8-4-09:  Last night I was finally able to get the wedge of my cover quilt drafted in EQ.  (Many thanks to Betsy V for her pioneering efforts in this regard.)  It was quite a challenge, I wasn’t even sure EQ would allow me to fit the whole wedge in one block, but it worked.  The fabrics are not yet quite what I want them to be, but it’s on its way.

 Sultana 1 complete JPG

Why did I draft this in EQ (especially after saying not to use EQ for this project)?  It’s not that I did not want you to use EQ, it’s that there is a certain point at which EQ becomes useful.  It is too complicated for the experimenting process.  BUT, once you have a design finalized, it is useful for auditioning fabrics.  Though I find experimenting and drafting spirals to be easier by hand and in Illustrator, EQ lets me experiment with actual fabric scans.  So I drafted this design first by hand (to experiment and envision it), once in Illustrator (to draw it precisely, and because this is the format I’ll need it in for the book; Illustrator also lets me test fabrics), and once in EQ.

I sent this picture to Penny McMorris at EQ, just to show her how far I was able to push EQ.  Her response:  “Oh my gosh, RaNae. That’s just absolute craziness. I was afraid to breathe on it!  – Penny”

I also sent it to the woman who will be quilting it for me.  Her response:  “holy. crap. Yer killin’ me, RaNae.”

He he he he….. 

8-9-09:  I mocked up the final fabric choies and border for Sultana yesterday.  Also printed out foundations, did a paste-up with slips of fabric, created gradation charts for my greens and golds.  (Can you believe I had all but two greens in my stash already? I’m off to the fabric store now…)  Here she is (or will be):

Sultana 4

8-19-09:  I’m happy to say that tonight as of 1:00 a.m. I have the six main Baravelle spirals done. WHEW!!!!  It’s not to say there isn’t still a lot of work to do in a very short time, but I feel much better knowing that the biggest and most complex spirals (125+ pieces each) are finished.

Sultana main spiral finished

8-20-09:  Center spirals done!  18 down, 24 to go!

Sultana center small

8-21-09:  I sewed most of the day yesterday.  When I looked up at the clock I couldn’t believe it said 4:00 a.m.!  I got 24 spirals done, and this morning put the center together.  I’m beginning to feel like the mad scientist in Frankenstein:  “It’s ALIVE!!”

Sultana center 2 small

I learned the hard way that sometimes working from your stash isn’t such a good idea: I had only 1/4 yard of my Coral #1 fabric, and ended up piecing together 1/2″ and 3/4″ scraps of fabric into larger pieces in order to have enough to finish.  I literally ended up with nothing but a few threads of this fabric.  Not a single piece big enough to piece left over!

What’s been really amazing to me is to see individual spirals that look like just a hodgepodge of fabrics and colors suddenly turn into a cohesive design the minute they are placed side-by-side in symmetry.  The transformation is astonishing.

8-22-09:  All set up for the final push . . .

Sultana final push small

Sooo tired . . . must . . . keep . . . sewing . . .

8-25-09:  Well, here she is — I picked out paper last while watching episodes of “The Duchess of Duke Street” (BBC miniseries on Netflix).  As I finished the last little shreds I noticed it was getting light — turns out the episodes were an hour, not half an hour . . . and it was 7:00 a.m.

Sultana with borders small

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