Sunday, May 2, 2021

swoon and may sticks

Last week I left you lamenting about my longarm and the Swoon debacle.

After I finished blogging, I went up and made the binding.  Using the fabric trimmed from the back.  And I sewed the machine side down.  It went fairly fast, all things considered, and seemed to only grow about two extra sides.

Gabby supervised...


...but it took so long, she melted.


A few days later, I stationed myself in the comfy chair in my sewing room for a long stretch of binding.  Gabby also helped with that...


The back has grey kitties on it, so she fits right in!  Silly little dork was purring her head off, snuggled right up to my leg.

But let's backtrack a bit to go over the whole Swoon adventure, shall we?

In May of 2018, this bundle of kitty fabric my mom had given me previously...


...demanded to be made into the Swoon quilt.  I purchased the grey fabric it is sitting on and off I went.  Rereading some of my early blog posts about the quilt (May of 2018), it seems the construction of these blocks also gave me trouble.  Despite this quilt wanting to be made, it sure has given me a pile of troubles!

I worked my way through the nine blocks needed for the quilt top...


...and in a few months I had all the blocks finished.  (Though this collage makes them look quite a bit different, all the photos were taken at different times, some in different places even than my sewing room, so they look less cohesive.)

I sewed the blocks together and, as it always seems to do when I'm ready for a photo shoot, the wind helped!


A few months later, I found a perfect fabric for the back!


It may not be obvious here, but the fabric is directional.  I didn't realize it until after I had pieced it and was loading it on the longarm.  The bikes are what is obviously directional.  But whatever.  This quilt is such a hot mess, this is the least of my worries right now.

So last month, the stick for a longarming project came up as Swoon.  I was kinda excited because I've loved this quilt (the pattern) for a long time, even before I made it.  And then I was excited to get it finished despite my ability to procrastinate.

A week ago, it was finally time.  I had put it off until the end-end of the month and it needed to be done.

And then all heck broke loose.  I complained quite a bit last week, so I will just leave you with "all the things went wrong" and move on.  Because I DID get it done.  (Though I found one small section I missed in one corner, but I'll deal with that another day.  It is fine for now.)

Once I was done pouting, I got the binding sewn on.  And the hand-sewn side done as well, while snuggling Gabby and listening to a number of podcasts.  Then, because it was still daylight, if not sunny, I took it outside for a photo.  The wind was even relatively cooperative (but you know, as soon as I got it on the clothesline, my phone/camera took its sweet time to turn on and the wind moved it...twice...) and I shot a few quick photos and headed back inside.  It looked like it might rain.


The lighting makes it easy to see some of the quilting.  But this is as close as you're going to get.  I mean, it looks okay from here, but if you get in there too close...nope!

Pattern: Swoon
Designer: Thimble Blossoms/Camille Roskelley
Size: 80x80"
Pieced and quilted by me!

So let's see about the April sticks:

Longarm Swoon - check
New quilt top Molehills - check
Scraps project from rainbow bonus HSTs - check
Non-quilty project knitting loom - check

Not everything was finished into something.  The socks are ongoing (that is tedious!) and the bird blocks I want to add to (The HST project), but don't want to dig into making a bunch more half square triangles just yet.  So that one will hang out and I expect, in time, I will create more, one way or another.

That brings me to the sticks for May!


Oh boy.  Arcadia Avenue.  The one quilt on the list I'm absolutely terrified of.  I've actually considered sending this one out to someone who can do the intense quilting I think it deserves.  I'll think on it for a bit, but in the meantime, I think it was the only quilt on the longarm list that didn't yet have a back.  Yesterday I went shopping!


Once I saw this, I couldn't look at anything else.  There was no way anything else in the store could be this awesome.  But there was only a little over three yards and the quilt says it is 72x90, which means I need more like six yards.


So I picked up three yards of this print.  (Pardon the mask ties sitting on it - I thought I already had a photo of this fabric and took this for the ties, but, well...I didn't...)  And I have already pieced the back!  (They don't match perfectly, but better than these two photos might lead you to believe.)

