Lessons Learned – The Hard Way

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family this year.  We have a lot to be thankful for.  Darryl is stable and we are really enjoying our time with him.  He is such fun and uplifting to us.  This is a difficult time in our lives and horrible for Darryl.  I find that my concentration level is not very good when trying to start on some of my complex projects and it becomes frustrating.  So I am working on smaller projects that will not require the intense concentration needed in making heirloom quilt.

In my last post (17 Nov)  I indicated that I would start on my Bird of Paradise (original name) quilt – but still trying to decide on which pattern to use.  I started with the A Bountiful Life pattern.  A couple of my quilting buddies had told me about freezer paper (pre-cut to 8 1/2 x 11) that one could print applique pieces from the computer, or copies.  What an experience.  I jumped right in to my new “time saver” project.  I printed the out the 4 quadrants of each block from the book on regular paper and then again on the freezer paper.  I could see the ink cartridge emptying before my eyes (LOL).  But I justified the expense because of the time I would be saving!   I proceeded to tape the freezer quadrants together with some special scotch tape….I thought I was really going to breeze through this process and be on my way.  I was until I cut out all the pieces for Block 1 and skipped over to the iron and BAM!  Gee if you put a hot iron on the tape, it melts and melts on the iron (see what I mean about concentration, creativity and the ability to think when under stress – there isn’t any).  I figured out a way to remove the tape (I think I tried to place something over the tape but that did not work either – another DUH!).  But I did get Block 1 preparation completed and have been working on it.  I realized that this paper is only good for a one page pattern, OR make 2 copies of things and cut out areas and then reprint……EXPENSIVE AND TIME CONSUMING!  I have decided that I will  to go back to the old-fashioned way of TRACING each piece!   Lesson Learned $$$$$$.   Here is the applique process I use for my needle turn applique.   I will be using Batiks for my quilt.

Block Pattern
Freezer Paper block

Notice the doted lines – this is where I used the tape that quickly melts when a hot iron is placed on it….. LOL  Not sure if I will be able to top this stupid thought process, well maybe I can as time will tell.   Lesson Learned:  Do not start a complex quilting project when under stress!


Placement Block 1
Checking the colors and placement


ABL Block 1
Block 1 – A Bountiful Life Pattern

OK – Now to continue on with the “no brain” quilter.  After my disaster with the freezer paper, a friend of mine asked me if I had any patterns for the Antebellum Ladies.   She wanted a lap quilt made with the Ladies of that Era.  I found an old pattern titled, Belle of the Ball by Cindy Surina.   Wanda’s request provided me a challenge and inspired me to continue on quilting, but with a project that is not so complex and detailed.

Selecting the fabric took a day or so because I knew the colors she would like but could not decide on Reproductions or Batiks.  I settled for a fabric line called Charlottesville from Connecting Threads that I had purchased a couple of years ago.   Because I have an abundance of the lovely 8 1/2 x 11 freezer paper and the fact that the pattern would be much easier to print out, I decided to “save time” by using it rather than tracing the pieces.  One thing about being brain dead – you can keep repeating the same process thinking the result will be better, but one still achieves the same result – PROBLEMS.  The quilt will have 4 Ladies Blocks and I have absolutely no idea how I will do the setting, but it will come, I am sure.

So here we go with Lesson Number 2 for the month!  I started having some problems when I started appliqueing the blocks – the pieces were not fitting correctly on the back ground fabric and I had to re-cut some pieces a few times.   I never have problems with my applique pieces fitting  on the background fabric – UNTIL THIS PROJECT.   Last night I finished Block 3 when the light bulb came on!!!!!  My printer was printing the freezer paper pattern about 1/16th of an inch smaller than the original pieces!  Believe you me – 1/16th of an inch is enough to drive a quilter to give up quilting forever.  So now I am down to the last one and of course, the fabric pieces have already been cut – so I know I will have to be ever so careful so I do not become frustrated and throw it in the trash can!  I wonder if any other quilters out there in the Quilt world ever get this frustrated.   The Ladies look fine, but getting there has been an experience.    Lesson Learned:   HAND TRACE ALL APPLIQUE PATTERNS.  There are no short cuts in the process!

I will NOT be using this freezer paper for printing a pattern until I figure out how to get my printer to print a perfect and accurate size of a pattern template or applique pattern pieces.  I have already printed out a few blocks of Love Entwined pieces – but those will be going in the trash can.  For the time and money I have wasted this month on brainless decisions I could have purchased the Stonefields Quilt for $200.00!   But I guess this is just part of life’s little pleasures and lessons.  Here are the finished Ladies Blocks 1 through 3.

Red Lady
Lady in Red


Blue Lady
Lady in Blue


Green Lady
Lady in Green

Clay and I have decided that it is time for a trip to the Choctaw Casino in  Durant, Oklahoma for Christmas.  We will be there for the entire week of the Christmas!  I plan on taking absolutely NOTHING to work on – just enjoy the getaway!  Clay told me I need to be a BIG Winner at the Casino this trip to recoup my brainless decisions! I will try.   I am hoping for a snow storm so I can once again enjoy a White Christmas.  The last one was in 1996 when I lived in Sterling, Virginia.  Ah,  the 1996 Blizzard!  So much fun.  If I cannot have snow, cold weather will be so nice.  We had a nice spell of cold weather in November, but now we are back to the 50’s at night and 70’s during the day – UGH!    I know that we will come back refreshed and ready for the New Year.  We will spend New Year’s Day with Darryl.  Heck – I may even find my creativity again and finish Wand’s Antebellum Ladies quilt!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year!


7 Replies to “Lessons Learned – The Hard Way”

  1. Thank you Jane. I am so ready for the Casino – There one cannot think about anything – just how much money you have to feed the machines! LOL. For me it is a wonderful way to shut down, have fun, and be refreshed upon returning home. Thank you for your comments.


    1. I did something right then…………YEA…. Thank you Rosemary. I had a 4 AM vision for HS this AM.
      I am going to now put the border on with the hexie flowers, then the next border will be churndash blocks or maybe some 9 patches and alternating plain 3″ squares. I need to do something to reduce the effect of the circles.


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