Donation Quilt Wednesday--and some Progress!

As I was doing some surfing-of-the-cyber-type recently, I ran across another great site full of free, downloadable patterns that make great donation quilts, the Q.U.I.L.T.S. group in Schenectady, NY. (QUILTS stands for Quilters United in Learning Together, Schenectady--love that acronym!) Check it out.

Remember to share pictures in the Quilting for the Rest of Us Flickr group for donation quilts!

On to the progress: I also finally got back to my sewing machine yesterday--woot.

We're doing a "roosting robin" in our guild this year--in other words, a round robin that you don't pass. (Someone in my guild used the term "roosting robin" for it--I don't know if that's the official name or was just her joke but I find it a good descriptor so I'll roll with it.) The way it works is that we each do our own projects rather than passing them along, but the leader tells us what we're adding to it each month. We started in January and I'm already behind. The first month (for January) we were to make a 12 1/2" unfinished center block, then the second month, for February, we were to have made 4 1/2" borders. I'm just working on my center block now. I decided to do a simplified Mariner's Compass for the center, made entirely from the Stonehenge line. I've been collecting Stonehenge for awhile waiting for just the right project, and I hope this is it. The concept I have in my mind is something that will look like inlaid tile.

I had to refresh my memory on paper-piecing since it's been a couple of years since my last pp project. But Carol Doak lives on my bookshelf (she's very comfortable in her little DVD home) so I invited her in for a visit for a refresher course and then dove in. I have 8 Unit As and 8 Unit Bs to do for the compass. Got through all the Unit As with only one little, easily flixable glitch (sometimes a little hard to tell right side from wrong side on some of those Stonehenge, until you've done it the wrong way once and it sticks out like a sore thumb). Finished Unit As are pictured.

Unit Bs started out well, but when I got to seam 2, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to sew the piece on to get it to cover the space needed. I knew it really should work, I just couldn't figure out how to make it work. Turned everything every which way; no dice. My brain had just completely shut off.

I glanced at the clock. Oh. 9:00 p.m. Yep, that's why. I learned years ago I can't sew past 9:00. My brain completely shuts down, like clockwork. Even, like tonight, when I have no idea what time it is, there's some little internal trigger. Bam. Stupid Time.

So this morning, after caffeinating, I sat down again to look at the Unit Bs and decided, actually, I think it's OK--I may just have to press it a little crooked to get it to fit exactly right. The angle of the seam doesn't really match how the cut piece of fabric would fold across the space needed, if that makes sense without a diagram--so I'm sewing on the seam and but pressing a little off. Probably not paper-piecing-standards but works for me. Unit As and Unit Bs have the same pieces and the same angles--it's just that on Unit As you sew top to bottom and Unit Bs you're sewing bottom to top, and that makes a surprisingly big difference in the geometry.

I've only sewed one test Unit B so far and am about to try to sew a Unit A and Unit B together to see how it all comes out. Once I see that they really do fit together, I'll finish the rest of the Unit Bs. Should have enough time this morning before I need to head out for the day. I've got a lot going on today so I probably won't be able to put the the whole thing together until tomorrow.

Feels good to be back at the machine, even if I did have my Stupid Time glitch. Actually, that felt welcomingly familiar as well. Sandy's back.