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Rolled Right Into a Wall

March 03, 2011

"There's no time like the present," Austin said.  "The Navigator" by Clive Cussler with Paul Kemprecos ♦♦♦◊◊

I was on a roll! I seem to have had a bit of a burst of productivity of the Finishing Stuff sort.

BRBIn my recent post Before and After I already showed you the proof, such as it is, that I've done some invisible finishing on some fusible applique projects.

So, I was in my sewing closet & wondered what else I could do... Oh, yes! I have MORE fusible applique to sew down! So to the UFO shelf (heh, I'll let you think there's only one shelf if you want to) and out comes my Farm Cabin quilt top (Farm animals on Log Cabin blocks. Artistic and brilliant naming at its finest, yes?).

Farm Cabin
Okay, clever naming aside, it is a pretty neat quilt top. Forever ago (5 years?) I cut up the strips, put them in a ziptop bag & binder-clipped them to magazine with the "pattern" for the log cabin blocks. That's my way of making a kit so that when I'm off to a sew-day away from home I'll have something to grab to work on that's new, interesting and already thunk out.

Many, many of you have heard me say that I love-love-LOVE log cabin blocks. Most have also heard me say that they Bore Me To Tears. I took this 'kit' to one of the Woodland get-togethers (I told you it was a long time ago!) and by the time I got to log two on the first four blocks I was whining and asking when it would all be over!!

Enter the concept of Leaders and Enders. A term/technique commonly attributed to Bonnie Hunter (she wrote a book!), it's essentially a way of sneaking in really, really boring sewing while doing something more interesting. Short version is while sewing a bunch of interesting blocks together, I sew on a 'log' to the boring block at the beginning and end of each step of the interesting blocks.

Working this way I was able to finally get the eight log cabin blocks made (I have also been known to set my bedside clock a few minutes fast to 'trick' myself into getting up earlier than I really want to). I don't remember putting the blocks together into the top, but my guess is that it wasn't as boring as making the blocks was in the first place.

Then I found some cute little farm animals, dropped my feed dogs and started 'drawing' them with red thread. The first red (just plain old red thread) was too thin to show much, so I found some darker red in a heavier weight and went over the designs a couple more times. I also changed my stitch from a straight stitch to a super-narrow zig-zag to make the lines look a little thicker. You know what I found out? A spool of thick (topstitching) thread runs out really fast compared to regular sewing thread!

It took me a while to figure out what to do next, but as often happens, Sindy from FatCat Patterns had designed something that really added some pow to my project. She'd made a series of placemat applique designs and one of them was a bunch of sunflowers.

I found three or four yellow and three or four greens and agonized over the placement of the flowers and petals until I had it the way I liked it.

A side trip here: I have some bittersweet memories of this process. I had to lay out the quilt on our bed and I remember that Puppy-Butt was extremely helpful with the 'random placement' aspect of it, at least until I got the bright idea of holding the shapes in place with a sheet of Press 'N Seal. I must confess that when I pulled the quilt from the shelf I did put my nose into the middle of it to try to get a whiff of puppy. And I got a little teary because I couldn't.

Ahem. So that was over two years ago and almost where my story begins again. I'd fused the sunflowers down and began sewing them (using a straight stitch with a sunny yellow rayon thread) and for some reason I put it away before I was finished sewing down the flowers.

A week or so ago I pulled it from the shelf (See? Full circle!) and sat down to finish the stitching.

It took all of 15 minutes to finish the stitching.

And while I've got Homer in the room? I now have FOUR quilt tops ready to quilt (I finished the mystery wallhanging from my Road Trip, too)! But when the time came to baste any or all of these AFO's (ALMOST Finished Objects!), I found that I am totally and completely out of batting - how can that happen????

It looks as though I have some shopping to do!

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permalink 7 Comments:
At 3/06/2011 2:23 PM, Blogger Barb Babbled Back:  

Love the stitchery on your log cabin, looks fantastic.

At 3/07/2011 4:36 AM, Blogger Crispy Babbled Back:  

I really love this quilt!! Your farm animals are so dang cute!! Maybe change the name to The Cabin Farm (equally fine quilt naming here LOL).

That ol' Puppy Butt was such a great helper :0)


At 3/07/2011 8:34 AM, Blogger golo8 Babbled Back:  

isn't it wonderful to get UFO's done... love your quilt and quick embroidery..

At 3/08/2011 2:01 PM, Blogger Carrie P. Babbled Back:  

the little angel quilt is so sweet
Your log cabin turned out great even though it taken you a long time to finish it. I have some like that too. I really like the flowers on the outside of the blocks.

At 3/09/2011 4:38 PM, Blogger Sharon Babbled Back:  

Don't you hate when you discover you had the project ALMOST finished when you stopped working on it? And even worse, not having any batting when you really need it?

Love your story (I can really relate to this!) and I love your quilt. I hope you get it finished this time! *grin*

At 3/09/2011 4:39 PM, Anonymous Gimpy Cat Babbled Back:  

Oh my what on earth inspired you to put pictures of Bob on your blog??? LOL!!! Love the quilt, its good to get stuff finished, Im in that mood too, sick of little black quilt UFO clouds hanging over my head all the time. Good for you, another one out of the way

At 3/10/2011 4:28 PM, Blogger Quilter Kathy Babbled Back:  

That is just cosmic cruelty that you have the motivation and the time to work on AFO's... and NO batting :(

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