Friday, July 27, 2007

Building 4-Patches

I have eighteen of these done now -- Hours 4 and 5 of the Hour a Day! I see I'm not alone in being behind on this quilt -- but those of us that have started late are still enjoying it.

Susan commented on my breaking things into a hour a day time slot yesterday. I should probably clarify that -- I'm really not obsessive-compulsive. vbg I am obsessed with quiltmaking. I love almost every aspect of it. I'm not real fond of thread basting, nor of making backings or labels, but I think that's because I just want to get on with the quilting or the finishing -- those things are necessities that take time away from the fun stuff. Judy said when she got her first longarm she was afraid to touch it and so decided to work an hour a day on it to force herself to get over the fear and to work time in her day to play with it. Many of us have trouble sometimes fitting everything we want to do into one 24 hour period, including quilting. So, it was Judy's idea to break the construction of a pattern down to fit into a 1 hour period. It is surprising how much you can do in an hour and it's also surprising to actually finish a quilt top in a few weeks, one hour at a time.
Anyway, as I said, I like most aspects of quilting -- both hand and machine piecing, hand applique, hand quilting, and now that I have a longarm, I love that too. There are not enough hours in the day. I tend to spend many happy hours machine piecing and then machine quilting. But I haven't spent much time hand quilting and I miss it. I was envious of people that were hand quilting some or most of their quilts. So, I decided I needed to get back to doing that too. It makes sense to do some hand quilting every day -- when I let it go too long, I have to "re-learn" the stitch or more accurately, the spacing and rhythm. Also, if I go too long between hand quilting sessions, I lose my callus on my underneath finger! And, honestly, I love the peacefulness that steals over me when I sit and handquilt. So, that's why I break my quilting day into time slots. Today I pieced for a few hours this afternoon and then spent an enjoyable 45 minutes hand quilting afterwards. I also have a hand applique project waiting for me. And if I didn't have to make another darn backing, I could have a top on the longarm too! LOL

As for the rest of my day -- I have to make a list of things I have to do before I allow myself to do any sewing/quilting - I don't really break it down to hours -- just chores. I check things off the list as I do them -- makes me feel like I accomplished something. Today I paid bills, cleaned off the kitchen island -- which is where I put my cutting mat when I'm in the piecing process, and it's also where I have my calendar and paperwork, so I needed to dig out. I also made up menus for the next few weeks. Now I know what I have to take out of the freezer every morning and I don't have to worry about the electricity going off because I paid the bill! vbg And it left the afternoon free to quilt guilt-free!

Fresh green beans and tomatoes on the table tonight.
Hand quilting


Mary said...

Yep I'm behind the crowd too. I've been working on my small 4 patches tonight.

Screen Door said...

You're getting it together... I love your bright colors!

Susan said...

I like making lists, too. Sometimes check marks on the list are all I have to show for the day's work!