On loose ends

With the end of the year looming it feels as if I have too many loose ends to finish off. Apart from the actual list of practical things to be done before Christmas, “loose ends” is also a nice metaphor for all those incomplete stitching projects that have piled up. As is my wont, I looked up the phrase in the trusted OED and found an interesting contradiction. While loose ends refer to uncompleted or outstanding matters, to be at a loose end means to have nothing to do or no occupation. This made me realise that it is much better to have loose ends than to be at a loose end.

Which is a long introduction to my latest confession: last week I started stitching a new (small) project, instead of dealing with those quilts that are at a loose end (i.e. unfinished). It all started with the best of intentions — I planned to list the works in progress and then consider which one to tackle first. The first step, I decided, was to turn my pinboard (mobile design wall) around so that I had a blank canvas on which to pin up my “loose ends”. Before turning the star blocks of one of the unfinished projects to face the wall, I took a photograph.

The star blocks made during and after Doortjie Gersbach’s workshop

(A while ago, my good friend Catherine Knox gave me a marvellous tip for design walls. Cover the pinboard in fabric to contain the polystyrene that was starting to rub off in little balls, and to get ride of that white glare from the polystyrene sheet.)

Okay, so now I had a nice blank slate on which to audition my loose ends … Instead I pinned up the Kaffee Fasset striped fabric that came from a kit to make a Venetian tile cushion cover. As you can see from the photograph below, I did not follow the instructions. Instead I cut these glowing fabrics into strips and had a happy time behind my sewing machine as I stiched them together.

And so here is another loose end to add to the (unwritten) list of other unfinished pieces. Or is it? The plan is to use this as the background for an appliqued Christmas tree. There, I have put this in writing, so now let’s see if I can do it. Afterall, it is a small piece and there are ten days until Christmas.

12 thoughts on “On loose ends

  1. I don’t know why, but your first design wall blocks remind me of sunflowers (perhaps more aptly named as sun-stars???).
    And as for the Kaffee – how can anyone **not** have a happy time stitching up those fabrics?
    You’re close to the finish line – keep at it!


  2. Well, quilting life would be rather boring if we never had unfinished projects, right?! Those golden stars are lovely; I’m not sure I could’ve turned them to the wall! Your little Kaffe Fassett is so fun, and I see some big stitches in there, and that’s pretty exciting too. Now I want to go unearth my small stash of KF and make something, but I must stay on task, mustn’t I?? Or not . . .


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