Thursday, October 23, 2014

what I'm up to


Through some misguided vote of confidence I've been put in charge of planning my extended family's Christmas gathering this year. So naturally I've decided to make it as heinously complex as possible with a progressive dinner! And caroling! And a trivia contest! And Secret Santa gifts! And no football watching, gadget staring or napping whatsoever! We will have old fashioned fun if it kills us.


Also I'm attempting to finish this simple-turned-soul-sucking throw quilt I planned to whip out, oh, nine months ago. I'm so tired of seeing the stack of fabric that I intentionally put right in my way on a crucial corner of the work table. Every day an inner dialog like this:

Oh. There's that stack of quilt fabric. Again.
(stab of guilt)
I should really finish that because it would be nice to be able to use this end of the table.
And I totally will.
Later.
(Places coffee cup on top of stack)

So even though there are many things I'd love to be making right now, like Liberty tops and French Hen ornaments, I'm forcing myself to work on this stinkety quilt project. Which I'm having to do the hard way now because in my novice quilting fervor I started right away to whack it all apart and sew it together nine months ago to create a random, rectangular pieced throw. No design needed! Sewn randomly together! It'll be quick! I'm gonna love it!

After staring at it for months and not loving it, I've decided I can't possibly continue with that idea, I simply must make one that looks more like this:


I'm learning through this process that perhaps I'm not cut out to be a habitual quilter. Because cutting squares is BORING. Especially when you have to cut each one individually from your fabric because you are a doofus and have already cut it once and now have to turn it just so in order to squeak two squares out of each piece. GAH. At least with the white fabric I've been able to cut several squares at a time.

Another reason I'm not cut out to be a quilter is I freak out over small inaccuracies of cutting and sewing. How do you people make everything come out so neatly matched? I sweat over everything because I know my mistakes are going to snowball as I go along. Which requires tedious pauses to square up each square. It drives me insane.

Wish me luck. I'm plodding on with it, casting longing glances at my felt and shirt patterns.

12 comments:

  1. Good luck! I don't think I could ever become a quilter, either. Call me a bag lady forever! :)

    Your Christmas gathering sounds fun... especially without the football and gadgets! :)

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    1. Hey, Grandma G! Haha! You definitely have the bags down. I always aspire to make beautiful quilts...it seems so awesome and meaningful...and then I start to make one and reality sets in. Yes, I'm really looking forward to the progressive dinner! We did one 13 years ago and it's time to do it again.

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  2. I've done some quilting here and there, but it definitely takes loads of patience if you are going to be a perfectionist about it. I have let go some mistakes along the way and comforted myself that even the Amish (albeit intentionally) make mistakes in their quilting because only God is perfect.

    Your Christmas celebration sounds fun! I'm loving the no-gadget clause and feel like that should be instituted pretty much at any point when people are spending time together. The checking of phones is at the top of my pet peeves list because it happens EVERYWHERE. ALL THE TIME. Anyway, sometimes it's fun to go a bit over the top. I bet it will be a great celebration. Sorry I have dropped off the planet for the last while. Your Christmas ornaments have been calling to me lately especially.

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    1. Well, hey, Skooksie! I know that I'm probably doing it all wrong too since I'm just guessing and I've never taken any classes. I always tell myself 'well, how hard can it be?' Then I realize the answer is 'quite hard actually'.
      My Christmas ornaments are calling me too. Especially as I contemplate another evening of piecing and squaring.

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  3. Here is my quilterly advice - if you aren't in love with it stop now. It will be a very costly exercise in frustration otherwise. If you must forge ahead - forget perfection, just make it work in good old Tim Gunn fashion. I have made at least 10 quilts and yes, they get better each time, but no, they are still not perfect. Its a long, steep learning curve!

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    1. Sarah, that is great advice. I know I WILL be in love with it. I simply adore the fabric and I love lots of white so if it comes out half as gorgeous as I think I will be thrilled. Thinking of the finished throw is the only thing moving my Olfa right now. It's the process that is getting me down right now. Maybe I'll wise up and take a class sometime. :-)

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  4. First, can't wait to hear the re-cap on THAT holiday happening! Should be memorable.

    Second, with all that AMH fabric that quilt will be gorgeous no matter how many little no-one-will-notice-but-you imperfections it has. And if you want to trade some needle books I'm happy to finish it for you! Not even kidding.

    Finally, you need to come to a West Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild meeting sometime!! Third Thursday at Fabricate Atlanta and since I live in Hapeville you're welcome to just ride with me. Again, not even kidding! Plus I'm making some of your ornaments for our swap in November so you'd pretty much be like a guest celebrity designer showing up ;-)

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    1. You are so awesome, Darcy! Thanks so much for the invitation and the ride! I'd love to take you up on it sometime in future if I can get over myself and get excited about quilts again. LOL! Love to see pictures of your swap! That's so cool you are using my pattern! I hope you enjoy putting those together!

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  5. yes, quilting has that jigsaw puzzle aspect, as well as sharp tailoring and a magpie collageur aspect too. i am in awe of those who can do it. i have scratched my own quilting itch by assaying doll quilts, which are finished in my lifetime, some of them, and which allow me to play with different techniques, and implement some of the 40,000 ideas i have for them.

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    1. Jeannettesmyth.com, you are right -- doll quilts are low commitment and pure fun. I have enjoyed those, although I've made extremely simple ones so far. For actual dolls!

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  6. I wouldn't let it stress you out. It us tedious to cut out all of the pieces . I enjoy making small items like rug mugs, they are always used and enjoyed as a gift. I also buy panels and quilt them. Maybe you are starting out with being overwhelmed by the bigger quilts.

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    1. Hey, Denise, thanks for this. I soldiered on and I've almost got it finished! Makes me want to start another...LOL

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