Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cutting? A Little. Sewing? A LOT!!!

In my last blog post I mentioned I couldn't find my 2.5" shirt strips. Well, technically, I still haven't, BUT, I remembered that when I first started using the Scrap User System, I didn't keep shirt parts separate. I looked in my regular 2.5" strips, and found a decent amount of shirt strips, so I cut those up into squares and kitted up that last project. 

I've cut enough to keep me going for a while, so I've been sewing away. My main project right now is the wedding quilt for DS the Elder and DDIL. They just celebrated their first anniversary, so that's a good indication of how far behind you fall when you don't quilt much for a year. My goal on all these wedding quilts I am behind on is to get it to the couple by their second anniversary. 

I love the pattern I chose for this first wedding quilt, BUT, it's an easy quilt to get mixed up on. There are only two types of blocks, but multiple colorways of each one.

I've got all the slanted blocks done, but I have a long way to go on the nine patches. You need differing amounts of each colorway too, so I have to pay really close attention to what I'm doing. Everyone has their own way of doing things, but for me, I need a completely different leader/ender project when my main project is complicated. I'm afraid if I just used another nine patch as my leader/ender, I'd end up with 20 of a colorway, when I only needed 8. 

While I was making the slanted blocks with all those flip and sew corners, I was using some Flying Geese as my leader/enders. Now that I'm working on nine patches, I made those Flying Geese units into quilt blocks.

I have more Flying Geese units to sew, and I will sew them, next project I have flip and sew corners. I really like how these blocks are coming out, and I may cut more when I run out and make this into a bed sized quilt. You never know, but for right now these are just being set aside. 

Now, on those slanted blocks with the flip and sew corners? I sewed a second line about 1/2 from the first, and then had a stack of bonus HST's. Because of the odd colorways of blocks I needed, the bonus HST's were in different amounts in each color, just like the main blocks. I trimmed all the HST's to size, and yesterday I sewed the bonus HST's into 12" blocks.

I didn't want any of the blocks the same, so I just played around with what I had. I've decided to piece the backing of this wedding quilt into what will basically be another quilt. I pieced these blocks as leaders/enders while making the nine patch blocks. I have a few different ideas in my head about how to add to these blocks for the backing. I am planning on a medallion style backing with the last border being very wide, knowing I won't be able to line the top and backing up exactly, so I'm planning for fudge room. 

Now that I've used up all the Flying Geese unit I had, and I used all the large bonus HST's, I'm back to using these blocks as my leader/enders.

 I get asked pretty frequently how I keep all my projects straight. Well, for one thing, I am actually only sewing two things at once. When I was using my bonus HST blocks as my leader/ender, I was working on those and nine patches. When I was sewing up the Flying Geese blocks as my leader/enders, I was working on those with nine patches. Once I've used up all of whatever units I have, I move those blocks off my sewing cabinet, so I don't have as much visual clutter. Every time I finish the correct number of blocks in each colorway, I move them off the sewing cabinet. 

I also have two areas that I use for laying out blocks. I like to have a table at 90 degrees to my sewing cabinet. Right now, that's where I'm laying out my leader/ender block since those are larger than my main project blocks.

To the right of my sewing machine, on my sewing cabinet, I'm laying out the next main project block.

I think it sounds like I'm working on more than I am, because I have so much kitted up right now. I will keep changing what I am working on, as I run out of units of certain things. I am hoping to get all the units made for more than one wedding quilt in August. DH will be away for a week in September, and that would be the perfect time to assemble some quilts. I'll likely have one quilt at a time spread out on the floor of our bedroom, so having some time where I don't have to clean up before he gets home from work would be good. It can take a while to get these huge quilts assembled. 

Oh, I wanted to tell you about something I heard this week, that I'm already putting into practice. I was reading through the posts in one of my sewing Facebook groups, and someone mentioned their hip was hurting after sewing for long hours. I've been having the same problem, so I anxiously read through the comments. One lady said her hip hurts if she doesn't put something under her left foot, to raise it to the same height as her right foot on the sewing pedal. She said she used a piece of 2x4 she had lying around. I looked around my sewing room, and found a plastic box about the right height, and I've been resting my left foot on it. What a difference it has made! 

I knew my set up wasn't the best ergonomically, because I have short legs and even with my adjustable chair at the lowest height, my legs are still not at a 90 degree angle, and they dangle down. Because of that positioning of my legs, my legs tend to fall asleep, my ankles swell, and I'm just basically not getting good circulation in my legs when I sew.  I try to get up and move around pretty often, but sometimes I just get "in the zone" and forget.

Anyway, now that I've raised my left foot, my legs are almost at 90 degrees, I'm realizing how twisted my body was before from having one foot up and one foot down. No back ache, no hip pain, less swelling, it's amazing! I think I may have DH build me something to put my feet on. I'm thinking of it being just a tad higher than what I'm using now, a place for my sewing foot pedal to keep it in place, and a rest for my right foot when I don't want it on the foot pedal at all. Any suggestions?

1 comment:

phxquilt said...

Thanks so much for the tip for hip pain relief. I too have that problem. U;n getting ready to go on a long car trip (6 weeks) so I think I'll give it a try in the car as well.