My mother was a clean as you go person. Kept up with the dishes when she was cooking. You either know or are that type. Me? Not so much. I’m more of a toss around kind of gal. I always find myself playing scavenger hunt while in the middle of a project. Fortunately for me, I have multiple seam rippers, stilettos, and other important notions. In my kitchen I have multiple measuring cups.
There are pros and cons to my way. I don’t get caught up in the straightening up while I’m creating. I have a mess to deal with when I’m done. Honestly, I’m not bothered when it is time to put all my toys away. This is my time to reflect and while I’m clearing my space, I’m also clearing my mind for the next challenge. Most would say that my mind is never really cleared and I will admit they are correct. Every once in a while I suffer from a creative explosion. This usually happens while I’m driving and have no way to jot down my ideas.
OOPS; there I go, getting off topic again.
There really is no wrong or right way.
The important thing is that you spend time doing what your enjoy.
Have you ever been in the middle of something and then POOF you drop it for something that has a higher priority. Quilters do this all the time; it’s how we end up with so many UFO’s. For me, that happened last week. I had completed a quilt top and was in the middle of pressing it when I realized the baby I was going to make a quilt for was going to turn one this month. Originally this was going to be a baby shower gift and then a Christmas gift. If I didn’t do it NOW, I would have this lovely collection of pastels and no baby to make a quilt for.
Off I went to the quilt shop to buy my background fabric. Apparently I used the original background fabric for something else, but for the life of me I cannot remember what. Perhaps I had never bought it in the first place. I spent some time embroidering the blocks over the weekend. Today I cut and pieced the lattice and cornerstones. One small border and it will be ready to quilt. I have 10 days; I’m right on track.
My life is a lot like my quilting habits. Do you ever do the pin ball game when you’re cleaning? This is how it works. You start in the bedroom, find something that doesn’t belong there, take it to the kitchen, clean the counter, find something that doesn’t belong there, take it to the family room, etc. By the end of the day, you have been running around your home picking up and cleaning and have nothing to show for it. I’m like that when I talk too. I start talking about one subject, which makes me think of another topic, and off I go.
It is time for me to focus. This will not be an easy task, but I’m always up for a challenge. If I want to reach my goal of completing a project a month, I must commit to one project at a time. Ok, maybe that IS asking too much.
I wanted to start the year with something small. This would guarantee at least my first month would be successful. I call this Wayward Star.
First I needed a pattern. I was interested in the Carpenter’s Star, but didn’t want to make a full size quilt. This is a very easy pattern made from half-square triangles and squares. The beauty of the design is in the color placement creating dimension. I went to Electric Quilt 7 to lay out my pattern. Not being versed in the software led to some challenges; like saving. (*note to self: sign up for EQ7 classes.) Fortunately I had taken a picture of my computer screen so all was not lost. With this picture I was able to come up with the amount of each color combination I needed.
Next was the cutting. I used to be afraid to cut fabric. I still have a collection of 24 fat quarters I received as a gift more than 10 years ago that I still I haven’t cut. Some of been washed, some not. They have been folded and refolded numerous times, but never cut. I’m still waiting for the perfect project. That’s what I tell myself. But fabric is meant to be cut. That’s what we do. We cut fabric and then sew it back together. So just cut. I know there are a lot of teachers out there that preach accuracy. Accurate cutting, accurate 1/4″ seam allowances, etc. My philosophy is consistency. Once you get that down, you can focus on those perfect measurements.
Finally, it was time to sew. My finished block size is 1.5.” The finished quilt is 13″x13. ” There are a few tricks I have learned not only from others, but from my own trials regarding miniature quilt blocks. A little off here and there really shows; so be consistent. 1/4″ seams can be bulky in a miniature. Sew the 1/4″ and then trim to 1/8.” I like to finger press before trimming and then press with the iron.
My top was done; it was time to quilt. Quilting is connecting together the top, backing, and a batting in the middle. I chose a fusible fleece for my batting. I still wasn’t sure how I was going to do the quilting, but I knew it had to be small and my theory was that the fusible would hold better than more traditional methods of basting. I settled on using the stippling stitch on my machine for the quilting. I love the way it came out. You really have to look closely to find the rows of stitching. I think this would be a great way to make an area rug or carpeting for a doll house.
I have heard that the binding on a miniature should be 1/8.” I’ve never done binding that small before, and I wasn’t ready to try. Must put that on my list. I ended up using a satin stitch over a few layers of Perle Crown cotton thread. Overall, I’m pleased with the finished product and it is now sitting on my dresser.