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April Wrap-up

April turned out to be a very productive month. It wasn’t an accident, but it’s especially rewarding as I get back up to speed. Besides finishing Death by Hexie, I spent some quality time with a couple other quilts.

I had the pleasure of quilting this Seattle MQG project assembled by the Giving Committee. I love working on the guild projects ~ these quilters are SO damn good. It doesn’t hurt that it came to me ready to quilt – top and back all pieced and pressed (thank you, Dionne!), AND I get to pass it on to someone else to bind. Instant gratification (I used one of my pattern board sets from R&S Designs), for a wonderful cause.

Ashlee’s amazing HST quilt is up next. I finished the rework to narrow it, added the bottom panel and drafted the quilting plan.

It was loaded by the end of the month, although I didn’t really start the quilting until this weekend.

May promises to bring even more quilting goodness than April. A LOT more, in fact, with a class, a retreat, 2 guild challenges and a long list of WIP (my personal challenge) on the schedule.

I do love making.

Hexed to Death

Some quilts just struggle to get made.

This one has been a love/hate project from the very start. I took the class with Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen in May of 2013. A normal person would have followed the instructions, cut a reasonable number of blocks, pieced and framed them and then moved on. New technique learned and a box happily checked.

Then there’s me, pre-cutting dozens of different fabrics into a zillion 5″ hexagons leaving me no choice but to slog on whether I wanted to or not. And I did not. I bitched and moaned and complained. I took it to sew-ins, retreats, and to the cabin for a relaxed vacation sewing. Mostly I brought it home barely touched.

I promised more than once that if it didn’t get pieced by the end of  THIS weekend, I would burn it. And when I texted Katie to whine about it, her response was always the same: “I love that quilt.”

I can hear my mom muttering “Sarah Bernhardt” under her breath. (Yes, I was that teenager.) I deserve a drama award.

Once I admitted the real problem was of my own making, it went together fairly quickly. The issue? One of my sewing machines is perfectly suited to short inset seams. I think of her as my Cadillac ~ all the bells and whistles (minus the crushed velour upholstery), power everything and heavy as a tank. It’s a Babylock, so it also has that irritating-as-hell little crying baby face when you get about HALFWAY through a bobbin. Drives me nuts, but she more than makes up for it with the auto backstitch and auto threadcutter. Turn those on, and it’s a breeze to secure both ends of the seam without fiddling with reverse.

So did I use that machine? Well…..not much. It’s not the little Bernina that travels with me, and it’s not the Pfaff Grand Quilter I use every day for piecing (a straight stitch, no-nonsense beast). So every time I did work on the quilt, there was much cursing, pleated seams and forgetting to reverse on both ends. Plus all those hanging threads. GAH!!

A couple months ago it occurred to me that the homeless, hopeless, much-maligned hexi quilt would be perfect in the freshly painted guest room. Perfect as in “which came first, the quilt or the color scheme?”

So I got over myself, finished the piecing on the Babylock, ordered grey gingham for both ends (it’s going on a daybed so the drop is on the short ends and one long side), a gorgeous grey/ivory flannel dot for the back, washed & pressed the fabric, cut, sewed, loaded, quilted, bound and washed it. Whew!

Katie was right. I love it, too. And I’m not the only one.

 

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