Saturday, January 31, 2009

Crowded Head, Crowded Room

January has been an incredibly busy and stressful time at work. Those Christmas holidays were so long ago. And everything that I am trying to think about at once manifests themselves on my desk, my dining room table, the kitchen counter, and the floor of my bedroom. The more stressed I am, the messier my outer environs. Bottom line: you can tell what is going on in my brain by what my office or home looks like. This is what I was looking at this morning:

At last count, I ended up with nearly 20 fabrics for the black/white/red Double Wedding Ring Quilt. I only need 8. These are the six I picked for the arcs:
The DWRQ is a traditional pattern, but the color scheme I'm working with isn't traditional. And I wanted non-traditional black/white prints. I loved the one with the women dancing with the musical notes. And the rest I like because of their geometrical shapes. This is what they looked like once I cut them in strips:

For the corner squares, I wanted red and a tone-on-tone black. I had several reds to pick from as well; VickiW donated to the cause, as did Eileen. But in the end I went for this one, with a cool geometrical shape on it:

I needed 60 squares of this fabric, and I found the tea box VickiW gave me was perfect for storing 10 squares in each of the six compartments. Next, I chose my black, which I already had in my stash. It is tone-on-tone paisely print that I used in my mother's quilt:

I cut 60 of these squares and added them to the red ones in the tea box. Now they can't escape during this project!

With work being out of control, I decided I needed a day of sewing to help me get back in my meditative groove. After picking out my fabrics, I was ready to play with my new 18 inch templates from John Flynn for the DWRQ and make a test block. You may remember that I made my first block with the 15 inch templates and decided the 18 inch must be easier. I was right.

I made my first arc:

And then I made another three for the first block:
Only 94 more to go! Here are my first "footballs" as John Flynn calls them:

And here is the first block:

Here you can see the difference between the 15 inch block and the 18 inch I did today:

I can testify to the fact that the 18 inch is infinitely easier for a beginner like myself. My 45 mm rotary cutter was able to handle the curves on the templates MUCH better. Sewing the curves was WAY easier, and overall, it was a happier experience. I love the result. I love my red fabric. One block down, only 19 more to go.
Things I learned today:
1. The 38 mm rotary cutter I bought for this project is the brand I don't like. I need to remember that and not buy another one and give this one away.
2. I need smaller, finer pins for pinning these curves. The long quilting pins I have just aren't getting the job done. I think what I am looking for are applique pins.
3. I tried an experiment in making the "footballs": I used both the walking foot and my regular quarter inch foot in sewing the arcs to the curved middles of the footballs. Hands down, the regular quarter inch foot was better, easier to handle, and resulted in a smoother football which laid flat.
4. I need more Saturdays like this; sewing at will, baking bread, shopping for grocerys, and watching golf, to make me feel more composed during the week when work threatens to consume all my attention. Yay for the DWRQ!

No Parting Shot tonight; I wore myself out uploading these photos!


Vicki W said...

Wow, that's looking great! I so wanted to sew today but I haven't had 2 minutes of energy. maybe tomorrow....

Claire S. said...

What a lot of work ! I haven't ever done a quilt or tried to pick so many fabrics to look good together. I really like the second block. Looking forward to following your progress on this.

Summerset said...

Looks good! I like that second block a lot and those fabrics you picked are definitely on the right track for a little twist on the traditional DWR.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm blown away by your wedding ring quilt! I just stumbled across your blog by reading Kim's Big Quilting Adventures and found "you" were another Kim. Whoever would have thought to make this traditional quilt in black, white and red? I think this is a must-do on my list. Can you tell me what line the black circle fabric and the cream circle fabric are from? I'll be back to watch the progress and if there isn't any for a while, hey, that's OK, I just started working on a quilt I cut out from 15 years ago. All of a sudden I have a burning desire to finish it. Nancy in WI

sewkalico said...

It looks great! I think I can definitely see why the bigger one would be easier to do. (Love the tea chest!)

KimP said...

Nancy, those fabrics were donated by VickiW, and according to the selvage, the line is Fun!damentals by Robert Kaufman. The Screen Print number 6316. See Vicki? I saved the selvages!

Thanks to everyone for your great comments. I wish I had more time to work on it. (As always!)