My sewing machine has been packed up in its traveling case since last October (?) when I went on retreat with my local modern guild. Everything I've sewn since then has been by hand. Today I decided two things - first, no housework on weekends (other than the usual pick-up-after-yourself kinds of chores:); second - sewing is good for my health. :) Or at the very least, good for the health of everyone around me. Grin! It makes me less grumpy.
I spent about an hour cleaning up my sewing table (which is still sitting in the middle of our living room) and the immediate area, then setting up my machine again and petting it (cleaning the bobbin race, checking the thread, etc). Then I started in on sewing Clue 1 for En Provence.
When I unpacked the neutral fabric strips I had cut at the last Sew&Tell meeting and laid them out beside my machine, I had to pause to enjoy the various prints:
Here they are in detail. It occurred to me that these fabrics each have their own personality to me. :) These shots make me think of class photos in grade school. :)
There, from left to right, are the Delicate Screen Texture, the Music Crescendo, the Mottled Batik ...
Here are the Handwritten Text print, the Wallpaper Print, the YarnDyed Homespun (just peeking out) and the Tiny Dappled Dots ...
Next to Dappled Dots are the Shy Shirting and the Bold Snowflake ... marvelous!
I had a great deal of pleasure in sitting and sewing pairs of strips together - I used a methodical combination choice to get a complete array of possible pairs. You know, that's the technique where you sew one of the leftmost strips to each of the remaining strips, one at a time ... then the second leftmost to each of the rightward choices ... etc., until you have combined every strip choice with every other one, once. Repeat until all the sets are sewn together. :) Since I did not have equal amounts of every fabric, after the first pass sewing together strips, I had these left:
From there I just kept going until I finally made a total of 93 strip sets with what I had cut. That is (theoretically, and if my counting is correct;) enough to make 186 four patch blocks. I need a total of 221 four patches for the entire clue so I will have to get more neutral prints to make the remainder. Yet another hardship, eh? Chuckle!
I have learned over the years that the easiest way for me to get started working again on a long-term project is to stop at a non-completion point. See, I have problems with transitions - changing one activity and starting another. If I stop sewing at the end of a stage, it takes me ages to get my mind in gear and figure out what comes next. If I leave my work set up in the middle of a task, I know immediately what needs doing when I start working again and can dig right in. Where to go next comes up automatically. :)
The stages in working this clue are pretty obvious - cut strips, sew strips together in pairs, press pairs open (I press my seams open, too; no twirly middles for me:), cut two-strip pieces into two-square ("twosie") rectangles, pair different twosies and sew into four patch blocks, press blocks and trim to size (if necessary).
I decided to stop in the middle of ironing the strips open (I got hungry for supper:):
That cute little iron you see at the top is my new Clover travel sized iron. I bought it on sale somewhere while I was away. Today is the first time I've gotten a chance to use it. My experience with this kind of small iron is extensive in some ways (have tried many different brands) and limited in other ways (never found one I liked enough to use regularly). This little iron gets really HOT - good for pressing cotton fabrics, kinda tough on my fingertips. :) It does not make steam - there's a little water misting bottle included which I did use a couple times. The mist is fine and worked really well at smoothing out wrinkles. On the whole, this was a YES experience with ironing - which made me happy, especially considering how overpriced (imho) the iron is. :)
Sewing made for a happy afternoon. My husband was playing a video game on his new PlayStation Four machine all the while I sewed - it was nice to have 'company'. :)
We got icy-snow early this morning. The day stayed cold and overcast though it must have warmed up a bit as the ice was melting off our roof and dripping down from the eaves by mid-afternoon. What a great day to stay in and sew!