The scraps project is using those from my 100 blocks quilt I did a few years back.  It was all pink and grey, but the bin has since become a sort of dumping ground for all sorts of bits and pieces.  I've pulled from it to make my Project Quilting projects, small bits for other projects and even, in the photo above, the grey fabric to make mask ties!  But I will officially sort the bin and try to make use of some of the cohesive scraps.  Or decide it's time for them to go if they're just too small.  Having a catchall bin is not a good idea for me.  I need to decide to keep it and put it away properly, or get rid of it.  Some of you may like this system of a bin, but I'm bothered by it, so I'm going to fix it!


The other two sticks are amigurami - crocheting tiny little creatures - and a quilt made using acrylic templates.


I've had the amigurami book for a long time.  And the projects vary in difficulty, but I'm hoping to be able to learn how to crochet enough to make a simple little something.  And maybe get good enough to do some of the more complicated ones eventually?  In my spare time!

I picked up a set of small skeins of cotton yarn/thread and an appropriately sized crochet hook (thank goodness the packaging on the yarn told me what size because I would have bought something way smaller! - but I could hardly read the tiny print...uh oh...) and, since the book isn't terribly helpful at teaching you to crochet from the beginning, I'll be watching some videos this month.

The two patterns in the photo both use acrylic templates.  And I have them.  (Which, in my head, was part of the requirement.)  I've been leaning towards Steam Punk for a while, so I think that is where I'll end up.  Debating, though, on doing it in mostly purple and greys or funky, even fussy cut, fabrics of all colors.

Because all of these projects require too much thinking, I ended up piecing the quilt back earlier today and plan to make masks once I'm done at the computer.  (I also vacuumed out my car...I'm a very, very good procrastinator this weekend!)

The masks...while I was shopping for a quilt back, I caught sight of some cute watermelon fabric.  Okay, twist my arm - this will be cute for summer.  While I'm out, let's peruse the July 4th fabrics, too?  There were a lot of stars that did not appeal to me, but I found one that wasn't too old fashioned or loud.  I mean, sometimes I like loud, but these were too much.


I decided to make three of each - one for me and two to share with coworkers who might like them.


And I matched them up with some stash fabrics for the insides.

But wait!  There is about a half yard extra of the zebra fabric!  And THIS is a kind of loud I can get behind.  Literally!


And holy cow when I went to my grey/black stash to look for something to put inside, this lept into my arms.  I mean, how can you NOT put that inside?  (It IS too much for an outside, but this is the best pairing I've seen ever, I'm pretty sure.  Right up there with chocolate and peanut butter.)

I cut and pressed the fabrics for those that will get ties (mine), but then the hubby wanted lunch, so I got derailed.  I'm still derailed from the masks, but there are just so many things to do!  (And my car did REALLY need to be cleaned out.)

The coming week is going to be a little off for me.  At work, our freight truck has come on Tuesdays for a long time, but starting this week, we've been moved to Wednesday.  So the one day a week I always work (all hands on deck when that semi hits the dock!), the one day that anchors me to know what part of the week it is, has changed.  Not drastically, but enough.  I'm sure once we're all used to it, they'll change us back, but the trucking company is struggling to get and keep enough drivers, so if this is the way they manage getting our truck to us on time (which it hasn't been very often lately), we'll work with them gladly.  It's much better than getting sent home on Tuesday to be told to come back Wednesday to find out the truck won't be there until Friday and then it shows up on Thursday!  (True story.)

But in the grand scheme of things?  Not a big deal at all.

Time to go find something else to do than sit here in front of a screen.  Probably make some masks!

Happy quilting,
Katie

Monday, April 26, 2021

some finishes...

Yesterday and today involved a lot of cursing.

Why?

Well, you see, I have these silly sticks that I wrote projects onto and thought it would be a good idea to challenge myself to finish (or at least work on) a bunch of new projects every month.  Or finish some old ones.  Whatever.

One of those sticks each month involves me longarming a quilt that was previously abandoned at the top stage.  Many of these even had good intentions and I have backs purchased and pieced for them.

This month, Swoon came up.

I made it using a really cute fat quarter bundle that had kitties and paw prints and such on it.  I found a really cute fabric for the back that also had some kitties on it.  I pieced the back (that was directional and I did not know this until I went to load it on the longarm) and then...the end!

