Saturday, February 3, 2024

Every piece counts!

Where is the sun? We've been promised sun for the last few days, but those clouds never even broke up enough to see an inkling of blue sky! We're supposed to get sun today -- let's hope. 

There's one big advantage to sewing at a quilt retreat. You (hopefully) haven't brought a lot of projects with you, so you have to work on what you have. There have been numerous occasions when, if I were home, I would have abandoned what I was working on. Well, the old me would certainly have done that. You arrive at a point where the job gets tough or boring, and it's easy to put it aside and work on something else.

Not so here. While I won't finish everything I brought, I have a plan for one of the projects I won't touch, and when I come next time, it'll be cut (more or less) to allow me to get it sewn. There is one more project that I haven't touched. I've looked at it and must make some major changes. It's a jewelry case, and since I don't wear a lot of jewelry but have some nice pieces, it would be fun to make a case that I could use. 

I was going to convert it to specific types of jewelry, but I think I might make it into a small case with pockets. Well, more on that another day. I'll keep it out when I get home and try to figure something out. I know this topic does NOT make sense, but don't worry. I'll show you pictures later. 

I had a bag of half-square triangles to trim, but for the life of me, I can't find it this morning. Perhaps it went to the car yesterday. That is weird. That leaves me with the 365-day quilt and three other projects, one of which I'm working on this morning. 

So all is good, and I've at least looked at EVERY project I brought -- that is probably a first for me. 

Yesterday was all about finishing the playmat quilt. 

This is what it looked like in the morning. The three panels were together, and the blue border (fabric I bought while I was here) was sewn on. Then, I had to lay out the border print to see if I had enough. This was leftover from a quilt I made before, so the border print was cut, and THREE of FOUR corners already had the miters cut. I've no idea where the fourth corner is. 

Is there enough border print?

So it looked like there was enough border print, so I started to sew it. And all was going well until we got back from the afternoon walk. I came in and began to cut and realized I cut without allowing a seam allowance. GRRRRR. 

After a few creative cuts and sewing, I had enough pieces to go around and add that final mitered corner. 

Creative cutting to keep that red and white stripe

While the joins along the sides are NOT matched -- there was not enough fabric for that, the straight lines within the border are matched. Yep -- some creative cutting and sewing was required. 

When you need blue - you get creative

And when I was done, this was all the border print left.

The remains of the border print

But I'm happy to report that the top is done!!!

The playmat quilt top is done!

I have some coordinating fabric that I was going to use for the backing, but it's not quite enough. I also have two extra panels, so I might make one more quilt with two panels and use the coordinating fabric for the border and the blue. Then the backing can be used for that quilt, and I'll find some other fabric for the backing of this one. 

I have to say that finding a solution to all this and cutting and piecing makes me very happy! It's crazy, but that's why most things take so long, as I have to slice and dice and nothing is very straightforward! But I'm OK with that. It took ALL day to get that quilt done, and I also made the binding. 

I managed to get ONE block done for the 365-day quilt. But that's OK -- I'm (hopefully) on a roll and not "scared" to work on those small blocks, so I'll cut more blocks on Monday. 

A 365-day block

Now, here's a dilemma that we have all faced. Should I mention that there's a mistake in the block? That block is 6", in case you think I've gone mad and did it in 3" size. I know the mistake is there, and it was the first seam I did and, unfortunately, had already been cut. In the grand scheme of things in this quilt, NO ONE will notice. But if I don't mention it now, someone will feel obligated to tell me. I DO NOT CARE. I've chosen to go ahead with the mistake. The colors are so close -- it's not easy to find. 

I popped out for a drive to another shop (more on what I got another day) and spotted this HUGE barn block on a barn. 

Barn block

I have taken a few pictures of what the others are working on, but I must remember to email them to me. I'll attempt to do that tomorrow morning. 

I'm down to two hours left of book five of Harry Potter. I can't wait to find out the end, even though I've read it before -- I cannot remember. 

Today, I'm working on Tequila Lime and getting myself caught up with that homework because when I'm home, I have to prep for the next round due next weekend!

It's my parent's 70th wedding anniversary today! That's quite an achievement, and I'll call them later today. 

On that note, I'm out of here. Let's hope the sun comes out and the temperature will warm up, which will mean a LOT of mud on the walk!

Have a great day!!!



  1. YES! The advantage to retreat is you have to sew what you brought. I had a languishing UFO from a 2022 sew-along with friends. I should not have agreed to it as I know that particular designers' quilts never appeal to me. Soooo, advance to December 2023. I took ONLY that project/fabric on a 5d solo retreat. 156 6" blocks needed and 18 were done. 546 2" QSTs. That sucker was a flimsy before I came home. It has since had a 5 border designed (with 2.5 inch pinwheels on point in the middle) quilted, binding sewn on and hand stitched. It is on our bed and I do actually love it!

    Cheers to retreating and all the successes!

  2. The disadvantage of being away is the weather can be different than home. We've had beautiful sunshine yesterday and today.

  3. Please tell your parents how impressed I am at how long they have been married! It makes me feel that I've barely started! (We have been married 52 years. And we were 20 and 24 at the wedding. )