For the last several years on holidays, my friend Linda and I have a tradition of getting together for a sewing day in the classroom of her quilt shop. This year we sewed for 2 days, Dec 31 and Jan 1.
I always take more projects than I can work on just so I don’t run out. The one project I had promised to work on required more effort than I felt up to first thing in the morning. I decided to start with some mindless sewing. “Mindless” meaning everything was ready to go and I didn’t have to make decisions – just sew. It was the 2012 Saturday Sampler from Linda’s shop. I had to sew the corners onto the 12 blocks. Everything was going along swimmingly until I realized that I’d sewn the 4th corner on eight of the blocks with no bobbin thread. Bummer! After I finished sewing the corners, we arranged the blocks and I sewed them together.
2012 Saturday Sampler assembled.
The border on the shop sample was a Jinny Beyer border print and looked just fine. When we put it up on the wall next to my quilt, it just didn’t look quite right. I didn’t get a picture of that. I came up with an alternate idea but it required more of this fabric which no longer existed in the store:
That small amount is all I had. The only hint on the selvedge was “rfabrics.com”. What company was it? Luck was with me. Later I was pressing a fabric for a different project and noticed that the selvedge said “www.andoverfabrics.com”. Yeah! A place to start looking. I discovered that it was a fabric from The Very Collection and I found someone who had some for sale. Now I have 2 yards to play with. That’s for another day.
Now it was time to suck it up and work on the borders for Colette’s quilt. It had stalled because I needed just the right shade of fuchsia/hot pink for a flange. That was harder to find. I had 3 candidates (again, didn’t think to take a picture). We decided on one and I got busy.
On the design wall with the borders pinned next to the quilt.
A closeup of the borders.
There are 3 pices to the border: the white strip, the pink flange and the black outer border. I had just a little more fabric than I needed but not enough to make another mistake. While cutting the black borders, I cut one too narrow, so there is no more black. The last time I cut borders for a big quilt, they came out too short – twice! I was paranoid about doing that on this one since I didn’t have enough fabric to recover from something like that. So, this one went in the box for another day when I was ready to tackle that.
The third project I worked on was my triplets from a class taught by Norma Campbell. One set of 9 half-yards yields 3 baby Trip around the World quilts. I chose animal prints which were lots of fun. I thought everything was in the box but I was missing the flange fabric that both Linda and I remember selecting at a prior get-together. I went home and searched the night of the 31st but the fabric I though was the one turned out to not be it. So, I went out into the shop to see if there was anything left (the store was going out of business) that would work. I found this fabric which worked very well:
Kind of ugly and hard on the eyes.
Here’s what it looks like with the other border fabrics.
Auditioning the borders.
That was a good 2 days work. I was raring to go for a third day (I’m sure I could have convinced Linda to go for it) but I had to go back to work on Thursday, Jan 2. On Jan 3, my brother was diagnosed with incurable but “manageble” (for a while), stage 4 cancer. Between the 2, I lost my momentum and didn’t sew at all for 2 weeks.
Sunday, Jan 19, was Sew and Tell day so I needed to figure out something to work on. Monday was Martin Luther King Day which is a federal holiday and that meant no work so Linda and I planned to sew again.
Again, I decided to start with mindless sewing for Sunday. I want to get my scraps down to a manageable amount so I decided that I will sew 6″ string blocks at our meetings this year. I sew the strips to patty paper – the small sheets of parchment paper they use to separate deli meat and cheeses. I got 13 blocks made. That’s pretty good for 4 hours considering the amount of time we spend looking at what everyone else is doing, chatting, eating and this month, remembering a former member and her husband who both recently died.
The mindless sewing on Sunday set me up for the harder tasks on Monday. The first thing I did was finish sewing the binding onto the front of Easy Street. All that was left was connecting the ends. I ran out of time at the December meeting and left the last little bit for another time.
Then I tackled sewing the borders on Colette’s quilt, shown above. Linda was confused when she wrote that I did the binding. I talked about making the binding but decided to leave that for another time. I need to get this quilt to the quilter so I can finish it for our guild show at the beginning of May.
After that I put the borders on the Triplet 1 quilt.
I made some rookie mistakes while sewing yesterday (I’m NOT a rookie). Apparently I’ve successfully overcome my perfectionist tendencies because I didn’t feel the need to fix them. As someone said to me years ago, “You’re not making a $15,000 quilt”. If anyone looks closely enough to find these small issues, they deserve to find something.