Yesterday, after much debate, I decided how to quilt it.  I went through a dozen versions of things before I settled on something I thought I could do in a reasonable amount of time, with a reasonable amount of accuracy.  Assuming my longarm would behave.  We always must assume the longarm will behave.

And I loaded it.


Finn helped.


The first pass went fairly well.  Often in the first pass, or first bit of quilting, there are issues to work out.  Tension is off a touch, thread breaks...that sort of thing.  So I tweaked things and wasn't too annoyed.  Then I rolled it for the second pass and all heck broke loose.  Tension went to crap, thread started breaking (I ripped out the same teardrop shape four times before I gave up and went to bed)...all sorts of stuff.

I draped what was on the floor up and decided it needed a time out.  This morning, after chores, with a fresh outlook, I was going to work again.  I could figure this out.

I tweaked the tension.  Nope.  I changed the needle.  Nope.  I loosened the quilt sandwich.  Nope.  I swore a lot.  Nope.  I sat on the floor and cried.  Nope.  (It was well after lunchtime by then, so I think I was hangry to boot.)  I got out the book and debated if the needle bar needed repositioning or the whole machine needed retiming.  Those seemed extreme and I wanted a second pair of eyes (the hubby), so I decided to just power through.  Lots of ripping and burying more threads than I wanted, but I was going to get this done.  It's not going to be a showpiece, but this now will be one you will be required view while riding a horse at a gallop from 60 feet away.  But it will be done.

And then I thought of something.  OCD Katie had moved the thread guide just above the cone, on the back of the machine.  I had moved it to that odd angle because I was struggling before.  Hmmm...


One would not think this could make a bit of difference, but when I moved it back to "good," the thread breaks decreased.  I had about a dozen in three passes where before I was getting them sometimes every six inches.  (Enough that I was just ripping out all I had just done and starting again.)

So this morning I spent 3 hours doing one pass.  This afternoon, once I finally got myself straightened out, I did three passes in under 2 hours.

The quilt is off the frame, but I took no more photos.  I will have to acquire a galloping horse to get you the next photos.

Oh, wait, we have this one.  Finn helping again.


It also needs binding.  Which apparently I failed to make ahead.

But that was just the last two days.  What else have I done this week?

Well!

First up, I talked myself into finishing the last six Molehills blocks!


Gabby has been very helpful.  We have learned that if you close the door to the sewing room, locking Toby out, she will come out to visit and play and sleep in the sunshine.  So I've been sewing up there with her, with the door closed, in stretches.  (But she will also come out if you are not there, so I've been doing a bit of that, too, as I feel bad Toby tries to keep her under the chair...)

And then it was downstairs to figure out a layout.  This took a LOT of rearranging to try to keep too many of the same colors from touching each other.  In the end, I threw in the towel and called it good enough.  Anyone who wants to criticize is welcome to make their own version.


Rows were carefully labelled and picked up.  This quilt is not constructed like any other quilt I've made, so labelling was critical if I wanted to maintain this layout.

Then back up to sew a few more curves!


I worked for about two hours and then the hubby wanted to go get lunch and run some errands.  It was a good break.  This was getting tedious and, as evidenced by my episode today, sewing while hungry is a bad idea.

After lunch, I was back at it and had a top before the end of the day!


I headed out into the windy sunshine for a photo.

You can see (maybe?) that it is not square/flat at the top and bottom.  The nature of the pattern is such that it will need to be trimmed in the end, but that's okay.  It's not awful and you don't waste much.

I have the back for this (not pieced), but after today's disaster, I'm not interested in finishing this any time soon.  Good thing I have to work tomorrow - good excuse to hold off longarming anything else just in case I get the itch!

That may seem like a lot, but it really isn't.  I spent a lot of time doing stuff, though I can't account for much of it...

I DID make some cookies.  These Hot Chocolate Cookies were delicious.  I'd been looking for the mini-mini marshmallows (found with the regular marshmallows, not the hot cocoa stuff, in my grocery store) for quite a while.  I snagged them and haven't seen them since.  I guess I wasn't the only one looking for them?


