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.
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!
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.
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!