Are there days you find yourself circling looking for something you want?
I wrote on my morning pages all the things I could do today. My list involved things I could do in my workroom. Clear out empty boxes that are taking up space. I checked that off. Then my stair stepper was in the way. I always kept it under the sofa in the living room should the urge to exercise strike. When we put down a new rug in the living room the stair step was moved to my workroom — yeah like I am going to exercise there? It went back downstairs to live under the sofa again. I need all the floor space in my workroom. Moving the stair stepper opened up enough space to set up my ladder to put yarn bins back on the shelf.
If you have followed what I’ve written you may remember I started sorting, and then I sorted some more, and then more. It was like an obsession. I am not an obsessive person. I just got to a point where I couldn’t find what I wanted when I wanted it. It happened again.
Since I have been going around in circles I thought it might be better to stop making new work and go back to working in a series which is what I like to do. I have to follow my instinct and my intuition. I wanted to find the last piece of art that was almost finished, but where did I put it? I am to the point where I can find everything. I have separated my finished works from my unfinished works and labeled it all.
I looked everywhere that I thought it could be for three days. Then I told myself, it will turn up I am certain. I was lost for what I may have done with it. Where did I remember having it last? The living room next to my favorite chair where I do my hand quilting, yes I still hand quilt special pieces which will probably never know a washing machine. One morning I thought of the most obscure place I might put it. I was knitting pet blankets in December, but then company was coming, so I fast gathered. Under the stairs there was a basket with bulky yarn. On top of the basket was the lid to a box I was using to put donation books into. I lifted the lid covering the yarn. Almost completely covered by the yarn was a corner of the quilt — hiding. I found you, my Very Colorful Quilt, a reason to celebrate.
I’m grateful. The fabric was found in a shoe box at the far end of my shelves — not labeled, of course.
So the trip I so wanted to take to the not so local quilt shop to buy more fabric will be postponed until tomorrow. These fabrics are very workable and I’m sure I could finish a quilt with what is here but there is something in the hunting and gathering that makes me salivate.
Also in the box with the fabric were already started blocks and templates for quilt blocks I made years ago in the hope that someday I would have a granddaughter. In need of a Christmas present before her 5th Christmas I remembered these blocks. I didn’t have much time to make the quilt with only a month before the holiday. I had to think quickly and made this quilt:
Little girls go through the pink and purple phase so combining the blocks with pink and purple bands worked out well since I made only 16 blocks but they were big.
Now back to my Nine-Patches.
As all good plans are made, they aren’t always achieved.
Now on to DAY TWO:
Adding a different set of two colored strips. This time pink and green. You’ll need three of each color strip. You can do this using fat quarter strips 1 1/2″ wide by 22″. Five strips of each color, as shown using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Be sure to press as you sew. Press DO NOT IRON, pressing is an up and down motion with the iron. I do not use steam because I like to get my fingers in there and steam and my fingers do not like each other.
Lay the sewn strips right side to right side as you would sew them together being careful to line up the edges carefully. I like to trim the front edge first to even it up. Then resting my grid cutter on the 1.5″ marker I make my first cut. Without moving the fabric I carefully line up the edge on the 3″ mark on my ruler and make the second cut, again I carefully move my ruler without disturbing the fabric to the 4.5″ mark and cut again. The my final cut will be on the 6″ mark before I move any of the fabric. Then repeat to the end. You can also do this following the grid by matching your ruler with the cutting board grid to get an accurate cut. Keep your fingers clear of the cutter. I have trimmed my nails but have been lucky enough to not draw blood. I can’t say the same for my use of a French knife. I almost lost a finger tip when I got distracted using one of those.
I press the sewn seam down first to set them, then I press the seam to one side usually the darker fabric. In this case you would have to be the judge of which is darker. You can press from the back side of the fabric or the top side. I use a small spray mister and prefer to press from the top side of the fabric, but not always. It is a judgment call.
