Saturday, November 24, 2012

Summer is starting early this year, we've had some nasty hot, dry days already.  After I've watered my garden and tried to protect all the delicate plants from the scorching sun, I retire to my sewing room and work on the Dear Jane.  I was going to have 6 rows completed before I packed it away again.  However, I actually had 5 complete rows already, and it seemed a bit wimpy to just make one more row.  So I decided I would have 9 rows completed before Packaway.

As I pieced the blocks for rows G-I the easy blocks in the remaining rows kept sidetracking me, delaying Packaway date.  Finally I caved and admitted that I wanted to get the whole darn thing finished and off the wall, so it was full steam ahead on any block that appealed to me.

 So the current status of my design wall is 7 rows pieced with sashing strips (the 4 rows at the left are joined together in one piece, pretty exciting) and 25 blocks yet to piece.  My room is a shambles yet again, but this is the final 25 blocks, kitted up and ready to go. 

I'm going to give Mereth all the miniscule scraps, put the sewn strips on a hanger till I get all the blocks completed, and start working on another project that needs to be completed.  I do love the Dear Jane blocks, but they do my head in; I can't stand the confetti and the paper piecing doesn't allow for chain piecing, and I miss that.

I'm pretty sure the next thing will be the grey quilt, now that my fabric for the sashing is here.  I hope it looks as good as I imagined it would, or I'm back to square one.  The fabric I bought to fill up space in the mailing envelope is pretty nice, I'm admiring that daily and wondering what I'd like to do with my massive collection of blue prints.

Mereth and I discussed the weighty problem of Bonnie's new mystery, Easy Street.  We couldn't use her colours without buying a whole heap, which we're not going to do, so we came up with our own version in traditional repro prints.  We're going to share the sewing, and the finished quilt.  Bonnie's mystery is such a lovely tradition at this time of year, it adds to the excitement of Christmas and the holiday season.  Thanks Bonnie!


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I'm slowly getting back into sewing mode, working for two hours on one small block, but happy to be taking so much care with the details.  Sometimes I want to sew up a storm and get a pile of blocks done quickly, but slow and painstaking is what suits me now.

 I have 6 new blocks on the design wall, and  5 more prepped for hand work.  It feels great to be making progress again.

While I work slowly on this project I can ponder what to start next.  When we were at the Central Markets in Adelaide we visited the secondhand book stall.  Mereth insisted I buy this book, even though the weight of it gave me second thoughts. 
 I made DS Rhys carry it while we finished the rest of our shopping.  It's got some lovely quilts pictured, with detailed full page photos.
 I'm still drawn to chain quilts, and to double pinks and indigos.

And this block is unusual; I already have 5 of the centre Double Anvil in my Orphans box, and I could make Flying Geese units to surround them.  This definitely has possibilities as my next project.

I love being able to add wonderful books to my library.  Once the hot weather gets here and we're trapped indoors in the airconditioning I can get out a stack of books, my notebooks and graph paper and spend the hours with my favourite antique quilts.  With a pot of tea.  And some fruitcake.  Sounds good.


Saturday, November 03, 2012

I had no idea what I wanted to work on first, so I went back to an old project, one I'm keen to see closer to finished.

My Dear Jane has languished for more than three years, but it's time to revisit it.  I can't believe I actually made some of these blocks, they are so complicated!  I still love it, and I'm enjoying working on such a small scale, but all I've managed to finish after a day in the sewing room is one block.  I have 9 others in various stages, just needing a little bit of hand work, but nothing ready to take it's place on the design wall.  All that blank space on the chart is daunting, but I know from past experience that the only way to do this is one block at a time, one row at a time.  I will get there eventually.

The ugly ones are still annoying me though, especially the reeeaally complicated ugly ones.

 What were you aiming for with this one, Jane?

I'l just have to grit my teeth and make them, if I want an authentic Stickle quilt, but seeing I plan to change the border it won't be authentic anyway.  I'll have to think about that one...
 This one would be much nicer if those outer units touching the square were Flying Geese, so I think I will make that minor amendment.  I just won't tell anyone.
This one is ugly, but it won't be hard to piece, so I'll probably just make it without changing anything.  Seems I just resent effort+time=ugly.

May I just say that I would never contemplate making this quilt without the Dear Jane software(Lots of stuff on this site too.) It would take a lot more time to draft up these blocks from a book, and my enthusiasm would wane before I was ready to start sewing.  The software is great (some of the blocks still require creative input, but at least the line drawing is there) and I know I will use it to resize some of the nice blocks to make other quilts.

Maybe I'll make the ugly ones and put them on the back, and substitute a block of my choice on the front?
At least I have the sashing strips attached to the top 4 rows, that helps keep everything organised.  My aim is to have 9 rows sewn together in one piece before I pack this away again, so there won't be much to do  next time I choose to work on it.  That's 28 blocks I need to make, but some of them are easy.  I think I could have that done in two weeks time, and by then my grey Metropolitan Fair material should be here.

And then Bonnie's mystery will start; am I going to do it this year?  I'm tempted.  I'm insane to think of adding to the workload.  I'll probably do it anyway.


Thursday, November 01, 2012

It's November already, only a few weeks left in the year, so I'd better start blogging regularly from now on.  It's coming up to the busiest time of year for the postie work, lots of parcels to deliver and endless catalogues.  The quiet time in the new year is the only thing that makes this job bearable, there is an avalanche of parcels due to Ebay and online shopping and we put in many extra hours in the run-up to Christmas.  We desrve to have it easy later on.

 The hot weather is coming, but that's OK, because then I will have to stay inside and sew, it will be too hot to be outside.  There are many things I hate about summer, but I'm choosing not to think about them just yet. 

I think I can start clearing my sewing room today, it's like a jumble sale in there now, with every homeless object from the last 6 weeks just dumped on the tables. People helped clean up after every meal, and if they didn't know where something lived, it just went into the sewing room.  It was such a shock to have 7 people around for three days, after my solitary existence, but we all enjoyed ourselves.  I discovered that I only have 7chairs, which was awkward when the numbers swelled to 9, but we made do.  It's all about the company, after all, not whether it's worthy of Home Beautiful.

 So, where was I?
 I was working on these grey blocks;I had made a decision about the sashing,
and I'd started putting the rows together.  But even before all the madness started, I was reluctant to sew more blocks into rows.  You would think after all this time I could recognise the signs, but it was only after I purchased a Metropolitan Fair layer cake (lovely reds and greens!)

that the truth became clear.  I didn't like the sashing material I'd chosen, and I realised that when I saw this grey foulard print.  
It was perfect, exactly what I had in mind and couldn't find before.  So all the blocks were packed away yet again, while I waited patiently for the yardage to become available.  This morning I ordered it, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's here soon, and I can get this project finished.  

When will I learn to listen to the little voices that say 'That's not the right material, don't use it, there's something Perfect out there....'

Cleaning up will take up most of the day, but hopefully there will be some sewing this evening.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

About This Blog

Lorem Ipsum

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP