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Monday, 2 December 2019

If you cannot do what you want, do what you can

Somewhere in the dim fantasy land which my brain spends (probably) far too much time in, I imagined that today would be much warmer and I could go outside and clean my car.  Really?  I have no idea where I think I saw a weather forecast that might lead me to such an assumption.  It was seriously-minus-something again last night and with a thick covering of high cloud as far as we could see there was small chance of it warming up later.

That also meant too cold to garden with much enjoyment, and definitely too cold to paint any more wood in the greenhouse.  So a "sewing room day".  Yay, messing around with fabric 😍 and  I finished up the first project to come out of the "sorting the stash" exercise:

This might have been a blog post entitled "I thought I was making   a    table runner".  That is the article “A” - singular, not plural or multiples thereof.  Things all started so innocently . . . well, they usually do.

When I was getting towards the end of the monumental task of cutting 20 years worth of scraps into ‘pre-cuts’ it occurred to me that putting all this wonderful fabric back into plastic tubs and storing those tubs on a shelf/on the floor wasn’t really going to advance my original position. It had been lovely to ‘revisit’ with some of these fabrics, remembering when and where they had been acquired, and remembering the quilts they had helped create. With rekindled enthusiasm it seemed logical to use some whilst they were out and I had lots of ideas brewing away. Whenever I am working with fabric my brain is going a mile-a-minute thinking up ideas, visualising layouts and colours and mentally creating about a hundred times more quilts than I could possibly ever sew - no wonder I am regularly so tired, it is busy in my head  πŸ˜Š.

It also seemed logical to start with the very smallest set, that of 2” squares because I did not really think there were many of them. That may have been my first mistake - ha ha.



I just “knew” these little squares wanted to be Four Patch units, and it did not take long to sew them up with a variety of very pale white & cream based materials. I may have raided the stash of 2” strips to complete these . . .



Dangerously I had a clear picture in my head of a pretty little table runner to use in the sitting room. It all went wrong when I sketched out the idea and realised it only needed 16 units but I had created 48.  Oh well, clearly the Universe thought I should be making three runners, which makes perfect sense as we often have three little tables in the sitting room.



All the 2" squares were used up, and I got to dig into the 3½" squares and the 2" strips.











There was a reasonable amount of logic to the next step, although it rather went astray in the execution:  my idea was to add a smallish one-fabric border to each runner to frame the piecing, and use the same fabric for eventual binding. I found a lovely blue which seemed to suit (and I had enough of it which helps 😜). Whilst cogitating what size to make this border - which would quite likely be cut down after quilting - it occurred to me that a “double width” strip sewn to the inside verticals would create one continuous ’top’ that would be a lot quicker to longarm quilt than three small items.  As I was sewing on the first one I realised I was heading in a completely unplanned direction:



There was a small amount of hilarity with Management agreeing “oh, you’ve made a lovely lap quilt” and the jury has retired to consider its verdict, which will not be delivered until after the quilting is done. I really do not need another small lap quilt at present, and I could do with runners for the side tables . . . but we’ll see how it all looks later.


Backing prepared, binding sorted, and waiting for the no-man's-land between Christmas and the New Year which has been designated "longarm quilting time" in the hope that I will not be taking any unfinished tops into 2020.



There was something else unexpected to come out of this sewing - and that was the realisation  of just HOW LITTLE I have used of all the prepared fabrics.















20 comments:

  1. They are the best antidote to wintery weather - they must rate as the happiest and sunniest pieces of art work!

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    1. Thank you dear girl, the intention is that they will be finished in time to be used in January when we will need all the happy & sunny we can get 😊

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  2. How many quilts are in our stashes, if you can make that quilt out of a handful of scraps. Doesn't bear thinking about. I think it's lovely as a quilt, but I can understand the need for table runners to..

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    1. I've done that calculation Keryn, and the answer is "more than I can make in my remaining lifetime"!

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  3. You say you have used so little of the prepared fabric, but you eat an elephant one bite at a time! I know it's not what you intended but your lap quilt is beautiful.

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    1. {{chuckle}} You must have gone on the same Time Manager course as me in the 90's!

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  4. Dear Jayne
    In my experience, projects often have a habit of taking themselves in a different direction. However, it's still a very lovely outcome!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. You are *absolutely* right Ellie, very few of my projects end up as I thought they would when I started 🀣

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  5. Okay, I have a confession to make (yes, you know where this is going ... I can hear your snicker across the 'big pond')- while off visiting family I went into a really really nice fabric shop (g'daughters begged new party dresses) and I might have wandered over into the quilting section- in true 'Barb style' I have fallen down the rabbit hole ... but backwards and naturally in a big way- I saw the most gorgeous materials and immediately said 'perfect backing ... and look, perfect binding color'- well, from that it was just downhill all the way- I had it all (a lot ... I say 'go big or go home') shipped here and even included a book to guide my fumbles- I should have gone with 'quilting for dummies'
    or better yet, a book so far unwritten but titled 'quilting for the village idiot'! Evidently I am going to start 2020 by teaching this old dog some new tricks- I blame it on the internet!
    As always, fondest regards ... may your adventures continue-
    Barb

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    1. No sniggering at all, ever, but well done, you will be great! And if you're not as great as you would like on your first attempt, you'll just have to ship more fabric and have another go. πŸ’πŸŒΈπŸ˜

      Bonnie Hunter's site: www.quiltville.com is a great place to rummage around . . . or you could email me πŸ“§ and ask lots of questions. xx

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  6. Lovely lap quilt, but then I think I'm just a bit envious of your design & colour capabilities and being so creative. Look forward to seeing it quilted & whether Mgt might snaffle it for himself this winter (giggle). Take care, hope the weather improves somewhat & hugs from down under.

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  7. Hey, at least you ARE using them some way. I think they would have been lovely table runners but also make a lovely lap quilt too. Stay warm.

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    1. Hi Sue, I suspect they will revert to table runners . . . but in between now and when they are quilted, who knows?

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  8. I love the posts Jayne. How you start with a pile of small squares and end with a work of art, Absolutely beautiful, I love you lap quilt even you don't need anymore!

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    1. Thanks Mum. I confess it is incredibly satisfying to start with relatively unprepossessing of scraps and end up creating something attractive :-)

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  9. Lap quilt or table runners? - either way will look good. I really like the bright colours and the 'psychedelic' layout, just my type of thing :-)

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  10. Jayne I hope you have recovered from your horrible cold as you haven't posted for some days. The weather has been awful here in Lancashire for many weeks though when we came up to the Lakes on Monday to shop in Lakeland the weather was fabulous. Back to Lancashire and more rain.

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    1. Catherine, I am fine now, and thank you. No posts 'cos (for once) I don't really have anything to say 😏 It's not just Lancashire - Monday was good here too and now back to the grey, dull, damp.

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