Sunday, December 26, 2021

The quilt that keeps on giving!

Or should I say a very demanding quilt! Today's story is all about why it takes me so long to finish a project. 

You know that I'm working on the Enchanted Autumn quilt. It's a quilt I taught at The Hobby Horse in 2015 as one of our sew-a-longs. It's the last quilt on the UFO list for 2018, and I really want to get it done. 

Yesterday, I told you there was one block left, and well, that wasn't entirely true. That last block was done, but I didn't like it. 

Here's what happened. 

The components of this block were actually made when I taught the class. For whatever reason, it was the ONLY block that was prepped. Why? I've no idea. 

The last block

I used the starch method to turn the edges, and there were lots of points and small pieces. I think it's because I wasn't happy that I left it like that. When I dug this project out, I glued all the components in place and prepped the points for machine sewing. 

The turned under edges using starch

And on Christmas Eve, I forged ahead and finished all the stitching. You didn't get to see that or even know that I had done that. 

The LAST block is done (or is it?)

I used a different set of threads (bobbin weight) and a zigzag stitch on the sewing machine. HEY -- if one can get it done on the machine, why not! 

The zigzag stitch

Then I realized that there were some curlicues on two blocks, and well, I might as well do those by machine. 

A satin stitch used for the curlicues

I will say that I wasn't super happy with the zigzag stitch or the satin stitch, and I should know better because I do NOT like satin stitch used in that way. And I wasn't keen knowing that one block was different than the rest, and my skills at turning applique under weren't the greatest at that time, and the block was messy. 

So while walking the girls yesterday morning, I debated with myself whether those parts needed to be redone, and I decided if you're going to do something, do it RIGHT. And instead of putting it away for another day, I forged ahead. This is the beauty of having a UFO Club where I can't put off working on a project - there's a deadline after all, and I'm so much more focused than I ever was. 

When I got back from the walk, I dug out some fusible and fabric and started tracing. While the bakers were stressed in the tent and constructing some baking show stopper, I reconstructed that block. 

Cutting new fusible shapes

I also had to remove the satin stitch, which was a pain until I learned a slick trick, and then it all came out very quickly. 

Constructing the new block

As I removed the satin stitching from the squirrel block, I realized something was missing. Can you see the issue in this picture? 

What's missing?

Yep -- the bottom part of the squirrel tail got missed! So I've fixed that as well, and now I need to do some blanket stitching to hold it in place. How silly that I never noticed that before. 

The bottom line -- the last block is DONE. Well, mostly -- just wait for it. 

The new block is DONE

If you were astute, you would see that the block now faces the opposite direction. Shoot - I don't know how to put the pictures side by side. Anyway, here's the old block, and above is the new block. 

Original orientation

When I did the first one, I traced the shapes so the block would be in the same orientation as the pattern. When I traced the fusible shapes, I didn't reverse the pattern. So the blocks are all going in the opposite direction. I don't care! It's my quilt, and if I didn't tell you that, you would never know!!! That was NOT a mistake -- I was just too lazy, and well, I didn't have a lightbox with me when I traced the shapes, so that's how the cookie crumbles for this quilt!

OK -- so what to do about the curlicues? I'm following in Shelly's footsteps, and I dug out some embroidery floss, and I'm doing a stem stitch by HAND. It really is the way to go, but I was being lazy trying to use a satin stitch. 

Stem stitch by hand

Now all that's left is to finish off the stem stitch on TWO blocks and stitch around the base of the squirrel's tails. Then I can start to trim the blocks and sew them together. I hope that stem stitch passes Shelly's approval! 

The stem stitch

I'm supposed to have it done for UFO sometime in January, but my personal goal is the end of this year. There are THREE other projects that I want to be done by the end of this year. There is NO time to rest!!!

Don't forget that we have Virtual Retreat today, so I hope to make significant progress on my goals!!! The link will be at the bottom of the post. 

I want to thank everyone who sent a Christmas card. I had high hopes of sending out more cards than I did, but then the cards got lost in the office shuffle, and I've no idea where they are. I had to give my cleaning lady a post-it note for a card! That's pretty sad. 

Anyway, here's how I displayed the cards this year. They didn't go out as they arrived because of all the dust, but now they are on display, along with my unique ornaments. 

My Christmas tree

Here's a close-up of the ornaments. Oh yes -- we can't have Christmas without some decorations!

The special ornaments for the tree

Gosh -- I walked a lot yesterday! Almost 14 KM. But it was a glorious day, and how could you not walk? Yes -- there was a bit of drizzle, but not enough to even use an umbrella. It was great to get out. 

And at last, I got the new aerator in the pond. 

The aerator and the heater in the pond

The fish are NOT cooperating - they think the heater is a spa, and they love to hang out there instead of going to the bottom. 

The fish are at the surface

And there's my helper, who is so clingy and has to be RIGHT beside you. And if you don't touch her or pet her, well, she's pretty insistent!!!

My helper seeking attention!

Yep -- we made it to the movie yesterday. It wasn't too busy when we arrived, but a bit busier in the evening when we left. We could have a drink in the VIP Lounge, but no POPCORN. When we asked why the table behind us had popcorn, we were told they could not serve it. OK -- so if you're not allowed to serve popcorn, why was ANY even made? That didn't make sense. 

We saw BIG signs saying that no food was allowed according to GOVERNMENT regulations. I loved the emphasis on the word government. But that's just life at the moment. I had a snack in the car on the way there. 

OH -- we watched Spiderman. It was OK -- loads of graphics were needed to make the movie. Since I'm not big into all the Marvel characters and the storyline, it's just an action movie, but I was OK with that. It was an opportunity to get out. And masks were required at all times in the theatre. 

I'm super excited for today  -- it's Virtual Retreat. So if you're at home and have nothing to do and no one to visit with, why not stop in to say hello or stop and sew for a bit. It's going to be loads of fun, and I'm looking forward to it. I would be sewing anyway, but more fun to sew with friends. Otherwise, I'd be entertaining myself with The Great British Baking Show (OK -- I ADMIT it -- I'm hooked on the darn thing!), or I'd be listening to an audiobook!!!

I'm opening the call at 10 AM, and we'll sew until whenever. 

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 2315 9049 Passcode: 799934

And on that note, it's time to get the day rolling!!!

Have a super day!!!


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