Friday, 11 March 2011

No pain, no gain.

Here comes the pain.
Last Saturdays sewing was the easy bit. I had already got to a fairly good position on over half the strip sets, and I was just cutting and sewing "good" strips together.
Now I'm attending to the Bad strips. My good strips measure 17 1/4 inches ( not the 17 1/2 they are supposed to, but that doesn't really matter ).

The bad strips sets measure 16 1/2 - 17 - 17 1/2. So last night I had to lay the ruler over the strips to see which squares weren't an inch, and unpick seams. I have quite a pile of bits now, and I'll have to have a few sessions carefully sewing back together.
My machines default needle position isn't at a quarter inch when I fit my quarter inch seam foot - how ridiculous is that?. I only realised this after I'd started sewing strips together, so every time I sew I need to remember to amend the needle position.

I also have another bag of bits - so now would be a good time to go through and check / amend these as well.

I persuaded ( moaned at?) Andrew to clear a bit of space in his work room so that I could doing my sewing in there. He hasn't used it as a work room for probably over a year - it's just been storage as he's worked at the kitchen table. I've had to do my sewing as well as sleep in the smallest bedroom.
So now I'll be able to leave the various piles on the table out of my way, and my bedroom can be tidier.
I have asked him what are the chances of my getting Dye on my quilt and he has replied "slim", and then "very slim". Guess I can't do better than that. For previous references to Dye on Quilts read this -
So order of work -
Go through bag of odd strip sets, measure and unpick if necessary.
Iron all odd strips, pick out all "unpicked" stitches.
Arrange new strip sets, mark and sew.
Calculate how many 1 & 1/2" strips it will make.
I will need 25 blocks 17 x 17 in total ( or the equivalent ).
I currently have 32 "half blocks" 17 x 8, so I will need 16 single strips to complete the 16 blocks.
And I need 9 more blocks 17 strips wide.
In total I need 169 more strips ( of 17 sqs).

When I have re-sewn the bits I've just unpicked I'll sew together the last of the strips I cut - I think I've already cut all the patterned strips I need, but I may need to cut more plains.
Then I can have another good session 2's, then 4's, then 8's.
When I'm at the stage of having 50 "half blocks" of 17 x 8 I will need to make the decision regarding how I am going to quilt it as that will determine how I sew it together.
If I get it quilted on a long arm machine I sew all 25 17 x 17" blocks together to complete the top.
If I am going to quilt it in sections I need to decide if I am doing 2 or 3 sections - or more?
I could sandwich and quilt all 25 squares individually having 25 different fabrics on the back. Having cut up all my odd fabrics to do this quilt I don't actually have 25 different fat quarters left. It would be easy to manipulate a 17" square on my machine - making certain patterns possible but ruling out others.
I guess I need to decide if I can afford to get it quilted, and what sort of quilting I actually want.

I like the old Welsh Quilts. I plan to go to Jen Jones Quilt museum some time in the near future.
Once I have separated from Andrew when he moves out ( pending his house purchase) we will have a shared care arrangement where the boys spend half the time with each of us. I will miss them dreadfully when they are not with me but will try to use the time well. I will be off to Wales to visit the Museum, I'll be able to go round to friends, I'll be able to sew!. It'll be a taste of what life may be like when they are older and no longer dependant upon us.
Once Andrew has moved out we are going to make the work room into a second living room - it'll be cosier than the main living room so easier to keep warm, which is a consideration as my house has Oil fired central heating which is expensive to run. Also I have the Piano in the living room where the TV is - so I have to turf the boys off the TV when I want to practice, or I leave my practicing until late. My little bedroom will become just the sewing room, and I'll get the main bedroom. I'll paint it, buy a new bed and decorate to my tastes.

I have a new camera with more mega pixels and I think that it is really slowing down my uploading pictures to the blog.
I will fiddle with the sizes to see if I can improve things, yet another thing to sort whilst watching TV in the evening.

Last week I blogged and mentioned I had rather a lot of projects on the go.
Here they are, in no particular order ! -

1. Hand sewn Carpenter star.
Came to a halt as
a) it's on a cream background and I have cats with dirty feet,
b) I have a husband with dyes,
c) It was getting to a stage where it needed space to be laid out,
d) I needed reading glasses.
This should probably get worked on over the summer when the light is good. Started it perhaps 4 years ago - and haven't touched it for about 2 years.
This project is typical of the sort of thing I do. I am sewing over papers, but I am wanting to quilt it in 3 pieces then join. This makes the thing rather difficult. Yep - that's me all over. Perhaps it's this quilt I should send off for Quilting!

2. Ikat bag.
Needs laying out and thinking about.

3. Brights bag.

Used the wrong weight stiffener. Made a real mess sewing the lining so it hasn't progressed.

4. Batik Squares bag.
Wish I hadn't used wadding. I will probably cut this up again!

5. Acid Green quilt.
I this started with a charm pack I had. I made various 4 patches, and planned to edge in green, then cream then use green again for the background.
I was trying to do varied border sizes and angles. I've completely gone off this. I think I'll use the acid green for another project.

6. Bright stars from left-overs.
Hand paper piecing. This will only be a small project as I don't have many more brights left over. I have not made much of a dent in some of the fabric I was trying to use up - these florals. I have 2 rules for this project -the stars have either a spot or stripe or check centre, and have one of the floral print colour ways in.

7. Little houses.
Combination of foundation piecing and normal piecing. I have done a few houses, and have others cut ready to sew. I ought to have a few sessions at it and then utilise what I've got.
Wall hanging ? Cushions?

8. Batiks.
I started this on a Friday night sew-in. I am stuck having gone off my original intention of putting the squares on point. Have absolutely no idea what to do, but I might make this my next machining project.

9. Snails Trail.
Oh my goodness. This must be about 12 years old. I started quilting it on a machine quilting day, then it got packed away. It wouldn't take too much to finish it.

10. Blue Gems.
My 12 year old wants this one. I stopped it as I wanted to put it on point, but couldn't work out what to put in the 4 corners. I bought enough fossil fern in pale blue and navy blue so do 2 corners in each, but I don't think that will work. Joseph is happy to have it as it is.

11. I have assorted workshop pieces not finished, and most won't be either. The one I may finish at some point is a village scene, from a workshop by Ineke Berlyn based on the paintings by Ton Schulten. I could make a cushion cover.
12. 1930's prints. I have 42 squares. I thought that next time I need to do a baby quilt I'd pick 16 boy colours or girls colours and sew them together.

13. Dare I admit it - my Rudolph hanging. Needs 1 eye, 1 Antler and to finish the binding.

Can you call boxes of fabric unfinished projects - best not go there!

Cotton prices have rocketed - but I guess I don't need to buy any for a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment