Lord almighty, it’s been quite the couple of weeks. I’m really glad I went hard and heavy working on the Christmas quilt earlier this month, because without my nose to the grindstone there would have been no hope of finishing by the UFO contest’s February 4th deadline.
Here’s what it looked like last time I updated.
And here’s the backing I chose! I loved the poinsettia option, but it was just too pricey for my cheap ass.
So, what’s happened with the quilt, and life, in the last two weeks? If you have a weak stomach, proceed with caution. You have been warned.
January 19 (Thursday): I turned 30-one-year-older-than-last year! I took the day off from work (and the next day, ’cause: Friday) and had a pretty fab one. Made Vogue 8904 for my birthday dress, but still haven’t gotten around to taking nice photos for the blog. Here’s an itty bitty sneak peek.
January 20 (Friday): 81 blocks of the quilt assembled! (didn’t take a photo; sad face)
January 21 (Saturday): Cheeks got baby’s first stomach bug, and celebrated by barfing directly into his Duplo bin. Have you ever cleaned puke from Legos? Me either before last weekend! Bleach and dishsoap bath and then through the dishwasher…
January 22 (Sunday): Things seem OKish. Cheeks is a little off, but the gut clearing has ceased. During nap and after bed I was able to sew the remaining of the 99 quilt blocks together AND got the border sewn on. Yay!
January 23 (Monday): Woke up at 5 am not feeling quite right. After a couple of unfortunate events beginning at 5:45 I realize this is not just the pukes: it’s a noro virus. Dear God, help me. Seven hours later, I get to stop barfing on a regular interval.
January 24 (Tuesday): At 8 am Mr. 5 falls to the illness; he horks so much I almost sympathy yak.
I ended up working from home Tuesday through Thursday because of various unfortunate events. So thankful that is an option for me from time to time. On Friday, I finally felt normal again.
January 28 (Saturday): Cleared out our whole living room (biggest square space in our less than 1000 square foot house) and “basted” my quilt sandwich. Can we talk about that terminology? As a garment seamstress, it’s so weird to say I’m basting (which to me is a long, non permanent stitch), but I’m really just safety pinning layers together. Can we just call it pinning, or is that Garmentist?
Oscar was totally not into this shit.
But he was soooo good and just laid (is that the correct one? Seriously, I try not to use lay/laid/lie because IDK WTF I am doing) there the whole two hours that I spent placing these 350ish safety pins.
I tried some good advice on PR to roll up each edge and then unroll for each new row of stitching, but I unfortunately didn’t have enough space behind my machine to make it work.
While getting my space ready to quilt, I was looking for a pack of sewing machine needles I thought could be under my machine (Uh, what? I know, I don’t know…) and when I lifted it up, I knocked my very sharp Gingher thread snips from my sewing table onto the floor.
Well, not quite: onto my foot. Point down. While holding my Pfaff Performance 5.0 in my hand. There was enough blood that it surprised me, and Nurse 5 helped me sop it all up. I thought about taking a photo, but there comes a time when perhaps you’re documenting too much of your life.
And then it was time to actually QUILT this bad boy! Or Big Mama. Whatever you want to call it, it was like wrestling a really obstinate honey badger. At first it felt like it was too hard to get close enough to see what I was doing, but I was able to adapt and get used to the tugging and smoothing necessary to keep things from puckering.
So, then I quilted for two more days, just stitching rows in the ditch around each block, before being done! I definitely plugged away at it, but was also surprised at how few days it ended up taking.
January 30 (Monday): After work, I finished quilting, per above, then trimmed. For shits and giggles, I weighed it before trimming to see how much I had been shoving around my sewing machine: 8.4 pounds!
I then cut binding strips from my 108″ wide backing fabric, so I only cut four, figuring my finished quilt is supposed to be about 90″ by 108″ so that would DEFINITELY be plenty. This is what happened…
Yup, about 6 inches too short. For serious? So, I had to take the whole shebang off of my machine, cut another small section of binding, sew it on, press it, and then sewed the remaining of the binding on.
January 31 (Today/Tuesday!): Began hand stitching the binding to the back. ‘Cause I want it to be pretty after all of this effort, and I don’t trust my machine skillz binding-wise.
I got this much done in 20 minutes during lunch at work…now to see if I can finish the rest in the next 4 days!