A negative sandwiched between two positives: Overcoming the deadline blues

A sandwich of a blog post – two positives surrounding a rather negative filling!

First positive layer:

Here is the progress I’ve made with a couple of the projects I have on the go:

  • Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail Sew Along: I made the twelfth and final block. Came home from Purple Stitches with fabrics for the sashing and cornerstones… I hope the rusty orange will provide enough of contrast without being a distraction from the blue blocks 🀞

  • English Country Garden cushion covers: Finished! 😁

The negative filling:

I’ve been getting a little stressed by deadlines lately. Not quite sure why, but I’m the run-up to Christmas (complete with it’s own set of requirements combining deadlines and perfectionism) along with heightened anxiety around Covid infection rates as invitations to social events begin to mount up are two of the causes. In my more rational moments I’ve been able to make sensible decisions about what to do and what to let slip but then (especially when I get tired) I have other times when I get overwhelmed and can think of nothing more appealing than shutting myself in my sewing room and not venturing out again until 25th December (when all the deadlines will have gone away!).

Bernie the Bernette

My coping methods at such times are unhealthy and expensive. On Thursday I ate so many biscuits I could hardly face my dinner and last weekend I blew my money on a whim – purchasing a sewing machine 😳 Totally mad! I decided I really needed a small, easily portable machine for sewing days. I chose a Bernette B35 which is a mechanical machine so it’s uncomplicated with no computerized workings to go wrong. When it arrived I felt ashamed of such an indulgence, leaving the box unopened under my sewing table for a couple of days! I have now unboxed the neat little machine, read the instruction leaflet, played around with a few scraps of fabric getting a feel for how it runs. Of course, one purchase leads to another, so I have ordered a quarter inch foot and a walking foot to add to the accessories kit…

Through the past two weeks I have continued to sew, but I have not been reading blog posts. My inbox reached overwhelm, social media was getting me down – so many Black Friday deal messages that any normal, friendly sewing messages were just lost in the deluge. And that left me feeling quite disconnected, lonely in fact. Does that make sense? Perhaps I was experiencing the virtual equivalent of feeling very lost and alone in a large crowd?

Anyhow, on Thursday I reached the bottom of the low, being overtired after a busy start to the week, I hit the biscuits, struggled to share a pot of tea and conversation with my lovely parents, fell asleep with my head on a table, woke up just in time to cook a dinner I didn’t want to eat, went out to a meeting only to find it had been cancelled (I’ve since found the 3 day old cancellation notice on Facebook – Facebook notifications are not a reliable means of communication), came home, escaped into my sewing room (again) before sloping off to bed.

Second positive layer:

Thankfully, a good sleep and a gracious God provided me with a New Morning on Friday. I finished stitching the walking foot quilting designs on the Modern Fans quilt – looking good even if I do say so myself πŸ˜‰

– then pottered around doing a few chores before donning my weatherproofs and setting out to hand-deliver a card to a friend. Despite being elbow deep in pumpkin flesh she kindly welcomed me in for a cup of coffee and we had a good chat as we watched the birds flitting around her garden.

Strava tells me my walk was a 5.6 mile round trip, surely long enough to get a good dose of positive-vibe endorphins circulating through my system?Β 

Have you been experiencing emotional ups and downs? Has patchwork quilting or another creative activity helped you to steady your thoughts, regain perspective or give you respite from a difficult situation?

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday and with Gail who is hosting TGIFF (Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday).

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (275)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Please do bring along your projects(s) and join in the sharing of tips, news and inspiration by members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the links below to jump down into the rabbit warren and find your way to some like-minded makers or enjoy the challenge of looking into less familiar branches of the craft of patchwork quilting.

I have had my mind set on pushing three separate projects to a finish. My motivation has been a desire to clear the project clutter from my sewing room. I need to give my mind space to rest before moving on to something different. I actually don’t know what I want to make once these three are finished. This is a new and rather strange place for me to be. Usually I have a whole list of shiny new projects I’m itching to

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (274)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have had a good week and there’s time for a spot of creativity over the weekend. Bring along your project(s) and join in the sharing of inspiration, ideas and tips with other members of or Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the links below to go find something new and why not leave an encouraging message in the comment box of any blog you visit?

I got more sewing done than expected this past week. I had to make preparations for the final class of the Beginners Course. Dashing Stars number six was duly quilted and a scrappy binding constructed ready for the class demo.

