Sunday, May 8, 2016

With a little help from my friends!!!

If you are one of those people that mention how tired you get by reading my blog, rest up before you go on because it was a marathon day yesterday.  I think I ran four marathons, but I got a LOT accomplished.

I did take note that no one showed up at the Northcott offices on Friday to help out, however that doesn't mean that I don't find ways to get help!

I RIPPED, not cut the backings. 
The day started very early and I prepped 12 backings for quilts that need to be quilted ASAP.  The quilts are technically "in the mail" and I hope they arrive on Monday. NO - they WILL arrive on Monday.  Must be remain positive - there is no time to panic! Anyway, the backings are prepped.  Now some of the quilts are small enough to fit on a single width of fabric, so only the length needed to cut, but most backings had to be cut and joined.  I think the largest quilt is lap size. That's my new motto for our designers - NOTHING larger than a lap quilt.  

And YES - I ripped that fabric for the backings.  I had lots of fabric and let's not get too pretty here - it will get trimmed off the quilt.  This is called SPEED quilting.

The binding fabric is sitting there and I'm a bit hesitant to cut into it.  Susanne will be putting the bindings on and I don't want to get the wrong width (I think she uses a slightly narrower width than I do) and GOD forbid that I have to machine stitch all those bindings on because I screwed up the width.  Not going to happen!!!!  Hania is going to prep all the bindings on Monday.  Yeah team!

So back to the help - after the backings were prepped and sorted, I started on the next project which is one of our fabric walls.  There are 63 big squares in each of the four walls. I had sewn them (one wall) on Friday, but they needed to have fusible fleece ironed on and then turned.  Hmmmm - a great sit down job for my class.  So I fused the fleece on before the class and the four people GRACIOUSLY "offered" to help.

Stack of fusible fleece squares

Stack of fabric squares that need fusible fleece ironed on

Square with fusible fleece attached

Group of four "turners"
 Notice, I didn't show them to protect their innocence - they can deny they ever helped me, but I will have a nice peace offering for them at the next class.

All 63 squares were turned within ONE hour

I cannot thank the ladies enough for all their support and help - that saved me a LOT of time.  I still have to close up the opening and then 8 of the squares need to have a panel fused on both sides.  That still has to be prepped today as it needs to be ready for first thing tomorrow morning, so the "grommet girls" can do their thing.   I'll be cutting and sewing the last wall (63 squares) this afternoon and I have a helper coming in to do the turning and finishing tomorrow.

We did have a great, but small class and I've prepped the pictures for another post later this week.

Of course as I was prepping thoses backings, I had to clean off my sewing table.  It was a mess and pretty hard to sew anything in the tiny space available.   As I've been working, I've been doing some thinking about how to get more storage space and I've come up with a good solution. Just won't happen for a bit. And I know, more storage isn't the issue - it's get rid of some of the stuff!!!!

I won't even go into the numbers or the story - it's just too complicated.  Bottom line - LOTS of quilts, very tight deadline and only about 1/3 of what is coming will get on the crate (hoping that it arrives in the morning).
The rest will have to be shipped. There is only so much one can do!

The quilts are being preprinted on fabric.  I know - that's a bit much to comprehend (and it is strictly for DISPLAY purposes).  In addition to all the display quilts, I have ten different ones that I designed for my presentation.   Anything that is wider than the width of fabric comes in two parts and has to be pieced together.  Yes - think about that for a minute.  It's like we took a big picture  (10" by 12"), printed it out on 8 1/2" by 11 paper and then attempted to put it together so it looks like one piece.  Does that paint the picture for you????

Of my ten quilts, SIX of them needed to be pieced together.  Not an easy task, espcially given the fact that I'm a perfectionist.  I do let things go, but not this. It takes me about ONE hour to do each seam of about 60 inches.

OK - then what happened??  Oh yes - I got back from the class, had lunch and at 2 PM, I hit the long arm. The first quilt was already loaded, I just had to fire up the long arm and away I went.

Quilt number one - DONE!

Normally, I would take a break after finishing a quilt, while I worked up the energy to load the next one. Sometimes that would takes days or even weeks!!!  But no, the next backing went immediately on, then the top and the batting - had to join the batting for this one - got to use up all those cut off pieces.  I had to trim the first one to get more backing before I could make the backing for the second one.

Then I wanted to try a different thread color.

Is there enough thread???
 I say, let's live dangerously and go for it!!!!   I didn't have a back-up plan, but I would have found one if I would have needed one.

Second quilt - DONE
 Remember - I'm only showing you the backings!  Not the front. That reveal is for my presentation in Salt Lake City.

Loads of thread - this is what is left over!!!!!

Then I loaded the next quilt and ripped through that one as well.
Quilt number three - DONE!!!!
 Gosh, if I did that with my own quilts, I could be done in a month - well a bit longer since there are more than 100 tops that need to be quilted!!!   I'm learning to love my long arm  - not that I didn't, but I'm having way more fun with these than customer stuff. I'm not sure why.

And what happens to those tops when I'm done???  A big pile on the floor!!!   That's my physio therapy - I need to step around and over that pile. It's a great way to stretch out my leg!

Pile of quilts to be trimmed and bound and labelled and a sleeve
 After I finished the third one, I loaded the next one but I was getting tired - it was 9 PM and I decided to call it quits for the day.

But now it is ready to go for this moring. And what have I done this morning?   I managed to get the last two quilt tops joined. A hateful job, but they look not bad.  I wasn't super happy with the last one, but it's not bad.  Can you tell where the seam is????

Where is the seam???
 In total, I'm working with two different collections in TWO different colorways and I have scraps and cut off pieces that I need for sleeves and other various stuff.  It was getting messy, so I employed the help of four bags. Each colorway/collection goes in it's own bag.  Easy as pie to sort!!!

Bag sorting system
 I haven't started cutting the last colorway, that is for this afternoon, so the bag on the right is still empty!!!

One empty bag on the right

It'll be easy to just wing those four bags into the car to take to work on Monday and as I need a particular fabric, there it is!!!!   I love organizing!

Happy Mother's Day by the way to everyone.  I did get a very beautiful message on Facebook from M this morning.  Although she is currently home and has been all week (missed her friends!).  See what she wrote:

MY MOM ROCKS and even though I live 5000km away now I'd be nowhere without you.
Top three things I've learned from you (directly and indirectly)
Me and M
1. Find your passion, work really hard, succeed
2. Negativity is crap, be positive
3. Enjoy the ride (life)

I guess as a Mom, I couldn't ask for anything better than those words.  Love you M!!!!!

And on that note, today's agenda is just as heavy as yesterday and I had better get started. 

Have an awesome day!!!!!


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