Saturday, March 12, 2016

It's a long weekend here in South Australia, and it's lovely to sit here and plan what I"m going to get done in the next three days.  It's tempting to put really big jobs on the TO-Do list, but then the whole weekend is hi-jacked by them, so I'm going to try and be a little more realistic. 
For the last few weeks, Mereth and I have been giving each other a little challenge as we leave work on Friday.  We each pick one thing that we will have done before we come back to work on Monday, and it's been fun to try and knock those goals over.  Last weekend I wanted to choose the borders for the grey quilt, and I achieved that.  This weekend I would like to have all the piecing finished, and some of them attached.

I've been working on several computer things during the week, and in the scraps of spare time I cut and sewed the units for the two pieced borders.  I work all the measurements out in AutoCad Lite; it's very handy to own such a brilliant drafting program, a legacy of my Survey Drafting days.

The HSTs around the edge are 1.414", which is the long side of 1" HST; it's also the size of the little triangles in the blocks, and the setting triangle blocks. I chose to stay with that size so that it would visually link the border to the blocks.  I couldn't cut that with a rotary cutter, but I have a paper triangle template that I draft up for those sort of strange sizes.

I suppose I could have just gone with a 1.5" HST, but I find that the accuracy I get with the papers really makes those long borders go together easily.  I need a couple hundred units, and I don't want to be trying to fudge inaccurate units together. And the sewing is so quick, just follow the lines.  I did this stack of 30 templates in half an hour, and that's all the triangles I need for the outside border.
Then in another lot of stolen moments I trimmed them, and cut them apart. I don't bother using a rotary cutter to cut those pairs; it's not a line that needs accuracy, so I do it sitting down, with sharp scissors, a cup of coffee and something interesting to watch.  Makes that chore seem pleasurable.
Now it's a matter of  taking the papers off, and pressing those seams open so that they are all nice and flat, ready to sew together.  I can do that in little increments between other jobs, and it never gets too tedious.
The units for the first border are all cut and ready to sew; they are pretty time-consuming too, but once I get into the swing of it I can get a lot done.  I tend to sew them in batches of ten, and that makes it easy to see progress.  I need a couple hundred of these too.

Once I have all these units done there will be the mind-numbing job of making them all fit around the centre blocks.  I've done a rough plan on the computer, but the reality will be different.  The blocks don't measure what they should, the overall measurements of the top are nearly an inch bigger than the drafted version on the computer.  There are a lot seams, and just a tiny bit extra in each block added up to something significant.  I'm going to do my favourite Wing It approach; join the strips at the corners, the way I want them to be, and fudge something in the middle.  Usually taking larger seams between a few of the units will ease in any fullness.  I can't say I'm looking forward to that, but I am really looking forward to having this quilt DONE.  The only way out is through, and I just need to keep working at it.
I will work at it later on; right now I have a date with some seedlings for the autumn garden.  Some outside time is needed, to balance all that inside work.


Tammy Hutchinson 1:39 AM  

I love using papers for HSTs-it seems like a save a lot of time making them accurately and then don't need to square up. I don't know the software you use but it sounds wonderful for odd sizes. I like your weekend challenge and look forward to seeing one of these projects finished!

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