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The Stash Is Winning - Episode 9

Posted by Dawn Hunter on

Okay!  It’s a new year and I have a new enthusiasm for tackling the list.  To begin with we’re at 136 project bags, 47 of which have been started and are UFOs.

            Easy one first: I got a quilt back from the long-armer recently and finally got it’s binding on.  Yay!  One UFO officially off the list!

            Now, because I actually have a very short attention span, I move on to the most recent project next.  I had taken a workshop through the Guild and made 10 of the 36 blocks during the class.  Excited about my fabrics and the final design, it doesn’t take too long to finish the blocks and get the pieced borders on at a mini retreat.  I have no idea how I want to quilt it, but that’s a problem for another day.

            Left with only a half day remaining in the mini retreat I decide to tackle something small.  I don’t want to have yet another partial project to take home so I pull out a table runner with some really colorful, modern-style fabrics.  Often I’m shopping in a quilt store and find things I really like that aren’t necessarily “my style”.  I don’t know what to do with these fabrics – certainly not a king sized bed quilt – but I want to have the fabrics anyway.  This is where I end up with a great number of placemats, table runners, tote bags and even pillowcases.  I think the fabrics for this particular table runner were purchased somewhere in Georgia on a road trip.  I’m still rather in love with them and once the runner is pieced, I have another top waiting to be quilted.

            So I’m kind of on a roll at this point.  Even though I’ve only finished one project off, I’ve made a lot of progress on others. 

            If you’ve read this column before, you know what’s coming.  Yep, more stuff added to the list.  In this case I have two things.  The first is a class I signed up for on a pattern that I own.  This really confuses Spouse who thinks that I could be teaching most of the classes I sign up for.  He doesn’t understand that sometimes I sign up for a class to learn a new technique or to spend time with a particular teacher.  And sometimes I sign up for a class just to make sure that I get started on a project I’ve been wanting to tackle.  This is that last category.  A local shop offered a class on a pattern that is part Snail’s Trail, part Storm At Sea, and all paper pieced.  At 73 inches square, this one is going to take quite a while but I have all the fabric and at least I have it started.

            The second start is a gift.  Spouse’s nephew has gotten engaged and I really like his choice.  I know my vote doesn’t count, but I like her anyway.  As soon as I found out she likes owls and I found a really neat owl panel I gave it to her on the promise that I’d make the quilt for her.  She was so excited she got on social media and told all her friends “Guess who is getting a quilt made for her by a pro?.”  I don’t know about the “pro” part but now you like her too, don’t you?  We went out and found the coordinating fabrics together and now the completed top is waiting for me to show it to her so she can pick a quilting pattern.   So I added to the list but I think for a good reason.

            Now faced with 35 tops that are waiting to be quilted, something needs to be done.  Last year I called on a long armer friend and sent out four tops.  This helped a little but not enough to make much of a dent.  I have owned a mid-arm machine for several years and it sits on a queen sized Grace frame that was really very difficult to move over to the new house.  Spouse is understandably confused as to why I send quilts out and have someone else work on them when I own a special machine just for that purpose.  The truth is that my rig is woefully outdated.  The machine carriage is wood, there’s no laser pointer to follow the pantograph (I have a wooden stick that’s a little too short), there’s no stitch regulator, and to operate the machine you squeeze a wooden lever that, through a series of joints, pushes down on the foot pedal that is mounted up above the machine itself.  At the time I had all of the bells and whistles that were available but compared to today’s setups it leaves a lot to be desired.  Frankly I need to either update it or get rid of it entirely.  Faced with 35 tops to quilt, I decide to upgrade.  It’s pricey, but I order the now-available stitch regulator that will also come with an electronic ‘on’ switch.  Oohhh.

            Well now we wait for the mailman to come.  And we hope that the stitch regulator works when I get it all hooked up – wish me luck!  Only 137 projects on the list, 49 of which have been started.

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