Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How dense can one be?

Oh, help me, as I'm so darn goal-oriented, and I try not to be, and I confess that since I got home, I haven't looked at my daily KM. OK -- that's a lie. I have looked, but I haven't been obsessed with getting a certain distance each day, and I haven't looked at my 2022 cardio challenge since I got home. I have no idea where I am! 

But a bad thing is forming in my mind, and it's all about those community project quilts. Yesterday marked the TWO-week mark (14 days) that I've been doing TWO quilts per day for a total of 28 quilts. Hmm -- how long can I keep that streak up? Can I quilt 60 quilts in 30 days? So help me now -- I have no idea where that thought came from. 

I have the quilts, the machine, the batting, and the time, but do I have the stamina to make it happen? It appears that no moss will grow under me, but I will say that yesterday almost killed me, and it was my OWN fault. Here's what happened. 

Here is the first quilt, and these ones were slightly larger than the previous ones I've been doing. They measured about 40" by 50" or something like that. No more flannel, at least in the smaller quilts to be quilted. 

Community project quilt - DONE

Before loading the second quilt, I needed to trim some fabric from the backing of this one to make the backing for the second one. 

Trimming the quilt to harvest the backing leftovers

Then I had to do two seams to make the backing, and it all worked perfectly! There were even some bits left over! 

Swing the backing together for the second quilt

And then the second quilt was done. WAIT -- you think it's the same quilt? It's not -- look at the second last border -- one is green, one is striped! They are NOT the same. 

The second community project quilt - DONE

So that got the two quilts out of the way for the day. However, I knew I had a couple of errands today, and it might be a struggle to get two quilts done, so I continued and did a third. I have no idea what I was thinking -- perhaps I was too tired to operate delicate machinery, or I got on a roll and let the long arm software dictate what I was doing. 

I chose a dense pattern, and my subconscious said it was too dense, but I let it go. That quilt took FOREVER To quilt out. 

A very dense pattern!

This is the danger of the software. You get lulled into using the entire space available (17") when the pattern should have been about 10 - 12" (not 8.5"), and each row should have been done separately, not two at a time. Sigh...................

The third community project quilt - DONE

Here's how dense the quilting is. And the worst part? You can't really see the quilting on the front or the back. What the heck was I thinking? 

Very dense quilting!

It doesn't matter, the quilt is done, and I'll pay more attention the next time I choose a dense pattern! 

The next quilt is loaded, so I technically have only one quilt to do today, which is good since I'll be away for most of the afternoon, and since DH is back home, I wasn't able to stitch one this morning as he would hear the machine. Maybe, he wouldn't, but my rule is NO quilting before 9 AM when he's home. 

As I was quilting, I was NOT idle, and the next thing I knew, I was back into the tubs of quilts, looking for a specific quilt. But I must have been dreaming when I put them away. I thought there was ONE quilt made with O Canada fabric that wasn't with the others, but I could not find it. I pulled a few more quilts out (in case I can actually do the 60 in 30 days), so those are waiting near the long arm, along with some potential backings, as I don't believe all the ones I pulled have the backing included. No worries --- I've got bolts and bolts of fabric for backings and much yardage, not on a bolt. I might have to make some bindings as well, but again --- I have a LOT of fabric to use up, so finding fabric will not be a problem. 

Sorting through the tubs of quilt tops - AGAIN!

As I was doing this, it made me think of another area near where I store the customer quilts, and underneath that shelf are several tubs. Oh my --- there are two large tubs filled with quilts that I made for community projects a few years ago. But I also found a couple more quilts that Diane made! I didn't count them -- they are staying right where they are! I've got a plan. The goal should be to tame this mess and get them all together. But everything is neat and tidy, so I'm not worrying about it!

More community project quilts

I did more sorting in the storage room so that all the smaller quilts are in one box. But I have pulled enough quilts out to fill my downtime, and I'll have to wait for the next quilting marathon to pull more quilts. I'm DONE with sorting and playing. There is plenty of room for new community project quilts, and that's a good thing since Diane and Cathy are madly sewing! Yes --- Cathy is getting the scraps, and she has some of her own, which I promised to do. 

Another tub of community project quilts

It was about 4:30 when I finally sat down, and I was pretty tired then! But as I watched one of the Masterclass shows from The Great British Baking Show, I got all the backing bits and batting sorted out. Everything is sorted as I go. The only left is to bind those quilts!

Watching the baking show as I sort out the bits of batting and backing

I still have eleven small quilts to quilt, and this is what I have left of the polyester batting. I should be able to get four quilts, perhaps five quilts from that. The rest will be done using scraps of the 80/20, which I usually use. All is good, NOTHING is going to waste, and there is NOT much going into the scrap bin. 

