Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Enough is Enough

In my last two posts I have complained and complained, giving lots of reasons for not being able to sew.  Ha!  I finally came to terms with the real reason.  I couldn't yank up any enthusiasm for finishing my thread painted portrait.  This is my third try, but the eyes aren't quite right, the nose is too big and the lips look awful.  I finally admitted that I don't want to work on it and may not be geared for fabric portraiture.  Bummer!  Mind you, I am usually a finisher.  I don't collect UFOs so this really goes against the grain.  However, there are times in sewing and in life where you have to stop and admit that THIS IS NOT WORKING.

I cleaned up the sewing room and began to move on to the new.  I grabbed the key and went out to my stash shed to fondle fabric and make choices.  I will need to buy a little, but most of the quilt will come from what I have already stockpiled.

I finished my design and am so excited to get working on it.  It is all paper pieced and I am going to try my hand at paperless paper piecing.  It will take more time up front, but there won't be time spent at the end pulling out paper.  I won't have to buy the water soluble paper that I like to use.  There will be a learning curve, but I plan to make a couple of trial blocks before I use my chosen fabric.  I understand the process and have tried it a time or two, but now I have a fairly complicated block and am still trying to figure out how I will make it work...thus the trials.  Practice, practice, practice.  I am sure I will speed up the process as I gain competence and establish an assembly line.

TIP:  Interested in something new?  Try it!  Sometimes it works for you, other times it doesn't.  It keeps your brain alive and healthy, so test it.  Stay tuned!

Here is the block I am planning to use from from Carol Doak's "50 Fabulous Paper-pieced Stars" page 122 (yeah, I know...you saw it last week).  Variety on the blog is hard when you haven't been doing anything!  It will make a nice star as is (see last week's post), but I will finish with 36 blocks and numerous color changes.  The final product does not even look like stars, but rather like a colorful, square mosaic.  Quilting in the ditch will eventually show the stars on the back.  My plan is to use Prairie Points instead of the standard binding.  Another new process for me.

One block for "Desert Mosaic." 
Outline for the piecing.
The basics are together.  Now to figure out how to construct it.  Back to the Internet to read the tutorial again.

I have also calculated fabric amounts in Illustrator by drawing a rectangle around each piece representing the amount of fabric for that piece with seam allowance.  Then I duplicate that rectangle as many times as I need for the whole quilt.  Each color is on its own layer.  The document is 40" (about fabric width with a little leeway) and the height is 36," but can easily be made longer if necessary.  This process is a little tedious, but is all accomplished on the computer and really didn't take too long.   It is very accurate as long as the pilot doesn't err.  I work on a grid in Illustrator, which doesn't show up in the example below, but it helps determine the right size rectangle for the odd shaped pieces.  Note that one red piece below will be used 72 times in the quilt!  Illustrator also has rulers on the side and top, which tell me how many inches I am using, thus I can calculate yardage.

Red fabric Planning Sheet - I need 1 yard of red fabric.
I found out one thing.  Prairie points take a lot of fabric, but they will look so pretty on my quilt and are a unique finish.

Sew some happy seams this week.  I wish you a jump start on your current or next project.


  1. Good for you! Admitting we are not finishing only hurts our pride, but no one remembers. And look at the fresh outlook and excitement you have now. It's practically shining on the screen. This challenge is starting you in a new direction. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks. You are so right. The sunshine is back in my life even on this rainy day.

  2. Set the portrait aside for now. The time will come when you feel you can deal with what you don't like, fix it, and finish it. And don't feel bad about it either. Took me two years to finish Santorini, for some of the same reasons. Everything has it's time and place.
    Thanks for sharing today on Midweek Makers.

  3. I tend to cycle projects I'm not happy with to the storage bucket. When I pull out an old ufo sometimes it's "meh -- I still don't like it" and sometimes it's "Oh great, I'll just finish this now." And of course there's always the I'll work on it a bit and then see whether it is worth it.