Saturday, January 9, 2010

Projects in Progress

I was hoping to be able to be able to post a pic of the finished wall hanging I have been working on but it is amazing how many little things can go wrong. I also spent quite a bit of time monkeying around with some quilting templates my dh bought me for Christmas, trying to use a couple different techniques of marking the borders. I finally got it figured out, and got all the quilting done, then went onto the binding. I realized I wanted a sleeve put in it, so I pinned the sleeve so that the top would be attached under the binding in the back. Then I flipped the folded edge to the binding over and started hand stitching it in place, taking beautiful, tiny, little stitches. I was quite pleased with them.

Then I saw it.

Talk about a dumb mistake! I suddenly realized that I attached the binding with the sewing machine, NOT to the right side, but to the back side of the quilt! ARGH! So I took out all the hand stitching and decided that instead of taking the binding all the way off I would just top stitch it down, just like as if the binding was made by using the backing fabric in a fold over method. I recently read in a blog somewhere of another lady doing this on a regular basis with bias strip binding, so I figured it was "kosher". Still, I can't believe I did that!

We started homeschooling again this week so I haven't had as much time as I was hoping to sew, but I did get started on using my new fabric. I picked out a design from a book, then realized I had so many fabrics that I was going to have to replace what goes where. My blocks will look pretty much nothing like the one in the book, but that is what I love about quilting. The possibilities really are endless!

I started out with a ton of calculations as to how many of the first step half square triangles I was going to have to make. Initially, I wanted to add an extra row. I have a thing against square quilts, at least for a lap quilt. The pattern I am using makes a square throw quilt. I really like rectangular. So I calculated again adding on an extra row. Well, after measuring the fabric I realized I wasn't going to have quite enough for the first step, which all needed to be uniform. The other parts of the block I could mix and match, but for these half square triangles they needed to be the same.

I decided to take a row off the original pattern and then just add an extra border or something to make the overall size bigger. That worked for me, and I went off on a cutting spree.

I did 87 million of the half square triangle units and started to think part way through that it was an awful lot of little 3 inch squares for the number of blocks I was making. I use the layering technique to make the half square triangle units. It occurred to me when I was almost done that my calculations were WAY off. I forgot one little fact. When making the half square triangle units with the layering technique, you end up with twice as many. UGH!

If you followed all of the above, then you understand that I have gracious plenty half square triangle units to add an extra row to the original quilt pattern, and I'll probably have enough left over for another small quilt.

So at odd moments during the day Thursday I pressed the 87 million half square triangle units.

I am in the process now of cutting the dog ears off and trimming and squaring them down to 2 1/2 inches.

That may seem extremely tedious. That is because it is tedious. But it is worth it.

Here is a close up. The unit on the left is untrimmed, unsquared, and the one on the right is trimmed and squared. It just makes for more accurate sewing later, and when this quilt is done, you'll see the piecing and all the corners and appreciate why accuracy in cutting is important.

Okay... break over, I'm going to go do some more of the trimming and watch the kids play with the Wii. Blessings!


...they call me mommy... said...

Love the colors! I had to are too cute! 87 million! Whew I was glad to see that you trim your blocks too...good, I thought maybe all you quilting experts had perfect squares flying right off your machine! :) My new machine is an entry level one, but I'm sooo excited. I got it from a local sewing shop and I get two lessons (2 hours each) free with the machine. It is a Janome My Style 100. I am soooo excited! :) Thanks for asking! Can't wait to see your finished projects! I would love to see MY finished projects too, but since I sit on the computer too much, I guess I'll just have to mail them to you, so that I can see the finished projects! HAHA! :)


Anonymous said...

Looks like ALOT of fun, Lisa! How do you find time with homeschooling, your pastor's wife duties, mommy etc. to quilt? Do you ever sleep? (I know you must because you sometimes blog in your pj's, lol) I would love to see your daily schedule sometime, as I am currently trying to tweak mine as we start back into the swing of school etc.

Love you and miss you my friend! Looking forward to that over the phone cup of tea (or hot cocoa! :)

Lisa said...

Shellee, I can email you my "master schedule" if you want. I made it up on our computer at the beginning of the school year. :)

Oh sure... you play on the puter and I work in the sweat shop. Okay, but you have to send me your new machine! hehehehe. I have a basic Janome as well and LOVE it. I've had it for about 11 1/2 years, and it has seen a LOT of sewing, beleive me. It has never let me down. Just keep it clean and oiled and you shouldn't have a problem. I'm going to your blog now to see if you have posted a pic yet. :D