The Busy Bean

Stream of Conscious Sewing

Do you remember back in school where you had to write down one thing, then the next thing that popped into your head, then the next… You know, stream of conscious. That is what my sewing day was like today. Let me outline it for you.

#1. I have strep throat, so I didn’t want to do major sewing. I am, however, dying to get into this stack of fabric:

And the first step for my plans includes cutting out 190+ petal shapes from fusible web. Check. I can do that and still stay in bed. Except I only had one roll of web, and cut out about 40 before I ran out. So I ventured into the studio to find something else easy to do.

#2. For Christmas, my dad wanted to give my mom a new church bag. Great! Except he gave me about three days notice and I was busy. So, she got a stack of fabric and a promise. I figured it wouldn’t take too much to get that done, then I could go back to bed. So I grabbed the fabric to cut, but had to get rid of this stack to get to my cutting mat.

Except they were only sewn in strips at that point, so I thought I would just hurry and put them together and then cut them apart. That way it would be easier to put them on a shelf until I was ready to finish. (Those will be a new quilt for out master bedroom. One day.)

So, I put the nine patches together and then cut them down the middle to prep for sewing them back together. Check. Except that when i did math in my head, it went like this “nine and a half, divided by two… That’s four and a half plus a fourth, so… Four and a quarter.”

Good thing I only cut two before I had that “a-ha” moment and started cutting the rest of them correctly! Now I just have to figure out how to fix it so those first two will still work…

#3. As I was putting those blocks aside, I saw the quilt that was the bane of my existence before Christmas. It was a simple little quilt… But I struggled and decided I didn’t have the patience to finish it then. It involved placing 2.5″ squares on top of a base fabric, pinning them down, and then straight line quilting them into place.

I started pinning correctly using safety pins so I wouldn’t stab myself when i quilted it, thinking I could finish it and take it with us on vacation over Christmas to hand-sew the binding.

Since I was working on the floor, this was back-breaking work, and taking oh so long to open and close all those pins. I stared at the 300+ squares on the floor and thought no way could I hunch over that long. So I ran into the studio and grabbed my straight pins.

Easier. But still mind-numbing. At least I was in front of my dvr catching up on “How I Met Your Mother.” It was fine until i ran out of pins. And I suddenly remembered I had picked up this stuff for another project:

And it worked like a charm! So fast! I was renewed. That night, I finished tacking all the squares down and took it in to start sewing the lines. I did one and went to bed. That was about three weeks ago.

And all my pins were still inside. I couldn’t sew my mom’s purse without pins! So, I’d have to finish the straight line quilting to get my pins out. Perfect! Then I could take it back to bed with me and hand sew the binding.

#4. Lots and lots of straight line quilting.

But, I finished them all! And… it was after 8 p.m. by that time. Short break to grab some dinner. And on to the binding. By now I knew I didn’t want to hand sew the binding anymore, because if I didn’t finish it tonight, I wasn’t going to finish it any time soon. So I just did the binding on my machine.

And it is just fine.

Beautiful, in fact.

I seriously thought about washing it and drying it so the edges of my squares will start to fray and it will get all crinkly. But, since i have to go to work tomorrow and it is not a pants-optional workplace, I decided to do my laundry instead. Probably a good choice.

For now, it is folded nicely, ready to go in a box and not come out again until next Christmastime.

By then I’m sure my love-hate relationship will be a full love-love relationship.

And sometime before I pull it out of the box I really will make my mom’s new church bag. But for now, I’m really going back to bed.

Okay, truth be told, I’m already in bed, watching 24 on Netflix and typing this on my iPad. But I’m seriously turning off the light and going to sleep now.

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7 Thoughts on “Stream of Conscious Sewing

  1. No rush on the bag and the quilt looks awesome, maybe I should do one.

  2. I did a similar quilt, only I hand appliqued the, um, I think it was 169 squares.

    I love the way you work. I’m always in the middle of a bunch of projects and then seem to finish them all up at once as well. Speaking of which, I have a quilt on the machine that I need to get back to free motion quilting on….

    • Carol, I’m thinking about hand quilting my daughter’s birthday quilt (that’s what the 190 petals will be for) but I’m not sure I’m brave enough yet! I’ll have to check out your projects for inspiration.

  3. What a gorgeous Christmas quilt! I’ve also switched from safety pins to straight pins – much faster. Haven’t gone to the glue yet though!

  4. Pingback: The Busy Bean · When it Rains

  5. What a great quilt. I want to try that kind of quilt in 2013. It seems the more I quilt the more quilts I want to quilt.

    Your quilt is beautiful and the colors are great. Nice binding too!


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