Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sometimes I Wish I Liked Coffee

I could definitely use a cup (or better yet, a gallon) of it this morning.

I've got the quilting bug, and I've got it bad. As I sit here wishing that someone would hook me up to a steady IV drip of caffeine I can't help wondering if anyone else out there in quilting land suffers from occasional creativity-driven insomnia where the need to do holds back sleep, keeping us up until the wee hours of the morning. That's the situation I found myself in last night.

I'd mentioned previously that I wanted to make something for my dear friend Leslie who I've worked with for the past few years organizing my company's annual users conference. She's an absolute blessing and works tirelessly to make everything run smoothly, making my life so much easier and allowing me to focus on all of the marketing stuff for the conference rather than running after attendees for registration information, coordinating off-site activities, working with the hotel, and a hundred other things that I would never have time to do. 

In short, she (and her husband, Kevin) is amazing, and our conference could never be the success it is without her. I adore her so much in fact that I asked her earlier this year to be a bridesmaid when Kevin and I get married, and she of course said yes :o)

So... my goal was to make a set of super cute quilted coasters from some left over squares from the Scrumptious charm pack I used to make the quilt for my mum. I felt very daring trying my hand at half-square triangles for the first time, and although they did come out a little bit wonky, I was still thrilled with the darling little green and orange pinwheels. 

Emphasis on little

D'oh! While cute, they are tiny! So tiny in fact that I spent a considerable amount of time after work yesterday cursing and grumbling while trying to bind the edges before eventually declaring that it was a hopeless case, and setting them aside feeling very disappointed. 

Determined that I still wanted to make something for Leslie and use my Scrumptious leftovers I pondered what I could make that she could use and know how much she is appreciated every time she does. Sometime after Kevin dragged me away from the sewing machine long enough to eat dinner (the new tofu option from Chipotle, is awesome by the way!), I remembered reading this tutorial earlier in the day. It didn't look too difficult, and I was sure that I could piece something together from the remaining scraps I had. 

Fast forward a couple hours, several quizzical looks from Kevin before he finally asked "what are you making?" followed by "what's a heated rice bag?", I finally ended up with this:

(ignore the quilting, I didn't think to take a picture before I did it, we'll get to the quilting err... fun in just a moment).

I wanted to stick with the pinwheel design because I think it is just so cool and interesting, and because I wanted to practice HST a bit more. It's still a little wonky like my earlier, smaller attempts, but I'm pretty darn pleased with how it turned out. Given that I was using scraps and was down to very limited amounts of each color/pattern I decided to make it well, scrappy, and not worry too much about being symmetrical. I think if I make this again, which I definitely want to do, I will do that weird and foreign thing called "planning" and actually try to make it symmetrical. But hey, for a first time effort I don't think it turned out too bad. 

After piecing it all together and sewing the top to the liner (I just used a piece of muslin I happened to have mixed in with my stash) and inserting my tag:

Aren't they just so adorable you could scream?

and giving it all a good press, I was faced with the conundrum of how to quilt it. I recently bought a stipple pattern from Quilting Made Easy with the intent to use it when quilting the top of mum's quilt and thought "Hey this would be a great opportunity to test it out." Someday I will look back on this day and think "Aww, how cute and ambitious I was." Needless to say, my first foray into FMQ did not go exactly as planned. I didn't take a picture of the result, it was just so horrible that I couldn't bare to share it with the world. Just imagine some of the saddest and most crooked stitching you can think of and you may be close to what I ended up with. 

45 minutes (and a lot of cursing) later I was done unpicking all of the stitches from my FMQ fiasco and decided that maybe baby steps were the way to go (ya think?!) and settled on simply stitching a 1/4" border around all of the seams, and I'm so glad I did. I love how the stitching around the pinwheel ended up looking like a Union Jack seeing as I'm British, Leslie's husband is from the UK (Ireland technically, but we still like him anyway), and Leslie has visited England. It's a nice little nod to something we have in common, you know, besides being super awesome ;o)

I had really wanted to have it completed in time for our meeting today, and I might have if I hadn't had my little misguided foray into FMQ. But at 1am I finally had to face reality and acknowledge the fact that it just wasn't going to get done, at least not if I actually wanted to be more than a walking zombie today, and that sewing while really tired is probably as dangerous as sewing while drunk.

So, for now it's sitting at home on the dinning table unfinished, but I'm okay with that. This just gives me time to finish it properly and make it as awesome as I can. I'll either save it for the next time she is the office or pop it in the mail in time for Christmas. Either way, I'm hoping she likes it.

No comments:

Post a Comment