Thursday, February 6, 2020

project quilting 11.3

Despite having to work and cook meals and it snowing outside for about the last 24 hours, I have finally finished my latest Project Quilting challenge.

The prompt this round is "Put a Heart on It" - what to do?

A quick perusal of my Pinterest boards had me choosing between two projects I've saved, one rather recently, and a day of sewing up things that were taking up space on my cutting table to think.

The older quilt won, mostly because it would require zero modification to put a heart on it.  Of course, I can't ever just leave well enough alone, so I made more blocks, but whatever.

And where I left you last, I had chosen background and backing fabrics...

...cut pieces...

...and started sewing.

I got up every morning with a plan of how to get everything done.  Chores came first (I even made time to scrub the toilet so my hubby wouldn't complain about "being abandoned"), but as soon as they were done, I was sewing.

Tuesday night, after work, I sewed a bit more, and managed to have 25 blocks ready to be put into a quilt!

It was late, so I went to bed, already planning how to fit in more sewing (and chores and cooking) around my work schedule on Wednesday.  I was hopeful and tried to focus (no texting friends, just sew!)...I got the blocks arranged on the design floor...

...not without help, though.  He totally photobombed this.  I wasn't even trying to get him in there, he just appeared as I was snapping the photo.  And he's not even blurry!  (Mostly.)

I sewed and sewed and sewed and my machine behaved, even over the thicker seams, to get the vertical sashings in.

I even managed to get some of the rows and horizontal sashings sewn together before I had to go to work.  I was so hopeful I would have the top done before work, but it was not to be.  The larger the quilt got, the longer the seams took.  (Mostly because wrestling a quilt is hard.)

But I came home last night determined to finish it before I went to bed.  And though I have no photo to prove it, about 5 minutes to 10pm, I had it done.  I had pressed it.  I had pieced the back.  I had pieced and pressed the binding.

I don't have any more shifts at work this week (not by my choice, but who am I to complain about a weekend off?!), but today I was up and at 'em early again to be able to hopefully longarm and bind and photograph this before it got dark.  But first chores.  And cooking.

I had planned to quilt a vertical heart motif, but when I realized I had no large pieces of batting (that were not currently stuffed in an itty bitty bag) and would have to resort to frankenbatting, I decided I would do something more dense to help hold the batting in place.  And then I loaded the back going the wrong direction for my very right-handed brain to handle.  So I resorted to...

...swirls!  It's my go-to, but I tried for some larger swirls this time.  They aren't quite as circular as the smaller ones can be, but it was a good learning experience.  And they aren't THAT bad.  It also made it go faster.  I think.

I wasn't sure I was going to like them (sometimes I feel like I'm just quilting octopus arms), but I do like the texture they add, in contrast to the rest of the kinda boxy pattern.

Anyway, then it was on to binding.  And a Gilmore Girls marathon.  (I'm so glad that show had like 43 seasons because I'm still not through watching them all.  But if I do, I might go back and start watching them a third time.  I swear, I missed so much the first time because I was worried about what was going to happen.  Now I know the big stuff and can focus on the smaller things!)

So, about four episodes later, it was done.

And still snowing.

And the light was waning.


I zipped myself into my warm winter coat, slipped on my rather cute winter boots, tucked my pant legs into said boots, donned mittens and stuffed some clothespins into my pockets, and out I went.  Into the snow.  For you all.

We've had all kinds of snow here in the last 24 hours.  Fine snow that makes the roads greasy.  Big fluffy snow falling gently like a fantasy snow globe.  Lots of snow all at once.  Sideways snow.  A few flakes making their way down in a lonely fashion.  (And now I feel like Forrest Gump describing rain...)  But it has made for a fair amount of snow on the ground.  Hence the boots!

So I decided, because we have a rickety old deck on the back of the house (that no one uses because that door sticks and the deck isn't safe and it's not convenient anyways), to take an artsy fartsy shot.  Or try to.  It went like this:

Place quilt.
Get phone/camera out.
Take off mittens (duh).
Watch quilt fall off railing.
Put phone in pocket.
Pick up and place quilt.
Get phone out.
Watch quilt fall off railing.
Put phone in pocket.
Pick up and place quilt.
Get phone out.
Watch quilt fall on ground.
Realize all the nice, pristine snow below quilt looks a mess because of 30000 footprints down there.
Realize quilt has snow stuck to it.

I got the shot, but it's not as cool as I had hoped.

Proceed to clothesline.  That, based on my height and knowledge of clothesline height and quilt size, I have decided it will not drag on the ground.

(Pray that I am right as I trudge through more snow (that is also now pelting me in the eyeballs) to said clothesline.)

I was right!  I even had a few inches to spare.  (My calculations were right.)

So there you have it.

And you can even see some snowflakes flying by in the photos.  They're the white blurs.  For those of you who may not know what moving snow looks like in still photography!

Remember the grey with black words print I told you was going on the back?  (Scroll back up - it's up there with the green that never photographs as the same's bright lime.)  I thought it would be a perfect complement to this conversation bubble with a heart.  The words seem to be scribbled gibberish with a few recognizable numbers in there, but it's the idea.

