Hot Crossed Squares–The Countdown

Yes. I have stitched myself off the radar once again. But I must say I have some good excuses. Two weeks of house guests, a solo school, three kids starting school, and a husband traveling the state. It has been a long tiring month.

I’ve got lots of blog posts inside of me, and I have been having a hard time figuring out where to begin again. Finally, this morning, I decided to just start with the big stuff and that would be the completion of 15 new small pieces for my show at the Kenai Peninsula College.

The show is currently hanging at the Gary L. Freeburg Gallery on the KPC campus, but I am going to save that story for another post.

The gallery is small but a very nice space.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--In ProgressI decided this would be a great opportunity for me to go back to the single Crossed Square quilt block. I documented that story in the last blog post I wrote. You can read about it here if you like.

I have been living the zen piecer life for the last month.

I shave.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownI stack.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownI stitch.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownI put it all up on the design wall and think about it for a bit.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownAnd then I begin again.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--In ProgressI shave, I stack, I stitch. I think.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownMy goal was to finish 22 of these new little pieces.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownI found that working small really frees me up. The big pieces always feel so precious.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownBecause the little ones take less time, I seem to loosen up, be a bit more experimental. Which is a good thing.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownWhen I get going in a particular direction it is very hard for me to stop.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownMy favorite part of the quilt making process is designing and piecing, and when I am in that zone the only thing that can get me to stop is a deadline.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownThat deadline was September 13th–the day we hung the show.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownAs that day approached, I had to force myself to stop piecing and start quilting.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownI loaded the first batch on to my long arm machine and started stitching.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownI cannot predict how long it will take me to piece a quilt. The design process is a very difficult thing to measure, but quilting and finish work can be quantified.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownI know this, yet some small completely irrational part of my inner being always convinces me it will take less time. This voice tells me I should just keep piecing…and so I do. Until it is almost too late.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownI can quilt a 12 inch by 12 inch section in about 2 1/2 hours. To face, sleeve, and label a small quilt takes at LEAST 1 1/2 hours. I know this. Each quilt is going to take approximately five hours to finish. 22 quilts times five equals 110 hours.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownStill, I some how think I can get it done in less time. I logged 63 hours in my studio the week before we hung the show.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownAs the hours flew by, I had to make decisions.  Some of the more complicated pieces would have to wait.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownStill I finished 15 new small works, started three big pieces, and have 7 other small pieces in varying stages of completion, and that is kind of amazing.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownLast Sunday we loaded them up and drove along the ocean’s edge

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The Countdownand through the mountains

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The Countdownto get arrive in Soldotna, Alaska to hang the show.

Maria Shell Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownIn the next blog post, we get to see my work in lights.

Hot Crossed Squares--The CountdownIsn’t that a fun perk to having a show in Soldotna?


This entry was published on September 19, 2015 at 11:06 AM. It’s filed under Quilt Stories and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

31 thoughts on “Hot Crossed Squares–The Countdown

  1. Sharon E on said:

    I so very much enjoyed seeing your work. After looking at your workspace, I think there is hope for me yet. Thank you for sharing.

  2. You are an inspiration. I don’t see how you got it all done, but I am totally amazed. I know I will be studying them for hours.

    • Thank you Mary! I am going to write blog post about how I get it all done. It isn’t really pretty, but it might help others so I think I will share that info. Thank you for the good comments about the work. That means a lot to me!

  3. Susan Kunze on said:

    Of all of your work, I love your crossed quilts the best, and these are some of the best of the best. I want to project this post on my workroom wall to enjoy it some more. And the Kenai Peninsula College sign is just the bomb!

  4. I really enjoy your blog posts. Thank you for taking the time to blog!

  5. Delighted to see your new work. Beautiful as always. Inspiring what you can produce with a deadline looming.

    • Ann- thank you! I really wish I were not so deadline driven. I loveto make, but finishing work is almost always done in relationship to a deadline whether it is about Christmas presents or a show.

  6. So glad you finally have some blog time! That sign is pretty amazing!Does it flash between your name and the quilt squares?Hope we will see the quilts hung in that space.Looks like a nice gallery. Sar and I are still in recovery from our whirlwind trip so I can imagine you are about “done in”. Hugs to all..S

    • There were three screens to the sign, I will write about them in the next blog post. Thank you Sue! Yes. This is the first quiet weekened we’ve had in forever! I think I will be back at it tomorrow.

  7. Stephanie on said:

    So cool! I love seeing your process. Have a fun time viewing it all after the hanging! Congratulations!

  8. Pam Butcher on said:

    So exciting to view your work. Have a great show!

  9. You are amazing to have finished that many small pieces! Our son and his family used to live in Sterling, so I enjoyed seeing the photos of your drive to Soldotna. Your name in lights is like the cherry on top! (And just think…you have the seeds of new compositions just waiting to sprout in your studio!)

    • Sterling! Wow. The drive to install the pieces was lovely. But during the drive back from the opening it was dusk and raining buckets of rain. I am not an adventurous driver, but I did it. I am so excited to finish all the new works. It has made me excited to get back in the studio, but first it needs a little tidying up….

  10. LOVE these small works! I like working small, I think for some of the same reasons you listed. Thanks for taking the time to share. I love seeing your work and your process.

    • Thank you Debby. I agree–small works are fun. I am also hoping that the low price points on the pieces might entice buyers. We will see…Thank you for stoping by and commenting!

  11. wheee, so exciting to have another show. and so many gorgeous quilts will be in it. I so want to play on your design wall and mix things up and well, just play.

  12. Wow; you are a machine lady!! How exciting to have another show. I agree that smaller pieces make the price point an easier reach for most people. The art of your work astounds me. Meanwhile, I am still making square squares! I think it is time to “break out” and make some “fabric” out of that scrap bin of mine again. 🙂

    • Mary- There is nothing wrong with making square squares. I like square squares too. It seems to me what you are working on right now is color and that is a great endeavor!

  13. Sharon Robinson on said:

    This was a great post, Maria. I love seeing your work in progress on the design wall! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Yes, a wonderful post. Like everyone else, I think your work is beautiful and interesting. Thanks for showing your progress. Especially how you work on multiple small quilts at once.

  15. Thank you Ann- My favorite thing is to work on multiple quilts at once–even the big ones. I am not sure it is the best use of my time though. What happens is that I will end up with 10 unfinished quilts instead of four finished ones. Right now, I am trying to focus on finishing the ones that are almost there and not get distracted and start new work. We will see…

  16. An Martin on said:

    I see these posts are five years old, but nevermind!!! This work is TIMELESS and beautiful!!! Thanks.

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