Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Virtual sewing days are the BEST


It's going to be a LONG day today. I did not sleep well at all. I heard some terrible news about a friend's son - I'll be attending a virtual funeral today. At one point, I woke up with tears streaming down my face. That was after I finally got to sleep. And Murphy, who gladly welcomes everyone into our house without so much as a squeak (OK - that's not entirely true), decided to alert us to animals in the backyard - not once, not twice, but THREE times. So if I fall asleep -you'll know why!

I'm happy to report that the number of e-mails in my inbox is sitting at 700! How the heck did that happen? Well, between the data migration issue and my diligence, I'm now down to 700 e-mails. I've been using my new tracking book for classes and my e-mail filing system, and I'm up-to-date - well, except for the e-mails which came in overnight. I'll deal with those as soon as the dogs are walked. So - I truly feel like I'm in control. And every day, I delete more e-mail. OH -- I have an amazing filing system in my e-mail that is better than it's ever been!!

My class master book

Now here's a problem. I got an e-mail yesterday from a company announcing a product for sale. OK - I didn't want the product, so I deleted the e-mail. Today I get another e-mail - advertising the same product. I do NOT need this two days in a row. Yet - I don't want to unsubscribe because once a week, they send a link to a tutorial. Why do we need these excessive e-mails? And do we have time to write to everyone to explain this to them?? Can they not figure it out on their own? 

We had a great time at Monday Sewing. When and if we are ever allowed back together, I swear that I'll be opting for the online version of Monday Sewing. There's no need to pack up supplies, worry about road conditions or traffic, set up and take down tables, and wait on the iron. No need to worry if the room will be hot or cold. No need to worry about having a hot lunch. Yes, it would be nice to actually see people, but we get to participate in ALL the conversations this way. I think I'm hooked on Virtual sewing days. 

I worked on my Christmas Fig quilt, which was laid out on my design wall - can't do that at the real sewing days. I had to add in a couple of sections to make the side borders longer. There are three seams in this section, and I can't see any of them in the photo. I can't even see the center seam. Yeah me!!!!

The new border with three joins

But in this photo, you can see the one join because this is where I had to join the 6" piece to the 5 ½" piece. 

One join in this section

I've had a lot of experience at joining stuff like this. It's the kind of thing that gets me excited. I'm a precision piecer - I can't help it - I'm a Virgo!! BUT - that doesn't mean that I don't make mistakes. I was merrily sewing and look what happened.

Oops - this doesn't work at all

Ooops - that won't work, and I had so carefully joined it. 

But the final border got finished, and I folded the quilt top up. Oh drat - I forgot to take a picture of it. 

The first Christmas Fig quilt top

I was going to work on the binding and the backing but decided to work on the second top instead. I'm glad I did. First off, this quilt is an odd size - it's 68 by 86. Yep - it's going to be tricky to make a backing. And the piece I was going to make the binding out of wasn't large enough. 

So I laid out the blocks for the second quilt. There were 20 blocks in this project, and each of them was 16" finished. Putting them all in one quilt was going to result in a huge quilt. I don't do huge quilts any longer. I refuse to give a large quilt to someone with the expectation that they will put it on a bed, which MOST people will not. (If someone asks for a bed quilt - that's a different story). But a smaller quilt can be used as a couch quilt and more people would use that than a bed quilt. Most charities want couch sized quilts as well. I'll NEVER make another large quilt unless some particular circumstances prevail. 

The blocks for the second Christmas Fig quilt 

There are two on-point blocks, and I really hate putting those blocks into a quilt where they sit square. Some of the blocks required frames (as per the book) to make them 16" so I started with that task. I had run out of the fabrics that I used for the block backgrounds, but I had recently purchased two yards of a white and so I'm using that for the frames and the setting triangles. Who the heck is going to notice that? No one!!  Gosh - I'm so much more relaxed than I used to be when everything had to match. Thank goodness I'm over that. Quilting is now more fun, and let's get stuff done!!!

That's like trying to explain to your kids what to do. As an adult, you have the experience, and so you know what they went through, and you don't want them to make the same mistakes. Well, it's the same thing for beginner quilters. Unfortunately, they have to learn that themselves, but if only they would listen and lighten up - quilting would be fun!!!

