Thursday, February 13, 2014

Preparation Is The Key...

 Well, at least for the class I'm taking at Asilomar! I actually managed to finish cutting all the pieces today, so I now have 8 bags filled with foundation papers and the fabrics to go with them.

I even found the directions for cutting the pieces for Bag #6 and Bag #7. Luckily (since I've cut up all of my background fabric, that turquoise over there) I was able to cut the pieces I'll need out of scraps.

Guess there is a reason I'm a scrap saver! Well, other than being a general packrat.

At least I'm an organized one...

My housekeeper got her first look at my garage today. "Oh my... you have a lot of boxes... a lot of fabric... it's like a store!"

Didn't have the heart to tell her there's lots more in storage. Some things just can't be faced all at once!

Since today was Cleaning Day--and I never, ever thought there would come a time when I would actually be able to pay someone to clean my house, but I'm very grateful that I can, what with my dodgy back and all--that meant clearing myself out of their way so they could do their thing. I had an invitation of sorts from Youngest Daughter, who works from home, to bring my cutting over and work at her place. We're quite comfortable with this arrangement--I used to babysit at her house while she worked in the other room.

At this point, I have one project all prepped, and a second one ready  to go--that's what those two little tubs up there are full of. Next comes packing up the machine, the tools, the car...oh yeah, maybe a few clothes too.

Since I got all my errands done this morning/early afternoon, and my house is clean and tidy (that famous picking up the place so the cleaners can clean), I decided to sew a few more sashings and cornerstones while the machine is still in place.

I now have something like 150 sashings with cornerstones attached to them. I think I need to do a lot more, though, because it seems that I cut the sashing strips in groups.

One of the fabrics has 49 pieces cut out of it.
 That will wind up with a very monotonous look if they all go on only 3 quilts, but if they are spread out on 6 it will allow for more variety.

I did think it would be fun to see if I could put a different fabric on each one. I'm sure you're not at all surprised that I had no trouble finding 49 different fabrics--actually there are a lot more. I realized that one of the things that's so appealing about these quilts is that the fabrics are colorful and cheery. I guess they needed all the cheer they could get back in the 30s!
 This pink fabric is the one that has 49 strips. At least it's cute and colorful!

I had to try a quick mockup to see how these are going to look.  Don't worry, I won't put a red sash that close to a big red point!

Well, at least not until/unless I run out of options. Which isn't going to happen.

I'm prepared. There are a LOT of extra sashings. I even know what I'm going to do with them once these 6 quilts are done.

Did I happen to mention that there's a small bin out in the garage that appears to be full of 30s fabrics?

I'm going to be sewing for a long time to use up all this fabric. It's really too bad I don't live in snow country--I could be snowed in quite happily. Also, my house would be very well insulated with all this fabric and yarn.

Onward, I think!

 On Monday I got started on cutting out the pieces using the templates I made last week. Yes, this part is tedious.

I am really looking forward to doing a newer pattern, where the templates are printed out on newsprint and all you have to do is clip them to the strips of fabric and cut on the lines.

Doesn't help that for a 12-block quilt there are insane numbers of pieces. This bag (#1) has 48 of each template.
Tuesday night was quilt class, so here's a couple of shares from there. Hey, it makes a change from itty bitty pieces...

Gail did this one. She started it last week and brought it, completely done, to class this week.

It's a kit she got at The Sew and Sew, which is  a local-to-me-now quilt shop. No, I haven't been in yet. I will, no worries. It's just that right now I am dealing with my own stash and don't need any more temptation!

This is why I haven't visited the local knit shop, either.
I was taught to "avoid the occasions of sin" which is just a fancy way of saying temptation. That's also why I am not going to Stitches West this year. Well, at least I don't plan to.

It's going to be bad enough being at Asilomar and in the vicinity of the Cotton Patch's conference store and Back Porch Fabrics. Besides, my heart belongs to New Moon!

Back to show n' tell. The Log Cabin is Anne's. She seems to think it's ugly, but we all liked it, and once she saw the picture, she agreed. This lap quilt will join her charity basket.

Another of Gail's completed projects, a wall quilt that came from a class with Jill Shumacher. It's done in a pale gold silk and you can really see the details if you clilck on the picture to make it bigger.

