Out of touch...

It was a rainy weekend here and for some reason, our phones have started to short out in the rain. The first time was an anomaly, but the second time makes this a trend that needs to be corrected. Of course, we found out that we no longer have one of those old fashioned wired phones that you plug in, so I couldn't test whether the problem is inside the house or outside on their part of the line. So, we were effectively cut off. The most reliable way to reach us for at least part of the weekend would have been by postal mail. Email was intermittent, internet available, so long as we didn't try to send or upload anything. Cell phones were up and down.

We'd may as well have relied on smoke signals.

More later about my OCD, but I did manage to finish this little quilt. This is my January Linus quilt. And, it is also the promised easiest patchwork pattern in the world and goes together so nicely for a charitable donation. I'd estimate that it took me 3-4 hours to cut and piece and another 3-4 hours to quilt. An hour to pinbaste and another hour to bind (cheater binding that I'll talk about later. If you're interested, I can share all the little secrets that make this easier.

This quilt was pieced last year and is based off of 8" blocks. The block can be from one piece of fabric or it can be from 2 bricks or 4 small squares or 1 brick and 2 small squares, but all finish at 8". So, the bricks are 4 1/2 x 8 1/2" and the small squares are 4 1/2"

This year, I decided to change the size to a 9" finished block because I have a lot of nickel squares (5"), which is a standard size for me to cut from my scraps. I have a couple of other patterns planned that will use up nickel squares, but this is my basic one. I like it because I can knock out a donation quilt in a weekend.

I usually pick a focus fabric, in this case the tropical bird fabric and then I pick things to go with it. There's a blue plaid shirt in there and some scraps cut from an old set of cotton curtains and the back was a donation to my Linus efforts from my mentor. This is the first time I've made one of these without a border and it worked out fine. It would have been easier if I hadn't tried to skip a step. I didn't quilt all the way around the edge before I started the free motion work. That would have given me some stability that I needed. There was no ditch work on this and I needed it when it was time to quilt around the edges, which kept trying to sneak back under the quilt and were quite frustrating.

The binding is just the backing, cut down to an inch larger than the top and pressed at a half inch and then folded over the top and sewn down. Easy, peasy.

Because it is all squares, it's easy to change the size to accomodate a wheelchair lap quilt, which would need to be smaller. I go for a large size as Linus doesn't get many boy quilts. They get lots of little kid quilts and a lot of girl quilts, but boys are left to fleece blankets, so I try to focus my work on them. The focus fabric for the February quilt is bass fish schooling underwater. There's lots of blues and greens in that one. And, then a flowery girl quilt because I have a piece of fabric that needs to find a way into a Linus and it is definitely not boyish.

On the coat front, here's where I am so far. I spent more hours than I intended putting in pockets, but what I ended up with is very nice, if a bit brighter than I was hoping for. The collar facing is basted in and this morning, I started hand stitching it down. All that's left is the hems, including the sleeves. And, the hand finished buttonholes. I'm not giving up hope on machine buttonholes, yet. But, I'm pretty sure they're going to have to be by hand. With a very heavy thread.

And, then there will be hours and hours of fun picking out threads from the first rendition. I haven't been very good at picking them out because I was never sure this was going to work out. Now that it is, I find that I have hours of tweezer work ahead of me.

Okay, that's it. I think I sewed about 32 hours over the 48 hour weekend. I don't quite know why I get so wierd, but we have a lot coming up and I just sometimes feel overwhelmed and hide away in the sewing room; coming out only for meals. And, bathroom breaks.

Take care.



lw said...

The coat is looking good-- but we will still need to see it on you.

We have a hard-wired phone in the bedroom; it never hurts to keep one wired in for emergencies.

Becky said...

Yes, we need to see you model it! It looks great! I like the small quilt. I like the colors in it. Take deep breaths and try to chill a little.

Hazel said...

Great job on the coat ,who would have thought it started from a blanket .

Sequana said...

I love the coat. You do know that there is special Buttonhole thread, don't you? Even made by Coats & Clarke, I think. Not hard to find at all.

Unknown said...

The coat is really nice. Can't wait to see the final product on you! I really like the Linus quilt also. I like the pattern. The fabrics are really great also. I have knitted/crochet Linus blankets, but so far I have never quilted one. A goal of mine for 2011 is to donate one quilt a month. This quilt inspires me! Thanks Lane.

Chris said...

I can so relate to hiding out in the sewing studio. It is quite the perfect escape. You get to avoid things and yet feel virtuously productive at the same time! What could be better? Great coat, it doesn't seem too bright to me.

marlene@ByTheSeam said...

Your coat turned out nice. My hubby loves those old wool blankets to use for his per-1864 camping things he goes to. Talk about your phone lines. When the weather is bad my Mom's are like that too. Makes me very nervous when I can't get in touch with her. Hope they can fix them soon.

Pauline said...

Coat is perfect! My black suggestion doesn't hold a candle to what you've done! Love it!

Anonymous said...

try a packing tape for the threads, if it works may save time...ask me how I know!