Monday, December 21, 2009

Making Peace with Piecing

So, I guess it's time I come clean and admit that I don't really like piecing. I get no joy in the persuit of perfect points. But sometimes it's a necessary evil. And some of the people that I love are tired of being cold on winter nights.

Here's the top I just finished for Jesse and Ashley.'s their wedding quilt. I think they've been married 7 years. Ya just don't want to rush into these things, you know, in case things don't work out. I figured as long as I was doing make-up quilting, I'd also make Jesse a high school graduation quilt too. I'm still in the planning stage. I might get it done before their kids graduate. At least that is my goal.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Double Irish Casserole

I stepped away from both the applique and quilting projects this week to do some piecing. I have to admit that I don't enjoy time at the machine as much as I do hand work. It was a good change of pace, and I was able to get a lot done in the couple of afternoons that I had free. The pattern is going to be Double Irish Chain. But as I was sewing yesterday, I realized that because it's a "stash"'s starting to evolve a lot like a pre-payday casserole. Not enough of some of the ingredients to follow the recipe exactly. The center 18 blocks will have the blue/grey print, with the grey swirl making a row outside them. I have one more row of 10" blocks to go outside that if I'm to get to Queen size. Unfortunately, I'm nearly out of the solid blue, and nothing in the stash that matches. I also need to go back and make the mostly-white connecting blocks that go between these. There's a real chance that I don't have enough of the patterned fabric to follow the design. Sounds like a project for Saturday to sort it all out. The good news is that I'm fairly certain how I want to finish the back, with a panel of variable width stripes to use up some other blues. That'll make the quilt completely reversable with a "traditional" and a "modern" design side.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I seem to make great progress in everything but photography. The girls long ago confiscated my camera and finding it (charged) is a real challenge. Blog tonight...hunt down and add the photos tomorrow.

The past couple weeks I've been focused on the Joseph's Coat Quilt Along. I figured I could get a lot done over Thanksgiving weekend between the long road trip and lots of Football. Managed to get 9 blocks done, and parts of several others by the time I returned. By the end of this past weekend I was up to 15. Since the goal was to be at 6 by last week, I'm in pretty good shape. Doing the back-basting, needle turn approach is also saving a lot of time. I saw one post that estimated that it was taking 4 hours per block. I'm averaging 2.5 since I'm not messing with the interfacing, gluing and placement steps. It has also helped me to do multiple blocks at once. Since I'm working with so many colors it seems easier and faster to sew one color at a time. I'm prepping the next 10 so when they are done, I'll be over 1/2 way (49 needed total)

Still working on the Coral Reef Quilt. Ugh. I'm not sure I'll ever get done. I spent hours and hours this weekend with nothing meaningful to show for it. I did notice Sunday morning that I was almost out of the teal quilting thread. Drove to Hancock Fabric at half-time and was horrified to find that the didn't carry that color. Not even in regular thread. What if it was discontinued? Could I find it on-line? Could I send out a plea to my quilt blog friends to dig through their stash? How much would I be willing to pay if I could find it? Fortunately my anxiety was short-lived as JoAnne's is only 3 miles further and they had the needed color. I didn't even feel bad about paying full price.

I had planned on today being a day I could completely devote to quilting. Got de-railed until about 2:00, but then managed to put in about 3 hours on the Double Irish Chain quilt. Have 14 of the 25-patch blocks done. Now it gets tricky. This is a "stash" quilt, so there isn't enough fabric to do the whole quilt in the traditional 3 fabrics. White background is OK. A blue primary color I'm pretty sure I'll have enough of. But the 3rd fabric is going to have to transition into 2-3 fabrics. I re-designed the quilt at least 4 times this afternoon. The main 3rd fabric was left over from a fussy-cutting project which makes estimating the yardage pretty challenging. I think it's going to be some trial and error. Time to make peace with my seam ripper.