Monday, May 19, 2014

in the works

I've got multiple sewing projects in the works.
A few more than I'm comfortable with, actually,
but they vary tremendously in degrees of difficulty and time commitment, and tools required,
so I think I'm going to be okay.
My progress has been slower than I anticipated,
but then, 
what's new, huh?

(that needs a better name!)

I began with a bunch of prep work.
starching and ironing fabric (4 hrs, over the course of 3 days)
cutting my 56 reds and 22 whites into 232 7" squares (3.5 hrs in 2 cutting sessions)
which I then marked for sewing (1 hr)
and paired up and sewed 1/4 " on each side of both diagonally marked lines (4.5 hrs, divided (very unevenly) among 7 sewing sessions).
The sewn squares then got starched and pressed because they got all 'warbly', (1.5 hrs over 2 days)
stacked neatly,
and placed in a drawer.

Now that the prep work is out of the way
I'm choosing 2 of the sewn pairs from the drawer
and cutting them apart between the stitching lines, and also in half both horizontally and vertically.

Then I press the seams all open, and I have a pile of 16  HSTs

which I then trim into 2 1/2 inch squares

veeery carefully, so the corners are perfect.

After that, I grab my 'pattern',

decide which block I want to make,
and arrange the 16 HSTs on my little design board.

I take the design board over to the machine and chain piece pairs from left to right and top to bottom, 
(being careful to keep everything in order!) until I can't sew any more without pressing seams.
Then, I head to the iron and press all the seams open.

Racing the iron (it automatically shuts off - darn safety feature!)
I go back to the machine
and sew rows 1 and 2, and 3 and 4 together, pinning at all intersections,
then sew the final middle seam,
and head back to the iron (it usually wins, but I'm not giving up) and press those seams open,
give it one final shot of starch,
and one block is finished :-)

I've got 8 blocks finished so far, out of 56,

and each one (after all of the original prep work) takes about an hour.
Some have taken a smidge longer. My record to date is 50 minutes.
Since I've been timing myself every step of the way, I've noticed that I work most efficiently in very late morning or early afternoon. 
Just an interesting little observation...

This one is my favorite so far;  

That fabric was why I had to add some grey to the quilt.
(And I suppose, if you really want to be technical, black.)

This next block, though, I don't really care for.

I don't know if it was a poor fabric choice for the block, or if the stripes were just a poor fabric choice, period.
It doesn't help any that I didn't give any thought to matching up the stripes when I trimmed the blocks : /
I'm hoping it grows on me,
but if it doesn't,
and I suspect that is likely,
I will have to replace it with something less yuck.

This has gotten ridiculously long. 
I'll have to follow up with a part 2

I hate to end a post with ugly, so here is another block I am fond of. :-)

Linking up with the lovely Lee at FreshlyPieced


  1. oh, my goodness! what sparkling
    squares! they are all different like snowflakes no 2 are alike! the striped one looks just fine with the group. I like the pink and red fabric that is in that block. really cute! your quilting gals will love it!
    keep trying to beat the iron!
    love you dearly,

  2. I forgot to say I love the clover background too! it looks so fresh and lively. Jeremiah loved the clover foreground! watch out for bees!

  3. You know what? Tyler noticed last night that that pink and red block is messed up (even worse than I thought)- the 'arrows' in the upper right corner should be pointing left not down. silly me!

    I am loving the clover too :-)
    There was a bee right by me. I was hoping he'd want in my picture, but no, he just wanted clover juice.

    Love you, Mom! Hope you have a great week

  4. Love the look of the blocks. This is shaping up to be a wonderful quilt in classic colors.

  5. Hey, I just commented on your EPP project that you should make a red and white quilt. Looks like you already thought of that! Very cute.

  6. wowzers!! it has occurred to me you must like puzzles!! cuz that's what all this looks like to big puzzle! I love the red with scissors fabric...really cool.....


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