Monday, July 3, 2017

Motivational Monday - huge success!

It's been an exciting weekend. I've cheated a bit and spent one day of the weekend working on something for a deadline and one day working on my list of UFOs.  I'm super excited as I made very good progress. 

From looking at the pictures, it doesn't look like much, but trust me - it was a huge step forward. 

I believe this was my project for March.  Four quilts using construction fabric. The intention was to make this for a family with four boys. the youngest is in Grade 1 or maybe he's now in Grade 2. Yes - the quilts will get ripped to shreds, but I don't care. I want them to be used!  But it would be nice to get them done before the youngest graduates from high school.  

I unpacked everything - well, let's just say that it was strewn around the studio so gathering it was more like it. There was a bundle of fabric. 

Fabric to finish the construction quilts
There was a laundry basket of fleece for the backings. 


The center section of each of the four quilts was done. Even the first border was sewn on. All that remained was to put two more borders on each quilt.  When I worked on these a while back, I got mixed up in what I was supposed to do with the borders and I had pieced strips that were 5 1/2" wide so that was how the first quilt got finished.  One inner border and one outer border. The border sections had been sewn together and one border was even PINNED to the top.  I made quick work of that and top number one is complete!

Top One - Complete
 Onto the next one.  There were THREE that look just like this. And each needed two more borders.

Three tops that looked like this

The idea was that the second border would be scrappy.  It was to be 3 1/2" wide made up of the fabrics that are in the quilt.  That wasn't done.  I cut a 3 1/2" strip of each of the fabrics and sewed them into two strip sets. I also took ALL the scraps that were left over from piecing the top and sewed them together to get a long, long piece of the border strip.

All the border bits are sewn together

Whew - that took a LONG time to get all that sewn together. Of course, strip piecing and chain piecing helped a lot, but it still took a long time.

But then it was a piece of cake to measure, cut and sew the borders on. Remember my clean sweep from the day before?  Well, that made the job of putting those borders on a snap!!!

Lots of room to put borders on

And here is the first of the remaining three - the second border is DONE!!

Quilt top Number Two - second border - DONE!

Quilt top Number Three - second border - DONE!

Trust me - they are DIFFERENT quilts.

Remember, that I'm a quilter on the edge. I don't like to do a lot of calculating if I don't have to. And I love a challenge if something doesn't work out. I was wondering if there was enough of the big long border strip to add a border to all three quilts.  On the fourth and last quilt, I got the sides on and had this much left over. Not nearly enough for the top and bottom border.

Oh shoot - not enough border strip for the top and bottom
 I certainly didn't want to go through that exercise again. And I only needed a little bit. What to do?  AHA - I will cut ONE strip from each of two fabrics that I have the most of.  I cut those two strips into four pieces. I separated the pieced border bit into two sections. Then added TWO each of the new pieces to both ends and VOILA - the top and bottom border of the fourth quilt is done (well only the second border!)
The second border is attached to the fourth quilt

Isn't that super exciting??  I was thrilled beyond belief to get that done. The laundry basket is now in the "to be quilted" area. Yes - gone after years of hanging out on the project tables. 

The last border and binding are from the same fabric as the inner border.  I need LOTS of strips for that. I have a huge pile of strips cut and they are pinned and ready to be sewn together. But I didn't have a sewing machine available yesterday to sew on.  Nope, I had two machines going full tilt with embroidery I will share that story another day. 

It just goes to show you that when you set your mind to something, you can get it accomplished. If these four quilts were NOT on The Task Master list, they would likely have been abandoned yet another year.  I'm glad that I have that list. I'm sticking to it and making progress. Slow, but making progress.   I'm happy to report that I also made good progress on the February project as well.  While the two machines were embroidering and when I had a minute from changing thread on them, I was able to get some cutting done.  I have a LOT prepped for the February project to take to the retreat THIS WEEK!!!   I won't get it completed at the retreat, but I hope to make significant progress.  

When I choose my projects for The Task Master this year, I did NOT do myself a favor. Most of the projects were huge!  Adding TWO borders (one that had to be pieced no less) to FOUR quilts. And these ones have to be quilted to be done.  Making a quilt from practically scratch that has thousands of pieces in it. You see what I mean?  I'm trying NOT to add to the UFO pile this year but finishing almost all that I start. So far, I've done not bad. Actually, I don't know of anything I've started this year that hasn't been completed.  That's a good thing.  Next year when I set the projects for The Task Master, I might give myself a break and choose smaller, less intense projects!!!

On that note, it's MONDAY and I have the day off.  But the dedicated sewing group is meeting today.  Yahooo!!!  My sewing machine is packed, a bag of projects is packed and I'm ready to go!!

Have a super day!!!



  1. Awesome that you got to be creative with the borders. Love finishing a top.
    Now to focus and you will get them all quilted and ready for binding.

    1. Meloney - you are so right. On to the next step!!!