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (272)

 

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and enjoy the company of quilters from around the World as we share tips, tutorials, inspiration and more. Use the links below to kick-start your journey around the quilty world, don’t forget to leave an encouraging message and join in the sharing on any blog sites you visit πŸ™‚

This past week I’ve switched from chain piecing to ‘chain quilting’! I’ve actually finished one quilt, basted another and prepared the backing and wadding for a third.

  1. The finished quilt is a 30 block version of my 42 block I-Spy Shadow Quilt. I’m very happy with this quilt. It measures 40″ x 52″ which is a good size for a child. I do like the ‘playmat’ fabric I used for the backing. It’s a dual purpose quilt πŸ™‚ The novelty fabrics on the front are ideal for playing I-Spy and the town map on the back is a fun place to play with toy vehicles and building bricks.

2. The basted quilt is a blue I-Spy Shadow quilt, again made with 30 blocks. I was chuffed that these two quilts made perfect use of 1.5m of theΒ  road map extra wide backing fabric. All I had to do was rip the fabric in half, top to bottom, and hey! presto! two backings ready to use!

3. The third quilting project is my sixth version of the beginners course Dashing Stars quilt. I pieced the backing, adding a homemade label, and cut the super-soft bamboo wadding to size. Today I used the backing, wadding and nearly finished top (just one more border strip to add…) to give a quick demonstration of how to pin baste a quilt sandwich. Now I need to add that border before basting it for real.

My plan for the next few days is to quilt and bind the blue I-Spy quilt ready to photograph and list in my Folksy shop. Then, while my machine and tables are set up for quilting, I hope to quilt the Dashing Stars quilt. Maybe there’ll be time in the week to share my progress – I hope so πŸ™‚

I’ve been working hard to catch up on reading blog posts and have found plenty of interest so here is a bumper set of links to get you thinking and inspired:

A cautionary tale from Katy re. mixing pre-washed fabrics with those that haven’t had the ‘shrink’ treatment!

It’s not too late to join in Carole’s ‘Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along‘. This year she is sharing instructions to make a 40″ square table topper. In her initial post she shares several colourways to help get us inspired.

Linda has a great gift for making improbable improv experiments into exciting, cohesive patchwork quilts. Her latest, ‘Playin’ Around‘, is no exception!

Reading Yvonne’s tutorial for making Quarter Square Triangles made me realise it is a very long time since I made this classic block. The tutorial is full of useful tips and Yvonne has generously shared a table of cutting sizes to take the guess work out of the process πŸ™‚

Angela Walters will be starting another free motion quilting challenge in November. This time the challenge is all about quilting feather designs. You can purchase a printed quilt top to follow along or just use your own fabric.

I’m in the habit of naming and labelling the quilts I make. Joni asks ‘Do you name your quilts?’ and has given three reasons why she feels a quilt should be named and have a label attached.

Karin over at Blue Pip Designs is hosting a QAL featuring her beginner friendly design, ‘Bernie’s Mittens‘. It looks like just the right amount of work in the run up to Thanksgiving and doesn’t require the choosing of many fabrics πŸ™‚

Christina Cameli’s latest book is ready for pre-order. The book is called ‘Free-Motion Combinations‘ and she says inspiration for it came as she posted short clips through the first lockdown of her drawing out quilting designs on a whiteboard. I watched many of those on Instagram and found Christina’s explanations and ideas very inspiring.

After a few false starts Jayne has cracked on with a partially finished quilt project given to her by her Grandmother. The Pinwheel blocks were all very neatly hand pieced but 24 Pinwheels spun in one direction and 16 in the other. Jayne has come up with a layout that uses them all without drawing attention to the orientation of the blocks. What wonderful memories that quilt will hold for Jayne and her family – much better finished than in pieces hidden in a box πŸ™‚

The Mystery of the Scant 1/4″ Seam‘ is the title of Brittany’s detailed post all about the difference between a true 1/4″ seam and a scant 1/4″ seam. She has included a way of testing to achieve the perfect scant 1/4″ seam and adjustments that can be made to maintain a consistent seam allowance. Very useful!

Here’s the link to the first part of Carole’s ‘Autumn About Town Sew Along Purse‘ tutorial (across-the-pond translation: read ‘bag’ for ‘purse’!).

Rachel’s explanations of colour choices for a quilt top are always worth a read…. Warning! Clicking to this particular post might just head you down the road of joining in her latest QAL! It’s sooo tempting! πŸ˜€

Linking my post and finished quilt with Alycia at Finished or Not Friday, Wendy’s Peacock Party and Michelle’s Beauties Pageant.

Happy Stitching!

Allison