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Tag Archives: quilting

Presto!

I’m not sure this needs to be said at this point, but right now is all about clearing out, fixing up, and finishing. It’s going to be a running theme.

As if this is something new.

So saying, today I began with this box of squares:

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and ended with an almost finished rag quilt:

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All that’s left is the snipping and washing. The snipping is time-consuming and tedious, but is perfectly suited to break-time in front of the television. And then it’s done! One more box out the door!

You guys, it was astonishing how many times yesterday I tried to stop along the way. It’s partly that I hate to be interrupted in the middle of something, so every time I get to a natural break, it’s tempting to put the project aside rather than power through to the next stop. This one was so close to being done already anyway — those squares had already been cut, sandwiched, and quilted. All that was left was to join them together into the quilt. It took about two to three hours, hardly worth waiting all these months.

The same thing happened on Tuesday, which is to say Pajama Day. Yes, I finally finished the flannel pajama pants that were sitting cut on the table, mocking me. According to my notes, I measured the kids back in August. I’m hoping that’s not when I actually cut the pieces, but it’s close enough. Sheesh. I really do not like making those pants.  Those only took a couple of hours to complete, and in the end I had two pair for each kid. But I tried to stop when I got to the elastic casing, and then the elastic threading, and then the hems. Sure, these pants may not fit — it would have made more sense to have the kids try them on before finishing them, but they weren’t here! — but they are done.

Done is more important than perfect. These kids wear their pajama pants until they are capri length and unbelievably low-waisted, so we should be good.

This Is 40

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Back in February, my best friend from high school welcomed her first grandchild into the world.

So exciting!

So weird!

Because — obviously — if she is old enough to be a grandma, then I must be, too. Never mind that the age of my kids renders that impossible — that’s a facade. We are no longer as young as we feel. And in that moment, I really did feel like I should get fitted for bifocals (which aren’t necessary yet, but who are we kidding?), bump up my collection of sensible cardigans, and settle in to middle age good and proper.

Instead, I made a quilt:

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[Design: Crazy Nine Patch]

Turns out it’s a good thing I didn’t bother with the bifocals and the settling in — Grandma delivered her own bouncing baby boy the following week.

I guess it ain’t over til it’s over after all! Also exciting…and still a little weird.

So, with a foot in each camp, I went ahead and did the only sensible thing: finished up another quilt.

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Actually, this one was finished already, now that I think about it. It was one that I made on a whim, then finished after years of leaving it to languish in a box, and then couldn’t bring myself to part with it. For such a time as this! I couldn’t think of a better home for it. Now to finally get these into the mail and off to Vermont for the happy family.

All Over the Place

I’ll tell you what: as much as I dislike March, I’m torn over how to feel about it being so close to the end already. What is going on?!

Is Easter really next week? So, there’s only a half-week of school coming up? Really?

It’s all a bit much to process. Do I still have time to make a Spring/Easter wreath? Is it worth it?

Do I even care about making one anymore? I think the question points toward an obvious answer….

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On top of that, my friends keep having babies, and even grandbabies (talk about hard to process!), and the “get this done now” clock in my head was just buzzing louder and louder until I finished up the squares for this quilt, which steamrolled its way right to the top of the list. Oh, but the relief of having it that much closer to done. Totally worth throwing closet cleaning to the back burner…except now the clock in my head it buzzing over that! Whatever. It’s always something.

But I digress — back to Easter. Which is, I say again, next week. Now, in a rare move, I actually managed to get my kids their duds before Good Friday (which really doesn’t seem like it should be the unofficial Easter finery shopping day, you know?), and I love this little dress.

Except for that tacky little daisy:

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Yeah, we can do better than that. A little fancy fabric, a little candlelight, and voila:

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I salvaged the button from the original flower, and just love love love this version. (I basically used this beautiful tutorial as my guide. Thank you, Autum!) Granted, it still needs to have the pin attached — and the button, for that matter — but it’s as good as done. In fact, the glue gun is already out, thanks to yesterday’s crazy tangent project, but that’s a story for another day. As you can see, I even made a second flower for Little Fancy’s hair. I’m on a roll!

