Thanks for dropping by to take a look at some of my thoughts and ideals. Hope you will let me know if this has been helpful, useful, inspiring or whatever, and remember to come back soon.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lazy Days of.....What are you talking about, I don't have lazy days

Instead of Lazy Days of Summer, Winter, Spring or Autumn, it seems that I always have more to do than I will ever have time to complete, and yet I am always starting a new project, or looking up something new that I have heard.  There are times that I have to stop, take a deep breath, and look at what is there before me, instead of rushing off on a new tangent.  The wonderful thing about tangents is they are just spokes in my wagon wheel and eventually they will all connect and form the circle of my life.

Several years ago I decided that I would make paper pieced wall hangings for my step-daughter, step-daughter-in-law, and my youngest stepsons current girlfriend.  I started early, but found that I really didn't love paper piecing enough to finish the pattern I had started.  It was a lovely pattern, but....  What can I say, I just got tired of it...It had a gillion and one pieces.....My work area wasn't such as to easily accomplish my task...  Okay there are a million and one excuses but the bottom line is...they all got laid back and pushed back until they were just another UFO.

I'm sure we all have them, or have had them at some point.  That project that you started but didn't finish for whatever reason.  What do you do with those?  This week I want to give you some ideals that you can use or not, but just as food for thought.  There was that project that just wasn't coming together well and I had this large part finished but it called for more squares and then the border was pieced and the, well you get my drift.  Then there was that quilt that the colors, after I started just didn't do anything for me and it just didn't look the way I wanted it to look.  Gosh I had really worked on that one and then as I started putting it together I just didn't like it!!  Then of course there were those paper pieced pieced pieces, and several more that along the way had been shoved into the corner.  I really needed to clean up some of the mess!

Guess what, at a guild meeting someone said something about orphan blocks, and one of the ladies at that guild said just bring them to me and I'll do something with them.  She got all kinds of blocks, and they were all different sizes.  Some just didn't turn out right because of issues with seam allowances, or cutting problems and I'm sure I don't have to go into how many ways there are to mess up a block.  I know I've experienced my share of messed up blocks.  I gave some of my mishaps to her, but I still had plenty.  I really didn't want to carry them all to her because I didn't want anyone to know had bad I can mess something up.  Well you just had to be there to see some of the works of art Robbie brought to the guild meetings in the next few months.  No one would have ever guess those were orphan blocks.  I just didn't have the tallent she had for pulling things together.  She would just lay all her blocks out and pick a background color and if she had to add an extra strip on a block to make it the right size then it was added.  Some of the smaller blocks she put together with stripping and made a brand new 4 patch block of the right size to go with others.  It was amazing.  I learned a very valuable lesson from her.  We all tend to drift toward a particular palate of colors and with just an addition or two along the way, most of our orphan blocks will go together nicely into a brand new quilt.  If you want to try to bring some of your blocks together, I suggest you carry several of them with you when you go shopping for fabric so you can lay them all out with a background fabric to see if it works or see how many of them works and then adjust the size of the quilt, I mean after all you didn't have a pattern anyway so instead of a bed size quilt, how about a lap size.

Along that same train of thought, those quilt tops that I had completed a large portion of just as suddenly became lap quilts instead of half finished projects.  It was much easier to put the fewer number of blocks together with a border and "get 'er done" and it really felt good that it wasn't still just laying around and I still had the rest of the fabric that I had never cut that remained in my stash, or when I got really creative, because the fabric just wasn't one I ever planned to use again, I just sewed large squares or rectangles of the left over fabric together and had a pieced backing so I finished the project without spending any extra money, which was nice.  Another project wound up with a much smaller number of blocks, I think I had finished 6 blocks and I just sewed them together with a lasagna border out of the rest of the fabric and voila, another lap quilt.

What on earth does anyone need with so many lap quilts??  Well, I didn't need them so what would I do with them?  Gosh, I can't begin to tell you how quickly they disappeared.  One of them I kept because I found out I liked it after all.  Another lap quilt went as a gift.  Several went to a local nursing home for patients who were there and had no one bringing them those comfort items we all love.  Several more when to a hospice for the nurses to take out to their patients.  A couple went to people who were on chemotherapy for cancer and had to spend hours getting therapy in a large room that they said was always cold so they took them to chemo every week.  Some went to a church for their benevolence program.  Other places who can place your extra small quilts are home health care organizations, fire departments and police departments as well as your local Red Cross or Salvation Army or your local homeless shelter or battered women's shelter. 

Another place to use those quilts that you just don't have a use for is to wrap them around some food items, and personal care items and drop them off under that bridge where you know the homeless take shelter.  No you don't have to talk with them or come in contact.  You may want to include an encouraging Bible Verse, or pamplet.  We did this at a church I was attending several years ago with the teenage class and it was a wonderful eye opening experiece for some of those teenagers to just think about what was necessary to a homeless person.  Can you imagine living out of a plastic garbage bag?

Well back to where to I started....I took my ufo of the paper pieced flowers and cut off the unfinished edge and actually found a couple of fabrics for borders that really matched the paper piecing and I finished that UFO too. 

A really beautiful pattern for someone who is very much into
details and many steps.

I really think it turned out quite well, and It now hangs in my living room.  I just think that is where it belonged all along!!!  I'm so glad I made this project just for me, hehehe.  Maybe sometime down the road I'm show you all some of my wonderful potholders made out of stray blocks. 

Here's hoping you all have a great week and remember, giving is a wonderful feeling.

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