Now I can go back to the stars.  Or take a much needed break.  I love this quilt, but between the deadline and work shifts (night shifts - I hate those and rarely have to work them) and everything else, I'm ready for a break from quilting for a bit.  And since the hubby has a long weekend off, I expect we'll do something together.  Even if it shopping for new tires or something - I just hope I can hold him off from buying a new truck that is attached to those new tires for a few more weeks until the snow is more done for the season...trucks may be good for getting out of a ditch, but they're terrible for getting in there in the first place!

Happy quilting,


Carol R. said...

One of these days I'm going to have to have you come down here and show me how to do those swirls... I'm good for one or two but then get lost. :( I LOVE the quilt...
Good luck on trying to get hubby to wait a few more weeks before buying a new truck.. once they get their mind set on something, there's no talking them out of it ( which is how we ended up with the car we have now - when we were supposed to be only window shopping).
So, what's next on your list? :)

---"Love" said...

I've always thought I was a very determined, but after reading this, I know I'm not! It's about 6:45 PM a miles south of Fort Worth, and I'm typing this in my almost dark sunroom, and I'm freezing to death! My fingers can barely type this, and the thermostat is set on 75 degrees! Yet you went out in the snow to take a picture of your quilt???? I wouldn't, make that couldn't, to that this evening! Your heart quilt did turn out really pretty, but take a picture with it hanging on a rod in your house somewhere! I've got to shut this thing down and go get under a warm blanket, and maybe a quilt too, and get warm! I may even put on my wooley gloves! ---"Love"

Deb M said...

Love your quilt!

Frog Quilter said...

Love the heart quilt. Beautiful.

Marsha B said...

What a great design for a heart quilt! Perfect for Valentine's day! You come up with the most interesting designs! Love it!

What's the new truck look like?

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

I love the swirly quilting goodness!!!

Ruth said...

Perfect! I wonder where the words on the backing came from? Can you read what it says? Is it a love letter or something? Swirls are good for just about any quilt. It's crazy, the daffodils are blooming here. But it will probably get cold again.

Sew Much For Free Time said...

You amaze me. This is awesome! I ended up squishing the challenge into Friday night and Saturday morning this week, and that took effort and ended up being another wonky mini quilt. How you manage these full size quilts in a weeks time is something I think I'll never understand. And they're each so awesome. I really look forward to seeing what you do! Have a relaxing quilt free snow day!

Sew Much For Free Time said...

Gasp! Are you a Hallmark Movie fan? I'm watching a Hallmark Valentine movie while I do school work on the couch today. I looked up and THIS QUILT, with an aqua background not lime, was on the screen. It's an item in a Valentine Festival auction that the love interests just picked up from the town spinster. Or something like that. Except, they don't know yet that they are the love interests. LOL. I rewound 5 times to look at it. It's clearly the conversation bubble pattern. I'm totally geeking out! I love spotting quilts on TV.

Sew Much For Free Time said...

Update. The quilt on the Hallmark movie sold at the Valentine's Festival auction for $100. The love interests auctioned it off while giving some google worthy facts about quilters. For example, the average quilter spends $12,000 a year on fabric and has 100 yards of it in her home! Then, they danced to Pat Benatar at the barn dance.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

I LOVE your posts!! You had me laughing - not at your quilt - it's lovely - but at the way you tell a story. I'm so glad that you went out. Into the snow. For us all. To take an artsy fartsy shot. Or try to. Now I'm looking forward to hearing about the new truck - LOL - ;))

Mel Beach said...

What a lovely finish! The hearts really pop against that soft green background!

PersimonDreams said...

LOL! Thanks for sharing your story! I hear you on the struggles to getting the "beauty" shot! Your quilt is beautiful and the swirl quilting is perfect!

The Joyful Quilter said...

OMG! Your quilt is SEW darling!!!

Sandra Walker said...

This is AWESOME and the story in its making just as awesome. Don't you look back and think man, I made a big quilt in a WEEK, like how?! Laser focus baby. No texting of friends (and daughters, for me), and ignoring email to a degree as well certainly helps. I love that your cat posed with your blocks, and I love that you, like me, photographed your quilt on your deck, and in snow. Ours had quit by Sunday morning when I took my outside shots. Wonderful finish! Doodle the hearts motif sideways and you'll be able to do it on another quilt, I know it. ;-)

Sandra Walker said...

PS I read some of the comments, and, like Sew Much For Free Time, I love spotting quilts on TV and in films too, and super-cool that this one was in the episode! They undervalued the quilt big time, however! Come on Hallmark, do more research! But the quilt facts are interesting, although I am definitely not the average quilter in spending, and have more in yardage in my home, ha! One more thing I forgot in my comment is that I love GG too but I can't sew and 'watch' them. I tried with a few, but I end up missing stuff, and I have so much TV to watch and catch up on that I don't have space to re-watch. I am half way through Season 5 and I'll be sad when it and the newest one ends. Yay for working well under pressure right?

Preeti said...

Of course you are sewing up a storm - and so many hearts full of love.
Just perfect!!! Snowy backdrops are the best for quilt pictures :-) Your description of getting ready is so picturesque!!!

I have had to come inside and thaw out in the middle of a photoshoot before I could get back out again and complete the task.