Thursday, September 1, 2016

Get It Done! August Recap, September Goals

Wow, August went fast!  I'm glad to say that while (as usual) I didn't get as much done as I wanted, I can honestly say that after doing this for almost three quarters of the year, I'm finally getting a handle on what is actually "doable" for me.  A big help for injecting a dose of reality into my planning (and something I learned from doing the Bullet Journal) has been breaking down projects into all the steps I need to do to get a project done. 

Until now, when I evaluated doing a project I would just look at the number of blocks and how easy/hard I thought they were to make.  But now I'm realizing that blocks that are "easy" may not necessarily be "quick" when you actually calculate the number of plain or pieced units that make up each block.  I also need to consider adding extra time to my expectations if I'm working out the details of an original design, allow for the possibility that I may hit a tough spot in the block construction or the overall quilt design that needs thought for coming up with a work-around or just for those times I encounter unexpected interruptions that come from life events.  Mix in even one of those things and all of a sudden what seemed possible may not be probable to accomplish!

So that said, from last month's July List I only worked on #1:  Quilts of Valor.  On that front I did a lot of work on one I'm calling "Combat Gratitudes":

The blocks are all done but still need to be sewn together to complete the center.  This one was originally designed as a mystery quilt by Vicki Welsh from "Field Trips In Fiber" back in 2013 for her local quilt club.  A basically simple design that made striking use of a set of non-traditional QOV fabrics I had (meaning it's going to be one of those rare quilts for the cause not made in Red, White and Blue). This fabric, called "Modern Heroes", was the starting focus fabric for the project:

I will have to add borders to bring this up to QOV size.  Vickie designed the center of the quilt to finish as a wheelchair lap quilt but she also gives instructions for adding borders to bring it up to QOV size.

In addition (and what took most of the month) was that I also finished the Red, White and Blue "Across County Lines" top I had started working on in July.  Funny, I had not even "officially" put it on the list because I thought I was going to knock it out within the first few days of the month! I had gotten all the blocks completed at last report in early August.  However, it took longer than expected to get it to the finished top:

My comments earlier about "hitting a tough spot" had to do with issues I had getting the pieced borders on that resulted from my center being about an inch narrower and two inches shorter than patterned once I had finished all the piecing (folks, accurate seam allowances do matter!).  If I was just putting on plain borders it would not have been an issue but adding pieced borders complicated things just a bit -- especially if you make the pieces up before you finish the center!  That said, I'm loving this one and now need to find a backing for it as well as decide how I want to quilt it.

So what's in store for the September List?  Keeping in mind what I've said about carefully evaluating all the steps involved for my intended projects, the list is really short this month:

1.  QOV:  Finish "Combat Gratitudes":  Now that I'm in the QOV groove, I want to get the center finished, the borders on, find a backing and get this quilted for donation.  I understand that all that alone might take all month and for once I'm prepared for accepting that possibility!

2:  QOV #2:  I have another QOV design and fabric I'd like to get pieced this month.  Haven't fully evaluated yet how much piecing it will take so although being listed here, if I don't get to sewing it now, it'll be formally mapped out for the October list.   However, if I can get it set up, I'm also thinking that it can serve as a leader/ender project while I'm doing the finishing work for the project above.

3. T-Shirt Quilt:  I really need to get back to this one since I need it for decorating which makes it a high priority.  I realized a while back that I had not made progress on this one because it involves designing the layout and as noted earlier I have to give myself time to think in that case.

I'm leaving it at that for now.  I realize too that I've been overwhelming myself with too many "want to do" projects.  It pains me to take a step back (so many quilts, so little time!) but for me finishing is important so adjusting my expectations is a must in this case!    

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