Friday, September 7, 2012

Catching up! (Warning - wordy and long)

It's been ages since I posted, so I thought I would do a bit of a catch up - if for no other reason, to prove to myself I have accomplished something.

I had a bit of a setback a couple of weeks ago.  I was laid off from the one job that provided me a regular paycheque.  The slowing of the economy finally hit our area, and recent changes to mortgage regulations have led to a slowdown to the point there wasn't enough work for me.  I'm happy I still have two other sources of income, even if they are commission-only.  After taking some time to regroup, I am now ready to move forward.  In the meantime, when I pried myself off the couch, I did some more decluttering and sorting of UFOs, and worked on a few projects.

As I was going through my UFOs, I came across some very old projects.  Several dated back as far as my teens, and I was a teenager in the 70's!  This little bear is a perfect example - all complete except for attaching the head, which I couldn't figure out at the time without making a mess.  I've kept it all these years thinking there was too much work in it to just toss it.

I took a really hard look at it - it was a kit and is made from cheap fake fur.  Even if it was finished, it was not something I was going to love nor gift to anyone.  Given its age and the looseness of the fake fur, I certainly wouldn't let my grandkids play with it, so after 35 years I am finally ready to get this little monkey off my back and out it went! 
One show I watch regularly is Hoarders, which always inspires me to clean out a closet or drawer every time I watch it.  As I went through the process with my really old UFOs, I started to get an insight into how some of those people think.  Yes, I had invested time, money and energy into this little project, which was my rationale all these years to hanging on to it, but I am grateful that I am able to make those final decisions as to when to get rid of things.  Perhaps I hang on to some things too long, but that only applies to my crafts and sentimental items.

While I'm going through my UFOs, I'm taking pictures and deciding what the next steps are for each.  To keep track of this, I have set up a new page (click on the tab UFOs and WIPs) to record my progress on each.  Here is a sample listing:

Get the Featherweight up and running Accomplished - August 24/12

Leaders and Enders 2" Charms - ongoing

Vintage Valentine - started 2008 (?)

August 27/12: pulled 4 blocks to rip out machine applique done so far
August 27 - Sept 2: spent 1/2 - 1 hr each evening taking out all stitching done so far
Sept 4: Fixed block that Alex cut!
 next: finish fusing applique 4 blocks and medallion centre

I'm also going to add links to posts about the particular project as I go.  When I work on a project, I will post about it on the main page and then on the UFO page, just add the date, what I did and a link to the post.  Kind of like a quilt diary, only online.

And of course, I started another project :(

This is another cheater panel I purchased at the same time as the ones I made up last month for my brother and sister-in-law.

It was a simple kit from Hamels: panel, binding and minkee backing. I had full intentions of making it up as is, but it has sat for about 4 years still tied in its bundle.  None of the seams line up and are topstitched, so it would have made it challenging to quilt or even tie.

I pulled out my mini-twister, and after a modification, started cutting (I didn't bother with a border).  The blocks were too small to use the twister tool as is, so after a few trials, I cut a piece of cardboard and taped it to the bottom of my tool.  Worked like a charm!  My new twisted block is 3", which will finish at 2 1/2".  Teenie tiny twisters, for sure!

I discovered very quickly how important it is to keep track of how these little babies are cut out.  I have these great pins from Fons & Porter, and I have used a Sharpie on the back to number a bunch of them.

As I cut each block, I would pin it with an "UP" pin with the appropriate number on the top right-hand corner. 

Then, as I finished cutting a row of block, I assembled it right away (originally so I could reuse those pins, but realized that it was easier to keep them in the right order).

As I sewed each row, I moved the pin from the side to the top, but I've left the last pin in so you can see how helpful it was to keep these organized.

As I completed the rows, I label the left-hand side with the row number so I can make sure I add the next row to the bottom.

You'll noticed I haven't pressed the blocks.  Because they are on the bias, I am finger-pressing only.  Since the centres of the twist in the original block aren't lined up, I'm not too concerned about matching the new corners.  But for some reason, they are all lining up perfectly so far - go figure!

I have a third row cut and ready for sewing, but have put it aside temporarily as I have to make some more PJ pants for my grandson before tonight.  He won't wear any other pants to bed since I made him these, so we picked up more fabric at a great sale this week.

Have a great weekend,

Terri  in BC


  1. Testing to make sure word verification is turned off!

  2. Love your new little Twister quilt. What a great idea to re-purpose the fabric in such a way. Doesn't it feel good to go through those old projects and decide if you are going to keep it and work on it or just get it out of here? Plus you now have more room. Thanks for sharing the idea.