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Monday, September 22, 2008

This was Not a Welcome Surprise

I was into a pretty nice picking rhythm when suddenly I felt my finger go through a seam. I quickly flipped the quilt top to examine the front. I knew immediately what had happened. That moment of realization is enough to make a paper piecer cry.

It's not the first time I didn't check to make sure that the fabric piece was big enough to accommodate a seam. Because you are sewing on the paper, you can't see what's happening on the back side. It's one of the main frustrations with paper piecing.

I found this error 4 days ago. It would not be too difficult to fix, but I can't find a single scrap of that fabric! I have hundreds of yards of fabric, but not one tiny little piece of the fabric I need. It's pretty discouraging. I know I bought it at Wally's World this spring, so I need to go there and just pray they still have some.

To try to forget about that mess, I started a new block. I want to make a Christmas tree skirt, so I pulled out a box of Christmasy fabric and started sewing. I put 4 blocks together and got this. Does it look like Christmas to you?
I often do a tree in pink using these angels I made and a lot of other pink felt ornies.
I actually do a LOT of trees, so whatever color I make will probably work with one of them. If you are interested in trees, I have blogged about most of them on my main blog. There is a category called Christmas which you can sift through to get some ideas. I wonder if I can link to a whole category....hmmm I will try. Here it is: Christmas

Any way, here is the possible tree skirt with 8 of the blocks. I am thinking I like it enough to continue. It will be square, not round.

One of the nice things about making your own tree skirt is that you can make it exactly the size you need. I find most of the ones they sell to be way too small for a big tree.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Perpetually Picking Off Paper

I think that is what I should rename this blog. I have been spending a lot of time this week picking the paper off the back of my quilts that I am ready to hand quilt.

I haven't decided which one to quilt this winter. Either this big King sized quilt

or this pastel pink star quilt.
I am leaning toward the pink star because it's more of a cuddle-on-the-sofa size and I don't think I am ready to do another king size.

I am removing all of the paper from the back of both, so when I decide which one to sandwich, either will be ready.

I am finished with the big one and have put the pink star on my dining table so it's always ready when I have a few spare moments.

This morning I had about 15 minutes before I had to leave for work and spent them picking off paper.

This quilt has a 4.5 inch center of each star that has 66 tiny little paper pieces that must be picked off!
See how small the pieces are?
I will be very happy to get all twelve centers done.

As long as I sew with a 1.5 inch stitch, I have no problem removing the paper. I know some people have quite a tough time. Some even wet the paper first......that's way too much work for me. If you have to do that, you need to use a smaller stitch. Did you see how piece number 3 above came off in one full section? It just takes some time because these are so very tiny.

I should have this one done in a few days and then I will decide which to get down on the floor and sandwich. It's my least favorite part of the whole process!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Roses are Red, Border are Blue Quilt is Finished

I took the last stitch in the binding last night -- September 9, 2008.
Imagine my total surprise when I looked back through the blog and discovered that on September 9, 2007 I posted about the beginning of this quilt! In that post, I was just making a bunch of the rose blocks and really had no idea of what I would do with them.

Exactly one year later, I have this quilt to sleep under for the first time tonight.

For me, one year, is quite fast to complete a king-sized quilt. I only worked on it when I felt like it and I made oodles of other quilt tops, table runners and quilted pot holders during the same time span.

One of the things I love about making my own bed covers is that I can make them exactly the size I need. Notice how this one hangs down the sides & at the end exactly where it needs to in order to cover the matteress? That's no accident. I keep putting it on the bed and adding borders until it is precisely where I want it.

I feel good. I am very happy with this quilt.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Halloween Pumpkin Table Runner is Finished

I stuck some little bats and pumpkins on the edge, which may or may not stay.
I tried a decorative stitch to quilt it. It was a fun change of pace. This really is not a quilt since I did not put any batting in the middle.

I think I like table runners without batting. They are easier to finish on the machine and when on the table they are flat and things do not tip over when placed atop them. They also take less room to store.

Watch for a full Halloween tablescape soon.

I will probably do two different Halloween tables since this is the second Halloween-themed runner I completed this summer.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I Don't Like Birthdays Anyway

I used masking tape to mark my machine quilting lines on the Happy Birthday banner. I spent my limited free time the past three days quilting it. It did not look very good when it was done, but I was still excited that I had a few hours today to get it finished..

I made some binding and sewed it on. I couldn't wait to toss it on the table and see how it turned out. I was so disappointed! I have never had a quilt with such wobbly edges! I didn't think to take a picture of it. I really don't want to remember it anyway.

I was not about to pick out all that binding. So I took scissors and just cut it off, thinking there would be enough room to rebind.

There was plenty of room to rebind. I looked it over and made a sudden decision that I was not going to spend one more second on this table runner.

I asked myself if I would be embarrassed to have someone at my dinner table touching and looking at my work.

The answer was an unequivocal yes.

There was nothing else I could do with it, but this.

It hurt. I spent many hours making all those blocks. Sometimes you just have to cut your loses and move on.
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