Monday, December 21, 2015

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Well, it's time once again for an update on the Allietare mystery quilt, and the link-up party with everyone else's progress can be found at Bonnie Hunter's blog.  If you haven't heard of the Allietare mystery quilt, you can find the first four clues there as well.  And it's looking very exciting and festive, I must say. Even though I haven't managed to sew a single stitch of this week's clue yet.
 I did cut out all the pieces, though! All 720 of them! I finished playing catch-up from last week's clue on Saturday (see the gold four-patches below), and I decided that since this week's clue had specific directions about reds and blacks needing to match for each set, I would do all the cutting at once.  It took me all of a family screening of "Up" and part of an old movie about a dead gangster and a judge switching places (Angel on my Shoulder? I think) to get through the reds.  Then yesterday evening Steve found the classic Charlton Heston/Rex Harrison movie "The Agony and the Ecstasy" and we watched that while I cut neutrals and began blacks.  I don't know how I managed never to have seen this movie before, but it was quite appropriate for an Italian Renaissance-themed quilting session.  It has a lot to say about the burden of being an artist, the unexpected turns that life can take, and the importance of staying true to your purpose. All in all, it made me thankful that I'm a relatively ordinary person and the biggest challenge I face is cutting 720 pieces of fabric the week before Christmas.
"When will you make an end?" shouts Pope Julius up to Michaelangelo, from the lovely tiled floor of the Sistine Chapel.  "When I'm finished!" Michaelangelo shouts down, spattered with paint up on the scaffolding.  He's a sculptor, not a painter, and he doesn't like being dependent on the wealthy and powerful for commissions; but once he catches the vision, he is stubbornly committed to see it through.  And yes, the color pallette of Renaissance Italy did have a lot of black, white, red and gold in it.  I'm letting the little bits of green and blue creep in here and there as long as the overall value of the fabric is right. I'm much happier with the look of my four-patches from last week after letting in some of the outlier fabrics.  I think this one will be a winner!
And here's the main part of Grand Illusion, all seamed together after last week, and I think I will wait until after Christmas to think about the borders.  Those loooong seams wore me out.  It's looking good too, though, and the corners mostly match up or are not too far off.  It just feels good to get back into quilting after a too-long hiatus.  The colors in this quilt (it was Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt from last year) remind me so much of my Grandma.  Both my grandmas, actually, but especially Grandma M., whose house was decorated in greens and blues and who loved pink flowers in her garden.  Anyway, I may not finish any quilts this calendar year, but it's shaping up to be a more productive 2016.


Vireya said...

I haven't seen "The Agony and the Ecstasy" either, so thanks for the recap. It sounds like something I would like to see.

Both mysteries look great!

Feathers in my Nest said...


TheEclecticAbuela said...

Great post! Happy Holidays.