Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back - will I ever finish this quilt???

I was anxious to get home today to work on the quilt blocks for my daughter's lap-size calendar quilt.  I started digging through the scrap bin so I could replace some of the fabric strips framing the paper-pieced item.  The finished width of the strips for the frame is 1", so I needed to ensure I had them at least 1.25" wide.  That way, once I sew the sashing to the "frame", it will be the required 1".  This was a learning experience since I had never done a paper-pieced project before, and my learning curve was at times similar to a row of volcanoes - up, down, up, down.  I could a block right one day, and then the next, I messed up everything I touched.  I ripped out, taped the paper, sewed again, then ripped out again.  Quite a few times, I was ready to throw my hands up and say "Forget it!", but I persisted.  And as time went on, I gradually got better.  Twelve blocks, one for each month of the year.  Each one consisting of approximately 15-20 pieces.  You'd think I'd be an expert by the time I got finished.  And truth by told, I was getting better.  And feeling pretty proud about it.  And then...and then...I realized that since I had enlarged those 3"X5" wall hanging blocks to 8.5"X11" blocks, I could no longer do the embellishments as embroidery like it was originally intended.  My daughter is really particular about what she wants, so I was at the quilt shop for 2 hours begging for assistance from the experts there.  I bought cording for the veins in the leaf for July.  I bought felt for the snowman nose and the stem on the pumpkin.  I bought gold metallic soutache for the tinsel on the Christmas tree, and buttons for the snowman eyes.  And out of all that, the only thing she approved of was the buttons for the snowman eyes.  Yikes!  What the heck??? 

Since nothing met her approval, what to do?  What to do?  So I came out here to you, my bloggy friends, and I make comments on blogs where I can, and I read all tips and tutorials, and I google for more help, and finally, FINALLY I find something that may work.  It's applique, something ELSE outside my comfort zone.  Are you seeing a common thread here that my "comfort zone" is really miniscule?  Yessirreee, it sure is! to get back to what I was saying before I got sidetracked...I was anxious to get home today to work on the quilt blocks for my daughter's lap-size calendar quilt.  Did I get anything done?  Sorta-kinda.  I repalced two strips on two separate blocks because once I measured the blocks, these strips weren't wide enough to finish up as 1" once they were sewn to the sashing.  So that involved ripping out threads, taping the paper, then sewing the replacement strips to the blocks.  I need to go back to the Carol Doak DVD and see if I measure and square the blocks with the paper attached or without the paper attached. 

I was hoping to cut the fabric for the frame of the School Days block.  I found some adorable fabric to use for that frame, but for some reason, I freeze up each time I try to measure and cut.  I need to get that block completed so I can mail it to my daughter along with the applique samples I made of the snowman arms and nose and the umbrella handle.  If my daughter approves of those, I'll be ready to applique.  But I need the School Days block completed so she can mail it to her MIL so she can embroider the words Reading, Writing and Arithmetic on the books.

Okay, this doesn't seem to be working out today....I feel like I'm keeping a journal, but not a journal that anybody other than me would want to read. 

Maybe I need a fresh start tomorrow.  Todays post is the pits.

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