I took them to work - hubby wouldn't even touch them, as he hates any marshmallows that have not been lit on fire prior to eating - and everyone was pleased.  They're not as pretty as the recipe photo, but this is reality.  I don't stage my cookie photos - sorry!  (So far, no one eating my cookies has complained.)

And then this happened:


On the wall in the break room at work, there are signs for each employee, stating their position, start date, and area(s) of expertise.  Many have things like equine or welding.  I had nothing.  (It's okay.  I'm not a farm kid.)  Until one of the boys got an idea last week.  I'm not sure who did it, but one is insisting he is innocent just a bit too much...  It's good to be appreciated, though.  And the cookies do seem to be a morale booster.

Time to go make some dinner and some binding.

Happy quilting!
Katie

Sunday, April 18, 2021

assigned projects and some squirrels

It's been a while since I've entertained any squirrels, but this week a couple of them came to visit HARD!  I've been kept on task by my sticks/assignments the past few months, which is a good thing.  Mostly.  A few days this week, I just had to play.  I couldn't bring myself to work on the sticks.  I just couldn't.

What did I do?

First, I got a crazy idea that I wanted some plants in my house.  With four cats, some of them less foolish than others, I knew just having plants sitting around would be a disaster.  What they didn't chew on, they would dump over, use as a scratching post and maybe even a litterbox.  I know better.

But what about a terrarium?

I'm really good at killing plants, but this seems like a win-win.  More-or-less self-sustaining AND enclosed!  So I went shopping.  (I had a few other things to pick up, but this got me to put on real pants and get the things done that needed to be done - reward system!)


While I'm not a huge fan of Wal-Mart in general, I will shop there sometimes because in this small town, options are limited.  And I found this cute little thing - the top has a lock-latch and it fits nicely on the wide windowsill in my sewing room.  (I have to clean that off a bit more, but that is for another day.)

But then came the struggle to get all the things to fill it with - including plants.  The local nursery here doesn't open for a few weeks, so Friday the hubby and I headed north to a larger town and hit a few stores.  I found some smaller plants, but could probably make a second with just the four plants I brought home!


In my travels, I found a few cute, small things to include.  The front side has a "welcome" sign.


The back has a tiny red wagon!  If I find some special rocks or small shells, I might add them in.  But for now, it is complete.

But you can see what I mean about filling it up quickly!

I also purchased some inexpensive tiny fairy lights, but I'm unsure about putting them in the top area...the instructions that were alluded to on the outside of the package were lacking inside, so I'm not sure if they're damp-safe...

Then today, after a BUSY day at work yesterday (spring is INSANE in farm stores, as one might guess!), I just couldn't get into the sewing mood again.  Rather than sit around and contemplate what to do, I decided it was TIME to get the other side of my sewing room redone.  Quite a while back, I tore down the fantastic leopard print wallpaper border and hung quilts on one side of the room.  I knew I wanted to do the other side of the room, but I ran out of oomph.

Today I had the oomph!

First I moved everything out and got started removing the border.  It is sticky like a sticker, not like wallpaper.  So using a hairdryer to heat it up makes it come off quite easily!

Oh, what does that awful stuff look like?  Here's my trash can...


...I forgot to take a photo before it came down.  Trust me, it was ugly.  But without it, the wall looked pretty bare!


At one point, I had a bulletin board hung to the right of the door, but the kitties liked to stand on the sewing machine table and pull things down at night.  My bedroom is on the other side of that wall - headboard and sewing table share that wall - and I could hear stuff dropping.  I got tired of picking things up every morning and pulled it down.  And other than missing having a place to tack stuff up quickly, I haven't really missed it.  I mean, it would be nice to have again, but not for that price.

Once the paper was down, I scrubbed the walls.  There are nail holes that are a mess because it is plaster and some spots where duct tape was used to hang things on the wall, so more work will need to be done when I eventually decide to paint, but for now, at least the wall is clean!

Next up I vacuumed thoroughly - lots of cat hair and fabric bits behind the table and in the corner where the ironing board lives.  Places that aren't easy to get to with the weekly vacuuming, so they get left for special occasions.  (I do try to do edges and stuff in at least one room a week, but, well...)

