The Project Quilting challenge this week, "Give it Away," is a great idea! We were restricted only in our creation that we give the finished project away. Well, that's an easy one for me since I decided all my PQ creations this year would be given away. (Unless I made, like, another unicorn or something!)
What to make? Visiting my Pinterest boards, I found something I rather liked, called "Nighttime Blossoms"...so I followed some links and found it has been remade in brighter colors and renamed "Summertime Blossoms" by Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework... I modified the pattern some to allow more, smaller blocks, but you all know me - I can't just leave a pattern alone!
It started out pulling fabrics. I decided that yet another of the fabrics purchased for a retreat project (that never even got close to being started) would be pilfered from the stack for background. And then went to the stash to choose other fabrics and colors.
I started out with the idea I would make this with lime greens (and greens) and the grey. That pull looked like mud, so I started over. (Even my hubby, who usually just tells me "whatever" said "nope!") I like these, too, even if they aren't helping the green stack diminish. (But the blue stack saw a little dent!)
I started cutting and then went "WAIT!" and made a test block. Since mine were smaller, I wanted to make sure I'd calculated correctly.
Whew! That looks like it's going to be all good!
On to mass production - and my Angler again!
This is a lot of parts! I sewed for what seemed like ever, but just kept plugging along.
By Monday evening I was at recognizable block stage of parts!
But my throat was scratchy. Too much fabric dust? Too much singing along with the radio? Let's hope that's all it is, but I'll take some Airborne-type super vitamins just in case.
Tuesday morning, my alarm went off at 6am and I not only had a full-blown sore throat, but what felt like a fever as well. I was supposed to be to work at 8am, but I called in. No way was I going to share these germs (I think my boss shared hers with me, but I'm smart enough to stop the cycle of infection and stay home), so I went back to bed.
A few hours later, I decided to get up and do a few things around the house. Take it easy because though I didn't feel super awful, I knew pushing myself was going to make this last longer. So a few chores and a little sewing before lunch and a nap had block parts coming together...
(The colors are off, but ooohhh sunshine!)
By noon, I was exhausted, so I went for a quick nap. Four hours later (!!!), I woke up with less of a sore throat, but a headache and the beginning of congestion. Super fun. No more sewing for me on Tuesday. I read a little, snuggled kitties and went to bed really early. But not without a few more doses of those super-vitamins. (That I do feel help shorten the duration and lesson symptoms. Despite my hubby's eye-rolling, I do think they help. For me.)
Wednesday was much the same, minus the alarm clock signalling the need to go to work. I slept in some, did a few chores and then tried for a nap. But by this time, the cough and bubble head had set in. And since I react badly to many cold meds, and the few I trust are nighttime versions, I decided to tough it out and finish those blocks!
Once I had a few together, I decided I wanted to make sure that secondary design was going to happen - best to know early if my construction was errant!
But by the time I had all the blocks constructed, I was again worn out and ready for kitty snuggles and some reading and an early bedtime.
By this time, I was feeling about a day behind (even if I had gone to work, I would have been further along than this), so I was getting a little stressed about the deadline. While I know it was not a big deal if I missed it, it's the IDEA of committing and then missing it that bothered me. So I hoped Thursday would be better.
First, I decided to figure out the whole quilt layout, though. One last little thing before I called it a night.
Thursday I woke up feeling better - looks like Wednesday was the worst of it - and even ventured out to find fabric for a back! Mindful, yet, not to overdo it, I took breaks and snuggled kitties as needed. But with no sashings or borders to fuss with, the top came together quickly and before long I had a whole quilt top!
There were gusty winds happening outside, so I pinned this to the outside of the cat's playland instead of my usual clothesline. You can see ripples where the wind was trying to rip it down, so these shots happened quickly and I headed back inside.
I sat down and pieced the freshly washed back and prepped the binding, despite being a little tired. I knew a little extra last night would make a difference today.
And today I slept later than I should have. I was feeling behind, but thought I would have plenty of time. And I did, but we'll get to the final time crunch in a minute. I got up and got laundry started and did a few chores and loaded the quilt onto the longarm. I let it settle in a bit while I ate some lunch and then started the quilting. Originally, I thought doing some ruler work would be good for me to practice on this quilt, but with the shortness of time (add in sleeping late), I decided I would do something overall.
