First, because I know what ya’ll like, the Fiber Report for the long weekend.
No actual knitting to report. I did block the “Chuck Norris Bites Frost” Scarf this weekend. I only wet and pinned the ends and the seam in the middle. The T-pins worked really well. The rest of the scarf did not need it, and since this scarf is over 10 feet long, I had no room to block the whole thing. The blocking worked well, and while the seam isn’t invisible, it blends in nicely. This scarf is officially completely DONE. Yes, an FO! Shiny!
Quilting is a completely different story. There was much work done on the Cosmic Prince Quilt. I got my sewing machine and all the stuff out Wednesday afternoon and left it out all weekend. The Resident Sith Master spent Wednesday through Friday at his dad’s, so I was a quilting maniac while he was gone.
Thursday, I sewed together the quilt top. First, I sewed together the 11 rows of 15 squares. One-hundred-sixty-five squares, ya’ll. One-hundred-forty 7-inch seams. Why do I do this again?
Then I ironed the seams. I hate ironing – I only iron when sewing; I refuse to have any clothes that need ironing. The ironing is my least favorite part of quilting. But I digress… And pinned and then sewed the rows together into the whole quilt top, which is queen-sized. And then ironed it again.
And that was Thursday. Oh, and I watched the Macy’s parade, and a bunch of other TV.
Friday, I started on the back of the quilt. And now we get to the problem. Sorry, I mean “creative opportunity.”
You see, when I purchased the fabric for this quilt, and for the Frog Prince Quilt, I was planning on making twin-sized quilts. I was planning on using one piece of the main fabric (dark blue background spangled with stars, with colorful planets all over it) as the back of this quilt. I was also planning on using one piece of the frog print fabric for the back of the Frog Prince Quilt.
Ha. The best laid plans of mice and men… or zombies and quilters… whatev…
Of course, the piece of fabric I had was not enough for the back of a queen-sized quilt. Truthfully, it might not have been enough for a twin-sized quilt either. I bought this fabric two years ago, so the chances of finding more, especially in the same dye lot? Uh, can you say “zero,” kids? I knew you could. The lesson: Always buy more fabric than you think you’ll need. Especially for the backing fabric. You’d think I’d know this by now. But no…
I did have an assortment of squares left over from piecing the front. So, I played around with the squares, and came up with a design for the back involving four pieced rows and the planet fabric. I sewed the four rows, then sewed them together. With nasty ironing. I cut the planet fabric in half lengthwise, and sewed one half to each side of the four-row panel. I ironed again, and the back of the quilt was done.
I planned it so that the edges of the back are all the planet fabric (each end of the four pieced rows is a planet-fabric square). When I fold the back over the front of the quilt, to make the bound edge, the edge on the front will all be planet fabric. The four-row panel of other squares will be a surprise only seen when the quilt is flipped over. This does make the back of the quilt more interesting, but it’s a lot more work.
I will have to buy more fabric of some kind for the back of the Frog Prince Quilt, as I only have a few squares left over from the pieced front. And I won’t be able to get the same fabric, see above “bought fabric two years ago.” Sigh. I will have to be creative. And I’m forced – FORCED – to go to the fabric store. Oh, the suffering!
And yes, the digressions continue!
By late Friday afternoon, I was ready to pin the quilt layers together. Because I don’t have a table big enough, I used the floor. I carefully laid the quilt back down (right side down) and spread out the batting. Because the batting was not wide enough for this ginormous quilt, I whip stitched the two pieces of batting together by hand. This helps keep the batting from separating once the quilt is in use. In a hundred years, when it’s finished, I mean.
Then I carefully placed the quilt top over the batting (right side of the fabric up). And spent the next hour carefully pinning the three layers together with big safety pins. I’ve used straight quilting pins in the past, which can be painful for the quilter as well as innocent bystanders and Sith apprentice cats. The pins fall out and hide in the carpet to ambush the unwary. The pins scratch and poke the quilter. The pins attack cats who are testing the comfort of the quilt. Safety pins are, well, safer.
All of this quilting work was done with Tom Cat’s help, of course. Yes, the Dread Cat Tommy carefully supervised everything. He attacked the fabric squares I was arranging for the back. He stole the thread off the machine. He made sure that each phase was completed to his exacting specifications. Ya’ll know. I mention this supervision for a reason. Read on.
Once I had the whole quilt pinned together, I admired the front, and how the whole thing is really beginning to look quilt-like. And nearing completion.
Then I flipped the quilt over to admire the back.
And discovered that mysteriously, the back of the quilt was crumpled on one side. Tommy is not known as the evil Sith apprentice cat for nothing. I had to redo at least half of the pinning, smoothing out the back as I went.
Once it was pinned correctly, Tommy immediately claimed it as his own and slept for hours on it. Supervising is hard work, y’all.
I’m now deciding on the quilting pattern for the quilt. I hope to be able to do most of it by machine. Although I could still flake off and just tie the quilt off. Faster, but not as sturdy.
And in non-fiber news:
I picked up the Resident Sith Master Friday night – after properly greeting the two large dogs that live at his dad’s house – neither of whom is a Sith apprentice, by the way – oh, digressing again…
We had our big turkey dinner at one on Saturday, with a delicious and moist turkey (I wrap the turkey in cheesecloth and baste a lot, plus let the turkey sit for 30 minutes after it comes out) and massive amounts of mashed potatoes (our favorite), plus stuffing (thank you, Mrs. Cubbinson), gravy (from a jar this year, but quite good), and so forth. We had apple pie for dessert (which I bought frozen and baked). Sometimes I do more from scratch, but I was being gentle on myself this year.
We played video games together, and had a wonderful time. Sunday, we rented “Die Hard 2″ (the only one he hadn’t seen) and enjoyed watching Bruce Willis defeat the bad guys. Of course. We also rented the fourth movie in the series, “Live Free or Die Hard,” which we haven’t watched yet. Probably tonight. Sunday, some of his friends came over to play video games, and I watched TV in my room. One of the local channels was doing a 60 hour marathon of “TV classics” so that was… retro. I enjoyed the episode of “The Monkees” but missed the episode of “Star Trek” their ads promised.
All in all, a very good long weekend, and lots to be thankful for.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch:
No real change in the way I’m feeling, so I’ll spare you the whining – about that at least. Gorgeous and Available Engineer brother will be here Saturday and will stay a week. Beautiful Sister may come visit too. My wonderful wise and funny BFF Anna-Liza continues to keep my spirits up with long phone conversations and emails. She reminds me to focus on trust. I’m walking around chanting, “trust, trust, trust” to myself, which is much better than walking in fear. I’m so lucky to have such a wise BFF.
I have a lot to be grateful for. I am so very grateful for my healthy happy son and for my family, and for my friends. I’m so very thankful for my amazing BFF, Anna-Liza, I can’t even express how incredibly wonderful it is to have her in my life. I’m thankful for all of ya’ll who read my ramblings here and whom I so enjoy
stalking knowing through your own funny and thoughtful blogs. And I’m grateful to be able to look forward to a time when this medical problem will be solved and I can move on. And move around comfortably. Plus, no more periods. Ya’ll know you are jealous.
T minus 8 days and counting.