Wednesday, January 25, 2012


For several days now I've been blocked in my sewing.  I have been acquiring fabric and thinking...

I started the year with lots of plans for sewing - but just was not getting back on the wagon after our holiday trip...  There is always a lot of bookkeeping to catch up on and file away - so I distracted myself with working on that....

I figured out what I needed to do was once I could see what the projects were I could do the preparation for the different projects...I didn't like the first design in the one project, the other required a large piece of fabric, and the third I misunderstood and thought we were just supposed to be making sandwiches for the project. (I didn't know I was behind in that one!)

I want to finish the round robin that I am behind in (and I coordinate) - and the dining room table is full of my tumblers that I really side tracked myself and sewed together before the holiday. (Note: I just rolled those sections up inside the Wonky Sho Fly sections so they are not in my way now - so I can concentrate on what I want to concentrate on!)

I do not now have 24/7 access to the sewing machine now as our son is sleeping in that room - but I think that was an artificial roadblock.  I was stopping myself.  I could go on and on.

I decided to try and do two projects in one so made these sandwiches - the small ones I will use for the two free motion challenges.  The SewCalGal one will have one design a month, the other Australian* will have several a week with a few catch up weeks (that what this week is now)...  In her guidelines, Laura, the Australian had plain fabric in both the center and the border - and that was blocking me - I guess I didn't want to cut up all my lovely new fabric to get different fabric for the centers....   She didn't write back and warn me off of using the patterned material so I guess I'm okay.  There is another project that I decided I just didn't want to do after all - too rigid and wouldn't give me the experience I want/need.

I looked at my fabric and saw I had two jelly rolls and some other fabric in this lime/blue/brown line.  I also got some lime thread that I had picked up - so I decided to change the borders rather than the center and will use these blocks for the SewCalGal challenge too.  I will be able to pick the best blocks to put together to give to He&Ka!  And if the blocks are all useable, then all the better as then it will be a larger quilt gift.  On the back I alternated using the beige and the patterned fabric.  But first, I boiled some water, put a little soap it in and dip and swished charm squares I had for the fabric line.  Rinsed and put on white paper towels - success - no bleeding!  I decided to not wash the jelly roll fabric.

Once I made the decision about the fabric for the projects I had to think about batting.  I don't have a lot - and am using my warm and natural for my other two in progress projects: Wonky Shoo Fly and Liberated Round Robin.  So that took a day or so - then I remembered the first batting I bought - it is some June Taylor polyester - that one is supposed to be able to iron and baste.  I had brought that with me to my quilting class and the teacher couldn't see how that could be used for a bed sized quilt - there is no power outlet in that basting room.  So I thought it might be good to use for these projects.  I have a queen size container of it.  So then I had to remember where I had put it...  Found it - and then finally was able to get going.  I made ten blocks as there are that many fabrics in the jellyroll.

Since I had beige thread in the machine, I also made some larger sandwiches for Leah Day's quilt a long.  First, I had to spend time thinking about what fabrics to use - give up - for that project.  I'm already three weeks behind so can see the end products.  They are really throw aways as she really is guiding us thru doing a lot of practice - in larger scale - so at least a half yard is needed.  Again, I didn't want to cut up my new lovely fabric - but I  thought at least one side should be nicer fabric - I don't know why I thought that but once I remembered the yards of pink Kona that B gave me - they were all ripped in half long way and were used as decorations for a party - that made me see the light and get going on making sandwiches for Leah's project.  I made two just to get started - again using the batting with the stuff that makes the fabric stick when it's ironed.

Once I made the smaller squares I put the walking foot on to do the outline of the square.  It worked okay for a few blocks - but then started pushing down on the fabric and I actually have a few pleats in one of the blocks and it looked like it was scratching the fabric on the bottom.  I swapped out to my quarter inch foot and finished the stitch in the ditch of the squares and removed the pins I had put in just in case the batting glue did not work....

Leah Day 2012 Project Week 1
I drew the lines as Leah suggests, put the thread on a bobbin and put in a fresh needle. I used one of the new quilting needles.  Found my gloves and started.  But I had to practice just moving the fabric again.  Shortly after starting I could hear the click - so rethreaded - and was able to go a little - then I added speed and heard the click again. I rethreaded, I checked bobbin - I checked and saw the needle was hitting the throat plate - so I googled that problem - and then stopped as son wanted to sleep and I was tired anyway.

This morning I removed the needle and could see it was clearly bent - so replaced it and did this practice piece.

Leah does a great job of walking us thru the first part of the exercise - but she assumes we know what stippling is - no she assumes we all started with it and can do it (I think).  I started by doing Leah's beginning designs and since it seems stippling was not one of her designs, I didn't like it that much so I just skipped it when I was first trying out FMQing.  Since then and now I have tried and can't even get a good stipple on a piece of paper with pencil!  It was very different to enlarge the design to three inches.  I broke several needles on this practice piece.  I often draw the designs out - this one was really hard as she has us do the steps in two directions - then at the bottom we are supposed to combine them to get the random design.  So I have lots of new things in these sandwiches: the batting, the needles, the thread, and for Leah the size of the design.  I wasn't liking the stippling so didn't do the hiding of thread when I broke needle and had to restart - so now I can't really do anything with this piece unless I take care of those different thread ends.  On the other pieces I will take the time to hide the thread - could be I can cut the pieces up and practice my QAYG and end up with a (really ugly no doubt) charity quilt?

But it feels good to have these sandwiches ready - and to know I have more batting, fabric and jelly rolls cuts ready to use for these projects.

It's so wonderful to have these projects coordinated by others that I can follow along!

These practices will become a practice in QAYG and a charity quilt:
FMQ: Wednesday new challenges with lots of guidance

These practices will become a quilt for He& Ka:
FMQ: Once a week with a break week built in so easier to catch up!
FMQ: Monthly new design to submit for drawings

Depends on if I win of not:
Piecing - once a month:

Collecting the directions, but saving this for later:
Piecing:  Twice a month

This will become a quilt for my husband or the house:
Project - my seasonal round robin - I'm finished one project - the new one will start in March 2012

I can't decide now though if I will take a walk and have breakfast, go buy some more fabric and thread, or continue with Week two for Leah's project.  She has already unveiled week four but Laura has not changed her page so I'm not more behind in that project!  And SewCalGal won't change until the first of the month.  There is still hope to get caught up....


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