed by Nov. 2021
So here we are in April 2023 and 32 blocks are finished and
I'm working on the four center blocks. I took a break from the project
(but never packed it away) and now I'm onto the 4 center blocks that
are all identical. By slowing bouncing in and out of this project and
having it ORGANIZED, I've managed to keep it moving forward. I also decided to make the appliqued border. I did a Study Group through AQSG in Sept 2022 on Quilts with Borders, and knew this one had to have the border included. It may take several more years to work that out, but it's all in one bag, I've chosen the applique method I'm going to use for the swags, and I've been advised that it's best to practice the appliqued sawtooth edging before diving right in.
So keep organized and keep stitching, every time you work on a project you are that much closer to finished.
Sharon, I can't even fathom what it has taken to make these blocks, but they are beyond stunning. Excellent job so far. I can't imagine what the borders will do for the whole thing.
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