Friday, April 24, 2020

Desperate for a Finish / Beauties Pageant 78


The longer I stay quarantined at home with my family, the more haphazard my sewing to-do list becomes. At first I was all business, prepping tops to pass onto a longarmer and cutting new projects to sew. Six weeks into the stay-at-home advisory, however, my sewing room has become a free-for-all. With my family here all the time and me at the beck and call of two school-age sons, peace is hard to come by and I can’t seem to finish anything.

(This is no exaggeration. One day last week, my morning shower was interrupted by my fifth-grader, who barged in demanding to know whether sixty seventy-fifths equals three fourths. Can no one spare me a few moments of quiet? Do I not deserve a shower free of math problems? Was that issue so pressing it could not wait another five minutes? And no, they are not equal!)

Case in point: my twin-size Warm and Cool Coin Quilt. This is the pattern I’ve been working on. It’s been tech-edited. It’s been sewn by a group of testers. But it limps along to the finish line in a world where I don’t leave my house (for, say, a cover-photo shoot) and my family runs the show (even when I’m in the shower).

My original version, in the lap size, was sewn from a single fabric line, Kate Spain’s Canyon ...


The second is the first bed-size quilt I’ve made in years. It was fun playing with all the blue and orange fabrics, and I love the effect of the variations in value—that’s what makes this version interesting to me. Plus, sewing it wiped out good chunks of my blue and orange scraps. : )



I have to admit, though: Handling a twin-size quilt is a bigger pain than my usual lap-size quilts. Pressing it was annoying, I’m still wrestling the backing for it, and my husband could barely hold it up for an impromptu photo.

I bring this up because I haven’t been making the best decisions lately, and I set my mind to sewing a king-size quilt for my guest bedroom. (The quilt pattern is Robin Pickens’ Hopscotch Happy, which I plan to sew with Kate Spain’s Grand Canal collection.)  And I’m committed . . . I already have fabric coming from Nebraska and the UK for the project. After this twin-size project, though, the thought of working with a huge quilt top makes me want to curl up in fetal position. What advice do those of you who piece large projects have for a king-size newbie?

On a completely unrelated note . . . Did you notice the photo bomber in the picture at the top of the post? The dog won’t give me a moment’s peace, either!

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12 comments:

  1. Wishing you some peace soon!!! Just take the king size quilt one part at a time - and maybe break up the sashing. Sewing mutliple 100" seams requires some patience and fortitude. :D

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  2. Hi Michelle! No, I don't see the photobomber darn it! I just love that pup. Of course, he is glued to your side. Wouldn't you be?!! You might be doing something that might involve food of some sort because we all know that cooking is a never-ending event now. Sue and I really laughed over the urgent math problem during your morning shower. MOM! Yes, it was that life-threatening of an issue that warranted shower interruption. I have not made a king size quilt, but one year I made four queen size quilts within a few months. I feel your pain about ironing it being a PIA because I recall lamenting about it. Whether you work in rows or columns you can keep the segments fairly small until the very end when you sew the final two segments together - that helps manage all that fabric. Good luck - on and definitely get a 108" wide backing rather than piecing your backing. No wrestling with that after your quilt top is together. ~smile~ Roseanne

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  3. Your post reminds me of that children's book 'Five Minutes Peace' by Jill Murphy. I can remember reading it to my children and feeling so much sympathy for the Mummy who just wanted 5 minutes peace! Your quilts are lovely and it's remarkable you've made any progress at all with all the interruptions!

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  4. I think one should be able to shower and poop in peace! lol. But this is temporary and it is different for the kids too. I was just telling my adult daughter that when the stay at home ban is lifted, school should just resume. The quarantine should be counted as summer break. I don't have kids at home but the office I manage provides essential services which means I have to go in to the office everyday, though sometimes I think about how much sewing I could do if I got to stay home. I see the photo-bomber! lol. I really like your warm & cool coin pattern. It looks like a fun one to make. I just finished piecing a king size quilt. Just the flimsy is heavy and hard to photograph! Hang in there and good providence.

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  5. What a math problem to be presented with in the shower! I think the key for larger quilts is to think about how many lap size quilts fit into one top and then consider that when you are thinking how long it will take. It requires patience, especially when pressing those long seams. I know you can do it!

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  6. Gorgeous! I love everything about this quilt - the design and the fabrics. I’m sorry you’re not getting any piece and quiet. That’s got to be frustrating!

    It’s been a long time since I made a king sized quilt, but I think the best strategy is to remember that it’s a marathon. You need to get accustomed to the idea that this will take far longer than you are used to, and that it’s okay for it to take a long time. (I hope that makes sense.)

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  7. I can relate, though I do get to shower in peace.

    In regards to working on larger quilts--I think it helps to work on them in smaller chunks. Make smaller bits of them at a time, or just work on it until you are bored with it, then switch to something else for a while. Also, king size quilts are really heavy. Take lots of breaks to avoid strain on your body.

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  8. My recent finish was a 89" square quilt. Just take it one section at a time and keep reminding yourself how nice it will be when it's done! I sent it to a long armer and then had the dreaded task of binding it. It wasn't as bad as I thought. You can do it!

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  9. I’m so sorry that you’re not finding moments for yourself. That’s certainly tough when you’re trying to run a quilting and pattern business. Makes me appreciate that our kids are grown and far away. Too far, though distance is irrelevant these days. I completely understand the haphazardness of your sewing room projects, though! We’re all doing that these days. I have five going concurrently, and my room is a mess! Nothing’s getting finished either. I have to believe this is a condition that’s a result of the pandemic. We’re accustomed to life’s variety of activities, and need to keep that going, even when our world is smaller. Hang in there. You’re among friends.

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  10. Hmmm.... I remember those days. I admit I am glad I don't have young children during these quarantine times. Hang in there and my only advice is to lock the bathroom door and pretend you can't hear them knocking. Haha.

    I have made a couple of larger quilts and it is so much harder. I suppose just take it one step at a time and remember it isn't a race. Do you plan to quilt it? That was the biggest challenge for me. I did it but I can't honestly say I enjoyed it. It did make me feel good to look at it when finished and feel that sense of accomplishment though.

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