The finished squares will measure 4.5″ This is not always true. Measure and see if your blocks all measure the same. If they all measure the same and it isn’t 4.5″ then that is your personal measurement. If most of them measure 4.5″ and some are a tad off carefully trim the excess. Be careful when trimming, you will be gratetful that you do because just being a 1/16″ of an inch off on several blocks can throw you off by half an inch overall. When I started quilting it didn’t matter to me, when I sewed them together at the end it did matter and I have to tell you — I hate ripping out.
(to be continued)
Happy quilting, Joanne
My father used to say if there was a flat surface I would find something to put on it. At the time I rejected that thought and those words, but it proved to be prophetic. I am a piler.
I just cleared off my worktable yet again. I purchased fabric last week certainly not because I needed it but because I wanted it. I bought 25% off Christmas fabrics. That was fortunate because I needed reds in more of a variety and Christmas is all about reds. I also bought solids. I think that I don’t sew with solid colored fabrics but when I am looking for them they are gone — must be Gremlins.
So I bought fabric. It took three loads to wash it all. I couldn’t wash the reds with the blues, I might end up with a shade of purple or something motley that I didn’t want like the time my mother forgot my new royal blue slacks were in the washing machine and she threw bleach and her whites on top of them. This was long before tie dye or I could have been a trendsetter.
I stuck with clearing off my work table much as I hate that job. I moved this from here to there, and that from there to here. I opened drawers and tucked angel’s wings (organdy) inside. I needed a plastic bin, but they were all full. Which one has the least? I opened it to find several unfinished projects — more WIPs. Do I finish them or find them a new home? I got to the stack of washed fabric? Do I iron it now, or wait until I use it in a project? If I iron it now I will never finish here. I had just emptied a laundry basket. I folded all the fabrics and gave them to the laundry basket.
I remember when Fat Quarters first appeared in a small basket in the corner of the fabric bolts. I eyed these with great intrepidation — what do you do with those? I promised myself I would not buy these — all my resistance broke down when I needed a certain fabric that I found had been cut into Fat Quarters. The good thing about Fat Quarters is the immediate variety available for only a few dollars.
I’m still working on reorganizing the space. Some things do not change though. When I was a kid I fell in love with pegboard. So it was only logical that one of the few walls in my workroom would be a pegboard.
This is also where I keep my embroidery – quilting frames. I still love hand-quilting some of my quilts. I also hang scissors and cutting grids here. When I do that I know I will be able to find them later.
I wanted open shelves to hold fabric. I didn’t want this many. Husband got out his calculator and measure the fabric measuring all the stacks. He informed me I would fill them and maybe more. Notice Riley really enjoyed them immediately.
Lazy Saturday, sit in the sun? The sun is out and the hurricane has passed us by.
It’s time for a pot of chili on the stove. A dinner that allows me more time to work on a project. I got stuck here in a riot of color. When that happens I either go on an adventure looking for inspiration or browse books. Needless to say I didn’t have luck with either. Instead I went back to organizing. When in doubt — try avoidance.
I worked in my library corner which has become a catch-all. It felt good. I found three bags of yarn. I found a stack of my photography books. Also found some of my favorite quilt books which I took off the shelf and didn’t get put back. It will feel good to get this space organized and also found an idea to finish the joyously colorful four patch quilt blocks.
To be continued . . .
I did a lot of sorting and organizing in my workroom last summer.
In a box marked Katherine’s quilt were cuts leftover from a quilt I made for Katherine.
Also in there were a stack of log cabin block, the ones pictured above. Why weren’t they a finished top? Several reasons perhaps. First thought, I got tired of making them another I became distracted with another more pressing project.
I put them on my design work wall and decided I was one block short to make an ample sized lap throw of 60″ square. In the container were all the pieces to make more blocks except the last fabric. That would do it. I love making scrappy quilts that don’t match, but when I try to make quilts that actually match, that can be a challenge. I fall in love with a fabric and end up using it in many quilts and then it is gone. So I will resume a search in hopes of making this quilt a bigger size by finding more of that LAST fabric.
There was a time when every quilt I made no matter how I designed it looked like a star — here are a few.
Friendship stars, Night and Noon and a Star quilt with an Ocean Theme and surface design.
Thank you for visiting,