Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finding Time to Quilt

I took part in a challenge posted by my on-line applique group last week.  The challenge was to spend at least 15 minutes every day doing some stitching.  That is not a lot of time.  Mostly it was a reminder to take time for yourself every day doing the things you love to do.  Considering that my current hand projet is a set of applique blocks, I almost always have something sitting by my chair to pick up and sew in the evening while relaxing and watching TV.

Yes, I did spend at least 15 minutes for every day for those 7 days doing some sort of stitching, preparing, choosing fabrics, etc.  But, it got me thinking...  I have no projects with deadlines.  I am doing these applique blocks because I thought the patterns were beautiful and wanted a portable stitching project.  There were some days that I picked up needle and thread because I had this challenge hanging over my head and I felt guilty NOT stitching.  And, I do admit that I rarely just spent 15 minutes.  Once I got going, I typically sewed for at least 30 minutes.  And, a few days I took a stitch or two and put the block down only to pick it up again and repeat this because I hadn't gotten to my 15 minues. 

So, why am I doing this?  I do this for enjoyment.  I do this because I like making things.  I enjoy being able to step back and admire something I created and I enjoy sharing them with other people.  I've never really been a selfless person who never takes time for myself.  So, why force myslef to do something on a hobby if forcing makes it seem like a chore?

I guess I have mixed feelings about this challenge.  It did focus my attention on getting the 11th block of this series done.  I had been feeling less than enthusiastic about the project and it may have gotten put away onto the pile of UFOs.  So, this challenge did get me over that hump, but I did resent HAVING to sew.  Perhaps I need a different spin on this of not necessarily having to do something every day, but having to finish a project before jumping off to the next.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Florabunda 11 finished

I finished block 11 of the Florabunda series two nights ago and started on block 12.  The last 12" block has close to 100 pieces to applique on.  When I think about it that way, I am intimidated and don't want to start.  But, thinking that it has 16 flowers seems more manageable.  I guess I am growing weary of this project.  Not that I don't love it.  But I enjoy the stitching so much more than preparing the applique, picking out colors and figuring out how to do the block - I am a process person.

Oh well, I'll get some pictures up this weekend.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nine Patch Completed

Yes, I completed the nine patch quilt that was started in 1993 as an internet 9-patch swap.  This was in the day before stricter post office rules went into effect and you could put a 6" 9-patch block into a baggie and stuff it into an envelope with a regular stamp and send it on its way.  They were easy to make and fun to get "squishies" in the mail with beatiful patches made from fabric that you may not have been able to buy in your area of the country. 

I think there are 143 blocks in this quilt just set simply with 2" sashing.  Once I set the top together, I put it aside for quite some time because the horizontal sashing was puckered.  I made the mistake of cutting those strips mathematically rather than using a real measurement. That is, I figured that the blocks are each 6" with 2" sashing and figured out what the size SHOULD be rather than what it was ACTUALLY.  So, I had to stretch the sashing and gather some of the blocks and the top looked auful.  I really did not want to rip the whole quilt apart and resew it.  Especially since I didn't have enough of the sashing fabric to recut each of those sashings.  So, I put it aside.

Eventually, I pulled it out and ironed the beast flat and it looked just fine.  Also, I think time magnified the puckering in my mind.  When I took it out of the closet to iron, it really wasn't as bad as I had remembered.  A good lesson to remember. 

Now it's quilted, labeled, bound and complete!  And it is sitting on the huge pile accumulating in my sewing room awaiting the basement remodel to finish and the guest room to be reassembled so I can put it on that bed.  I can be patient when I want to be.