Sunday, December 11, 2011

Box Of Chocolates

I had promised myself that since my birthday was on Sunday this year I was going to give myself the weekend off.  No housework, no laundry, no yard work, no shopping, no cooking - well, OK, I don't cook much any more but still I do occasionally make a meal.  But not this weekend.  Instead I planned to spend the entire weekend quilting.

Working on the quilts for "The Girls" has left me with several projects that didn't work out for one reason or another. 

Fortunately, I like all of them enough to finish for myself just not as gifts.  This one is the Box Of Chocolates.  Doesn't this fabric look yummy enough to eat?

I know spending your birthday quilting probably doesn't sound like much fun to you non-quilters but think about it.  If you have a hobby don't you always wish there was more time to just enjoy your hobby instead of trying to squeeze in a hour or two between the daily/weekly chores?  My mother of course is looking down from heaven with that look she had which said "you can't have any fun until the work is done".  Well not this weekend Mom!

I stepped into my sewing room immediately after work on Friday and have been happily sewing away ever since.  Initially I thought I would be working on one of the quilts for "The Girls" but then I realized I was waiting for some fabric to arrive from Keepsake.  That put a different light on things.

I'm sure you can relate to the stack of project in various stages of un-done.  Here's a look at the bookcase that's behind me when I'm sewing.  Naturally, I can't see it when I'm sewing so I kind of forget about it until I turn around.

Between the top of the bookcase and the bottom of the white shelf I've been tucking piles of fabrics that won't fit into the bureaus or closet where I keep my stash.  There are several works in progress just waiting for my attention.  That's where I found the Box Of Chocolates. 

I use these cool blue trays that come from one of the gals in a quilting class.  I'm not sure where she got them but they work really well for storing bits and pieces of projects in process.  And they slide neatly into that space on top of the bookcase!

I pulled out the tray with the Box of Chocolates and here's what I found.  Some pieces that were left over from the last time I had worked on the project, the instructions, and 8 finished blocks.

I pinned 6 of the blocks to the design wall as shown in the pattern.  Aren't they pretty!

The two remaining blocks had a different background fabric which I remember thinking was too white when I started but seems fine to me now.  What was I thinking?  Oh well, water over the damn. 

The pattern by the way is by Jennifer Chiaverini from the Elm Creek Quilts: Joanna's Collection which you can find here at Red Rooster Fabrics.  If you're thinking of making it be prepared for lots of cutting and lots of small pieces.  There are also 4 different borders that go around the outside.

When I started working on the project again Saturday morning I remembered it was the pinwheels that had stopped me.  I really like the pinwheels but I remember thinking at the time that there were so many half square triangles in the first block I didn't want to deal with pinwheels in the second block.  Now that some time has passed it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to make pinwheels but I really just wanted to finish this up.  So I decided to put the candy fabric in the center instead of the pinwheels.

Here's the block pieces all laid out and ready to sew.  I had planned to use strip sets instead of individually piecing all the squares and triangles but I had about half of the pieces already cut so I just went with it. 

The piecing went quickly until I ran out of bobbin thread.  I stopped long enough to fill up a bunch of bobbins.  Guppy was fascinated!  Apparently he's not been around to witness this spell binding event before.

With a dozen bobbins filled up the sewing and pressing went along smoothly.  Before I knew it I finished all six of the blocks and it was time to head of to bed.  Here's the finished block.

The yellow fabric has some words of wisdom that I really liked:
      Breathe more ~ Talk less ~ 
            Say more ~ Whine less ~
                 Love more ~ Fear less ~
                     Chew more ~ Eat less ~
                         Hope more ~ Breathe more

As I took a break from sewing to write this blog entry I found I was not alone.  Unlike her brother, Alice is not much interested in sewing but she can't seem to endure any attention paid to the computer when she is in need of some love and attention, which is always!  So she parks herself on my "mouse" arm until I'm forced to give her all the affection she needs.

All in all it's been a very productive weekend.  Here's the finished blocks all assembled and ready for borders.  There's still plenty of day light so I'm planning to get the borders on and have a completely finished quilt top tonight.

Right now I'm hearing the dinner bell so it's time to enjoy a special birthday dinner with the chef before heading back to the sewing room. 

Hope you have a much fun on your birthday as I'm having on mine! 

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