The remainder of the polyester batting

I got the second row of hexagons completely stitched on and have started adding the third row. That cardstock is pretty stiff! I have four extra hexagons; I'll add them to this layout since they are prepped. I'll wait until that third row is one before I figure out their location. But it's all good -- focus, onwards, and upwards! My progress is slow, but I don't care!

The hexagon block for Green Tea

Something else has been languishing on the cutting table, and I decided to get busy and try and finish it up. It's the "I Can't Believe it's a Sweatshirt" jacket. The only thing left is to finish the cuffs and the edges of the jacket. The pattern said to turn the edge under and hem it, but that's a lot of bulk, so I decided to make bias binding. 

Bias binding for the jacket

The diameter of the cuff is 10.5 inches, and that would be a challenge to join the binding when it's on the cuff. So I figured out the length of bias binding needed (tricky because of the diagonal points at the strip's end), cut an appropriate length, and then joined it together. 

Cutting the bias binding

Then I inserted the binding on the inside of the sleeve. 

Putting the binding inside the cuff

And stitched it on the sewing machine. I cut the bias binding at 2.25" because there was only one layer, but it should have been 2.5", but that's OK -- it will have to do! 

Sewing the binding to the cuff

The cuff was too small to fit onto the free arm of any of my machines, so I had to be careful to not catch the back of the cuff as I was sewing. 

Sewing the cuff edge on the outside of the jacket

But it turned out amazing, and I have both cuffs done! I thought about hand stitching that in place, but seriously --- I'm not doing that -- it's a sweatshirt jacket! 

The binding on the cuffs is DONE!

As I was lying in bed trying to figure out how to make a nice top edge (the sweatshirt collar is still attached), I decided to carefully remove the collar (yes -- I know it'll make the neck that much larger) and then I'll put binding all around the entire outer edge of the jacket. Way easier, and it'll look much nicer! 

So while I'm quilting, I'm not able to get too much else done, but I'm puttering. I need to start getting the fall classes prepped (OK -- so I don't need to start just yet, but why not?) One of the classes is the one on pre-cuts, and well, I've been searching for patterns and taking pictures, and yesterday, I finally chose the fabric to use for a couple of quilts. 

If you are NOT into pre-cuts, this would still be a beneficial class, as I will touch on how to choose a pattern for a particular style of fabric. What works best, what to watch for, etc. I'm actually learning a lot as I prep! And if you don't want to make a quilt, that's perfectly fine --- you can just gather the information! 

This one is hosted by the Hobby Horse and costs $25.00 for 10 one-hour sessions. Where else can you get that kind of information (from me) for that price?? It will be a great class, and I'm super excited about using up some of my pre-cuts! Check it out and get on the class list!!!! If you don't have pre-cuts, I'll show you what to use instead! But once and for all, we are going to USE those pre-cuts!

More computer work got done, but there are still a few more e-mails to send. I hope to get a few more done today. I'll be out shoe shopping this afternoon when my feet have swelled! Apparently, your feet start to swell in the morning, which makes sense, and stop swelling around 4 PM, so you should go shoe shopping in the later afternoon or evening. Who knew? 

Well, we'll see what I end up with for shoes. At the moment, I'm just looking for everyday walking shoes, but I have particular demands in the style -- can't be a mesh upper, which eliminates a lot of styles. Why do I walk with my big toes UP? 

I tried using this iron, even though it's leaking, and I've given up! So if anyone wants a perfect iron for DRY pressing only -- it's yours! I tried it dry, but I'm a steam girl, so this doesn't work for me. But lots of people are using misters or water bottles, and if you are one of those and want a new iron --- this could be yours!!! 

An iron up for grabs

I think that covers my exciting but exhausting day! Seriously --- why do I get myself into these "challenges?" Because that's what motivates me, and if I can get those 60 quilts done, then I'll have about ¼ of the community quilts done -- in ONE month! That would be very impressive. There's absolutely ZERO rush to get them done. I've checked with my local chapter of Quilts of Valour, and they have a stash of quilts waiting to be handed out, so they don't need more right now. 

So the rest of the quilts will sit where they are, and now I know that I can push and get quite a few done in a pretty short time, and before you know it -- -I'll have all those community quilts done! The trick will be to stay on top of them, so I don't get that backlog. That seems to be my biggest problem -- I can't foresee the situation (and the sheer quantity of things) too far down the road. This is why I'm trying to make other people see --- like in how much fabric one accumulates! 

OH --- I almost forgot -- there's a Virtual Retreat this weekend!!! The links will pop up in a separate blog post as I had everything prepped since I was supposed to be away, so I won't repost them here! That's Saturday evening and from Noon on Sunday!!!

On that note, I"m out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!


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