Friday, October 16, 2015

Vacation week's end

The way I count it, today was the last day of this week's vacation. Much to do yet over the weekend, some of which is fun vacation-type stuff, but I also need to get ready for what will be a busy work week.

When last I wrote, on day one, the week was off to a foodie start, at least until the open enrollment materials for next years's health plan came and gave me a bad case of heartburn.

Organizing, napping and cleaning took over on day two. Pam came over for a craft day on Monday, and another dear friend came over for an easy lunch and chat on Tuesday.

None of the bigger projects has gotten done (hanging curtain rods, sealing a drain), but I've spent a considerable amount of time in both the kitchen and the sewing studio, both of which make me happy. While it is a bit of a pain to do, chopping myriad veggies all at once is a time saver for me; so much nicer to just grab a container of pre-chopped onion from the fridge when I need some for a recipe. Leeks, too. The celery, carrots and many, many mushrooms were used right away in a mushroom-barley soup, some for lunches this week and some frozen for lunches next week.

I've mentioned before the Focus Through the Prism quilting challenge in which I'm participating. You may also recall that I've only finished one of the 20" square wall quilts in time to be in the drawing for prizes for the month in which it was made.

The very first month (June), the block was a Monkey Wrench, better known as a Churn Dash. The top was pieced in plenty of time, but I managed to hang up on the quilting. These small quilts, which will be mine, rather than a gift, were meant to be a place to play and experiment with both design and machine quilting.

Only I'd forgotten how to play.

I started a bit of quilting, didn't like it, and had to tear it out. One of the reasons I didn't like it was that my hand/machine coordination was off, and the stitches were tiny. It took forever to tear out just the stitching - not the fabric - in about two square inches.

This week, though, after having been messing around for a number of days, I just sat down and started in. It's not perfect, but it is done.

Without bothering to overthink things, I immediately put the borders on the September quilt (Wild Geese) and layered it up to quilt. Hmm. A bit stymied on the quilting again, so I switched gears and reached for the August Pinwheel block design sketch. That particular quilt has a three dimensional block, something I'd not done before, even though it was incredibly easy. Once that one was pieced and layered, I jumped in with the quilting.

Variegated thread, an easy looping pattern. Borders done in a new-to-me triangular geometric meander. Finished quilting and binding today.

That's two mini quilts finished in two days. Maybe, just maybe, I can get the goose one quilted and bound before Monday as well.

That will leave me only two behind - the friendship star from earlier in the series, and the nine patch for this month.

Pictures closer to the end of the weekend, with hopes I will indeed have all three done.

All this is really to remind myself how much I enjoy quilting, and how much fun it can be to just sit down and go, without overthinking things, without having to (much) watch the clock. Experiment. Practice. The little "pebbles" I hated quilting were much, much easier when disconnected a bit and used on the Pinwheel, since I'd already done so many on the Monkey Wrench.

Yeah, they don't let me be so creative in my usual day job.

Cleaning, cooking and a bit of sewing tomorrow, then a housewarming party. I plan to be home fairly early; I've a mushy book to read while sitting in front of the fire with a glass of wine. Probably be snuggled under a quilt, as it's going to be pretty doggone chilly the next couple of days. Sunday, more getting ready for the work week. Ugh.

Do I really have to go back?

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