Sew much to do; sew little time

It’s tough to carve out enough time to really do some serious quilting.  For the last week or so, I’ve been digging out some ongoing projects and trying to actually do some sewing on my machine.  In the process, I’ve made some interesting discoveries.  Like what?  Well, like the last time I worked on what is to be my “big” hand piecing project was May 2017.  That is over 18 months ago.  I took it to a retreat in Temecula, worked on it a bit there, then brought it home, followed by a bunch more fabric and a couple of new projects.  They all just sat in a pile ever since.  So, this weekend, I got it out and tried to make sense out of what I was doing, where I put my supplies and how exactly did I use to hand piece?

Hand pieced postage stamp quilt in progress

I also realized that I was much further along in the project than I realized, so now I’m wondering how I could have ignored it for so long.  After sorting out where my precut squares were stored, which needles I actually used for piecing, where my half dozen needle threaders were hiding and which method I used for piecing, I got busy.  Oh, in case you are wondering, I draw the stitching lines on the backs of the pieces with a pencil.  I could never “eyeball” the 1/4″ stitching line because I constantly overcompensate.  I also had to remember that cute little trick for getting the piece to lay as flat as possible when hand piecing.  You can do a little swirl at the corners and the seam allowance goes neatly to one side and the intersection comes out looking very neat and tidy.  See the featured photo for a picture of the back of the piecing.

The other thing I worked on this weekend was hunting down the fabric I squirreled away all over my house.  My main stash area is in my basement and there is plenty of fabric stored there.  It’s all quite tidy in plastic bins by color but all the bins are pretty full, some colors have two bins (looking at you Turkey red and poison green) and then there are the shelves with the larger cuts of fabric.  I just didn’t have a good place for new fabric and I didn’t really want it out in plain view because that just opens me up for awkward questions from my significant other.  You know the questions…things like: “How much fabric do you have?  How much fabric do you actually need?  Do you really need all this fabric?  Why do you buy new fabric when you have all this fabric already?”  Seriously, if you have to ask, you really don’t understand.  He has his own vices so a few pointed questions from me usually stops the whole “why so much fabric” line of inquiry.

Fabrics in favorite colors

Anyway, I finally put my Deep Large Stacking Wire Baskets (14-1/2″ x 20″ x 7″ h from the Container Store) to good use.  I washed and pressed a bunch of fat quarters and half yard cuts of fabric and arranged them by color.  Keep in mind, the fabrics pictured are just a sample of the stash and illustrative of my favorite fabric colors.  I like to share what works for me in case you find your stash in need of some organizational tools.  And, I can look at the pictures and pretend to myself that all of the fabric I own is neatly put away and not out in view prompting uncomfortable questions.  I’m just gloating because I made a bit of progress.

I also had a finish this weekend!  I had the little quilt pictured here hand quilted by Bellwether Dry Goods and got it back last spring.  I’ve been on a bit of a binding roll lately because I think I finally mastered that tricky process of joining binding so that the seam is nearly invisible.  I am not completely sure about the pattern source but I think it came from Cheri Payne’s blog, years ago.  As soon as I put the last stitch in it I combined it with some cute little metal trees I bought from Pottery Barn after last Christmas, a basket with a couple of other small quilts and some old books I got at abebooks.com for $1 each.  I’m really liking the way it turned out and excited because it is my first festive holiday decoration for 2018.

Cheri Payne inspired quilt

My last success is the finish of the pomegranate quilt top I started for a swap this past summer.  It was a fun exchange where the person you were getting a small quilt from was different than the one to whom you were supposed to send a quilt.  I was very ambitious and wanted to do a hand appliqué, hand quilted creation.  But I only started a month before the finished quilt was due to be mailed and soon realized I needed to move to plan B.  That was a quilt top I had made previously that only needed finishing.  I have now finally finished the plan A quilt top but that pesky hand quilting is still waiting.

Thanks for hanging in with me to the end of this rather disjointed post.  It’s very good to be back to sewing — and blogging.  I hope to make it a habit.

Small pomegranate quilt

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  1. Can especially relate to the significant others fabric questions. I am a fairly new quilter but have a lot of fabric to choose from! I also make dolls so there is always a need for new and happy fabric!

  2. I love seeing and reading your post! I have had the same thing happen with my Dear Jane quilt- Gee, why did I stop quilting when I was so close??
    I adore your projects!!

    1. I am really nervous about getting back to my Dear Jane. There will be a lot of reorganizing and relearning involved with that. I’m thinking about trying to tackle it over my Christmas break. Thanks so much for your comment!

      Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Judy,
      You said it perfectly – Why do I stop? And when I realize how much time has passed since I did stop, I wonder where that time went and what I spent it doing. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! I’m so excited to spend some days at home.

  3. Three really big cheers to see your post!! You have been missed…your writing resonates with most of us. UFO’s that get pushed farther back as new excitement for something else takes over & then rediscovery & you love the UFO all over again. The handpiecing you do is wonderful (a skill I have yet to master) and I bet it is happy to be in touch with you again. Love your sweet red and green table quilt is perfect for the holidays and is that some Gladys Taber books waiting to be enjoyed??! Love her writing. Yummy fabric colors, lovely finishes and looking forward to seeing future postings.

    1. Hi Pat!

      Those are Gladys Taber books. Reading them reminds me of a quote that says something like “reading a book lets you visit other places when you can’t leave home.” Something like that. The holidays always make me feel like nesting. The nice thing this year is I’m about a month ahead on getting into the spirit. Maybe that will help me avoid the bah humbug attitude. 😉

  4. Taryn, So good to see a post from you! And I loved following along with your tales of picking up a neglected project and having to sort it all out again, and trying to tame the overflowing stash and remind hubby that fabric isn’t the only thing there is more than enough of around the house (my hubby’s vice is camping gear–I do believe that consumes much more space in our house than my fabric ever will–and the man only camps about once a year now since he is no longer a scout master).
    Your new little finish is very sweet–and I love the pomegranate quilt! If I had been your swap partner, I’d have been happy to take that “as is” and quilt it myself. 🙂

    1. Janet,

      It is so good to hear from you! My hubby likes to read the paper copy of the newspaper and he gets two, daily. I understand that preference but he doesn’t get to them every day and, therefore, keeps back issues thinking he’ll “catch up.” About once a week I am begging him to give up the dream and recycle the old papers before we find ourselves on an episode of hoarders. We go back and forth after that about my own hoarding tendencies. Ahh, marriage… I bet you could have really done a good job on quilting the pomegranate. I am hopeful that it won’t be two years before I get back to finishing it. Thanks again for the comment and I hope to make this more of a habit.

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