circle round

Autumn is coming.  It's only a whisper here in the south, with the dogwood trees starting to redden and the apples coming into season.  I love this time of year!  Snatches of cool weather reminded me lately of how I'll be wanting a quilt large enough to cover our bed soon. 

I started Facing East, a mammoth paper piecing project from Savor Each Stitch, December of last year.  My color palette is entirely neutral (white/cream/pale gray) which doesn't provide much motivation for my quilty soul, plus each block takes 2 hours to make.  I knew I would have trouble maintaining momentum.  Early on I set a quota of 2 blocks per month.  It wasn't an easy goal, but it was doable and allowed time for other projects too. 


For awhile I made good progress, sometimes churning out even more than 2 blocks per month.  Then I realized finances required I create a new course.  Producing Stitched Holiday required much of my energy June-September, and sadly I had to let Facing East fade into the background.  But, I am happy to say I've picked it up again this week!


It's possible I lost some momentum because of this nagging fact:  not one of my blocks was actually finished.  Sure they were paper pieced and pretty cool to look at, but each one had a tidy hole in the center.   It was time to fix that.


I cut a large stack of muslin squares and neutral squares to match each block.  Then I began making circles in my favorite applique technique, Sew & Turn.  I had planned to machine applique the finished-edge circles with a straight stitch all the way around, and I did complete five blocks that way before admitting to myself that I wasn't happy with the results.  It was quick and super secure, but... if the circle wasn't round enough or the stitching wasn't quite close enough to the edges, it really showed.

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One night I dug deep for some gumption and began unpicking the circles on three blocks that were bugging me.  Then I re-appliqued by hand with a blindstitch.  It was those hearts all over again!  Why do I let myself think that faster is always a priority?  Nope.  Sometimes slow stitching is loads more enjoyable and the results can't be beat. 


Now I have a project to take along this weekend to the lake!   Crossing fingers I'll maintain this momentum.

p.s.  I don't now how many blocks I've finished or how many blocks I have yet to make.  I'm thinking I should sew a few new blocks before running those calculations!  At right is one a finished last night and will be appliqueing today. 

Sometimes it's better not to know...