I love that large 20 ½" ruler for trimming the blocks. I made the framing pieces slightly larger than they needed and trimmed them down. Works for me. 

Trimming the blocks using a large square ruler

By the end of Monday Sewing, I had all the sashings cut and the setting and corner triangles. The frames were done, and I was ready to sew the quilt top together. OH yes - notice that I did NOT use white sashing. The first one I made had white sashing, so I went with something different, and I LOVE it. I also love those two on-point blocks ON-POINT. I got half of the top sewn together this morning, so about one more hour, and I should be ready to start putting the borders on. I will put an inner border of the same material as the sashing and then a darker fabric for the border. 

The partially pieced quilt top

All the fabric, including what I had set aside for the backing, now resides in ONE project box. I may have to play to get enough backing for the two quilts, the two bindings, and one border. But that's OK - I want this done and hope to finish by the end of the week because I've got homework stuff to prep and classes to teach!!!

The fabric for Christmas Fig

So I did lie the other day when I said I had removed NOTHING from those scrap bags to fill the pet mats. I found some of these instructions from panels for things like books, or aprons, or whatever. I had a small stash of them (yes - I have a project in mind), so I rescued those scraps. 

Instructions printed on fabric

I even knew where the other pieces were. And thanks to Helen, who had sent me some scraps a while back, and I don't think I ever thanked her for them. I did put this in the current pile - I think I have enough to do what I want. No need to collect more. That bag was sitting in the office, but it's now moved downstairs. 

My supply of printed instructions on fabric

Well, we always talk about running out of bobbin thread. I'm going to run out of top thread soon. No worry - I think I have two more cones of piecing thread at the ready. Nothing like buying in bulk, so when you run out, you haven't really. 

Running out of top thread

Look at this adorable pin cushion that someone gave me. It's stinking cute!!! And notice the color of the fabric matches my machine! And it's my favorite color. The inside has walnut shells, so it's perfect, and I needed a nice small pin cushion right beside the machine. Not that I use pins a lot, but I needed to pin some of that on-point quilt to get things to match up without stretching. 

My new pincushion

I need to make a red quilt in a hurry. What to do??? It's OK if the entire thing is red. Well, I have my favorite red quilt that I made from my scrap boxes, so I've decided to remake that quilt. I can't give away my red quilt - it doesn't have the right backing on it! I have two red scrap boxes. The lid is just slightly popping off of one of them. 

My two red scrap boxes

I'll be looking for mostly monochromatic reds, and well - the rest of those multi-colored scraps will be perfect for a string quilt. But I already have a HUGE bag of red strips ready to sew into string quilts. So this will happen, but not today. 
However, I did take a quick peek through the boxes and almost died. Guess what I found???  

Remember the doll quilt that needs repairs????

The doll quilt that needs repairs

I found that fabric!!! This fabric is also on the back of the little quilt, so I thought I should have something leftover. But I hadn't thought to check the scrap box. I have to investigate further, but I might have the EXACT sized pieces that I need to fix it. Not sure. I haven't got the fabric from my friend yet, and I might not need it. 

Fabric scraps to repair the quilt

The original appears to be a bit faded, but this should be fine for what it is. 

The difference between the old and the unused

I'm working my way through my task list on the calendar. I love it because if I don't finish a task on the designated day - I can just move it to the next day. You have to love that. I still have lots of silly little things to take care of - like why I can't make a payment on my credit card? Or why can't I sign up for the three libraries that we have access to with our library cards? I can access two of them, but I book I want it as the third library, and I can't make it happen. Time to call my friends to see what they can do to help me. 

It's going to be a busy and emotional day. I'm never good with funerals, and I cry at the drop of a hat. I cried while I watched the slide show of his life. I cannot imagine what his parents are going through. So tragic. 

On that note, I'm out of here!!! I hope you do NOT forget to set that timer for TEN minutes. What can you get cleaned up in ten minutes? It's amazing how quickly things accumulate because we don't see the mess. Yep - we tend to be totally blind to our messes, especially when the room is already a mess. I'm already chomping at the bit to start upstairs in the closets, which were already done once. I hardly wear most of what's there. Why am I keeping it? But it's all neat and tidy for the moment, and I have other things to worry about. 

Have a super day!!!!


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