And then I could finally hang some quilts.  I already knew what was going to the left of the door and brought up a stack of the quilts that didn't get selected for the other side.  Or were saved for this side.

I got one hung and realized I was running out of the sticky things I was using.  I had to put on real pants again and run to the store.  Thankfully, this time the store was close to home, unlike the plants debacle.

But since I had put on pants, why not go a few miles further to my local pet shop and check out cat trees?  The one currently in that room is, well, you can see it - aging...  It's a great height and has a number of large platforms, but the rope is coming off badly and one support is about clawed through even the cardboard underneath!  (And let me tell you, replacement parts are not to be found...)  I found something smaller that I thought would be good.  Well...


It's about knee high and I'm pretty sure this guy's rear end will not all fit on either platform.  But they are using it as a scratcher.  And you can see the dangly balls (there are two - one is higher) are enjoyable.  So I guess it will work for now.  But these things are so expensive.  Why?

Anyways, back to the quilt hanging.  I got back home and got back to work.  I had set up the ironing board in the hallway, as it's normal spot was not available due to these efforts.  That worked well, though confused Freddie quite nicely.

After too many hours of prep, I finally have quilts hung!


I pressed these as I was getting their hanging bits put on, as they had all been folded and were wrinkled.  It helped some, but I'm hoping having them hanging will straighten them out more.

I am so excited to have my Under the Microscope quilt FINALLY hanging.  Front and center above my sewing machine, no less.  To the right is Xylem, another AQS guild challenge piece.  To the left is a challenge quilt for the Wisconsin quilt show I did a few years ago.  Below that is a little potholder-mini a friend made for me and next to that, another mini that my mom made me.  On the other side of the door is a guild row-by-row quilt made by me and four other guild-mates.

I tidied up a bit more after this photo and hung a tiny little clothesline with cute little bright clothespins under the microscope quilt.  That will be nice to hold blocks for sewing reference and such.  (Before I stuck a pin behind the wallpaper border and used it kinda like a bulletin board!)

I am so pleased with this, though the room seems a bit darker for all the things hanging.

The closets still need to be emptied and organized, but that will be a project for yet another day.  And we're not talking about the cutting table or windowsills, either, okay?

I would say I'm beat, but this was not all that ended up on my to-do list for the day!  My bedroom also got some attention.  When Gabby came home from her surgery, the vet suggested putting her in a crate.  After she shimmied out of two Cones of Shame and hid under the bed where we couldn't quite reach her, making meds hard to administer, it was time for a new plan.  We went out and bought an "extra large" dog crate and set it up in my bedroom.

And the crate was still there.  Since late January.  I had put one blanket over the top of the crate when Gabby was inside.  I thought it might make her less anxious?  When the bedroom door was allowed to be open and everyone to come and go at their leisure, that top got to be a fun place to hang out for all the cats.  I added a few more blankets to make it safe to walk on, and it was a fun perch.  So I left it for a while, always planning to take it down soon.  But the novelty did not wear off as soon as I expected, and I'm lazy.

The novelty seems to be wearing off, though, and with the warming weather, the kitties are preferring window seats where they can get them - to watch all the wildlife in our yard.  Time to take it down!

It folds nearly flat, so pretty easy to get in and out of the room.  And we had debated donating it to a rescue group, but I think it may end up in the attic.  Just in case we need it again.  It wasn't that pricey, but the whole stress of having to go find it and such was enough to decide to keep it.

So I cleaned it up, folded it down, and moved it out.  Ran the vacuum yet again to clean up under it and then decided to FINALLY hang the new suction window seat in the window it was blocking.  But, of course, one must clean the window first.  And while I have that out, I might as well clean all of them, right?

The sun cooperated and came right out as soon as I had the first pane done.  Of course it did.  I mean, I'm not one to complain about sunny days, but when you go to clean three windows (double hung, inside and out) and the sun is a bit shy, you think "oooh, good"...*eyeroll*

Anyways, mission accomplished there, but no photos.

The kitties are all enjoying figuring out their new stuff and the old cat tree has been abandoned near the door, awaiting a trip to the trash.  That, too, is fun stuff!

With all that, I still feel pretty perky.  I'm sure I'll sleep like a log tonight, but that is just fine with me.

