Thursday, April 28, 2011

Like the world's slowest time-lapse photography

Let me preface this by saying that y'all know I love my girl. She's 18 shades of awesome and when she says "Mommy, I'm going to make you a quilt!" or "Mommy, I love you" or.. well.. anything, it just melts my heart. That being said, sometimes quiet time is nice, too.

This past Saturday my beloved was off hitting people with swords (no, really!) and our little ball of chaos was off being spoiled by her grandparents (that's their job!) and I took full advantage of the time. Not only did I spend the entire day quilting, I decided to take you along with me by taking photos every hour to document my progress.

Friday night I finished up Eventide and did a couple of proof-of-concept blocks for the quilt I planned on making Saturday. I also hauled all the rest of my tools and rulers and bits up from my sewing room in the basement and into the kitchen. I *love* my sewing room but it's in the basement and if I'd spent the entire day down there I'd have felt like a bit of a troll. The kitchen gets masses of light and I'd be able to hear if anyone came to the door and make myself some tea.

Here we are at 9:30 in the morning.

Hmmm. You see my dilemma. That chair is too short, that soda is not mine, I'm not sure where the pattern is and somewhere in here:

.. is my seam ripper. Also my thread snips, my good scissors (when you're a leftie these things really matter) but OH! there's the pattern. Okay, making some progress. But still, it would be a good idea to tidy up. Also breakfast would be good. And some of my own soda. I don't drink coffee, I just start drinking Diet Coke at breakfast. Gotta pick your poison, eh?

10am - Ahh, much better. Table cleaned off, fabric cut and organized. I see my seam ripper, my thread snips, and my favorite chair. (It's orange! I love orange.) Now, let's get to sewing. We're going to do Terry Atkinson's "Lucky Stars" pattern because it's awesome with fat quarters, looks fast and easy, and I do love stars. We're using the stack of fat quarters I got of Riley Blake's "Bloom and Grow" by My Mind's Eye in the coral/blue colorway. I used most of the brown and orange for a fall quilt that's sitting in the UFO pile. Should I be working on UFOs instead? I'll pretend you didn't say that.

11am - I've got two piles going. One of these -

One side of the little star points with the seams set and ready to be pressed open. Cordless iron? Best present I ever got. My poor mom was traumatized about giving me an iron. I think she worried it would seem like she was reinforcing some kind of stereotype to give me a housekeeping appliance. I thank her for it about once every month. And a pressing cloth. Not to protect my fabric, but to protect my pressing surface because I use starch like it's going out of style. I make it myself or I'd go broke on it.

Also, I have a pile of these -

The points pressed open and ready to be trimmed before.. well.. more pressing. I decided to make this (and the next) project the ones where I master two things, one being short corners. I've had a hard time getting them right and they're in so many great patterns I refuse to just write them off. So I remembered a line from the front of the hymnal that I used to pluck from the pew in front of me and read as a bored teenager in church. John Wesley said "If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find it a blessing." I know that perhaps this isn't how he meant it (or perhaps it is) but I've always felt that to mean that facing your fear and conquering it makes you stronger and wiser. And maybe a better quilter?

Anyway. It's what I bring to mind whenever I think "I will never get this." I take it up, I practice, I am patient and forgiving with myself as much as I can be, and I accept that there is a level of expertise which only comes with time. It's amazing what I can get better at doing if I forgive myself for not being perfect at it right from the start.

Except for chess. I suck at chess. I forgive myself for that, too. :)

Where was I? Oh yeah! Okay, so I'm mastering short corners AND I'm making this the first project where I start pressing all my seams open. I found it made a big difference in some of the Eventide seams and it takes away that "which direction do I press these?" question. Unfortunately it adds an extra step to these corners. But worth the time.

Noon-ish (I may have waited until I had a good photo-op before I took this one, so let's call it 12:20)

Here's everyone pressed open and getting their second points. Is it me or does this stage seem to go on forever? (No Melly, you're just writing a really long post) Also? Behold! My Angler II in action! I have a new tool coming to replace this. It's vinyl cling and will allow me much easier access to my drop-in bobbin. I love my Angler but I hate having to wrestle with the extension table to get at my bobbin.

Chain piecing? I love you.

At this point I'm getting some real steam going and am rolling through episodes of Bones on Netflix at a frightening rate. It's gearing up to be a good day. We'll handle the back half of it in another post because this one is getting too long even for my wordy self.


  1. What a great motto to follow! I'm going to remember that! I too have trouble with those "short corners" (and you're right, they're everywhere!) I love my Angler too - and since it lives on my machine my bobbin area doesn't get cleaned out as often as it should - but, oh, it's a wonderful little tool!

  2. I think I just found a "new to me" blog to hang out in. I LOVE your writing style and the fact that you love stars and Bones....bonus!!

    Thank you for finding me so I could find you!!


    PS, I LOVE the quilt in the previous post (being lazy and not commenting on all the posts I've read so far) :0)

  3. Uh Oh, I was just going to reply to your comment to my blog and you are one of those "no-Reply" bloggers. Please send me an e-mail at crispybrin[at]netzero[dot]net so that I can add it to my contacts......pleeeseee :0)