Simple lines. Done in smaller stretches, these look kinda like rippling water, but I did longer ones. It went faster than swirls and, other than a few minor incidents, the longarm behaved nicely. And in a short time I was trimming and adding binding.
That was when Finn stepped in.
The arm you cannot see is between the sewing table and ironing board. While hard to see because of a quilt there, he was trying not to fall off the table. He finally allowed me to put him on the floor and stayed there most of the time it took me to sew the binding down - the machine side.
But about this time, my phone rang. It was the hubby. His brother had a birthday yesterday and today, at 3pm, he was calling to see if he could come get me in an hour (he was going to take a half day off from work) to go to his parents to celebrate his brother's birthday. Party planned at 3pm for right now. I felt really guilty telling him no, I had something else I needed to get done. And I know he feels this is a foolish reason to tell him no, but I had lost a lot of time being sick and I was close enough at this point to know I could finish. I know I have tomorrow, but I also have work tomorrow. And since almost his whole family smokes about a pack of cigarettes every 45 seconds, I'm not sure their homes were a good choice for someone still trying to breathe normally without having coughing fits.
So I stayed home and he went to the party. I'm sure there will be consequences later, but if I had known this was happening, say yesterday, I could have planned my time better. But excuses are excuses and I made my choice. Quilting won!
Once the machine sewing side was done, it was down to the couch for some hand-sewing. I opted for some recorded Ancient Aliens episodes (I love to poke fun at their "science", but also enjoy seeing places that I might otherwise never know about when they travel to all sorts of remote locations...and enjoy the history of the places and such, even without the alien inferences...which may or may not be accurate) instead of my usual Gilmore Girls.
I sewed about 12 inches and had help again...
Finn came and plopped right on what I was sewing. Then, instead of paying attention so I could take a good photo, he started wrestling pins until he got one loose and then ran off with it. I chased him down and reclaimed the danger-twig-with-snatching-knob and then he was done with me. (I did turn on the robot laser mouse for a while, and fished under the book case for the beloved springs, so all was well.)
In a few hours, I had the binding sewn down and still enough daylight (sorta) to get an outside photo!
You can see our yard is in need of spring cleanup, but it was spitting snow earlier today and the temperature barely got above freezing today, so it's going to be a little while before we make any strides in that direction. (Also, I must be healthier than this!)
The quilt finishes at 60x60 and I hope will be a good size quilt for a young man who visits Guardian Angels Suitcases 4 Kids. This group collects clothes, bedding, toys and just about anything you can think of to give to families that take in foster kids. They have a warehouse here in my town (though they serve the whole county and beyond) and families and children can come in and pick out whatever they need. A local furniture store has worked with them to get beds and mattresses at cost. Grant proposals have been awarded funding for all sorts of needs. And it all started because of a desire to make sure these kids, who are too often removed from homes in the middle of the night, bringing only the clothes on their backs, a chance to have something of their own. The gal who started the organization came and spoke to my quilt guild a few years ago and I have plans to donate all the quilts I make for Project Quilting this year to them, as well as a bunch of others that I have been working on throughout the past 10 months. Any that she feels aren't able to be used for the kids will go to SIREN, a local domestic abuse and homeless shelter.
Oh, the back!
I saw this fabric a while ago when browsing and almost bought some. But talked myself out of it. I'm trying very hard to not buy fabrics this year just because and thereby reduce my stash. Unfortunately, quilt backs are not something I can easily do, as I often don't buy yardage of anything. So I'm giving myself a pass when it comes to quilt backs, but still trying to use up what I can. And it feels good. I've been doing okay so far, but those quilt back leftovers do add a chunk to the stash...so it's a never-ending cycle!
So there you have it. Despite illness, with a short deadline, I've finished my project ahead of time. Not exactly ahead of the original schedule I had in my head, but I made it. And today I feel mostly human. Hopefully a full shift at work tomorrow will not set me back! (And if I start feeling poorly, I will ask to go home. I'm finally learning, after 20+ years working, to take care of ME first...seems to have worked well this round! It probably helps I have an actual team to work with this time...)