Sunday, March 19, 2006

Update on last week...And National Quilting Day

What a great week! I was mildly skeptical about actually making my way through the lengthy list of goals I'd set forth (see previous post), but for once my estimate about what I could get done was pretty much right on. Each day I ticked another one or two things off my "housekeeping" list and maintained my energy right up through Friday. So all entry details got attended to on time, sleeves and labels got made and sewn on, documentation was completed. I didn't quite get my technical journal caught up, though. I worked on that Thursday and when I got to my transfer experiments, I decided I needed to print off some of the pictures I'd taken to paste as references. Too late in the day so I put that off to Friday. As long as I was printing those, I took time to clean-up photo files on my computer, print out some other things I've been putting off, delete files no longer needed and move others into folders or onto CD. More housekeeping, but boy, did it feel good to have it done. It's that "clean slate" feeling that helps me get on with the next creative project.

The last thing on my list was to work on the second cobblestone quilt and perhaps a 4-patch - both of which will go to charity. When I realized how close the Changing Perspective deadline was, I reluctantly moved the pieces of these projects to the far side of the ping pong table, and I really wanted to get them done, or nearly done to clear that table space for the next "real" project. I definitely didn't want to fold up fabric or shunt it off to some drawer or stack to be forgotten like so many of my in-process ideas. If I could get started on them Friday, great, but I suspected it would have to wait until Saturday. At any rate, with Saturday being National Quilting Day, I knew I'd work at least one day on them, and such a project would be a perfect way to spend that day.

In the past, I've organized various events for my guild to celebrate National Quilting Day, including workdays to make charity quilts, public demos, and last year I even secured a speaker. But I seem to be the only one who really pays attention to this, really cares about it, so this year I thought I'd see what would happen if I didn't mention it. Sure enough, no one else in the guild brought it up and it's a lot easier to stay home and sew by myself. So that is what I did.

I thought I had enough leftover pieces assembled to put with the extra blocks from the first Cobblestones quilt (read more about that here), but I must have gotten it confused with the number of 4-patches I required for the other quilt. I needed to find bits and pieces for 10 more blocks! Well, I quickly realized that I didn't need to make stripsets for the center portion as I had done on the first set of blocks. I'd already cut the unused tails from the original stripsets into 2" squares and had just enough fabric from the original fat quarters to eke out the longer strips for the sides of 5 blocks. Then there were 5 of the blue 2" squares but nothing left to pair them with...until I realized I could use white. I'd already cut most of what was left of the original white into centers or strips for the first border, but plain white fabric worked just fine. I'm not so sure I don't like this combination of colors even better than the first one. I'm still having trouble getting a picture that I think captures the colors well, but I think this is a little better than my previous try.

You'll notice that I've arranged more of that passed-over blue around it. Besides sewing together the cobblestone blocks, my other goal was to see how far I could make the rest of that blue go. Not only did I have enough for the Cobblestone borders, but I was able to cut borders for the 4 patch as well as alternate squares and setting triangles. I was so pleased! That equivalent of 2 yards of fabric from a discarded skirt played prominently in three baby quilts. Yes, I'm feeling a bit smug!

I ran out of time to add the borders to this or to sew four patches, so I may do that next week. Would like to get these done, as I said, so they will not be a distraction, subconscious or otherwise, to my next idea. This coming week may be a little disjointed anyway because I have several appointments to break into my days and should get a start on yet another guild newsletter. Gee, those deadlines seem to come around quickly. Finishing these two up would be easy to deal with around the interruptions. And I can work here and there on finishing the notes in the technical journal.

The only thing I didn't do was track down that glue, which I need for my next experimental piece. Well, the search can continue when I'm out and about next week.

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