Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lowering expectations

That sweatshop I thought I'd be running for the last few days never materialized.  What was I thinking?  I don't SEW at Thanksgiving!  I EAT!  And play games with my family!

Luckily, I did get right to work on Wednesday, and finished a top which is now winging its way to Char for quilting.  Thanks, Char!

And I spent some time admiring the package that arrived on Wednesday - a quilted disappearing 4-patch top that I had sent to Anita in MI, along with 10 blocks of her own making.  I plan to get this to a local binding volunteer this weekend and hopefully get it up north sometime next week.
Thanks, Anita!
All done except for the binding.  Thanks, Anita!
Lovely meander quilting
Bright pieced backing, with a piece of that beautiful turquoise fabric thrown in the package to make a coordinated binding! 
Sue also finished two quilts with the blocks I sent to her!  They are on their way to their final destination, but she was kind enough to send photos for me to share here.  Do you see any of your blocks?
Completed quilt number one - quilted by Sue R
Completed quilt number 2 - quilted by Sue R
The blue back and binding of quilt number one with meander quilting 
The two tone purple backing and binding of quilt number two 
This makes 4 completed disappearing 4-patch quilts, with many more in various stages of completion, including 3 at or on their way to quilters. (Thanks, Marilyn, Mary Ann and Char!)

Then came Thanksgiving.  We spent it at my brother's house, about an hour away.  There was so much food that not everything could be made on the stove - here he is making the gravy on the woodstove!

A highlight was meeting my new 4-month old cousin (or second cousin once removed, if we are being specific - I finally learned what all that means).  My kids, who have been begging me to have another baby for years now, were thrilled.  Don't I look good with a baby?  :)

Another highlight was all the games we played, although I'll be honest, I lose nearly everything I play.  We played Kick the Can in the dark on Thanksgiving night - lots of shrieking and running and laughing.  I feel like I was "it" forever!  Then, on Friday, we played the longest, but most fun, game of two-hand-touch football EVER (final score was 105 - 77), played the Settlers of Cataan (I love that game!), and played a couple games of Bid Whist (I need to learn to keep my mouth shut and not bid unless I KNOW I can make bid!).  I ran and laughed and had more fun than I've had in quite some time, but this morning, I am typing this blog post in bed - I am tired and sore and feeling twice my age!

Luckily, there are lots of things you can do from bed.  Open Friday's mail: 81 blocks, a cone of thread, $30 for batting and postage, and lots of BINDING!
Lots and lots of pre-made binding!  Thanks, Andrea!
Beautiful blocks!  Thanks, Celine, Sharon, Donna, Diane, Debbie, Leila and the Lake Monticello Piecemakers, Andrea, and (no first name) Backmeier!
EDITED - thanks, Jaye! 
Something else I plan to do from bed today is do some hand quilting.  I took my Let's Bee Together String Star Block quilt with me to my brother's to work on a bit.  I made progress, choosing this design to put in the large white squares,
I'm doing Big Stitch quilting with colorful embroidery floss, and instead of marking my quilt, I marked the design on Press and Seal and am quilting through that.  I've done that with regular quilting before, we'll see how easily it comes away with big stitch quilting.
but I noticed this morning that the design is facing sideways, instead of up as I had envisioned.  Ugh!  Do I take out the stitches?  Do I just put all 4 of these designs in sideways and act like I meant it that way?  Do I leave this one sideways and make the others with the correct orientation and leave that mistake in there? Decisions, decisions, decisions!  What would YOU do?

And my husband's team has another basketball game today, which I plan to listen to on the radio.  During that time, I should at least be able to complete another top to send out for quilting (Anita has graciously offered to quilt another one or two for us).  I always think I can get so much more done than I actually do.  I think I need to lower my expectations a bit.  No matter - the slower I work, the longer I get to admire everyone else's blocks.

There are many things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving season, and one of them is belonging to such a special, generous, talented, creative community of quilters!  Thank you for all you have done to help make this project work!  Just so you know, we've received 962 quilt blocks to date - that's enough for more than 20 quilts!


regan said...

SO glad you spent lots of fun time with your family for Thanksgiving! The quilts can wait a need to still have a life! And the ones that are completed look great! Yay! And enough block for 20 more! Woohoo! Awesome!

Becky said...

This little idea of yours has turned into a wonderful contribution from all of us to those who lost so much. Bless you for have the little idea! You are a special gal, dear Erin!

Rest, rest, rest!! :)
Love ya!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Since one block design is sideways, turn the other block designs so that they 'fan' out, and it will look like you planned it that way.

Terri said...

I'm with Cheryl. Love the quilting you've done so far. Keep it. A quilt is for comfort and showing love... and this one looks like it does!

Becki White said...

I've never heard of using Press and Seal as a quilting technique. Are we talking about the Saran Wrap cousin? Intriguing. Marking quilts is the one thing I always seem to struggle with; trying to find something that works for me is always a challenge.

If you need someone else to piece blocks into a quilt top, I can do that part. I've never in my life tried machine quilting, though, so I would need to know who to pass it on to for that step (I'll even through in the backing and binding). Let me know! :)

joe tulips said...

The sandy quilts are so pretty. What a stroke of genius to come up with this plan!
Your games...what are they?
Will you have time to do a post on them, from bed, with your feet up?
The stitching...that is regular press and seal???and it holds up? Does it come off easily?
The sideways problem...can you turn it upright and add more to the corners to make it square again. Or just set them on point, add some kind of filler. Or can they all be point outward from the center, that would mean the bottom two are upside down.

Shay said...

I did privately think the idea of a sweatshop Thanksgiving was kind of crazy . You work so hard you need a little down time !

So pleased you had a fun Thanksgiving with those you love.

I keep being amazed by all your mail. So many blocks , and supplies. Girl you really know how to throw a quilting party! The quilts look fabulous and Im sure the recipients are thankful for your amazing effort and those of the people who have contributed.

Hon, I'd be leaving the quilt sideways and acting like that's
what you intended. But Im a lazy gal!

Louise said...

I'm glad you're taking some time to relax with your family.
The quilts are great - so cheerful and colorful. I'm sure bring a little happiness into the recipient's lives.
I'm impressed by the number of overseas quilters who sent you blocks (on your sidebar).

Julie Fukuda said...

I second ... or third Cheryl's suggestion on the design. I am blown away by all you have managed to orchestrate. What a darling little baby ... and a great way for the boys to get their fix. Three cheers for family time!

wackywoman said...

What an example you are setting for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I will have to say (again?) that your pattern choice was inspired! The resulting quilts are so beautiful and will appeal to everyone. They so much say "you are loved"! Thanks to all your team for each role/part they play in this endeavor! Blessings, Doreen