September 26, 2008

Decisions And Being Self Centered

Today I had to sit at the car dealer to have what they call "Major Service" done to my car and have new tires put on it. (Basically it was draining fluids, replacing them etc. but when they call it major service they can charge major prices!) What was I going to do for three hours? I didn't have a hand project that was easy to take along right now, so I took my laptop and worked on a quilt design. I have the EQ5 quilting program that I have always meant to learn it, and be able to use it well. I have done a few quilts on it, but that has been about it. That program is not easy for me to learn or execute. I'm not saying the program is in anyway bad, it just doesn't always make sense to me. I took along a reference book that I bought to go along with the program and decided that I would work on the layout for the log cabin quilt that I have been making blocks for. I couldn't figure out how to draw my blocks in it so I used some that were already in the program that were close to mine. This gave me a good idea of what my finished quilt could look like. If I knew how, I would post a couple of designs that I like, but as of right now, I don't know how. I know it is possible, but not for me today! The log cabin blocks finish up at 4 1/2" square. I played with using even smaller blocks in the border. I like the idea of using off center log cabin blocks to make a curved illusion. Well, the blocks would have to be 2.25" square to do what I had in mind. Yikes! That is a small block! Since I had spent so much time working on the quilt layout this morning I had to try a small log cabin block to see if I even liked it and to see if it was a workable design. I have never made such small block with such small pieces before. Well, I tried it and I think I like it. Talk about some itty bitty pieces! I was able to use some of my very small scraps in those itty bitty places so that of course made me happy. Now to decide what I really want to do with the border. The pattern I am using doesn't call for borders, but it just seems to me that one is needed. So, border or no border that is the question!
I did find a way to speed up the process of foundation paper piecing the other day. I was doing quite a few blocks of the same design. I use to do one whole block at a time. That means after each seam I was trimming up the seam allowance, picking up the iron, ironing the seam, setting the iron down and then do it over and over until the block was finished. This could take quite a bit of time. I found that I could do more of an assembly line while doing multiple blocks. I now sew the seam and while the scissors are still in my hand from cutting the thread away I trim the seam allowance. Setting that block aside I sew the next seam, trim the allowance etc. After I have all the blocks stacked up I pick up the iron and iron all of them at one time. This seems to save a lot of time in the long run. This especially works when doing a log cabin block and you have to stop to think, hmmm light or dark fabric next? I found I made less mistakes to as far as putting a dark fabric where a light one was supposed to go. Are there other quilters out there who do this and I just didn't know about it?


My sewing in the Summer Palace might be at an end for this season. While the weather is still warm enough to be outside, there seem to be enough mosquitoes to suck a person dry of their blood in minutes! You see a couple of weeks ago we had a huge rain fall that gave us about 10 inches of rain over the weekend. My friend Char blogged about this so if you want more details just look here. A river reached record heights and flooded many neighborhoods. The devastation in some areas is just so sad. This morning I heard on the news that a neighboring town has 500 homes that are uninhabitable. My heart goes out to them, and I have helped in ways that I could. All of the water that sat around gave the mosquito population a boost that just isn't funny. It is to cool down in a few days so maybe the mosquitoes population will go back to normal levels. At first I was upset that my sewing days outside might be over and then I remembered the families that can't live in their own houses and have lost all of their possessions. How can I complain about stupid bugs! I felt so convicted and asked God for forgiveness for being so self centered. I have been blessed not to have water damage and because of that I can help those who have.

12 comments:

Milah said...

Oh my, that is tiny! And Cute!

I know what you mean about being convicted for complaining. I felt that way when I posted about the damage hurricane Ike left us with, which was nothing compared to how they suffered down in Texas. Foolish me...I repent.

Tanya said...

No, I have never done paper piecing this way but it does sound fast and efficient. I'll have to give it a try.

Your word "complain" popped out at me because I too have been trying to keep my complaining at bay. I just read a book "A Complaint Free World" but I'm not sure how I feel about the philosophy. Have you ever read it?

Diane said...

I have never learned to love paper piecing, but love the results. Maybe I should try it your way.


Diane

Charlene said...

The mosquitoes are horrible! John cut the grass today and gave blood to the mosquito blood bank!

Good to read a new post today! Even if I didn't get it! LOL

God knows your heart and you have helped with food and things like that!

Michelle said...

I love your little log cabin block! I haven't done enough of the same block in paper piecing to need a speed technique. LOL I'll have to give it a try sometime though!

Sara said...

I love the little log cabin block. It looks great! And I have never done paper piecing, though I really want to learn!

~Bren~ said...

Goodness that is l-i-t-t-l-e!!!!
Charlotte and I have a pact...if one of us starts to complain the other reminds us (gently) to stop. ;) I think it is female nature to complain!

Libby said...

Those little blocks are going to be so dear . . . isn't it just such fun to play with those little bitsy pieces of fabric *s*

Memaw's memories said...

My mother taught me to paper piece quilt blocks. I never learned how to quilt, but when I retire(heard that before, huh) I'm going to learn.

Karen said...

Sorry that your days in the Summer Palace are coming to an end. Something to look forward to in the new year, though.

karenfae said...

I have EQ5 also and I have not been able to learn how to use it with ease. I have to get the tutorial out every time I use it -- it might help of course if I stuck with it and really put some time in to learn it but I get frustrated with it and don't touch it for months on end. I have heard you either love EQ or you hate it. Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Rose Marie said...

LOL .... I just figured out the same thing as you for doing assembly line piecing when doing pp and it is amazing how fast one can get and the number of blocks finished in a short time frame. My swap quilt that I recently made was going so slowly and then the light bulb went on and those blocks got done in no time at all.