Thursday, April 23, 2015

Easy Street - Clue #8 - Bonnie Hunter - Mystery Quilt

Clue 8 has been here for quite awhile!  Yes, please meet Procrastination Debi.  I have had this on the back burner for quite awhile now and am just realizing that I want this set of posts finished by year end.  Time to kick it in gear.  It is the middle of November and I am now going to set this beautiful quilt.  First up:  blocks.  Block A is in stacks of nice little units and I need to lay out 16 of them  I grab my medium portable design board and start stacking them up.  I want to take these with me to retreat and perhaps start putting them together as leader/enders and be able to do a small mini-class on webbing with them.

It works beautifully as a leader/ender project while at retreat and I manage to get a few finished.  Yep, you read that right.  A few.  Oh my --.  I even get one of the "B" blocks finished to see what they will look like too.  That's it though.

Fast forward to mid December.  I have finished a few more blocks as leader/enders but now I HAVE to focus on these blocks.  Block A is complete.

Here are my block B's laid out along with the single B

December 17 and I am sewing the B blocks.  I have them finished and quickly run into the house to lay out my center.  First I have to find the setting and corner triangles that we made in clue 7.  Oh my.  I absolutely love it.

12/29  Oh my time sure has passed on this one.  Now to finally do the last step of setting this sweetheart.  I have learned that "on-point" quilts set better in halves so that is the process that I use.  I work one corner down to the center and then start the process over with the other half.  It takes me less than two hours of listening to my lovely Annie stitching away and then I have a center ready for borders.   Oh yeah.

Another hour later and I have the pink inner, turquoise outer, and purple binding made.  It's coming together but now I need to focus on something else today.  I am hoping to get this finished this year.  Time will tell.

2/15  I am back at this.  Obviously it did not happen by the end of last year.   Ugh --- sometimes I can be oh so pitiful.  Today the pink borders are going on.  Woohoo.

I'm liking the contrast that these give.

Next up is the turquoise outer border.  A quick measure and I am soon sewing these on as well.

This one is way too big for the living room floor.  Oh my, I'm scared to quilt it.  Label is ready as well, I just need the back now.

3/4  It seems like this crosses my radar every month or so and I now have it with me in Abilene while I am helping Jen recover from surgery.  It's time to get this dang back together.  I finish up the scrappy middle strip and sew my two sides on.  Yay -- that was painless.

Oh wait, dang it is not big enough.  Time to frog off a side and add another strip of scraps.  Do I even have enough still?  It's magic time. Once another scrappy strip is added, I reattach the outer piece and yes -- it is big enough now.  Whew.  I barely have any scraps left now.

All that is left is to quilt it.  I'll be back with the finished picture when I get to that stage.

UPDATE:  October 20, 2016.  It is on the frame.

UPDATE TWO:  1/10/2017

I'm going to get this sweetie quilted today.  The sun is shining and it's quite lovely out.  I think it has languished in the frame long enough.  Out to the studio I go and after filling bobbins, I am up and running.  I like it so keep going.  

On about the fourth bobbin, things start to go awry.  Isn't this lovely?  I get it all picked out, give the machine a once over and try again.

Perhaps luck is on my side as I am able to finish out that bobbin and then move onto filling some more.  Is this the problem?

After having the same issue repeatedly for 6 attempts with me cleaning the machine, changing needle, adjusting tension, and whatever else I can think of, with tears streaming down my face in frustration I call it ENOUGH for today.  The quilt is about 3/4 finished and it can sit for awhile until I'm not emotionally at the point where I want to beat the machine.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe not.

UPDATE 2 - 9/29/17   That's right.  It is almost a year later.  My quilt has been in this frame since October 20, 2016.  Since January 10 of this year, it has sat in "time out."  Yesterday, I went out to the studio determined to solve the problem.  After clearing a path in a studio that I have just not taken care of lately, I have room to maneuver.  Turning the machine on, and crossing my fingers, away I went.  OMG.  It worked.  I did NOTHING different to it.  Well, at least that I was aware of.  I even switched out a bobbin and no problems.  A quick glance told me I was getting near the end and believing to have about three swaths left, I ran out of bobbin again forcing me to refill one.  I went into the house, refilled the bobbin, put it into the machine and away I went --- to a mess again.  GRRRR.  Throwing my hands in the air, I give up for the day.

That brings me to today.  Back to the studio I go, with a renewed effort to talk sweet to my machine.  Maybe if she knows how frustrated I am, she will help me.  Hey, a girl ca hope can't she?  I clean the machine thoroughly, start it up and voila --- a mess again.  Now, please keep in mind that I am running a test piece EVERY time before starting on the quilt itself.  They are perfect.  As I go to move the machine back to the far left so that I can roll the quilt to pick out the mess, I notice that the presser foot is up.  WHAT????  Have I been doing that a lot???  In the past, if the presser foot was left up, it would jam the entire machine, not just leave an eyelash mess.  HMMMMMM.  I am totally confused now.  After cleaning the mess up again, I again clean the bobbin case thoroughly and try a test again.  Perfect.  Okay, here goes nothing.  Making sure that the presser foot is down, I start it up again and she runs wonderfully.  I am able to finish the last few swaths and this baby is coming off the frame.  Oh WOW.  I kept ALL the threads I have pulled on this project ---- it's a crazy amount.  I have no idea if that was the problem or not.  Time will tell.

Immediately, I take the quilt into the house to trim the edges with a little help from Mister.  Now it needs to be squared up and the binding attached.  There's just one little problem with this.  The studio is a disaster.  After two hours of cleaning, I have cleared an area, squared the quilt, pinned the label on, and am ready to add the binding.  Whew.  One hour later, I am at the hand stitch point and no longer dependent on a machine to finish this humongous baby.  Stay tuned.

October 27 -- All binding is sewn down.  I can call this sweetheart DONE.  I'll do an upright, outdoor picture within the next couple of days and then this post will be complete.  Thanks for hanging in there with me throughout it all.

Finished Upright Pictures - 

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