Monday, February 18, 2013

Inside projects

Small people are pretty sick around here, so in spite of the gorgeous weekend, a lot of time was spent indoors blowing noses, taking medicine, and lounging around. This gave me a nice chance to do the thing I love to do even more (gasp) than gardening: sew! With a sewing cabinet full of half-finished projects I did the most logical thing: started a NEW project. And a super complicated time-consuming intricate one, too. I'm so happy!

Inspired by this mini quilt over at 1/4" Mark, I broke out my fabric scraps and began making a postage stamp quilt. Each square is 1 1/2 inches, finished to 1 inch which is pretty darn little! Each finished block is made up of 169 of these tiny squares. My poor husband just shook his head when he saw the kitchen table completely covered with itty-bitty fabric squares. "What about that other quilt you said would take two years to finish?" he politely asked. "Oh, the hexagon quilt? I'm still working on that, too," I replied with a smile.

I don't know what it is about overwhelming projects - they just call to me. I actually just love the look of things that are intricate. Because the squares are so small, there is a mosaic effect to the overall block that I think is just perfect. Plus, I managed to limit myself to a more controlled color palette than usual which I am finding quite restful. I plan to sort of "quilt as you go" on this project - hand-quilting a bit in the middle of each block and then assembling all the blocks at the end and doing a bit more quilting with the machine. I have a very old book of hand-quilting designs from my Grandma in which I found this flower motif. I've never officially done hand quilting before, so I am not up to date on current methods of transferring the design to the quilt. The book told me to trace the design on freezer paper, punch tiny holes along the lines using a straight pin, position the template on the quilt, then "dust lightly with cinnamon." What do you know, it worked! Once the template was removed, there was my design, which I traced over with a quilting pen. I'm not sure if people still do this anymore, but it worked well enough for me, plus it smelled great. :)

Today is dreary outside and we spent the morning driving back and forth from the doctor getting throat cultures and picking up medicine. There is a movie from the library waiting to be watched, too. Looks like another inside day (though I still have to gather eggs and water everything outside.) Hopefully we'll be feeling better tomorrow. In the mean time I might be able to sneak some more time with my tiny squares.

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