Sunday, September 4, 2011

What to do when you can't sew ...

My sewing machine started spazzing out on me. Then I twisted a screw and made things, well, not worse, but certainly not better. So off to the shop she's gone for a well-overdue cleaning and tuning and hopefully restoration, leaving a gap in my craft room that's huge!!

Eight to 10 days, they said. Nice vacation for her. Bit of a challenge for me.

What do you do when you have 20 quilts to work on and no sewing machine to work with?

Cut, Cut, Cut
Let's see. I started by finally making decisions on the last few quilts in this challenge. I'd been dithering and dithering over what fabrics to use and what others to pair them with and was I using up enough of my stash pieces that I couldn't figure out a use for otherwise and ... so on. I seemed like I kept buying new fabric rather than forcing myself to work with what I had, so I buckled down in making these last choices and managed to use up a few things that have been hanging around for years. All of which to say, I got the final seven quilts all cut out and packaged for sewing. That's all 27 quilts cut! Hooray!

Also - great time for focusing on cutting down all those scraps. I might get to the bottom of the first bucket at this rate.

Baste, Baste, Baste
Now that I had all those quilts cut out, I could finally see at least one of my tables, which means I could use it to do some other work. Wow. Amazing how much space you have when your fabric is in the closet rather than all over the room.

So on to basting the two tops I had finished and that had their backs complete. I had two other quilts waiting for basting (not part of the challenge) and discovered their backs weren't pieced yet. Thwarted! But I had these two elephant quilts ready to go, so now they're all basted and waiting their turn under the machine. (I have no clue how I'm going to quilt them. Those applique elephants in the borders are cute, but in the way!)

Stitch, Stitch, Stitch
Since I've finished the handwork for the one applique flower quilt, I moved on to the petals for the next two. Going steadily, but not quickly at this point. But, no doubt, I am able to focus on completing these much better without the machine calling to me to take care of some work back there.

I have four blocks per flower and nine flowers for two quilts, so that's 72 of these three-petal blocks to get done. Yikes! Glad I had all the petals sewn together and ready for stitching. Which means when the machine comes home, they'll be in the queue for sewing together and moving ahead with those. Whew!!

Plan, Plan, Plan
The quilts for this challenge are really all done in terms of planning. The fabrics are cut, decisions are made. So I'm looking at other items around my room that need some work to get them to the next stage. Top of that list is the box of t-shirts I'm going to turn into a memorial quilt for my mom. If I can get a design figured out, I can start adding the interfacing and cut them to size. I'm trying to not think too much beyond that though. I still have a long way to go in the next four months with this challenge.

What would you do if you didn't have your sewing machine for a few days?

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