Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Third time's a charm!

I have to say that I'm a very lucky person. I was able to spend a great day sewing with friends on Sunday at my house and yesterday was Monday sewing. It just doesn't get any better than that and I'm very grateful for my situation that allows me to sew two full days in a row. But I often wonder if I didn't sew - what the heck would I do with my days?

I've gotten up early in the morning and sewed for years. What would I do at 5 AM if I couldn't sew? I guess I could go to the gym!

So a lot has happened in those two days and you'd better sit down because - well I did a lot although I don't necessarily have a lot to show for my time.

The first thing on the agenda was to fix this quilt. I wasn't happy with the direction of the print in the small squares. I'll be doing a post later this week with more details on this very subject!

Hmm - directional prints - a pain!
 So I had to rip out SIX of those little squares and give them a quarter turn and now life is good! This quilt is ready for quilting - this week. It's on the "URGENT to be quilted" list.

The little square is now in harmony with the big square
 I unearthed another one of my 2018 UFO projects. This project has been carried to many retreats and never made it to the top of the bag. Well - it's time to get it done! I had a huge bag of squares of fabric and a lot of the pieced patches that had already been sewn together. They needed to be combined and made into a triple four patch block. So I'd already done a ton of work on it and there it's sat for years!
Components waiting to be sewn
I taught this class years ago and one of my students had made a ton of those teeny four-patches. She gave me her extras and while I already had a huge quilt made of these, I decided to try a different setting with all the leftovers. This is the triple four patch block.

Triple four patch block
 And here's the thing - I'm not sure if I have enough of the 3 1/2" squares, so I had pulled fabric a while back that could be cut if I needed it. I also found some more of the smaller blocks in a bag. Do I need those?? Not sure so they are staying where they were.

Extra stuff if it is needed
 Oh, of course, I could not possibly sew all those together without making a slip-up! This has been fixed and probably already sewn into a block.

 Let's just say the sewing isn't the best. I think a blind person sewed them together. But part of that is that I didn't do all the initial sewing and cutting. Once I got the blocks together, I trimmed them down to 6 1/2". I worked on them in batches of 10 so there are 50 blocks ready to sew together into the quilt top.

Fifty blocks ready to go!!
 This was the situation at the sewing machine at the end of the day on Sunday. There is still LOTS of block components to sew together.

Block components
 I was a busy girl last night and more blocks got sewn. The stacks now look like this.

Fewer components - yeah!!
 Hmm - I'm thinking I'm still going to have to cut some more 3 1/2" squares - the question will be how many?

And now there are 70 blocks completed and trimmed.

70 blocks done!
 I'm not sure how many blocks there will be. This quilt is supposed to be square so the minimum would be 100 but those stacks look too big for only 30 more blocks. so I'm guessing it's 144. That means I'm halfway - well almost!

I know - I'm flitting from one 2018 UFO to another without actually finishing any of them. I couldn't work on borders of the Celtic Solstice when everyone is here. There wasn't room. BUT the blocks are all together and I've chosen the fabric for the first border. However, I realized that I don't know what width to cut it so I have to sew the blocks together for the second border (the blue/orange ones below). Then I can figure out the width of the white border. Then there is one last border, the binding and the backing. It wouldn't take long - OK - it will take the better part of one day to finish this one!

Borders for Celtic Solstice

This is the homework table runner for the ongoing class at The Hobby Horse. The blocks were partially completed so I could show the technique to the class. I finished off all 8 of the blocks and assembled the runner. Now I want it to be a bit longer as I LOVE it!!  So now I have to make four more blocks!!

I can see some interesting quilting happening on this one!

String pieced table topper

Let's not forget the pixelated apple quilt. I did make some progress on this on Sunday. But when sewing those scrap blocks, there's not as much need for enders and leaders!

Pixelated apple block 7

Then it was onto Monday sewing and this is what happened there. I got Block Five of the National Quilters Circle Block Challenge completed. It was mostly together from the previous week but I was missing a couple of squares of fabric. And now it's done!

Block 5
Then I started to work on Block 6 only to find that I had not cut all the fabrics required. This seems to be a theme. I should just throw the fabric in the car so that if I goof, I can run to the car to get it. But I'm OK with coming home and finishing the blocks off. It's easier than carrying a bunch of fabric around.
Block 6
This is going to be a BRIGHT quilt. Made from solids!

But I started the day with my favorite project - 150 Canadian Women. I needed to sew 8 blocks yesterday in order to get to the right sequence of threes! And I was a week behind and it took two weeks to catch up. So here are my eight blocks. I was so happy because I had NOT had to rip out any part of them and I had not miscut anything! Hey - I was on a roll and very happy although it took HOURS to get all eight of these blocks done.

Eight more blocks for 150 Canadian women
HEY - what's going on???  Do you see what I see?  It was only when I laid them on the floor to take a picture that I noticed that all was NOT right in the block world.  Yep - the middle one is wrong. OH, CRAP!!!! 

Let's get out the seam ripper. There, now that's better.

Mistake is corrected

I laid that block out on the floor to retake it's picture only to discover that I had rotated the WRONG Square!!!!  Oh boy - let's try that one more time.

At last - the block is complete!

I think that give me 66 finished blocks. I prepped 7 blocks last night. I was only planning on doing six blocks but I missed one pattern when I was cutting so to keep the patterns in order, I just prepped an extra one. I may or may not sew that next week. Some of these are very fiddly. I'll see how it goes.

But if I keep up this pace, I could be done the blocks in 14 weeks. Yeah!!

Now it's time to focus on stuff that I need to get done for customers, for magazines, and for blog posts. It's all piled nicely on these two tables and will be the focus of my work schedule over the next couple of weeks. The more that I complete, the less I have to move in preparation for the next Sit n Sew day!! Wish me luck!

The projects that are on deck!

I have to say that everyone has been super good about the eating thing. I only had ONE person who brought forbidden food into the house! To protect her innocence, I won't say her name!  But that open container sat on the cutting table and I didn't touch one of those candies!!  I notice also that she didn't take the container home and it's now tucked away for the next sit n sew in case anyone has a sweet tooth. After that - it goes in the garbage!

Forbidden food at my house

 I've been really, really good about the eating thing and it's paying off. A good friend of mine who is also watching what she eats is also very strict! When you only have a certain number of calories to eat in a day, you choose very wisely what you eat. If you have that cookie, then you can't have the banana and nutrition wise, which one is better for you?  If you need to get enough protein, there is no room for fat. I seem to be doing great and my weekly average was right on for the percentage of carbs to protein to fat. I'm a happy camper! And it's off to the gym this morning to see what "fun" exercise program they have in store for us.

On that note, I've got computer work and I've got a date with the long arm so it's going to be a buy week.

Have a great day!!!!


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