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.
All the Way to Wytheville!
8 hours ago