After being on vacation the first week of the month (and getting a good amount of sewing done), then the following week of working a LOT, I kinda fell off the quilty wagon a bit.
I knew I had projects to get done.
I sewed the orange blocks.
(Actually, I pushed myself to sew the orange blocks because I didn't want to.)
I know there are other UFO numbers I could work ahead.
What about the Tula Pink Bird Seeds quilt? It's not officially on the UFO list, though at the beginning of the year I had grand hopes to sew at least two "seeds" each week. I'd started it over a year ago while on Drummond Island. It went with me again this year, but wasn't touched.
I sewed a few seeds earlier in the year, but all that prep...ugh!
Okay, the prep isn't really that bad, but it feels like it takes forever and there are 27 different fabrics, most of them getting 4 seeds each. That's a lot of seeds! And I'm kinda lazy.
But this week, with my schedule back to normal and it being too hot to work upstairs much, I decided this would be a good project to work on while on the couch, downstairs, near the window air conditioner. Prep 4 pieces, head downstairs and cool off. Repeat.
Let's see some in-process photos, no? (It's not much different from my method of doing circles...well, really not different at all...)
I use freezer paper templates, ironed to the fabric as a guide for cutting - cutting a bit larger. Then I gather the fabrics around a cardboard template...
...you can see here, I used the very expensive template material known as the side of a cracker box. These are so rare you can only find them at your local grocery stores, as quilt shops do not carry them. Any brand will do - you know, like any port in a storm, right?
I am also being supervised by deaf Lexie. I point out that she's deaf only because no matter how much you tell her no, she doesn't respond. Her sister Emma-No hears you, but ignores you. Lexie, newly deaf, just doesn't know. Not that she responded much better when she could hear you...
Once gathered, I press thoroughly to get a crisp edge and then remove the cardboard. Some will leave it in there and cut the back fabric out to remove the template. I like this method better and unless the backing fabric will show through the appliqued fabric, I don't mind it in there. (Different folks will argue different reasons to remove it. I just don't, and no amount of Quilt Police arguing will convince me otherwise...ask me how I know!)
Then I press my square diagonally to find the center, as these are set diagonally.
Then I get to use these really cool applique pins. I purchased them, mostly on a whim, at a shop in Missouri a few years back. I'd never seen them and thought they'd at least be interesting to try.
As you can see, they're fairly short and have a hook at the top, not a head. So far, I feel like I'm catching on my pins less, but that might be partly due to their smaller size. Whatever. They're cute and they work and were worth their price...I think...
So I center the "seed" and pin it a few times to hold it properly in place while I sew. And wrangle cats...always wrangle cats...
I think this fabric is my favorite in the whole bundle! The paler yellow and the funky deer together is so unexpected, but wonderful at the same time.
To keep track of things, I made a list. The original pattern didn't have instructions for exact fabric use or placement (which is kinda odd because some of them are like "use 006240-123 for pieces A, B, F QQ, and MM" - super specific!), but I wanted mine to look very much like the original. A lot of sketching, squinting and notes went into this, but I have this to work with for each fabric...
All 27 fabrics represented!
(And it's only like 4 pages long...)
And then each fabric was assigned a number...
So you see, this is where my analytical (OCD?) side comes in handy. These were all ready to go and pick up where I left off last time I abandoned this project.
And you can see, this is fabric 16. But I'm working backwards, so I've done 17-27 - not quite as many as you might think if I was going forwards in the numbers. But it's okay. I'm nearing halfway and that's progress!
Let's look at some of the seeds I've done so far...
That's not all of the fabrics, but a good sampling...some I like better than others, but in general I like the entire line of fabrics!
One last photo...the finished stack!
And with that, the yellow deer are waiting for me. I have the day off today, so until the hubby gets home and takes over the television, I can watch and listen. Though today is cooler, so the ironing part of prep wasn't so bad...the last few days, though...ugh! And it wasn't just the heat, but the 96% humidity - you can't even sweat properly in that, so let me tell you - ironing was no fun!
PS Depending on how the numbers are called, the assembly of this quilt might be subbed in for the stars quilt I sewed on vacation - it was on the UFO list, but is now done (mistake fixed). But if the seeds aren't done, we'll see...