In other news, I DID make some progress on my sticks.  I worked on the Molehills quilt and got four more sets of arcs completed this week.


Purple outside...


Green outside...


And yellow and black/white outsides.

I think I have two more sets of three to go, so it shouldn't take too long, but these do take longer than I would like.  There is a process of making registration marks that takes some time, but it really does make a difference when sewing, so I keep doing it.  But it also makes it harder to motivate myself to do them...

Another stick I'm working on is the sock loom stick.  Years ago I used a Christmas gift card to Hobby Lobby to purchase the loom and some yarn.  I tried it out with some old pink yarn floating around my sewing room, but never got further than that.  This week it was time to just pull out the good yarn and get started!


I guess I kinda lopped off the skein some, but you get the idea of the colors, right?


And this photo, my phone thought focusing on my pants was a good choice, but whatever.  Not much to see here anyways, except that I got started!

I did a few rows more that night...


..and have been doing a little bit more the last few days.  I'm getting faster, but this is going to take a while to make a whole sock.  It might be the only sock I ever make?


Gabby wouldn't sit still to give me a cute photo, but she was helping.  Little miss has not learned her lesson about not eating string, I guess!  But I make sure to put it up every time I'm done, so all is well.

And finally, I did get a good photo of Gabby this week.  I was lounging in my yellow chair in the sewing room, reading one evening, and she burrowed under the crocheted blanket that is draped over the back, and posed herself like this.


She was purring sweetly, so she wasn't asleep, but she was relaxing and enjoying life.  Brother Toby is quite aggressive towards her, and since she runs, he keeps doing it, thinking it's a game.  So I've been closing the door to the bedroom and hanging out with her, either sewing or reading, every few days.  Some days she snuggles and hangs out with me, other times, she just goes back under the chair.  I think she might be taking a real snooze under there (not just waiting for an attack), so I let her be.

The hubby just got up, so I suppose it is time to go figure out dinner...it's getting late anyways...

Happy quilting,
Katie

Sunday, April 11, 2021

two projects

After the muddy results of my first half square triangle project, I decided it may be time to rethink things.  I have had this quilt in the back of my mind for quite a while now.  I had talked myself out of it because it would take so long and a lot of half square triangles and the birds - how do I make the birds?

But I decided that this was far too inspiring and had honestly been kind what I wanted to do with those bonus half square triangles from the start.  So I started doing some research about making the birds.  And I found something like a tutorial here.  I've been quilting long enough that this was enough to get me rolling.

And I was off and running with my trimmed half square triangles and inspiration.  (So far as I know, there is no pattern...)

Bird #1 came out quite nicely!


I have some extra turquoise triangles left from my miscalculation last month, so I'm trying to use up some of those in the birds.  But with a whole rainbow to start with, this is probably a good thing.  It eliminates one more thing I can't decide about!

I started doing math (which proved to be harder than I wanted it to be since I trimmed all the HSTs to 1.75" unfinished) and sewing and forgot to take many pictures, but here is bird block 1 about half done:


A few more rows and some more math troubles and I had a whole block!


I surprised myself when I went through my stash to find black and white prints.  I had a few more than I realized, but not a lot of any of them.  But I knew I had enough to make at least a few more blocks, so onward!


Block 2 happened with no photos except for the bird all by itself.  (He (she?) has a little lump there in the white, but it is just due to a lot of seams right there and will be just fine.)

This is fun!  And the birds are turning out to be a lot easier than I thought.  The hardest, most tedious, part is getting all the half square triangles sewn together.  But after the first block, I divided them up into stacks per block so I would have a reasonable assortment of each color for each block.  No sense in finding out at the end I have 43 red ones left and no green or yellow!

On to block 3!


I think this bird looks like a robin.  But maybe I'm being weird?

And then I had four!


At this point I decided to take a break.  I have enough half square triangles yet to make a fifth block, but not beyond that point.  I could make more of them, but I want to regroup.  These blocks will finish 14", so this is not yet large enough for much more than a wall-hanging and I'm pretty sure I want more than just that.  So I have set all of this aside while I work on other projects and let it marinate.  I may become a long-term project or I may get a week at the end of the month to whip through making a bunch more.  Time will tell!

