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.
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...