Friday, February 28, 2020

Sit n Sew Day

So if you have a totally productive day, but you don't work on what you had planned, is that still a productive day?

In the morning, I trimmed two quilts intending to get the bindings on them. I also have a couple of other quilts that need to be bound that I was hoping to deliver to Quilts of Valour today. And I wanted to make the backing for that Dresden Plate quilt.

NONE of that got done. There are no deadlines for any of that stuff, so I'm not worried.

But what did I do? Well - I'm glad I got done what I did. It needed to be done and now I can move on.

I started off by having a good look at the Dresden Plate quilt. Hmm - those blocks are pretty wonky. Helen Anne easily convinced me that they were very wonky and I decided to take the quilt apart. ACK!!!  I know - who would have thought.

Now, this quilt was assembled years ago. I've no idea, but I'm going to say 50 - 60 years ago. They had no super cutting tools like we have today and I bet my Mom just cut the blocks out with little or no measuring. What did she know about quilting?

The seam allowances are NOT the same
All twenty blocks were seam ripped apart. The background of the blocks is flour and sugar sacks. You can faintly see the word SUGAR on one of them. I was careful when I took them apart as some of the fabric is somewhat fragile.

The blocks are taken apart
Then it was time to iron the blocks. Yep - some of those edges are "very" straight. We just do NOT realize how lucky we are to have all the rotary cutting tools that we have today.

A "straight" edge

I next measured them to see which one was the smallest. Some of the sides were 16 ½" and some were 15 ½" and the smallest side was 14 ½". Somehow they all got sewn together. I thought about adding a piece to the 14 ½" block to make it larger but then decided against that. They all got trimmed to 14 ½".

Measuring the blocks to find the smallest

Trimming the blocks to the same size was the next stage. Remember - I had company while I was doing this. That made the time pass a lot faster than if I were by myself. There were some very creatively cut edges!

Trimming the blocks
And this is what I trimmed away. Will I explain this to my Mom? Of course not! She would be horrified that I made the quilt smaller. What she doesn't know - she doesn't know.

This is what I trimmed off the blocks

Next, I laid the blocks on the table to make the quilt. The design wall was in use by Elaine S. I could have taken more of our scrappy blocks off the wall, but the table worked just fine.

The blocks are laid out and ready to sew together

I must say that I rather like the color combinations in this quilt. It's cheery and somewhat bright. I must call my Mom and ask for more details. NO - I can't do that. Then she'll be anticipating the quilt. I want it to be a surprise. I'll ask her the details when I give it to her and then I'll make a label and sew it on.

I got the rows together last night. Hmm - I might reverse the order of the second row. Not all the Dresden Plates are the same size or coloring and the larger ones seem to be all on the left side. Actually, I'll reverse the second from the bottom row and maybe swap the top row with the second from the top row. I guess I should have put them on the design wall before starting to sew them together.

The Dresden quilt is in rows

As much as it was a very time-consuming job, I'm glad I did it. It took nearly all day to get this much done. But I know I'll be much happier with it when it's all together. I was planning on quilting it today, but that will have to be postponed until Saturday or Sunday. I have another one I can load today.

Not only did I get those blocks dealt with, but I got the March block done on that monthly series that I inherited from Paula.

Mini-quilt for March

Paula had completed most of the work on this block but had cut the center square slightly smaller than it should have been. And one of the borders was pretty funky. So I fixed the border section and trimmed the top and bottom borders so they would fit the size of the center. It's all together. I have to do the satin stitching on it yet.

Here are the first three in the series. The top for January is completed and needs to be quilted. I have to do the satin stitching for the February and March mini-quilts. Then those need to be quilted as well.

Three seasonal mini-quilts

I snapped one other photo during our Sit n Sew day. This quilt belongs to Helen Anne. She was assembling the flowers and the leaves. This picture doesn't do it justice. In-person, it's gorgeous. It was inspired by a workshop with Jane Sassaman.

Helen Anne's floral wall hanging

I showed you a picture of my new reusable Swiffer cover. Torry mentioned that one of her friends using batting scraps. Yep - I got batting scraps on one of my Swiffers as well. It works like a charm and it's an easy thing to zigzag two smaller pieces of batting together to get a piece large enough for the Swiffer. We need to STOP throwing stuff away or buying all this disposable stuff. See if you can make those things that you buy. Remember - REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.

Batting as a Swiffer cloth

 So two other great things happened in the sewing world yesterday. Look at my THREE outer border sections for the Pieceful Year quilt.

Borders for Pieceful Year

 The blocks for the fourth border piece just need to be sewn together. The corner blocks are now made. I need to deal with that yellow fabric so I can start cutting and sewing the two borders on the quilt. The light is almost blinding at the end of the tunnel for this UFO. I'm pumped to get it finished and I even have the next UFO (from my list) sitting in the wings waiting to be worked on. But NOT before this one is completely done. Oh, happy day!!!

Then I got some mail. I was looking for a Dream Big panel and I found one from a lady in Calgary in the bright blue. It's one of the colors that I wanted. So now I've got some more work to do.

The blue version of the Dream Big panel

There are just not enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do. There are quilts to be bound, garments to be made, raw edges to finish, embroidery designs to be designed and stitched out. And that's just what's sitting on ONE of my work tables. I just can't seem to get it all done! But I'm making progress and that's all that counts.

I was off to the gym this morning. Oh boy - while it's not that cold outside, the wind is a tad chilly. I drove all the way to the gym (4 KM) and then back (when I was finished of course). I looked at my car and this icicle was still attached to the car.

Icicle on the wheel well

 My girls don't seem to mind the cold. Of course - they are idiots! But this is my view when we go for a walk. I swear it begs the question - why don't I have a sled so they could pull me? I won't go there.

Following the girls

 While I would love to be in either of the studios all day today, I don't think that is going to happen. I do have to finish my blocks for our Virtual Sew Along so that the homework assignment can go out by noon, but I also have computer work that I promised would be done today. ICK!! Commitments to someone else takes precedence. Oh well. What I can't understand is why that TO DO list never seems to go away?

On that happy note, we're going to brave the wind and go for a walk! Remember - it's all about the mindset. If you're dressed for the wind and the cold, it won't be cold. I have different mitts, coats, and pants depending on the temperature. This is a day to put it all on.

Have a super day!!!!



  1. I know it's a rhetorical question....YES! Still a productive day! I didn't do anything on my quilty list either, but oh my did I work my way through a LOT of HSTs received in the mail over the years. I am now on a bender to get the entire box matched, sewn, pressed and trimmed! I should get them done today!

    Happy Friday :-)

    1. That's awesome!!! I guess you were in a group swap??? What size are they are what are you going to make? Can't wait to see it!!!