Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Return of ....

the Quilting bug!!

Which has been M.I.A. for far too long, and I am staggered to find this is the FIRST post in 2015 with the 'quilts' label . . .

Slowly and gently thanks to Time (the great healer) and Simplifying (aka: taking lots of stuff I no longer need or use to local charity shops) and the Being Kind to Myself process of "not sweating the small stuff" any more and just going with the flow, finally I want to get back in the sewing room.  Whoosh down the rabbit hole again.  The Quilt Bug has returned with a Vengeance and I want to do so many things that there are simply not enough hours in the day. Thanks to the current storm "Clodagh" or whatever it calls itself, Daisy's weekend walks were at the absolute minimum required for toilet, health and well-being and there was definitely no gardening going on.  Instead Saturday saw me achieve the unthinkable - get to the bottom of the mending basket.

Then trim and bind a little quilt top which I started over ten years ago when Ricky Tims'  'Caveman' technique was all the rage.  It is 80% quilted, part by machine, part hand and there's really only a couple of evening's worth of hand quilting to finish.

On Sunday I started with the intention to create two quilted pillow shams using scraps from 'Distorted Foodie', a quilt I made in 2007.  It is still much loved and currently on the bed.  There was much cogitation, far too many hours wasted on Pinterest and I decided it would be a good opportunity to tick lots of lists in one go - pillow shams, use the scraps, and piece the 'Double Wedding Ring' pattern which has been on the To Do list for ever.

I spent a couple of hours drawing up foundations and making the arcs exactly what I wanted, not what someone else had decided.  Yes I could have printed something off the internet and it would have undoubtedly been quicker, but there is a calm meditativeness about tracing out the foundations by hand and it's part of the process.   And everything was going so well until I reached the stage where I worked out what size to cut the fabric in order to make the foundation piecing simple.

I know a lot of people treat foundation piecing as a way of using the most minute fabric scraps available.  If that works for you then I am so pleased for you :-}  To me, that way lies madness and frustration.  There is little pleasure in straining and struggling to align a scrap of fabric which is barely big enough only to discover when it is folded over that it wasn't large enough after all.  I prefer Carol Doak's method of working out a pre-cut size for each section, preparing nice piles of fabric in advance and then just getting on with the sewing.  This way uses a little extra material and you will waste a bit but at the end of the day, as Management would say "it's down in the noise" because having pre-cut fabric that's plenty big enough makes the whole process much more enjoyable.

Once I realised the patches needed to be 3" x 3.5" or 4" x 3.5" it was glaringly obvious that the intended pile of scraps were far too small.  OK, plan B which is a set of Fat Quarters that had been sitting in a basket for eons and happened to surface yesterday and get pressed, just for the fun of it.

I cut the first piece of fabric and then realised that wasn't right either.  No, this quilt deserves really special fabric to reflect the amount of time it is going to take to construct;  DWR is a LOT of work and whilst I am quite capable of sewing curved seams it isn't something I relish.  So I packed everything away again until I know what I want to do.

Which is how I can spend two days in the sewing room and produce nothing - except a feeling of peace, and calm and the rightness of doing exactly what I am meant to be doing at this moment. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Sue, it definitely feels good to be back :-}

  2. Good, good, good and wow too, as you seem to be just enjoying. I find playing with fabric, drawing (or on my Quilt Wizard, which is very basic) on graph paper is very therapeutic, even if I never do some of those things. I have a lot of graph and sketch books with ideas. They can always be called on later if I feel like it. For my FPP, I actually cut paper for all my pieces then cut fabric with these at least a half inch larger all round and then know that it is even the right shape and I also follow Carol Doak's advice. Have some more fun when you feel like it and don't push yourself. Take care.

  3. Oh, its so good to see you back in the sewing room. I live down here in mine, although that certainly doesn't mean that I get anything done. I've been procrastinating about quilting a couple of little things that are waiting. One is for a challenge and needs to be done before the end of the year. I started it yesterday and got sidetracked. Should have been done in a couple of hours. Oh well. Hope all is well at Bag End.

    1. Thanks Sue, it feels wonderful to be back, guess I just had to wait until the time was right.

      I do understand your procrastination 'problem' . . . my next challenge will be firing up the longarm. It is so long since I used it I confess to being rather nervous about it. Which is stupid. But I am.


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