Burning the Midnight Sewing Machine Oil

Oy boy. I didn't get to sleep until well after 3:00 a.m. last night. It was as if my eyes were spring-loaded, and I couldn't keep them closed unless I squinched them shut, which isn't exactly relaxing.

I blame the many days...going on two weeks...of daytime darkness. Even by Portland standards, it's been a long stretch of dark and rainy days, and that always catches up with my sleep patterns eventually. The rain is supposed to let up beginning today and at least through Saturday. I'm determined to get outside for a walk, and that should help.

There was no sewing yesterday afternoon, but I did finish up the last of the Hocuspocusville block.

Next time I work on this, I'll be doing Le Witche Boutique. I heard they have a sale on capes! Half off!

When I turned off the light last night, I couldn't stop thinking about the Written in Thread quilt, which will be the next embroidery project I'll trace out for stitching. If you don't remember it, this is the little wall hanging I've been working on.

I already have a small embroidery block in the works for the Live, Love, Teach quilt, but that won't take long. And so yesterday, I pulled out the pattern for Written in Thread in preparation for tracing out the next blocks. The next ones will be the ones below the pink line there. Any questions?

It's a little confusing how one is supposed to cut those blocks since they'll be pieced into the wall hanging. How does that panhandle thing work, anyway? So I started looking a little more closely, and realized that it's pieced together with a horizontal seam. 

Knowing that still didn't give me any better understanding of how it would be pieced into the quilt, and then I noticed that the embroidery actually runs right across the seam line. Sorry...that blue line isn't very straight, but you try drawing a straight line on three hours of sleep.

I took a picture of the embroidered section of the wall hanging from the pattern cover. Maybe you can see it. You can always click on the image to make it larger.

So here's the problem I see with this. For one thing, it can't really be traced out until the two pieces are sewn together. It would be near impossible to match up embroidery designs that were stitched on separate pieces. If I sew the two pieces together and then trace them, I'd have to leave them large enough to hoop the piece for embroidery. The embroidery extends right to the edges all around. So, if I leave enough fabric, how do I cut it for piecing?

Yesterday I got on the Bareroots website (the pattern designer) to see if there might be any instructions. The pattern instructions were of no help. I even wrote an email to the designer, but so far, no reply. And so I was thinking, thinking, thinking about this when I turned off the light last night. 

Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I'm going to have to piece this all together first in order to trace out the design. And don't forget, there is fusible stabilizer to deal with after the design is traced. So.......I was lying there in bed gnashing my teeth for about an hour and a half until I decided I might as well get up and start sewing.

[Amended to say that just after I published this post, I did receive a response from the designer Barri Sue Gaudet who told me I was on the right path. Good to know.]

So I put the borders around the very top embroidery block.

There's another similar one at the very bottom of the quilt, and so I cut the strips for that as well. It hasn't been embroidered yet.

And then I made approximately 14 miles of pieced border for a couple of the other embroidered blocks.

I started to make another pieced border that will only be about 7 miles long. I cut the strips, and then realized I'd cut them a quarter-inch too narrow. That's okay. I wasn't totally happy with my fabrics, and besides, I was getting tired at that point. It was 1:00 a.m.

The kitties always think it's great fun to sew in the middle of the night. And I'll just say that Maggie really gets into her catnip.

Literally...she gets into it.

Oh...I just *love* catnip! This stuff is purrnomenal!

Smitty was sulking in the corner in disapurroval.

Maggie, you're spilling our stash everywhere. Show a little restraint, will ya?

So I went back to bed, but still couldn't fall asleep. Oh well.

Finally, I wanted to show you the status of the tomatoes. They are getting their first true leaves. That means I'll be thinning the herd. On so little sleep, murdering tomato seedlings is a task I will relish.

With Saturday supposed to be relatively warm and dry, we'll be getting out in the greenhouse this weekend to clean things up. The corpses of last year's tomatoes are still rotting away out there. Every year we say we'll do this earlier. Every year, we fail.

So there you go. We're sleepless here at the Three Cats Ranch, but onward we go.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

delaineelliott said...

That picture at the top of your blog is hilarious! And the pictures of Maggie with her catnip are adorable! Thanks for sharing them. I am still grinning.

Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Now I thought Moe was one to really do the 'nip', but Maggie has him beat. You thunk too hard, that's why you can't sleep. We are on a nice weather pattern for now, but Mother Nature is going to throw a fit over the weekend - hope it's her last.

Dana Gaffney said...

I wouldn't put the seam through the house, I'd run one down and make where the quilts are hanging a separate piece, I think it would look better, be easier to hide and then you can still do the pieces the way you normally would. Maggie looks like a few people I knew in college, LOL.

Lana Ku said...

I literally laughed out loud when Maggie's nip pictures came into view. That girl knows how to chillax! "Hey Mahm.....could you kindly get me a snack? I need some munchies!" LOL
Maybe take some Melatonin for your sleeplessness. My daughter says it works for her. I take a Benadryl when my mind won't turn off.

Quilting Babcia said...

I was up and about just after 2:30 am myself. This after taking my usual melatonin, that usually gives me at least 5 hours of sleep. Sigh... At least Miss Maggie gave me my laugh for the day, she sure does look very relaxed!

Shirley said...

I guess the designer wants you to work with a Y-seam, sewing the other block into place. But if it was me, I'd cut the house block as one piece, and the fence as an other piece. Once the top is finished you can always embroider the last stitches of the fence as if it was attached to the houseblock

Kate said...

Your lead off picture is great, very eye catching. Sorry you are not sleeping well. I hate it when that happens, thankfully it's a rare event for me any more.

Jennifer Evans said...

I'm having trouble sleeping too. Must be spring fever because we're in TN. Up and at 'em at 5am even though it was 3am before sleep visited. Oh well. Maggie looks like she REALLY enjoys her cat nip. Hope sleep comes your way.

nellieduclos@yahoo.com said...

I can't have any potted plants, flowers, etc in my home because my Gus-Gus, eats them. So I have to be content gardening outdoors.

Lyndsey said...

The pics of Maggie are hilarious. It's a good job catnip is illegal or he'd be in serious trouble. I can't recommend any cure for your sleep problem and I'm having a few issues myself. I can fall asleep but wake up at a ridiculously early time. Hopefully the better weather will help everyone's sleep problems.

LethargicLass said...

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quiltzyx said...

Sorry to read about your insomnia. I've been in one of those "sleep every OTHER night" routines lately. Except for St. Patrick's weekend, when I was up at my sister's for her b'day. I think I only woke up once in the night the whole time!
Oh Maggie, Maggie, Maggie! She truly is into the 'nip, isn't she?