Monday, May 25, 2020

Quilt in a day

I do NOT recommend my style to anyone. I'm the biggest procrastinator in the world. I think I have loads of time, which I do, more or less. Procrastination doesn't leave a whole lot of room for error! So one learns to not make errors to live with them. While I'm also not bad with scheduling (OK - I could be better 😉😉), what happens is that if I miss my deadline, then I get one deadline piled on top of another, and then the crunch hits!

I'm kind of in that situation at the moment. I'm doing well at getting everything done and on time. It's just that the next two days are going to be INSANE. But I'm OK with that. I love the pace, and we're in the pandemic, so I can't go anywhere so I just buckle down and focus on one thing at a time and it's all getting done!

We had a great UFO meeting on Zoom yesterday. The more I use Zoom, the more I love it! I can't wait to see what happens during the Virtual Retreat, which is scheduled for THIS WEEK. Where is the time going? Thank goodness, I don't have to prep projects before I "leave." That's already done and the tools - well, my sewing stuff has been scattered between Studio U and Studio B, and let's just say that it's not pretty at the moment.

My goal is to get this urgent stuff out of the way, and on Tuesday evening, I'll get the Studios back in shape. Wait until you see what happened in Studio B. It's become a broadcast studio! I really do need some good lights - I must figure that out. I think I might even have one in the basement - just not sure it'll work for this scenario. You can see that tomorrow.

Trust me, yesterday (after our Zoom meeting) was a bit of a technology nightmare. How to get everything set up (and make videos) so I can share the video in my LIVE Zoom presentation this morning. So I have everything set up for live and canned videos. I've been through my presentation a million times (or so it seems). Adding pictures, subtracting pictures, changing the language, finding accessories, and opening web pages to have them at the ready.

The only thing that I'm still struggling with is my microphone. I think I'm in good shape for the test presentation this morning, but there are so many options. Thank goodness for DH and Ronda who helped a bit with the setup yesterday. I think I'm GOOD TO GO!!!!

This is going to help out when I go live to teach classes via Zoom as well. But holy - the technology and tieing it all together - well, you know me and technology!!!  The only thing I wish is that I had TWO monitors or a second monitor for my laptop. I could easily make that happen - and I might just order one this week. It makes life so much easier to have two monitors.

OK -- so yesterday was the UFO meeting. I had committed to making EIGHTY (yes - 80) log cabin blocks. And I left it until the day BEFORE. Why??  I've no idea, but I did. Sometimes - well, I seem to love the pressure for some reason.

This project is from my 2017 UFO list. It's a log cabin in red/white. Actually red ON white, and white ON red. I think I started it because I had a bunch of red and white fabrics and I so loved that red/white quilt exhibit in New York City a number of years back. The exhibit was in 2011 and I kick myself that I didn't get in the car and go see it. Since my red and white quilt was a UFO in 2017, I suspect that I started it because of the exhibit.

I opened the project box at about 2 PM on Saturday. Maybe that was 1:30, but it was after our UFO meeting and after I had lunch.

Fabrics in the project box

I found a bunch of yardages and I found some scraps. There were THREE blocks completed - well one had to be trimmed so technically, two were completely done. There were bits and pieces of 7 other blocks.

A few blocks or parts were in the project box

I had been contemplating the number of blocks in my head for a while. Do I add a border? or just make blocks? The blocks are 8" finished and I like lap-sized quilts. I settled on 80 blocks to get a finished quilt of 64 by 80. Slightly larger than I normally make, but the next size down was too narrow (by 4" - what was I thinking?)  That 4" meant that I had to make 17 extra blocks!!!!  But now the quilt is 8 by 10 blocks and with a log cabin quilt - the even numbers give you a whole lot more flexibility for the final pattern.

My first thought was - oh boy - none of this fabric is cut. That's a lot of cutting. I got on the phone to my Dad and we chatted up a storm for at least an hour and I cut and cut and cut. I didn't even bother counting pieces - I started out by cutting strips. No calculating - just cut. Then I had a small sheet of paper with the lengths that I needed. Again - I just willy nilly cut into the lengths and stacked them on a portable project board.

Cutting the "logs" for the log cabin blocks

Let's just say that I had to go back MANY times to cut more strips and more of those logs. It seemed like it would never end.

Then I got down to the sewing process. Do you know what's it's like to chain piece 77 blocks at one time? It takes forever to go through 77 blocks. Then I had to press them and then sew the next log on. Remember - three blocks were already made.

Chain piecing 77 blocks

At one point, I worried that I didn't have enough fabric as I had eliminated a couple of fabrics that were more cream than white. Hmm - I might have to add those back in. No time to worry - let's just keep moving forward.

In true Eleanor Burns style, the pieces that were too short for a log got tossed on the floor. I aimed for the tray, but that didn't always happen.

The scraps
I don't have much fabric left from this project. How was that for a good guess? I even checked my stash as I SWEAR there was a lot of other red and white fabrics in there, but if so, I couldn't find them.

Now here's the other thing about this quilt. The logs were cut at 1 3/4" - a ¼" too large and once a round of four logs was sewn, the block had to be trimmed. That's just the way I did it and it helps if your seam allowance might be wonky. Guess what? That meant that EACH block had to be trimmed, not once, not twice, but THREE times.

The trimmings
There were a few moments, when I thought - I'm saving $10 by doing this? Big deal - I can afford the $10. But then I thought about the principle of the process. I could give-in and cough up the $10, but I made a commitment. The purpose of the UFO club is to get things DONE. If I'm not interested in that, then why do I belong? So - I forged ahead. Let's get this quilt done!

I will be honest, there were a couple of points where I thought - it's not going to happen. I'm not going to get all the blocks done. I could throw in the towel now and do something else. My conscious spoke up very quickly and told me that if I don't try - then I'll never know.

I forged on!

At 10:19 AM -- I was trimming the LAST BLOCK. And they said you can't make a quilt in a day!!!!  Someone is lying!

Trimming the last block

And there's the quilt - all 80 blocks. I kept putting up the blocks as I trimmed so it was exciting to see the quilt come together. I'm not sure I'll leave it in this configuration - there are tons of settings to choose from when working with log cabin blocks. Someone from the UFO group said it looked very Canadian. I'll experiment with different settings in EQ8. I'm NOT switching 80 blocks around to find a new configuration.

ALL 80 blocks are DONE

There remained just enough time to take a photo and add it to the slide presentation which I needed to sort and still be on time for the 11 AM meeting. PHEW!!!!!

Why do I thrive on this kind of pressure? I've no idea. It's total craziness, but it's just me. So in less than 24 hours, I cut and pieced this quilt. I didn't get much reading done, but I did other things including walking - about 6 miles each day, not 7. But that's OK.

Well, today is the first day of the week for my QUILTsocial blog posts. Be sure to check it out. It's all about tools for remote learning which fits perfectly into our pandemic situation.

And do NOT forget (how could you when I mention it every day) the Virtual Retreat. Here's the link for Wednesday, May 27.  Remember the times are 9 AM EST to 9 PM EST. You're welcome to pop in all day or just for 5 minutes to say HI. I'll also be posting this same link on May 27th, but I know some people get the blog posts a day later.

Join Zoom Meeting - May 27 Meeting ID: 851 7038 3658 Password: 431940

On that note, I'm out of here. I still have to figure out the headphone thing for the computer and get ready for 9:30.

Have a super day!!!!



  1. I've done a top in a day as well. There is so much satisfaction in the accomplishment! Congrats on yours :-)

    Wishing you a wonderful day!

    1. Thanks Elle -- I don't recommend it! But it can be done. Have a super day!