Saturday, January 28, 2012

Magnetic Strips

First border completely attached. I am liking this quilt! Remembering my experience with  Ms Cha Cha vs continuous strip preparation, I executed a "plan." Ms Cha Cha and I engaged in strenuous, active play. We played with all of her favorite toys - one by one. She ran. She jumped. She climbed. She danced about like a Halloween cat. She had a grand time. We played until she refused to play anymore. So far, so good - my plan worked. Yeah!

I settled in my reading chair with my Kindle. Ms Cha Cha curled on the couch. She was "out," Quietly I moved to the cutting table. I reached for the continuous strip border. My hand encountered a black furry cat. Drat! Those strips apparently were Magnetic. The force field had reeled in a Cat!

The good news (for me!) was Ms Cha Cha lost all interest once the strips were tightly pinned to the quilt top. It was touch and go getting there. But I did! And I got .....
The First Side of the Outer Border and ...
The Second Side of the Outer Border!!!!!
Top and bottom with cornerstones coming soon! I'm loving this quilt.


Friday, January 27, 2012

The MISSING!!! Pattern Instruction

The pattern instructions for continuous border strips says (in abbreviated form) - place 1 1/2" strips right side together at right angles, draw diagonal line and stitch on line. Do this 5 times. How difficult could that possibly be? Why would the process take 2 hours?

There was a vital instruction missing from this pattern. Let me tell you my story - I sit down at the table to place the first two strips together. My able assistant, Ms Cha Cha cat joins me. She promptly starts removing pins from the pincushion. I remove pincushion and continue. Ms Cha Cha finds the pencil intriguing. I remove cat from table - very politely, of course. Ms Cha Cha now perches on back of chair to my right. I start to draw the diagonal line. Flying cat lands on table. Pencil hits floor. I remove cat from table with a stern warning. Cat's ears flatten. Cat's tail switches. Cat glares at me from a chair across the room. I draw diagonal lines successfully.

On to sewing machine. Unfortunately, I am closer to Ms Cha Cha's chair. I ignore flattened ears, switching tail and evil glare. I get the first strip in place - needle down. Flying cat lands on sewing table. Strips fly. Some are on the floor - sure glad I mopped last night. One strip "waves in the wind" as Ms Cha Cha runs down the hall with her prize. Who knows where the pin is? I suppose I will find it the next time I walk down the hall with no shoes on.

After three attempts, which included two seams requiring a seam ripper, I realize there is a MISSING!! instruction in my Pick Four pattern book.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Race is Not to the Swift!

I had the 9 patch blocks complete back in October. The "nerve" to cut them as instructed in "Pick Four" by Sue Abrey finally hit me in early January. All my points matched and the blocks were too pretty to cut and, of course, the holidays happened. Blah! Blah! Blah!

Weeks later the pretty cut, squared up blocks were still stacked neatly on my table. I was ignoring Sue's suggestion I piece them. Her book provides both well written and visual directions. But .... what if I start and the new points do not match? Blah! Blah! Blah!

Obviously, my mind is my own worst enemy! Today I got moving .....
This quilt is coming together slowly and nicely. I am pleased with the result. The points are lining up and I enjoyed my day. All I've got to say is -


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Think I Can, I Think I Can....I Think I Can

Holiday illness, family obligations, etc. etc. etc aside, why are my 9 patch units for Sue Abrey's Stepping Stones still in a neat stack on my cutting table? Maybe I need a special ruler or perhaps one of those rotating cutting mats I've noticed on the Internet. I know it is not because I need a new blade for my rotary cutter - can't be because I bought a 5 pack on sale at Joann's and 2 people gave me 5 packs as Christmas presents. What, oh what, can the matter be?

Sue's instructions are extremely clear. She tells me exactly where to cut. There is even a picture as an example. Two pictures to be precise - the first is step 5, block A on page 23 of her Pick Four book (I must have skipped this step!) and step 3, block B on page 24 has an almost identical picture as a second example. I am a wee bit dense at times but this morning the reality that there would be no quilt top until I followed Sue's instructions set in. What to do? Maybe a special ruler, a rotating cutting mat, or ........
I borrowed the lesson of the value of optimism and hard work from "The Little Engine That Could." Loudly repeating - I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can - I slowly (2 hours!) got the little piles in the picture above. The moral for today is - I Thought I Could, I Thought I Could, I Thought I Could. Next up is Assembling the Quilt Top - step l.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012

I had every intention of being asleep at midnight. I then decided to attend my first Twitter party (setup a Twitter account, made my first Twit).  Stitchin' Heaven was sponsoring a Twitter 2012 Party. I  won a pattern from Little LadyBug's Creations. I had wonderful fun; although it got overwhelming at times - so many people twitting all at once - I had trouble enjoying following the conversation. I don't see Twitter becoming my new best friend.

May 2012 Fulfill Your Special Dreams!

The Christmas tree is down, safely stored for the year, along with all the directions. As much as I love Christmas decorations, I am always ready to get back to "normal" household decor as I have started to miss my "pretties."