Saturday, June 24, 2017

Basting Day

This is technically the last quilt I am making this year left to baste. I made another appointment for next Friday to re-baste that Blue & White quilt that kept wrinkling. I walked home from the clubhouse and it was already hot. However, after getting back home, I stayed outside & pruned my Yellow Roses. I cut them down to under the window sill. The way roses grow around here, they will recover and burst out again.

This quilt is one I have been working on since getting the yellow fabric from my friend. I ordered more of the gray retro focus fabric for the outside border.

There was enough of it to make this same guy a tote for a holiday gift. And because his quilt is shipping the end of August so he has it during football season, I'll try keeping this for the holidays. Do guys use totes? Some do. Its something light to bring camping, but not knowing his preferences, it could either be welcomed or sit in a closet forever.

I won't be quilting much this weekend as I am headed down to Santa Barbara for the Summer Solstice parade and event on Saturday and plan to hang out on the beach Sunday before driving home. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

No Notes-To-Self

One of the real hassles with trying to finish my UFOs is that they might not come with notes-to-self. Writing them was something I did learn along the way, but some of these projects have been hanging around for awhile. This is probably not what made this project a UFO, as much as it was just working it during my early days of quilting.

When I took out this container, it was obvious that cutting had begun. However, nothing was marked; neither the pattern nor the cut pieces. That meant counting again. I don't know if fabrics are designated specifically or if they are just in the container as possibilities.

So the first thing I could do was to count the squares, and label what them. However, as I pieced what was there, it was clear that I didn't have enough of those purple squares. 

The quilt pattern is for a small 43" x 43" baby size quilt. It seems that I wanted to extend it from 9 blocks of 3 across & 3 down, to 16 blocks, or 4 across & 4 down. All I could make with the purple was 9 complete blocks and the remaining were partial blocks. Rather than give up and and have a lot of orphans, I am going to see if I can find the purple.

This pattern makes flying geese the old way & that is most likely why the project became a UFO. They were hard to assemble & get points correct, and still are. And the coordinating fabric makes some stars lose their points.

I am went as far on it as I could for now, made some notes-to-self and let it go for now. It can wait until the Halloween fabrics hit the stores. If I don't find the purple, I thought about making some tote bags with the extra and just making the smaller 9 block quilt.

So frustrating.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cognitive Non-Overloading

On my list of UFOs is one to make scrappy quilt backs. This is a GREAT way to use the squares I cut from scraps and finished projects. It seems ongoing & can be a bit intimidating to work on because there is no end to it. In the beginning of my quilting experiences, I was afraid to cut into fabric, even for the project it was meant for. 

Then the fear came that if I cut the lovely fabric, when I needed it for something, it would not be there. All those fears of cutting. Its an ongoing process. Its actually been satisfying to pull out the smaller bin with all the precut squares in it and just piece away until the right size of the back is done.

With fabric my friend sent me last month, I used a LOT already, have cut the pieces & joined them to make rail fence blocks. Is exciting. And so, I am self-compelled to keep cutting squares, sorting larger pieces into colorized containers for easy retrieval. 

I really do have enough projects for 2017 so do not need to start anything new for awhile. However, cutting or trimming means that fabric takes less room in my closet and is at the ready when I do want to use it. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Set Aside / a New UFO?

I am setting the Log Cabin quilt aside until I can re-baste it. It is way too frustrating for me to stitch a line, hold the sections taut & still end up with a couple of wrinkles on the back. I figure that all the time it takes me to rip the seam & re-do it is a waste of time. I am going to take it back to the clubhouse & start over as much as the 4 lines of stitches will allow me to do. I am going to ask for help & get it tighter in hopes that it will stop that silly nonsense.

Meanwhile, I pulled out one of the UFO's to take it to the next step. Years ago, my friend Rex & I decided to swap blocks we made & used one for each month to make a calendar quilt. Her blocks are stunning. We were both beginners but she took to quilting like a pro. And after she did what she wanted went onto other things. 

