Friday, April 16, 2021

Happy Friday - Keeping track of Progress on a Large Quilt

 I hope you have had a good week - the weather has definitely turned for the better around here, and I think it's time to put aside my heavy jacket when I go for my morning walks!  I don't think I'll put it away for the season yet, but I am sure happy to have some warmer weather to go with the sunshine.

Units of quilt block ready to sew together
I spent the weekend working on my UFO for this month - the Super Saturday project taught by me and a friend at Threads That Bind several years ago.  I had 8 blocks finished, so just had to do this last block.  I figured out what was holding me up - I was out of the light gold fabric that I planned to use where the green is.  All I had to do was decide to use the green, and it was easy to finish up the last block!
Nine finished quilt blocks on design wall

The second hurdle was the fabric for the sashing.  I didn't have enough to do an outside border as well.  Keeping in mind that a) I want to finish this quilt and b) I have loads of fabric in my stash that I want to use up, I quickly decided to use what I had for the inside sashing and fine a similar brown for the outer border.  That wasn't so hard!

I love how the sashing defines these blocks and brings them together as a group!  Now, I just have to add the borders.  I had yards of this fabric, which is used in many of these blocks as well.  I'll also be using it on the back of the finished quilt when I get there!

So now, all I have to do is piece the backing and get it quilted - yay!  In the process I emptied out the project bin this project was in and worked on cutting out the pieces for my OMG project this month.  Last year I used my UFO challenge as my One Monthly Goal, so I was doubly sure to finish.  This year I am stretching myself most months and using the OMG to finish a different project.  This month I may have bitten off more than I can chew!

I decided to keep track of the hours spent on this top.  It took about 4 hours to cut all these fabrics into squares and triangles.  Hundreds of that gray fabric!  Well, that had to be fussy cut on the diagonal.  40 6 1/8 inch squares.  The right side of the fabric was pretty square, but the left side was so cattywampus.  I sprayed with best press, stretched and pressed it into a pretty good approximation of square.  I spent 2 hours yesterday sewing them into square in a square units with the directional background.  To make these come out right you need to cut half the triangles in one direction and the other half in the opposite.  Since I cut the squares from fabric folded right sides together, I just left them as is and it worked out perfectly.
I cut and sewed in sets of five to avoid wasting fabric.  I have five left to sew and then I can go on to the next step, which will be sew and flip green squares on the corner of these units.  I'm guessing this project will take about 25 hours to complete.  So far I am 6 hours in.  That means if I want to finish this by the end of the month, I should work for about an hour and a half every day on it.  That's a pretty good chunk of time, so I may not make it to my finish this month.  I guess we'll see!  I found that it took 15 minutes to make 5 square in a square units, including pressing and trimming, so it was easy to keep track of my progress this way, and I was able to fit short bursts of sewing in throughout the day to get nearly done with this step yesterday.

If you are having fitting time for sewing into your day, you might want to try this!  I think it's great for large repetitive projects, you can break it down and you don't have to feel like you are chained to your sewing machine doing the same thing over and over without making much progress.

I've started keeping better track of how long it takes me to do lots of different tasks, so I don't overwhelm myself.  Did you know it only takes about 15 minutes to fold and stack a load of laundry?  Once I figured that out I didn't dread it as much, so I figure the same trick will help with my sewing and quilting! 

Oh, and don't forget it's dress season!  Weddings are being planned for summer, so the dresses are starting to pile in.  I guess it's good that I love to spend time in my sewing room!  This method works well for this type of sewing as well.  When I have a short amount of time to spend sewing I work on a quicker project, and save the longer stretches of time for the more involved projects so I don't have to be interrupted.  Plus, I can make sure and schedule enough time for the urgent tasks if I know approximately how long I need to complete them. 

Now that I've written this post, I guess I need to put my words into action and go do some sewing :)

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