Saturday, September 17, 2011

Necessary Work and Quilt Gremlins

Housework is a necessary evil - and something I could easily put off, if I didn't share my apartment with a cat and his litter box.  In simple terms, what it really comes down to is a choice over vaccuuming the abode or brushing cat hair off my fabric.  I don't know how I can suck up enough hair to make another cat (every week) and yet my feline room mate still manages to maintain a full body suit of glossy black hair.  It's a mystery!  The accumulation became noticeable when I was adding the solid black borders to my crumb quilt.  Eeeewwww!  That's when the quilt gremlins hit - when I was distracted by the cat hair - I sewed a border on the wrong side.

Lucky for me I was sewing on solid black borders and the wrong and right sides are interchangeable, so I just undid the join and sewed it on the reverse.  There!  Done!  Take that Quilt Gremlins!  I would have hated to have to unsew the entire border.  I eventually did vaccuum.  In fact I spent an hour on necessary housework, even dusting and washing floors.  Once I give in to the task, I am thorough.

I trimmed double my daily quota of those half square triangles.  The trimmed box is filling up quite nicely, even if the box of untrimmed ones doesn't seem noticeably reduced.  By my reckoning, I may be 25% done.

And then I went digging in the "fling-it" bag in the hall coat closet (non-quilting fabrics and old bed sheets I was going to throw out, give to a friend for drop cloths, or donate).  I wanted a very thin cotton flat sheet I knew was in there for cutting up - for string block foundations.  I cut them out at 8.5" square and after slicing up the entire queen-size sheet, I have a stack of squares almost two inches high.

Now I must confess that, normally, a distracted procrastinator like me would have cut out one strip of blocks and started the new string project (just folded up the remainder of the sheet for future cutting). But it occurred to me when I was organizing my stash and identifying my UFOs that it was just this sort of procrastination that results in so many stalled and unfinished projects.  That's why I'm so pleased with this stack of foundation squares.  Now I get to play in the fabric stash for a unifying central stripe - orange or red?  yellow maybe?  I'll be ready to start making my first string blocks on Crumb Along Tuesday (if I can wait that long).  There are surely enough foundation squares here for a couple of string quilts.

While I was digging around in the "fling-it" bag, I pulled out these three items for reconsideration.  The pink and white solids are 100% cotton and it seems wasteful to get rid of them.  Sure solids are boring, but seen in the right light (say as the calming neutral in a scrappy quilt) they might work.  Right?  Yuck, that pink is really really pink!   The tea-dye coloured fabric is another flat sheet (a 50-50 poly cotton) and the frugal unemployed part of me can't help asking why can't I use it for a backing? 

Today was obviously a day for necessary work.  I put a much needed new ironing board cover on my board, put in the screws that hold firm the basket glides in my stash cupboard, and afixed the hinges to the cupboard door.  (No wonder handy men have such well developed muscles!)

I finished unsewing those nine patches...

...then started putting them back together the way I knew I should have in the first place, which is going to ensure the 9patches line up beautifully for quilting.  Notice the black shape under the ironing board?  Now you know why I was picking up cat hair on my quilt borders.  Lucas has a tendency to follow me around and get involved in anything and everything I am doing (except when I turn on the vaccuum cleaner).

And I picked up a couple of those plastic table cloths with the cotton backs to use as design walls.  I acutally stood there in the store agonizing over the colours I wanted to buy, before I remembered that the plastic coloured side would be against the wall and not seen anyway. 

And, there's my nightly stack of magazines to go through.  Tomorrow, I'm going to spend the day in guilt-less sewing.


  1. Your shower curtain story reminds of my most recent story. We just went up to Park City for an early dinner and I (HONEST) just had one drink. I was in the bathroom looking at the door wondering if it went to the kitchen and wondering why there was a door to the kitchen in the bathroom and then it finally dawned on me that was the door I came in--it led to the hall outside the bathroom. I've giggled about that 2 or 3 times coming home! you know why my geese are liberated! :)

  2. Ooh, I'm doing a lesson for our little quilter's group on making disparate fabrics play nice together. Can I borrow your photo of your sashed nine-patches? Laurie (eastsidequilter@aol[dot]com)