Sunday, May 16, 2010

Another busy week gone. When we started quilting for other people I felt very strongly about always having the weekend off, as I've seen many longarmers work themselves to burnout point trying to keep customers happy. There are times when I have worked nine or ten days straight, but I hate it, and I'm convinced that if I'm to be in this for the long haul, I have to have regular time off to look forward to.

Even though I have a huge list of things to do, including much hated housework, I need time each weekend to just potter in my room. I love going through my projects and scraps and revisiting the stash, not to mention cutting the pieces I'll need for the next week's sewing. I've been getting up at crazy hours 3.30, 4.30 am, and when my first thought is what needs to go onto Millhouse next, I know it's time to do something for myself. Hence the pottering and pootling in my room.

Before you express dismay at my weird sleeping patterns, just let me say it's not all bad. Yesterday (Saturday) I got up at 3.30 and started cleaning out the backing shelves. I organised the fabric, cut some smaller pieces into 10 1/2" strips ala Bonnie, decided on backings for two tops that haven't even been finished yet and cut a pile of scraps that had built up over the last few weeks. I got all my washing done and overdyed some fabric for another backing, then cleaned out the laundry. By this time I was starving and went into the kitchen to get some lunch, where I discovered it was only 10.30 after all. I felt as if someone had given me another morning, free, and there were so many extra things I could fit in.I love waking early. I didn't even need a nap in the afternoon, although I did fall asleep at nine that night.
I have this reto cake container on my shelf (Billy bookcase from Ikea, need more) and it's the perfect size for this project- also pretty retro. I started it a good ten years ago in an effort to use up all my bland old fabric, a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt as they still haunt the stash to this day. (I realise that this green fabric isn't bland. I must have been rebelling against the lack of contrast in the rest of the blocks...)
I hand-pieced all the hexagons, which went very quickly and if I'd just stopped there I could have had this in one piece all those years ago. But I saw a quilt on ebay that had another round of pieces, so I made a template and begain cutting again.
It turned into a nightmare, finding the bits and pairing them up, and once I'd done that I realised I disliked adding the extra pieces. It would have been much easier to sew them as triangles first, and today I would machine piece them, probably from strip sets. So do we change.
Last year I counted up the remaining blocks left to sew and told myself "Self, if you do one a week, this project will be finished within a year" and I started. I really detest this piecing, and I bribe myself with all sorts of other things I'm looking forward to.. "When you finish that block, you can do some applique."
As I put the latest block away I realised I only have ten left to do, and I could accomplish that in a week if I wanted to. I don't, but the end is really in sight at last. I don't even know that I want to set it like that long ago ebay quilt, but it will be ready to finish, and that's a good thing. Plus I get to put something else in the cake container, woohoo!- is that shallow?


Brenda May 16, 2010  

No not shallow at all. What I admire in you is your perserverence. i would have thrown in the towel on the blocks ages ago if I didn't like them.

sewprimitive karen May 16, 2010  

Hi, Mereth, I've been getting up at 3am for about three years now and I love it! Is the eBay quilt put together like the blocks in your second-to-last photo?

pdudgeon May 16, 2010  

sometimes the pieces just don't come together until they are all assembled into a top. I've had quilts like that where i wondered what in the heck i was thinking of. but then i saw them in the assembled top and that's when i finally knew why they all went together. and i loved the top!

Best wishes on getting your conglomeration all together into a lovely quilt.

Diane May 21, 2010  

I used to stay up late at night to get more done when the children were small. Now if I try to stay up I don't get as much accomplished. But if I wake early (I have been doing the 3am thing lately, just not on purpose) I seem to get a lot done. I have been able to get two UFOs almost completed just in three mornings.

julieQ May 23, 2010  

I too get up really early (insomnia), and do lots of quilting at that time of day. Fun, huh?? Love your hexagons, as usual for your projects!

Meggie May 23, 2010  

Not shallow at all. It is all about joy- catch it where you can!

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