Sunday, January 12, 2014


I realize that I am no different than anyone else.  I tend to underestimate the time it takes to do something, whether it be cleaning the kitchen or piecing a quilt, so when I manage to get done what I've set out to do I call it PROGRESS!

Friday was Jonathan's day off and I had a very full day on Thursday working on my Bricks & Mortar and enjoying Liz's company so when I ended up in bed all afternoon I thought I would really get nothing done, however, I surprised myself.  Around 6:00 P.M. after having a quick snack, I decided to treat the day as I normally would.  I made coffee and settled down with my hand piecing....

I didn't expect to get a whole lot done but I was excited because I was now working from the left hand corner bottom up and I knew I would be able to get some rows done because a lot of the blocks that are going into those rows are already pieced....

The first thing I had to do was a lone block for my Row # 14....
Block # 85 - Square Dance - 17 pieces

Luckily it was a block with only 17 pieces so it went together pretty quickly.  Once it was done I was able to start work on Row #14.

            One  block ready                                      Two blocks ready

The row is ready to go on

Row 14 is now attached to Row 15

I was on a roll and I literally couldn't stop.  My mind was racing ahead to the next row and the balance of the blocks I still had to piece.  I had to sit back and take a breath here, I am almost there....with these two rows together I have 5 rows to go, of course because the quilt is on point, they get bigger as you go.  The next row is 5 blocks, then 7, then 9, then 11 and finally 13.  Of those 45 blocks I still have to piece about 20 so I really needed to rethink my strategy.  I decided to start piecing Row #13 and then do a random block.

 First block in Row #13

Block # 73 - Rainbow Flowers - 10 pieces

I probably would have kept going but I couldn't see anymore!  I definitely got far more done than I had anticipated for one evening's work.  Gee, if I had done this when I started this quilt, nearly 4 years ago, it would have been done in a month....never look back!
I started this quilt January 19th, 2010.  Honestly, I am pleased as to my progress, there was a time when I thought I would never be able to finish it.  During my first chemotherapy I had developed neuropathy in both my feet and my hands and was unable to do any hand piecing at all.  My feet have really never come back to normal but luckily my hands did not betray me.....

I went to bed Friday night quite pleased with myself and hoping that Saturday would be as productive.  Unfortunately, I was so pleased with myself that I couldn't sleep so I started reading and read until around 5:00 A.M..  Of course I did sleep most of the day on Friday so that was definitely a factor.  I was woken at 6:00 A.M. by what I call the - CAA RANT!!!  

When Jonathan works, he is on call from 6:00 A.M. until 11:00 P.M..  He doesn't usually get his first call until 7:00 or 8:00 A.M. and on weekends it's sometimes later.  He wakes at 5:57 A.M., signs in, then rolls over and goes back to sleep until he gets his first call. Needless to say, he got his first call at exactly 6:00 A.M.!!!  Hence the CAA RANT - for about 15 minutes, until he left the house, all I could hear was the banging and swearing and carrying on about "the idiot" who had the nerve to call at 6:00 A.M. to have his/her battery recharged....etc.... and how he's quitting this job and getting a real job, etc....
I have learned over the past 9 months to just lay quietly pretending to be asleep during these rants.  They don't happen often but it definitely sets his tone for the day.  Basically, stay the hell out of his way....

I rolled over and went back to sleep when he left.  I heard him come back around 8:00 A.M. and decided to continue my feigned sleep rather than try to interact.  Once he left again - I got busy.

This was going to be a math day!  I have to say I really hate math days!  I needed to figure out if I had enough fabric to do the outside border on my Bricks & Mortar.  This is the fabric I had left over after I made the quilt top and the first border.  Remember, I only had one block - 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" left of the beige fabric once I finished my first border.

 Fabrics left after the quilt top was completed.

I had made some cutting mistakes when I made the top so I had a number of strips which were a little too short for a 4-1/2" keyboard border.  My first decision after measuring the mis-cuts was to cut the border pieces at 4".  Having said that I had to now make sure I had enough fabric to make the 4" x 2-1/2" blocks.  Luckily I had the large piece of blue flannel which would probably stretch but I really wanted to use that for the binding so I really wasn't sure.  After about an hour of figuring, I began to cut.....this is what was left over....
Left over fabric after cutting my strips

For those of you who save scraps, forget it, look in my garbage!!!!  I was thrilled to just be able to get enough strips to do the border....
My strips cut and ready to go (I had to cut 4 more blue because I miscalculated - so much for my math skills!)

Then came the fun part - seriously!  I had to lay each side out so that the same colour did not butt up against the same colour and that the ends were not blue because I was using the blue for the cornerstones of the border.  That took forever and ever!  Jonathan came home in the middle of this process for a break.  When I work, I take over the living room and dining room and there's barely a place to sit down.  In his state of mind, having had such a "good" start to his day, I was very surprised when his only comment was - "at least you are being productive!"  The "creative" process took quite awhile as I had to have many breaks, but, I was determined to get this quilt top done....  

I love it - the outside border really makes the quilt!

I wish I had that fabulous design wall to hang the quilt on so you could really see it but suffice it to say, even without the design wall I LOVE THIS QUILT!!!!  All the mistakes, all the hours to figure out the borders, all of it was worth the final product.  I even have the binding strips cut and ready to go.  Not only that, I've already decided on the quilting design so I'm set.  All I need now is backing and batting.  I have chosen the quilting thread and used a Zip-Loc bag to store the thread, extra fabric (blue only) and binding strips and it is all now in my "shopping bag".

My "shopping bag"

What is my "shopping bag"?  It's where I store the projects which require something to move from UFO to complete.  Currently it holds Bricks & Mortar for which I need batting and backing and it also holds Island Chain which needs batting.  Once I have these items then the quilts can be completed.  Looking forward to a shopping spree some time soon.

Since I'm writing this blog on Sunday - today I can start completing my next project which has been waiting quietly in my project bag.  I also have a "secret project" which I need to start working on using those fabulous Kaffe Fassett fabrics and Shot Cottons I have so I may even start on that today....we'll see how things go...

My current plan is to have another "productive" day, the only problem is that if I don't clean the kitchen it is going to implode.  Oh well - I will somehow work it out.....

Have a great day everyone!


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