Sunday, June 16, 2013

quilt makin' machine

am a quilt makin'
I tell ya.

Never mind the fact that I still haven't finished T's (April) birthday quilt.
(but he doesn't care if he gets it 'til it turns cool, so I'm ok)
(working on the binding, so it's almost finished)
Ignore also
that I haven't even cut into Tyler's stack of fabric.
(it is a gorgeous stack, if I do say so myself)
Nor have I started on the summer vintage sheets quilt I am making for our bed.
(It could happen...)
I up and decided on Tuesday that I was making a new quilt, and I was making it fast.
with Lily and Lexi's help, I proceeded to finish acquiring the fabrics for it that evening.
(I had started a stack quite some time ago, but it hadn't grown very tall yet)

At 3:00 on Thursday
I set up a little station in the kitchen with a 2x4 folding table set up about 1 1/2 - 2 ft away from the ironing board,
so I could starch and iron my fabric, then without going to the other room, as is my usual system,
or even taking a full step,
I could cut my fabric.
It worked amazingly well, and I think I will do this from now on.

After the fabric was cut, I walked around the house,
hoping to find a section of wall big enough to hang the batting.
Using the window in the LEM works ok, but the fabric is much less likely to fall off of my design wall
if the batting is actually against the wall.
Therefore, when I labeled pieces, a step which I hate dislike, but is quite necessary,
I would only need to label every other one, and not every single one.
At this point, I should mention that everyone was gone 
(Daddy took them camping ~ me and my bum knee stayed home with the critters. And the sewing machine ;-)
The only wall that would work was the one behind the couch,
so I pushed the chair over,
pulled the couch out a foot and a half
(very thankful that I had just cleaned out behind it)
took the picture off the wall, 
then ran a swiffer over the top 2 feet of wall that I neglected to clean when I did the great living room clean up a few weeks ago,
and proceeded to hang the batting I'd cut just a few minutes earlier.
It turns out (and I knew this, of course, being that I live here and every thing...)
that the wall is leaning,
so that when I hung the batting, it wasn't actually flush against the wall....
but it was better than being hung in a window, so I just used some masking tape and went with it.

Seeing that I didn't have my Lexi help,
laying out the pieces took quite some time,
plus I fixed dinner (Tyler bought me filet mignon to have for dinner every night while they were gone!)
and ate it,
and it was 10:47 when I finished, so I was going to head to bed.
Heading to bed, mind you, means actually going to bed, about an hour later...

Only I couldn't get to sleep, so somewhere around 1
I got up and labeled the blocks, then took them all down, 
preparing them to be sewn as I did.
Then I had a blank design wall again, so I set to work on the back.

When I cut the 6" squares, 
I also 'squared up' the leftover pieces, planning to use them for the back.
(I started out with anywhere from 1/6 of a yard to 1/2 yard fabric cuts and I cut  them out differently - meaning some I'd cut from a long skinny strip, and some I'd cut out using more width of the fabric. I wanted my leftover pieces to be all different sizes for a more attractive backing)
I had a couple of larger pieces that I had collected, but not used in the front, plus I had bought a half yard extra of one fabric, knowing it would be great on the back - so I stuck those on the wall first.
And, like a puzzle, I kept adding pieces in until I had the batting covered.
I actually enjoyed it very much.

Since sleep was still elusive, I took 2 pieces off,
sewed em together, pressed the seams, trimmed them up, and stuck 'em back on the wall.
(Figuring out which order to sew thing together in was a puzzle, too, and I had to do some partial seaming sometimes to make it work.)
I kept doing that 'til I had about a third of the back sewn
and thought maybe I could finally get to sleep.
It was 3:00.

I drug my butt out of bed at 8:00
and, missing Jeremiah, who usually does the task, 
schlepped blurry-eyed back to the coop, and let out and fed the chickens and cooed to the babies (who are barely babies anymore!)

It was almost 10 before I felt alive enough to get back to work.
What can I say? I am a slow waker-upper.
The back was completed in a few hours, and I was pretty tickled with it.

Time to sew the top.
(why is it a quilt top, and a quilt back?!)
To make it fun, I timed myself making rows.
I had the extension table on the machine. It's fabulous!
I usually only used it for quilting and sewing bindings on 
(which is why it was on in the first place - I'd sewn the binding on Penny's quilt before got I started on this one.)
After 6 rows (which was my knee's limit for sitting at the machine, even though I was 'driving' with my left foot)
I had averaged four minute rows.
I sewed 6 10 block rows (the 11 blocks became their own vertical row) in 24 minutes!
Impressed with my speediness, 
I carried a quilt and a pillow outside and laid in the sun for some vitamin D therapy.

I am quickly bored by laying out in the sun
(how did I do that as a teen?!)
so I cooled off in the pool
 then came back in the house to resume sewing.

Twenty four minutes continued to be my limit for sitting,
so I'd sew
then visit my chickens.
then press.
Sew then sunbathe.
(My plans for turning into a bronzed goddess while my family was away
were not as successful as my plan to become a quilt making machine.)
then check blogs.
then talk to my family on the phone
(which was really nice, 'cuz even though I was sewing, and I love sewing, I was lonely. 
And the house was too quite. But I was tired of listening to Pandora. Yes, kids, I can work the Pandora all by myself! :-)
then press...

And a little bit before the sun went down,
lo and behold, I had a lovely starched 60 x 77 inch purple quilt top.

This is getting ridiculously long.
I'll tell the rest in Reader's Digest version:
I basted it.
Love (LOVE) basting spray.
Took care of critters.
Fixed and ate dinner (more steak. with salad this time. Scrumptious.)
And started quilting it.
Talked to my biggest boy for awhile.
Quilted more.
Went to bed even later than I'd gone to bed Thursday night.

I quilted and took care of critters and finally washed all the dishes that had been in the sink (and accumulating) since Thursday and sunbathed and quilted, ate an avocado, and talked to my Marine for an hour. 
I finished quilting around 4.
Made the binding  (which I'd already cut when I cut the rest of the fabric)
sewed it on,
ate a peach,
and at 5:00, I settled into the chair in my room, more reclined than I'd prefer (for the sake of my knee)
put my legs up up the bed, flipped on my light, found a Netflix movie (Lincoln Lawyer ~ I liked it)
and started hand sewing the binding down.

Multiple critter care trips, a leisurely walk around the property looking at wildflowers, dinner,
cleanup of all my creative mess,
and 3 movies 
(Licoln Lawyer, plus 2 more)
and four some Oreos and a cup of milk later,
at 1:11 am, I went to bed with very sore hands and only an hour left on the binding until I have a completed quilt.

am a quilt making


  1. Your awesome!!! and I am sure the children made some fond memories with daddy while you were basking in your quilting heaven and down time!! we all need some of that from time to time!! did you get the package I sent? love you!

  2. I did ~ thank-you! (I can't figure it out, though...) Did you get the package I sent YOU? (via Lish)

  3. It's beautiful - just like all the others. You're so talented! How are all the chickens doing? Are you getting tons of eggs?

  4. aww ~ thanks!! Chickens are good, but we've lost a few (I'm suspecting a neighbor's dog, who killed most of our other chickens...) and sadly, Jeremiah's black chick died last week. No clue what was up with that!!
    I was thinking today that ya'll need to visit soon :-)

  5. pretty awesome! you ARE a quilting machine!
    Love you, Girly

  6. We would LOVE to visit! Just let me know! :)


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