Arc maker

This weekend, we were finalizing prep for our houseguest.  Tonight's dinner is ready.  The dishes are all washed.  The house is as clean as we are going to get it.  I baked three loaves of pumpkin bread.  And, we even had a little time for shopping. 

Yesterday, we picked up new rugs for the kitchen floor and the 6.5 yards of black fabric that the arc quilt calls for.  I didn't get it surged and washed, but it is here.  I even found some time to make a few more arcs. 

I've started sewing the arcs together into their final shape.  I'm having to be very careful because none of the edges are straight of the fabric grain and they want to stretch.  It would probably be safer if I were leaving the paper attached as I sew them together, but I'm using the freezer paper method and pulling the paper off to reuse it.  I might not make all the arcs this way because of that stretching.  I might needle punch some regular paper and give that a try, but before I decide, I'm going to turn some of these arcs into blocks with their attached pieces, just to see how it works out. 

Several of you asked about re-using the freezer paper templates.  I've made all these arcs and have another set of two large and two small in process, and I'm still using the original set of three large and two small templates.  You can see some mistakes were made in the gradations.  There are going to be 24 arc pairs so I don't think my mistakes will be noticeable, but I have pulled out my red viewer that takes the color out of everything and lets me verify the graded shading is correct. 

The arcs on the left are sewn together.  That took multiple tries to get them right.  They don't go together like I would have expected and the instructions for joining them are "sparse".  There are no match points or anything, so it took multiple tries to get them to go together correctly and form a 45* angle.  They're a little stretched, but I've been careful and don't think I will have any trouble attaching the next pieces.  And, if I lose a couple as I'm learning, that's okay, too. 

They're laid out on my new huge ironing board that we picked up at the quilt show.  Loving that.  I pulled it out to iron the kitchen curtains yesterday and it is the perfect size for laying things out to really give them a good stretching to square and steam iron. 

I really am enjoying making this quilt.  I figured out that I needed to sort my fabrics (again) to go from dark to light.  That way, I can pull out the pieces I need without having to dig through the stack, looking for just that right one that will bridge from one fabric to the next.  I build my piles and can sew four arcs in a go as long as I'm very organized about which pile I pull my fabrics from.  I couldn't do two that were identical (like two blue/yellow), but I can do two that are similar (blue/yellow and blue/orange) and still keep them straight because the arc tells me which color pile to pull from. 

Sydney will be in my studio for the week so I've set up a sewing sweatshop in the garage.  I oiled and cleaned Linda's sewing machine and am using it out there.  This would normally be my machine repair station.  Her machine is nice.  It sews a good straight stitch and has good tension and is powerful.  The pedal gives me good control.  It won't make a single stitch like the Bernina does, but that's useful in quilting more than in piecing. 

To the right, I have a small ironing board on a TV tray.  I add a fabric, press it to the freezer paper and move it to the bottom of my pile of working arcs and let it rest.  That lets the freezer paper cool to the fabric, which makes it adhere better.  Then, I use the blue piece of cardstock to fold the freezer paper back, trim the edge using my add-a-quarter ruler and I'm ready to sew on the next piece of fabric.  I use my scissors to keep the top and bottom edges close to the paper.  Floppy edges will let the fabric pull from the paper and they get hung on things, so after I've trimmed it to a quarter on the sewing edge, I use the scissors to trim the top and bottom.  I can comfortably work four arcs at a time.  There are 31 pieces of fabric in a large arc and 17 in a small arc, so the small ones are finished long before the large ones are. 

Tomorrow is my boss's big presentation where he explains his results for the year.  He gets so nervous.  Way more than most people I've worked for.  And, he practices and reviews and practices and reviews until he's taken all the mystery out of it and turned it into a staged production.   I think he's even timing how long to spend on each slide.  I don't know about you, but a fluid presentation always works better for me.  One where I can improv for the things the audience responds to the most and downplay the things that make them yawn.  Everybody's got their own way, tho, right? 

Everybody have a great week!  I work today and half of tomorrow and then don't work again until Friday afternoon.  Rob will be spending the day here, anticipating his Mom's arrival.  Squeezing in that one last project or bit of cleaning.  His dog will be a nervous wreck trying to keep up with him.  I am done.  If it didn't get done, it won't get done.  I made Tikka Masala and Kheema, three loaves of pumpkin bread, roasted sweet potatoes in honey, hummus, and pimiento and cheese, and a ham and broccoli quiche yesterday.  The first person that say's they're hungry is going to get kicked in the shin.