Saturday Status Report

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written dozens of posts in my head but they never made it to the computer. Did you enjoy them? Of course, not, unless you’re psychic. If you are, please let me know – I could use some winning lottery numbers. I also found myself reluctant to post about quilts until they were complete. As slow as I am at finishing things, that makes for posts that are few and far between. I decided to try semi-weekly reports showing what I’ve done since the last report. It probably won’t be every week – like the next two weeks which will be very busy so there won’t be any sewing happening here. There are two or three events that should generate their own posts.

The last couple of days I’ve felt like Penelope, Odysseus’ wife, who unpicked her work every night before going to bed. I’ve been doing a lot of unsewing and practice sewing (no bobbin thread). Sigh.

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We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

In the last post I showed some of my scrap containers and committed to sewing scraps during the evening news. I should have specified that’s evening news on weekdays.

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This is one of my string bins. It weighs 7.4 pounds according to my hand-held luggage scale. I don’t know how accurate that is but let’s stick with that. At 4 yards per pound, that’s about 30 yards of fabric. I want it gone because I prefer to use pretty containers and I already have a string container which is overflowing. I also have a string bin that travels to sew-ins. I worked out of that one one afternoon a month for 2 years without a noticeable reduction in contents.

Shall we play a guessing game? How many quilts will that sack produce? How long will it take me to empty it? I’m guessing it will be quite a while before we have answers to those questions.

This week I  made 25 6″ blocks from that sack. I still have reach the point where I can stir up the contents without getting them all over the floor.

I worked on the Dutch 9-patch or double 9-patch, if you prefer.

That’s 30 blocks. I made one more but it needs some discussion.

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Do you spot what’s “wrong” with this block? I put wrong in quotes because, technically, there is nothing wrong with this block. But, I reversed the positions of the large squares in the outer 9-patch. The coloring above is how the block is shown in Barbara Brackman’s book and Jinny Beyer’s book. I didn’t find the coloring I’m using (that I saw on a blog mentioned in my last post) in either book. I thought for a while that I would keep this one like this and just mix it in. After reflection, I decided to fix it because what attracted me to the block was the way the 4 squares of the center 9-patch stood out in the field made by the other fabric. That didn’t stop me from making 4 more of them the “wrong” way – I had to fix them also. Here are the two versions side by side.

The “wrong” one is on the left and the “right” one is on the right. The one thing I don’t like about the coloring I’m using is putting the blocks side by side with the florals touching each other and the go-withs touching. I’ll have to come up with different ways to set the blocks when I get to that point. It’s going to be a while before I have to worry about that. Here’s the bin of block kits after the 34 blocks I’ve made so far. As you can see, I’ve barely scratched the surface.

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Want to play more guessing games? How many blocks will this bin produce? How many quilts will it make? Again, it’s going to be a while before we know the answers. This will get set aside for a time. After the quilt show in two weeks, I have 4 baby quilts to quilt and bind – two sets of twins. Not to mention all the UFOs that deserve to be worked on.

I would get very confused and screw up more blocks than I have if I tried to sew more than one of these Dutch 9-patch blocks at a time. That makes for lots of leader/ender sewing.

That’s 24 rows of tumblers. I only have enough variety to finish the row that is under the needle right now so I’m going to have to devote some time to cutting spool kits for leader/enders. The 3″ spools were Bonnie Hunter’s leader/ender challenge from several years ago. They are so fun to make. I think of them as quilter’s candy.

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