It was also at block 4 that I finally decided to write down my measurements for those solid strips.  Because measuring and re-measuring and second guessing myself was getting tedious.

But I had help with the layout, of course...


So next up, now that my cutting table and work surfaces were cleaned up (this got messy really fast!), I could start working on my Molehills quilt.  The templates printed from the pattern gave me a bit of trouble (somewhere along the line "actual" size was not actually actual), but the second attempt was good enough (off by a hair, but if they're all off, it's okay).  I had to cut and piece them together - holy cow these are big pieces!


Large pieces are okay, though.  It means those curves will be even easier, though they're quite gentle to start with.  I've done harder, so this should be easy enough.

The designer also has quite a few videos on YouTube to help you become more confident about piecing curves.  (Though she does make it look easier than what I've been able to do so far...but I'm getting there!)  Also about cutting paper templates with a rotary cutter.  (I'm still afraid of that, so used scissors.)

But first, a lot of cutting!


My hand started hurting after about half of the fabrics (cutting 3 layers at a time), so I took a break and did this over a couple of days.  I anticipated this going quickly, as the pieces are large and I only need 24 blocks for the whole quilt, so I wasn't in any rush.

Next up was mixing and matching the arcs.  I had some help...as usual...


She is actually stretching and yawning here, but boy does she look fierce!  It's a wonder her little brother is so aggressive towards her.  I sure wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of something that looks like that!  I can only imagine what a real snarl would look like!

I pinned each set together and picked them up.  Next up sewing some blocks!


Blocks 1 and 2 were done chain-piecing style and seemed to take a lot longer than I wanted.  But a lot of that was getting used to fussing with the curves and getting them tidily matched.  Of course, pressing after each seam (getting up and down) and making registration creases to match things up better slowed me down, too.  In all, though, not a long process.

Today I decided to tackle four at a time.  In the future, I think I will do 3, as I have three of each print and each piece.  This way I can make extra sure my mixing and matching was successful...at least that's how the idea works in my head.


Making them in sets where the outermost arc is the common denominator (although putting them on top might make them the numerator?) is going to make things look a little uniform, as you see here, but these four went faster.  They would have been done much, much earlier if my hubby hadn't offered to take me out to lunch (take-out) and then I took a 3 hour nap afterwards.  (All that peopling wore me out!)

This puts me at a quarter done already!  We'll see how I progress in the coming days.  Tomorrow evening I have my second vaccine dose and I am expecting to be down a day or so.  I'm hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.  I plan to spend a chunk of tomorrow doing the cleaning chores and whatnot that would be done later in the week.  Just to make sure things roll smoothly if I do feel poorly.  (Also, having a clean toilet *just in case* is never a bad thing!)

I did attend the needle felting class this weekend.  Well, I should say I tried to.  I arrived on time and found the teacher with a headache.  She passed it off to a bad night sleep and such, and apologized that she would not be at her best, teaching-wise.  The other two classmates had done this before and I'm a quick learner, so I figured we could make it work.  Life happens.  Well.  Then the shop owner asked about room temperature and she mentioned she was hot.  Okay, again, I'm usually cold, so no worries.  Then she excused herself and "lost her lunch" in the bathroom.  I was torn between running out of there like a scared rabbit (we were all wearing masks, but still...) and feeling obligated to show concern.  The shop owner told her she couldn't stay if that was happening and I was glad she made that decision for us all.  My money was refunded, but I came home with a few class supplies.  And now I am torn between wanting to reschedule and just calling it done - if I didn't have the supplies, the decision would be easier.  There are a lot of thoughts running through my head regarding this situation, but I'll spare you those details and just let you find your own...

So technically, I tried needle felting.  I didn't finish the project (I have a mushroom stem), but I tried it.  I suppose that counts to fulfil my stick?  Hmmm...

Time to go pack the hubby a lunch and finish a few more chores.  For having taken a long nap today, I still feel kinda tired.  Maybe it's the weather?  Or maybe just I slept poorly last night?  Or maybe that nap was just TOO good?!

Happy quilting!
Katie

PS Gabby is a ham...