My Jung course asked me to find a symbol for this week about manifesting goals. I don't have critical issues in my life right now, but the underpinning theme for me is about TIME. When I saw my UFO list, this project was the one to be the symbol. 

As much as I can, I try to use fabrics on hand. There was this roll of leftover green from a binding strip that is the same as I would use for sashing. There was also a chunk of the same fabric so there was enough to make both sashing and the first border.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WHAT is Happening?

I got four rows done on this quilt, yet found myself needing to go back and rip/re-do in several places. I am doing everything 'right' and still struggle with it. It is not the largest quilt I've made but feels so heavy and unwieldy. I don't get it and wonder if it was my choice to do a flannel back that makes it that way.

Someone once said that unless we accept our strengths that we would most certainly be overwhelmed by our shortcomings. 

And so it is.

 * I am enough * I like perfection * I am sufficient * 
I am a visionary * I attend to what needs doing 
* I am responsible * I perform right actions  
* I am secure * I love all beings & stand for them 

Its really hot outside so working on lots of fabric dedicated to keeping folks warm is not comfortable today. I still think it is the flannel. There is no deadline on this project. I want to do it right rather than quickly. Already, the choice to do an entire grid is changed to a simple diagonal channel stitching.

The plan is to do one to four rows of stitching each morning. Of course, the middle of the quilt has longer rows and will take more time. I won't let it get me down, and will keep at it, but will not push myself nor say mean things to myself when and if a row wrinkles. It is what it is.

There is a greater picture in my work, and sometimes when I have a project like this one where things are not going the way I want, I could get so frustrated that I set it aside. It would become a UFO. I am not going to do this. It needs to go out this year and there is plenty of time to finish it if I keep at it.

I woke up this morning thinking about a different solution. I think I will take this quilt back to the clubhouse and re-baste it, seeing if I can make it tighter. I am at such a loss for why it keeps wrinkling so want to give it a try. I have to call and get an appointment so I can have the room.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Watching for Wrinkles

Not watching for wrinkles on my face, though there are many more every day. As the machine quilting on the Log Cabin started, the first row of stitches produced two wrinkles on the back flannel. I had forgotten to put the walking foot on the machine!

The walking foot is the attachment that works best for quilting. The machine has what is called feed dogs that grip the fabric from the bottom and pull it along for the stitches. The regular machine sewing foot just presses the fabric down to work with the machine feed dogs on the bottom. 

When there are the three layers of the quilt (top-batting-back), there is a pretty good chance that the back will wrinkle or pucker with the regular attachment. That is what happened on my first row. I had to pick and re-sew in 2 places.

The walking foot also has feed dogs on it. The little arm near the top fits on the needle bar, so that the two sets of feed dogs work together to make the stitches as the needle goes up & down through the fabrics. 

I do not think I will trust the walking foot to just zip perfectly through the stitches, and plan to check each row out every time. I lucked out with the quilt I just finished and think it had a lot to do with the fabric choice on the back as well as how well it got basted. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Batting Pieces

In an effort to avoid that cognitive overload, I decided to join two of the larger pieces of leftover batting from the most recent basting I did the other day. Usually, I just put it in the bin and wait until I need some. 

In the end, this newly joined piece was large enough for the Neighborhood quilt that goes out next year to a Great-Niece. There was actually too much on one end, so it got cut to use elsewhere too. AND THEN, I joined some from the bin to work with the GBP Log Cabin quilt that I do want to send out this year. 

Both of these quilts are ready for basting, and there are smaller batting scraps in the bin for the future. For instance, there are some tote bags on my to-do list that will take some smaller pieces.

Batting takes a fair amount of space when it first comes in its package, so once it is loose from the plastic, then it takes even more space in a storage bin. There is no need for more of it this year. What I do notice is that the shrink factor has changed from 3% to almost 5% on the same product. That means it will shrink 5 inches for every 100 inches long or wide the quilts are.

I have mixed feelings about keeping my to-do list. I am the kind of person who would start new projects so need to know what is there to be finished. I like the idea of doing something right away, like joining these batting pieces and assigning them to a project that needs batting. In this way, I don't throw them away nor do I go and buy more.