Things are happening, friends. The quilt squares from the beginning of the tale? They are already down, stitched, and basted onto the rest of their little quilt sandwich. Happening, I say!

Keep It Going Full Steam

It would seem like my main two goals (on the making front, that is) would work together well. Number one is to use up what I have; the second is to not put a project aside until it’s finished. Decide on something, prep it, and crank it out.

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Oh, but, whoops! These squares have been sitting on my sewing table for at least a week, probably two. (Probably more, but really that’s beside the point.) Also, there’s a similar one sitting on the shelf all cut and ready to go, and that’s not even mentioning the denim one that’s sitting half on the table and half in a box below. In fairness, that one is in limbo because I ran out of materials, and not at all because I ran out of interest after cutting the first fifty-six squares from the legs of old jeans. Nooo….

You can see where this is all heading. Backward, and quickly. So, today, I decided to fight the urge to start on a brand new and exciting quilt in favor of finishing a half-done one. (Let’s not talk about its companion, please. It’ll get its turn soon enough.) And now it’s all done but the snipping, ready to be put away for next year. A small but significant victory in the war on…myself? Yeah, that’s about right.

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A couple of nights ago, I was in a sad state and just poured my heart into a post about some of the ways in which I’ve missed my dad over the six years he’s been gone. Then I woke up this morning — the anniversary of his death — and realized that the writing was really enough for me, and that the story didn’t need to go any further than my drafts folder. It can be summed up thusly:

I love my dad. I miss my dad, especially when there’s a particularly good game (it never did matter which sport) or concert on TV.

I don’t like March, but I try to make the best of it.

I can’t believe a day will come when I’ll stop missing my dad, or when I’ll stop dreading March.

No good month filled with terrible memories March.

So Late, It’s Early

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True confession: The embroidered Elf Stichette in the center took a while to make. Embroidery always takes longer than I think it will, but it probably would have come together faster had I not left it sit in the bag for one full year. When I took it out, it turned out that only the smile and the cheeks needed to be stitched. Er….

Also: I didn’t even take Joey’s Christmas quilt out of the box this year for fear it would start the “where’s mine?” chorus from the girl. He didn’t notice it’s absence, but I felt badly about it. I knew what I’d done.

Goodness. The pains I’ll go through not to finish something! I’ll tell you, I remember starting this quilt long ago, but I can’t put my finger on exactly how long. It’s been at least two years, but I have a bad feeling that it may have been three. Oh, who cares? It’s done now! I finally pieced it after Thanksgiving, and decided to put the pedal to the metal to get. it. done. a couple of weeks ago.

And — voila! — just like that, I’m officially months and months ahead of the game. The first gift of the Christmas ’13 season is in the bag!

And For Him

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There are really only so many refrains of “Is mine almost finished?” that a mom can take. This week’s sewing time, in large part, was dedicated to shutting that down. (AND finishing another project — oh that’s right! Doing things, I tell you!)

Not that I can blame the boy: somewhere there lies a stuffed robot sans face from when I promised to make him a little stuffed friend. It was more appropriate when he was three, but if he catches sight of that thing, he still sends up a half-hearted, “Momma, is my robot ever going to be finished?” I think we both know that answer to that; it still stings. Now, though, I can always point back to when I very speedily made good on the next-in-line position of his cozy quilt. Such a score!

There are two more of these in the queue, but I don’t know if I have the wherewithal to muscle through them right this very minute. See, but even just typing that made me want to go ahead and get started on the blue and green one, so who knows. Or maybe the Christmas one (because it’s never too early, except for in January, when it actually may be), just so that I can clear the space on the flannel shelf. Decisions, decisions.

