Thursday, May 11, 2006

Working in Chaos

Here is what I faced when I went to work on my contest blocks this morning (see this post). Most of this is left over from the last three or four projects: things I can put away once I write up my documentation sheets on each, or perhaps the original project sparked another idea and I don't want to shuffle the reminders aside. Or I don't quite know what to do with some of it, or I just hate taking the time to put everything back in its place. I equally hate working in this much mess, but today I'd rather cut and sew. That little corner on the left end of the table, just big enough for my cutting mat, is where I managed to do what I needed to do. The clutter only got worse, by the way, as I drug out fabric options and stacked them around my little space.

Here's the first thing I worked on. Remember me commenting that I'd make this if for no other reason than to warm up on it? Well, warm up indeed! I've been too long away from this kind of work and I felt clumsy working out the cutting dimension and picking the appropriate fabric. It's one thing to settle on a color combination and quite another to actually find workable options in your stash. This is such a simple block that it should have gone together more quickly, but as I said, I was feeling a bit rusty. But I am fairly pleased with this. It reminded me of another reason I enjoy doing these one-off blocks for charity - it helps me use up some of my older fabric. The geometric in the outside triangles had a date of 1996 on the selvage. And the purple one is another heart fabric left from a teaching sample where I had no other choice. As I've noted before, I'm not much for using hearts in my work, but I do think they are fine for charity quilts. Click here to see the EQ coloring of this block.

I thought I would make Daisy Fan today, but once I got out my templates, I realized they weren't the right shape and would leave a pie shaped hole at the corners. I fiddled just a bit trying to see if I could adapt them before it occurred to me it would be simpler to print out templates from EQ directly on freezer paper. Not today, I decided.

Instead, I prepared my foundations for paper piecing Letha's Electric Fan and this version Electric Fan. I plan to use Judy Mathieson's modified version with needlepunched freezer paper foundations that are folded back along the stitching lines rather than sewn through. See this entry for more on that. As long as I was cutting freezer paper and had the old needle in the machine for the needle punching, I also prepared my foundations for Irish Eyes - a wall quilt I want to make soon for a friend's daughter.

I had lots of interruptions early in the day, so didn't have time for any more sewing, but did take a few minutes to consider fabric for the second Electric Fan. I am so motivated to make this one that I just had to do a little more prep work so I can get right to it tomorrow. I made some cutting templates, then laid out some fabric. My yellow stash is not the best but I think I have found two that will work together and have a great blue to set them against. Several options for the outer colors are still stacked around the yellows and blue - I couldn't make up my mind and figured it was best to give it a rest.

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