Friday, November 4, 2011

Patience in the Shade

I finished adding all the sawtooth borders and that required making and trimming another 16 blue/neutral HSTs. (piece of cake)  Two border strips needed to be held really taut while being attached.  The next two slipped into place like perfect little puzzle pieces, so maybe I wasn't totally off on the math.  (Great big sigh of satisfaction!)  All the points intact, everything square, no pulling or tugging.  No crying.

It's now approximately 86" square.  Once the neutral strips are added, it will have the queen size width but I still need to add 8" to 10" to the length to get to the standard 90" x 100".  I will confess that I'm getting really really weary of this project.  (Are you getting tired of reading about it?)  This is the dangerous time for me and I know it just needs a little more determined patience, so I'm digging deep.  When I'm tired of one project and so eager to get started on many other things that have captured my fancy, it's so very hard to stay the course.  I'm so close to finishing this flimsy that if I put it aside now, it could languish for years.  Half of my unfinished projects are ones that would take less than a day to pull together... a few borders here, some sashings there, just join the blocks on a few others, and they would be done.  I'm not sure what it is about not getting to those projects that are so close to finishing.  Maybe it's because they are so close... and I think, when I have an extra day I can easily finish that one up.  Of course, that extra day never comes.

Back to adding for the length.  I considered a number of things, making stars using more scrappy 16 patch centres and the left over half-square triangles for the points, or laying in a solid section of joined scrappy 4 patches.  These options just didn't appeal.  After much frustrated deliberation, I thought I'd just use up those 144 brown HSTs and be done with it all.  I'll need to make another 20 of those to do that, but I think it's the answer to my dilemma.  Two rows of brown HST at the top and two rows at the bottom plus the neutral framing, will add an extra 12" to the quilt length.

I laid them out in sawtooth fashion.

And then in a pinwheel pattern.  I like the pinwheels the best.  As with the sawtooth border strip, it turns out that simple is the solution.  I just like to complicate the heck out of everything I do before I settle on the simple is best solution.

I'm just wondering if I need to add in a narrow strip of neutral between the blue HSTs and the brown HSTs. Despite my eagerness to get this thing done as quickly as possible and in the least complicated manner, I'm thinking yes, it needs an extra narrow strip of neutral in between.  On the positive side of the argument is the fact that I won't have to butt seams together when I add the pinwheels and it would bring the length up to 100", so adding in another strip of neutral may actually turn out to be a time-saver.

I think I'll start piecing together the pinwheels this evening and try to get the flimsy completely done tomorrow, though I generally like to make Saturdays all about working with scraps and get to my crumb-along and string blocks.  I just can't face still having this one on my sewing table come Monday.

On the scrap trimming front, I trimmed for another 15 minutes today.  The piles are really growing and I've noticed a big drop in the first pile of ironed scraps.  I try not to think of what's left in the big scrap bin and just take my satisfaction from what is done so far.

All you quilters who emailed me saying that you'd be doing the daily 15 minutes of trimming to get through some of your scraps... are you still doing it?


  1. My scraps have outgrown their containers, so I am going to copy your idea of trimming 15 minutes a day. Love your border solutions on this quilt.

  2. I like the extra HST border in pinwheels. I so relate to your problem getting quilts so close to a finish and losing interest. Been there many times.
    Today I've been trying to get borders on my secret quilt. I tried to do what you had recommended--it looked good, but I realized I would run out of fabric. I have worked with every scrap of this collection that I have (it is made with KT fabrics) to try and create a quilt that isn't square, but I may be losing that battle. I thought I was finally finished and as I was pressing the final borders I realized that along one side I had sewn a pieced border on backwards. Maddening!! Just barely got it back on correctly. If I wasn't already three days late getting this to my LAQ I would have chucked it in a closet and forgotten it for a while! : )

  3. Do not give up! This is an exceptionally beautiful quilt that must find a home, but not a home in the UFO pile...keep on track...I think it's amazing...and even if you have to build a custom-sized new bed for it, it will be worth it! And this is why I choose to make cuddle quilts (heehee)but I do have a few UFOs too...oh your idea of cutting your scraps...these piles look like they're ready for the next project, much better than mine all a mess in a box...someday maybe I'll do what you're doing!

  4. Keep up the great work, it will be worth it in the end. Have a great day!
    Kathleen Wilson

  5. I jumped over from Flimsy Excuses to see what the 15 minutes cutting of scraps was about. But I found a beautiful quilt in progress. Keep at it.

    Once you cut your scraps into squares and strips where do you put them? I'm looking for a sensible way to store my squares... they are overflowing the current container -- need to find a bigger one...