Better Late Than Never

One of my chief goals this year is to make a whole bunch of stuff, thereby creating a whole lot of room. Never mind the fact that a whole lot of mess will also come with that. You gotta break some eggs to make an omelet! When I was cleaning up the girl’s room this week, I came across the giant bag of her old receiving blankets (stuffed in with the bag holding the ones that belonged to her brother.) Since my mom made all of them, I just couldn’t bear to chuck ’em once they outgrew the need for them. Besides, they’re so cute! So, I knew that I’d need to figure out a project for them eventually, probably a quilt.

Well, say — why not a rag quilt? They’re easy, they take up lots of flannel, and — best of all! — they don’t require a lot of quilting, basting or binding. The potential for actual completion was skyrocketing by the minute.

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I have to tell you, though, that rag quilts aren’t my usual style; I tend to preferred a more modern, tailored look. Same goes for scrappy, random patchwork. After completing this quilt, though (which only took me three days, and it would’ve been less had some people not been clamoring for food and clean clothes), I am a total fan! Not only do I love the way it turned out, but it is the coziest thing you will ever find. I totally wanted to keep it for myself. As you can imagine, the boy of the house was immediately asking about his, so I’ll make that the next up, but then I think I might have to make my own. And maybe then some more later, after I get over what will surely be a bit of burn out. (They’re not the most exciting project, what with all the cutting and stacking and endless joining. But so quick! It’s almost irresistible!)

Project notes: I ended up cutting 9″ blocks from the flannel to make the best use of fabric from the blankets, so the batting ended up being 7″ squares. Miracles of miracles, I only ended up being one blanket short.

Funny story about the one for me: I picked out a few flannels today, just because I couldn’t help myself. After looking at the stack, I realized that I’d have to cut a whole lot of yardage to make up the whole thing. Not that big of a deal, but it seemed like a shame. Oh, but wait! I was milling around and decided to peek further into the unfinished project tub [more on that later], and discovered a bag of nine-inch blocks that I’d cut a few years ago for a quilt that never was. And the fabrics? The same colors as the flannels in my stack. YAHTZEE!

Of course, there were only 46 (!), and I need 48, so…you know, I’ll have to find another quarter-yard of fabric to make up the difference. Whatever will I do?

31 Days: And Then It Goes Too Far

When my brother came out for a visit last summer (July, to be precise), I promised to make him a picnic quilt. Not that he asked for one — I was in the mood to make one, and he was just the lucky winner. Besides, Central Park in the Fall? Surely he’d be picnicking!

Right after he left, I got to work. The top was done in a matter of days, and I decided to make it envelope-style to cut out the added step of binding. Time was of the essence, don’t ya know. From that point on, the details get a little fuzzy. Did I start (hand)quilting it right then? Or did it get relegated to a bag immediately?

Ummm…

…well, I do know that I brought it to Craft Day early in the Spring, and managed to bang out quite a bit of the quilting. And then returned it to the bag.

Fast forward to September 2012: The brother is coming home again! And the quilt is not done. But! If I can finish it now, he can take it back with him! I’ll have fulfilled my promise and cheaped out on shipping all in one fell swoop. Score!

So, the day before he arrived (of course), I realized that I was doing it again and was going to miss my big opportunity if I didn’t get down to business pronto. Ooh, but I only had a couple of hours before it was time to pick up the boy from school…and then I would have to fix dinner…so maybe it would be better to just start on it after the kids went to bed…

…or maybe I could take it out of the bag already and make a stitch or two? Would that be so hard? Right. Took it out of the bag, and found out that there were only two blocks left to quilt. Oh, they were large blocks, to be sure, but still. Two.

An hour later, it was done. Unbelievable! I’d let it sit — completely untouched — for six months, and it would’ve been off and on its way in a matter of hours.

Are there any languishing projects sitting around your house today? Why not pick one up and give it a once over? It might be closer to done than you think!