Where do you stand on a full moon?
Perhaps you've never given it much thought but after years of hearing my nurse customers' stories about "working in the hospital on full moon days", I started to pay attention to my own response to a full moon!
It's not great. I'm all the cranky adjectives!
I came up with an action strategy for dealing with my full moon moods years ago and while it doesn't seem to be as much of an issue right now (retirement helped I think), my instincts still fall back on those strategies to get through that first week after a full moon.
One of them is to "not start any new projects"!
I need positive vibes, to feel like I'm accomplishing things, so making good strides on anything is a big boost to my mood! Starting a new project is fun, but it contributes nothing to elevating my mood!
So last week, I made quilt backings!
It started with a big one for the dodecagon quilt top I finished piecing this spring.
I had the perfect print in my stash and it was only 3/4 of a yard short???
I created pieced sections using leftover greens from the top.
Since the top is all hexagons, I joined the strips with 60 degree angles (clever, huh?).
I decided on 2 1/2" strips so that any excess could just be added to my scrappy sourdough box!
One of the challenges of using this yardage was that I wanted to "match" the motifs so the seam wasn't obvious and the backing looks like one big seamless piece.
I did a pretty good job because it's hard to find the seam in this photo!!
This is one end. I split my yardage into two equal lengths. I added a piece section to opposite ends of each length, then laid them out on the floor and moved one length up and down until the motifs aligned across the width of the backing. Next day, whencI returned to the project, I re-checked the alignment, trimmed off a couple inches down the length of the two pieces and matched up the edges for stitching!
Quilting this will be a winter project so it's all back on the "to-be" shelf.
Keeping it simple evolved as a theme last week -- I had some clever ideas for making this backing wide enough for my Halo quilt top, but in the end . . . .
. . . not quite as clever, perhaps even boring but ready to layer! And I layered it yesterday. One of the Instagram #halosewalong2020 participants shared her hand quilting strategy last week and I'm blatantly following it!!!
One of my July goals is to get my triplet grandson's big bed quilt bordered and backed to start quilting!
I added the borders and turned my attention to the backing!
It is so good to have that list of monthly goals when I can't think what to do next!
The fun thing about this quilt is that all the blocks were pieced from one layer cake and a 1 1/2 yard cut of the polka dot background. The sashing is from another fabric line, but I thought it look pretty cute with the layer cake fabrics. All of that fabric was purchased over 4 years ago and since I didn't have a plan for it at the time, there was no border fabric. Happily, I found this new print this past winter -- even though it's not from the original line, the background color and the print theme hold it together for me and my grandson!
The backing gets a little crazy. It's two lengths of the print I colored for Kings Road Imports back in the mid-90's stretched with a band of the left over layer cake squares. His sisters have a different colorway and while I realize it's not totally "boy" to have so many flowers, it's special because "grandma planned the colors".
I still have two hunks in other colorways to use for my older grandchildren and those projects are on my short list!
Another July goal is to tidy up a particularly messy corner of the studio! I halfheartedly started mid-week and (much to my relief) found my two temperature quilt tops folded up with a stack of possible backing fabrics.
So I quit tidying and started sewing (because by sewing, some tidying will occur).
I added the picket fence border to the bottom of my "birth year" temperature quilt which needed to be longer in my opinion.
Again, there had been a clever plan for this border but I never got farther than a pile of green prints (which I have borrowed from several times). It was suppose to suggest grass and the holdup was not knowing how to piece grass.
But I do know how to piece a picket fence!
It's a border I designed for a friendship quilt of mine years ago.
It's easy to do -- just graph it out using a scale of one square per inch with pickets and rails between.
Then make the pickets from strips with a simple flip and sew corner plus strip sets for the rail units.
(That corner square is so crooked that this picket is a reject).
Ready to make a backing!
In a fit of whimsy, I decided to usurp this kid's print for a backing on my own quilt but it wasn't quite large enough. Again, I had clever ideas but my fear of ruining the fabric by cutting it (absurd, really) into bands and the work of adding rows of pieced blocks between the bands quickly turned into "find a compatible print and border it" up to the size needed!?!
Of course, the perfect print was just a few inches short of what I needed for the long borders.
Time to sketch and calculate!
Adding the borders this way isn't a new strategy for me -- can't recall how I stumbled onto this idea?
It eliminates the need to piece any of the border strips.
It's exactly like piecing a "partial seam" block and HERE's a link to a good video on how to do that.
The final backing of the week is for my year 70 temperature quilt top pieced during 2017/18.
There were two cuts of beautiful prints folded up with the top -- both long enough but neither was quite wide enough. Both prints were good choices but in the end I went with this great bird print from one of Kathy Doughty's (Material Obsession in Australia) early fabric collections.
(I'm such a sucker for a good bird print!)
I also wanted to incorporate my fabric chart into the backing.
A search of the stash for some prints to piece into a band to widen the backing turned up this great Alexander Henry (save the saliva -- it's from 2005). It's a little bold but all the colors are perfect.
I was experimenting with using the "stripe" cross wise or length wise and how to position the color chart when I realized I could take pictures of all the options then use the layout app on my phone to put them all "side-by-side". That simplified making my decision because I could see all the options together -- so much easier than put one up, change it, etc.
Here's the final result!
By the end of the week, I had finished five backings and my sew-jo was hyped up so I started piecing a new scrappy project that I've been cutting for all spring. This evening, when my daughter gets home and can lend me her hands, I'll layer up my grandson's quilt so the machine quilting can begin this week.
It was good to keep busy with my comfort work last week. With Covid 19 ramping up around us and the pressure to get educated about racism and it's impacts on our society continuing, staying grounded in one's daily work is stabilizing. I've been following the posts of Black naturalists on Instagram -- hiking, birding, botanizing. They are exploring regions that are unfamiliar to me and I'm on the lookout for connections in the Gulf states for the future, an area I've always been interested in birding.
Here are some Instagram discoveries you might enjoy this coming week!
Check out @knitchings because every one of her posts will make you smile.
Have you heard about the Farm Link Project working to redirect large quantities of "excess" produce to food banks -- follow them at @farmlinkproject -- the movement started in California and is spreading nationwide. Check out their website HERE!
Finally, if you haven't already found @modern_daily_knitting they continue to provide links to articles and organizations to help us understand racism. Even if you aren't a knitter, you'll enjoy Kay and Ann!
I hope you'll follow my lead this week and push yourself into your stitching even if you don't know where you'll find the energy or focus.
You might be surprised to find both waiting for you over there in that pile of fabric!