Monday, March 2, 2015

You Can Never Have Too Many Frying Pans in the Fire

You're aware that I'm doing my usual 'wait until the last minute' dance to finish up Grand Illusion for our upcoming Guild Quilt Show.  I've managed to piece all 4 borders and actually sew 2 of them on.  And the other two are pinned and ready to go, but finishing them would require me to piece the back and 'rassle' the quilt into a sandwich for quilting on my Bernina.  So, tapping into that same energy I'm using to avoid doing the 2015 income taxes, I've begun to focus on my next project.

Now yes, I could have opened up one of my project notebooks...the one with the projects already started and ready to go, or the one with the ideas that have the supplies that have yet to be prepped, therefore freeing up some space in either the closet

or one of my cute little boxes full of 'kitted' projects

But noooooo, I am off on a new mission.

One that required an afternoon spent shopping online at Hancock's of Paducah's batik sale,

and another couple of hours searching the net for the perfect white on white background fabric,

and a half an ink cartridge printing out paper piecing foundations, and requires about 8 hours cutting out 1826 pieces of fabric.....

I've cut, bagged and tagged all 797 pieces of white, very carefully laying each one right side up (ha if I'm not going to have to rip a seam or two or twelve to fix a piece that's face down in a block).  As for the batiks, I had planned to spend a snowy/sleety/icing Sunday cutting 1029 pieces -- obsessing througout the process as to which color for each piece -- but for some reason 'the woman who never prewashes anything', had a little fairy buzzing in my ear Sunday morning that I might be truly sorry if, after all that work, I wound up with a light blue background.  So that stack of batiks was divided into dark and lighter and given a nice hot wash and are presently waiting patiently to be ironed and spray starched back to their original, easy to work with, new fabric stiffness. (Have I mentioned that 'the woman who never prewashes anything' is also 'the woman who hates to iron anything but seams on quilt pieces'?).  Sigh. I wonder if there's another project I can start?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Oh Dear (God) ... Jane

Last weekend, facing the task of adding the borders to the Grand Illusion mystery quilt (yep, I meticulously pieced in 3/4" white sashing throughout all 90 some inches of it), therefore rendering it ready for the arduous task of sandwiching and quilting under my domestic (with no extra space) sewing machine, I sidetracked myself and picked up on Dear Jane.

The bad news is that I am 57 (yes, fifty-seven) blocks behind on my original goal of 10 blocks a month that I set for myself back in March 2014. The good news is that I've finished 63 blocks.

When you haven't paper-pieced for a while it takes a bit of time to get back in the rhythm of the process, as well as a lot of concentration as to which fabric faces which way.  At the end of Saturday I had finished 4 blocks, and had a new favorite block for Jane:

On Sunday I was able to piece more blocks, and before moving the design wall (which was making me claustrophobic in my studio, having been blocking off the closet for nearly a month), just for fun, I threw all 63 blocks up to get an overall idea of how my 'Dear Kaffe' is going to look:

Not too shabby.

Since I've managed to sideline the project I had planned for today (another roadblock I threw in the mix to avoid working on sandwiching Grand Illusion--more on that tomorrow), maybe I'll see if I can knock out half of this months' 10 blocks so I don't fall even further behind.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Decision Has Been Made

I'm gong to go with the white sashing on this one. I posted my choices on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville FB Group and got 189 comments to my post...most favored the white.

The hubs preferred no sashing, but understood that without it I'd likely suffer seizures every time I walked into the bedroom, which would result in his having to make the bed each day, and dust and vacuum as I would only be able to function with the lights turned off, so he quickly got on board with the white sashing.

I've spent some time calculating (with actual calculator, pen, paper, tape measure). I've unfolded and measured 8 yards of backing fabric, which (Praise the Lord!) contained an extra 15 inches, which means if I play my cards right I won't have to piece something else into my back, though no long arm quilter in the country would touch this quilt, so I'm now going to have to quilt this monster on my domestic machine with 7" throat space (whoops!).

And soon I shall begin to cut 1.25" strips to begin the process.

Ah'll be bach (spoken in best Ah-nold voice I can muster).