Today was a bit of a busy day--lots to do around here because it's the biweekly Invasion of the Cleaning Crew, which means I have to pick up and put away all the clutter that has accumulated since they were here two weeks ago. It's gotten pretty bad since I've been concentrating more on prepping my project than keeping the house tidy.  
However I did get it into a state where a quick round up tomorrow morning should be all I need to get it ready.

So back to the cutting and trimming and whttnot.

Help was freely offered. I guess someone didn't think I had pressed the strips well enough, because he offered to do it for me.

Really, cat? 

I'm not one of those people (though I know a certain number of them) who feel as though The Cat Must Have His Autonomy Respected. These people will not move a cat that's in their way--seriously. I'm not talking about being cozy in bed or on the couch with a good book or a good TV show and a warm cat, and oh I can't get up because I don't want to disturb the cat, ha ha.

Too bad, cat, you didn't land in that kind of a house. You can move your fur!
 So he moved.
A little bit.

And a little bit more.

But I have to cut 96 pieces out of each of these 7 fabrics, and that's just for this second bag.

Ooh, too tired to move any further...

Well, let's just say, I am the person here, and as such I am in control of the pop-tops on the cat food.
 That means my needs take priority. So I cut.

And cut.

And cut.

And finished cutting and bagging up the 96 x 7 pieces for Bag #2. Yes, I can do that math. No, I don't want to. It what pictuill make my head hurt.

Logic would dictate that I would then move on to Bag #3, but oh no. Bag #8 is next on the list.
Bag #8 takes 160 of the lighter star fabric and 160 of the darker star fabric.

The strips I cut weren't enough to make that many pieces. Luckily I had some extra strips in colors that would work. Sort of.

I cut them anyway. I had planned that the two sets of stars on this quilt would have totally different fabrics, but unless I --shhh! shop!--for more there will just have to be duplication.

You can probably just make out the indignant cat in that picture--look way in the back at the dark blob.

That's a cat who's giving me his best camera angle. You could just read indignation in every bit of fur.

I had to go take a picture from the front view... This cat is sulking. Well, he was. Then he went to sleep.

He's now curled up on top of my phone, which is charging, and holding down the book I was planning to read. He likes to be near me when I'm on the computer.
I even had a visit tonight from the shy grey one, who came out for some petting and loving. I guess she's forgiven me for taking away her hiding place. Just because I need to put my sewing machine in inconsiderate of me! Hmm, maybe I should just pack the machine in the car loose?

Nah. She'll adjust! And tomorrow, there will be lots more cutting. Lots and lots more!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Twirly Whirly

 Managed to get some quilting done this weekend. Got out the cutting board and mat and ruler and cut a whole lot of strips getting ready for my Asilomar project.

Next step is to cut the strips into the right size pieces, using the templates I made. I guess this is what I get for using an old pattern--the new ones now have newsprint layouts of all the templates, so all you have to do is lay them on top of the fabric, clip it in place, and cut on the marked cutting lines.
Oh well. Next project I'll have that!

 Even managed to get down to the Pinwheel Pile!

Now all 150 of the squares that are here (as in, here in my sewing room, not hidden in depths of the garage or the bowels of the storage unit) have their first sashing strips attached.


Then it was on to sewing cornerstones to more sashing strips. Once these are done, I will sew them to the pinwheel blocks and then they'll have two sides done.

I'm hoping that these will go together pretty easily. I think I can sew them into rows of the right number of blocks, but I won't be able to finish assembling the tops until I find the box with the white squares for the setting triangles.

Sigh.  Always something!

Probably won't have much time to work on these anyway, till I get back from the seminar. Maybe there will be time to do some rearranging and spelunking to find the rest of the pieces for the Pinwheel Project. Hey, a girl can hope!

Speaking of girls, look who's been coming out for more and more petting time! She gets a little assertive about wanting to be petted, too--no typing allowed when Miss Shyla is out and about!

This picture was taken with her on the desk, and HiHi less than 6 feet away, on the floor. I won't even call it a staring contest--it was as if they were actually acknowledging each other and making sure that I pet both of them.

Oh, I found Little Miss's latest hiding place. Yes, she has managed to make a nest in my sewing machine rolly-case. Won't she be surprised when I load up the Bernina and take the case away with me!

That can't be very comfortable--there's a handle in there and some velcro closures. She looked out of the top of it and was very cute, but by the time I got the camera fired up she had decided to ignore me.

But it looks as if I finally have another "pet" cat!