A week ago, I was just getting started cutting pieces for my niece's baby quilt.
I dug in. You know that excitement of new projects, right? Keep sewing while you still feel it! I finished cutting all the pieces and started sewing.
Some behaved better than others, but on the whole, the curves found a comfortable difficulty for me. I kept sewing and sewing - these are chain-piecing compatible - and boy did it get ugly at times!
I started doing the math - there are 100 "petal" pieces that make up 25 blocks. Each petal has four pieces, which means three curves. I sewed 300 curves to get these block parts done!
But honestly, they went fairly fast. Used a few bobbins worth of thread, but I can handle that - I've been a bit guilty of picking up a few spools every time I'm somewhere that sells Coats and Clark (my brand of choice). I'm not hoarding. I'm preparing! It's only hoarding if you don't use it, right?
Anyways, the blocks, once pressed, made an impressive stack!
They actually look pretty tidy here, even before trimming, but they needed some surgery to be square. Many were off the mark for trimming to be exact, but as I've said before, I'm going to let this roll.
Not much change after trimming, but they are now ready to lay out! That process required some removal of cat fur from my design floor first (as usual!), but the laying out went much faster than I anticipated. I truly expected to be crawling around on the floor for hours trying to get this just right. Pleasant surprise!
I liked the darker streak down the middle, but was worried because I wasn't seeing the secondary circles associated with this pattern. I see them a bit more now, so maybe I was just looking too hard when I did the layout?
Or maybe I was just seeing too much cuteness in my way? Such a little diva, this one. (Look at that side-eye. She is such a character.)
I quickly labelled the rows and picked the blocks up. No sense tempting the other three, right?!
I was excited to get started putting the rows together, if not a little wary. Lots of seams and points and whatnot that I knew wouldn't go as well as I would like. Also, a few instances of thicker seams, which if you remember from early this year, my machine is not terribly tolerant of. I've learned to route my thread a little differently before it gets to the tensioner mechanisms and slow down to avoid these troubles, and that worked well for me this round.
Much like the last quilt (the nine-patch one), I sewed rows to each other as they were completed, to limit the amount of long seams needing to be sewn at one time. That also helped, for this project, to see the secondary circles appearing. Which, thankfully after my little panic at the design floor, they did.
Once the blocks got to "petal" stage, things went quickly, even if I was pressing seams open (my least favorite method of pressing, but trying to limit the thickness troubles here), and I had rows completed fairly easily.
The photo above was about one stretch of sewing. And then yesterday, I hit play on a 3-hour podcast, and finished the other 6 rows! I even had about 20 minutes at the end with the podcast still rolling where I cleaned up the fabrics!
I am very happy those circles appeared, but am now wary of that dark diagonal of "flowers" down the center. But it is far too late to change that now (unless one of you wants to do a bunch of reverse sewing for me?!) and I'm pretty sure it will be just fine in the end.
I also pieced the back and prepped the binding before the podcast ran out. So this is ready to quilt. But I'm not. I've seen a few quilted with circles echoing the secondary design that are intriguing, but I know my ability to echo curves is not good enough. I've also seen some with a LOT of fun pebbly quilting and stuff, but I also am not quite up to par there. Nor am I quite interested in doing that much. I want to put in a fair amount of quilting to help it hold up to lots of washing, but I have some thinking to do about what that will look like.
(Sadly, many of the quilts I've seen using this pattern just do straight line quilting. I can do that, but it is B-O-R-I-N-G and I know I can do better. Not much help inspiring me, either.)
So I'll have my thinking cap on while this stares at me from the rail of the longarm, waiting. I'd like to have it done in the next few weeks, as I plan to send a Christmas package and would like this to be included. Not that it is a Christmas present, but just to save the effort of finding a box and getting to the post office and all that.
That is all the quilty news for the week. Also, not much other excitement here either. We got a new trash can for the kitchen because SOMEBODY keeps dumping the one over that has no lid...so, you know, big excitement here!
Off to construct those churn dash blocks that pieces were cut for before I went a little nutty buying new fabric and frantically sewing it into a new quilt top!