Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Seven Days Without Sewing Makes One Weak

Doldrums: \ˈdōl-drəmz\
1. a spell of listlessness or despondency
2. a part of the ocean near the equator abounding in calms, squalls, and light shifting winds
3. a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or slump

Once upon a time, about 2½ weeks ago, I kind of fell into a funk. About six weeks ago, I made a major adjustment to my schedule so that I could be around more for the Not-So-Little Bugs during summer. Overall, it has been a really positive change. I like being the first one in at work. I get a lot more done while it's quiet. And I also get to go home before everybody else; before lunch even. I think, too, that going to bed earlier {it's usually still a little bit light out} and getting more sleep has had a positive effect on how many migraines I get and how long they last {i.e., I'm having fewer and they don't hang on for days}.

I'm trying to keep this as non-whiney as possible, but what this little back-story is leading up to is that somewhere in there, I kind of lost my "me" time. And maybe a little bit of me, too. I know that making sacrifices for your kids is part of being a parent. But I kind of felt like there was a whole lot of resistance in the ranks to where I wanted to go {which, in the literal sense, was anywhere but sitting around at home staring at the screens all day}, getting up early to go to work, going to bed early so I could get up early to go to work, and trying to out-stubborn {in a happy, positive, encouraging kind of way} the reticent {or alternately defiant} Not-So-Little Bugs all combined to make me feel like I was kind of failing a little bit at life. Subsequently, not even sewing sounded fun. So for a few days, I didn't.

Going without sewing for a few days is no big deal. Sometimes you just need a little break. Going a whole week without sewing was kind of a red flag for me. I decided that I'd better get back to the machine and I started to write this post. Well, sort of. I had a clever post title {I puns}. A few more days went by and still no sewing. At around the 11th no-sew day, it became a bit of a game and I decided to see if I could go a full two weeks without sewing. I think that was the turning point and by day 13, I was itching to do something creative. It was the 4th of July and it is kind of my tradition to work on my Patriotic Sampler for a few days every year around this time. {I know. It would make more sense to start working on it in April so it would be finished and ready to display on the 4th.}

I've been working on this sampler for about twelve years now. I started it when I was pregnant with LadyBug. She's eleven. It is my second oldest Ph.D, and I don't know why I don't just finish it already :lol:. I'm so close. Anyway, I decided I'd work on some of the itty, bitty paper pieced stars that go at the corners of the blocks in the sashing. It was then that I found out that my post title was more true than I knew. After the first star {which took an hour because I fussed and fiddled and unpicked a lot to try and get the stripes to line up} I was ready to quit. My sewing muscles {the mental ones that help you push through a boring/difficult/unpleasant part of a project} were seriously out of shape. I persisted, even though I didn't really want to. The non-stripey ones only took thirty minutes each. Seven down. Only twenty more to go.

Cute, no? They finish at 1". Who designed this quilt anyway?
Oh. Right. It was me.

After I'd had my fill of that, I put together one of two remaining blocks for the quilt top. It has been cut out and ready to go for, oh, I don't know. Four years now? This one is called Land of Liberty as was designed by Marcia Hohn at The Quilter's Cache. I kind of love it. Pinwheels and flying geese in the same block? It doesn't get better than that.

For the final block, I had three contenders, only two of which I can remember at the moment, so I won't even bother to tell you about the losers. I showed them to Mr. Bug and he said, hands down, this should be the final block. It is called Spiderweb Star, and it is pretty awesome. {Note: if you make this block, reverse the cutting directions for template piece C/CR.}

I also fiddled around at the old doodle pad {Microsoft Picture Manager & Microsoft Paint} and changed my sashing from tan {the same tan used for most of the block backgrounds. Yeah, not sure what I was thinking there.} to white, moved the blocks around a bit and added the flying geese border. It's kinda wild and crazy. I think it will be a little more mellow with a scrappy collection of reds and blues in the flying geese section. I'm debating about whether or not to add a border between the sashing and the geese and another on the outside of the geese. What do you think?

Block Credits:
Row 1 - left to right
The Old Red and Blue by Marcia Hohn at The Quilter's Cache
Zig-Zag Flag inspired by Karen at The Recipe Bunny
Our Eagle pattern from a BOM my mom did at her LQS

Row 2 - left & right
Glory Flag pattern from a BOM my mom did at her LQS
Crossroads traditional block

Center Section - left to right, top to bottom
Uncle Sam pattern from a BOM my mom did at her LQS
Patriot's Star {modified} at eQuiltPatterns.com
Banner Flag by Elizabeth
US Ribbon at Compuquilt
Pledge of Allegiance Embroidery by Elizabeth

Row 3 - left & right
July Fourth traditional block
54-40 or Fight {modified} or Star Shield traditional block

Row 4 - left to right
Land of Liberty by Marcia Hohn at The Quilter's Cache
Courthouse Steps traditional block
Spiderweb Star at McCall's Quilting


Amy said...

That looks so great! Love those itty bitty little stars. Can't wait to see it all finished up.

Vicki said...

I love it. The white sashing looks good and the scrappy border geese will be really cute too.

Shay said...

I think it looks perfect the way it is ...and Im impressed that this was what you worked on for the 4th !

Lane said...

I like it. You're right about changing the sashing, that really makes a pop! I don't know if I could go 2 weeks without sewing. Can you still breathe if you don't sew for that long? Enjoy the summer. I will share that we let our bug sit in her room and watch TV. Now, she's bored with that and ready to try to do things, so maybe it worked. Lane

Paulette said...

I'm sorry I'm so behind in seeing this. Still getting used to Feedly and feel like I'm missing stuff.

I totally love this quilt!! I love it just the way you have it here, don't think it needs anything else in the way of borders, etc. That last block is awesome! I haven't clicked on your link to it, but I'm hoping it's not paper pieced (or if it is, that I remember how). Definitely want to try that one sometime. You have mad design skilz, E.! Love the way you put this together.