11/2/20

Lessons from The Count

Do you want the good news or the bad news first? I always think it's best to start with the good news, otherwise I'll be so bummed at the bad news that I won't fully appreciate the good news. Also, the good news can sort of cushion the blow, right? Well, none of it changes anything, so let's just start with the good news.

First of all...autumn leaves. With every new season, I proclaim it as my favorite. And, this being fall, it's my favorite season of the year. Winter kind of takes a beating, and I won't claim it to be my favorite. Ever. On the other hand, when things start blooming in spring, then spring will be my favorite. I'm seasonally fickle that way. As for fall, here are some pictures of our showiest trees. This first one is  around back where the hot tub is. Mike curses it every year when it starts dropping its leaves all around the hot tub, but it is very pretty. There's another one like it on the other side of the hot tub.


This is another shot of the one I see from my office window. It's to the left of our patio area.


This little dwarf maple is right outside our living room window. We call it the "umbrella" tree. The kitties like to hide out there on the warmest days of summer.


Okay, and so here's some more good news. I'm more than halfway along on my commitment for this go-round of hand-quilting. My friend Sharon says I have to finish the quilt this time around. She says I have to finish it before the end of the year. And, it's going along so well, I think I just might.


My success is owed to Ms. Ears, who sits with me every morning while I do my slow stitching. I gave up trying to make my stitches perfectly even and 1/4 inch in length, and I've resorted to eye-balling it. It isn't perfect, but the adage fits: Finished is better than perfect. It'll be like getting a new lease on life when I can take the last stitch in its binding.


Okay, so here comes the bad news. You might want to brace yourself for this. It started out innocently enough. I was going along making cornerstones for the Appalachian Memories quilt. I was going to need 20 to finish it. (Notice how I'm talking in the past tense now? There's a reason for that.)



Since I was going to need 20, I just went ahead and selected 20 different ones from the larger yardage. Smitty assisted me in keeping track of which ones I'd already used so I had a good mix.


I'm backing up to Saturday here because yesterday's post was about the challenge quilt. So by day's end on Saturday, I had the first row of blocks set. I loved how this was turning out.


One of the kitties obviously thought I was doing this all wrong and so here are some suggestions for changes.


I'm not sure who did this, but let's just say I have my suspicions.


Yesterday, I had it this far along when I decided to take a little break. 


When I came back, I started sewing strips together for the sashing, and realized with horror that I was going to run out of strips before I was going to run out of sashing. So, I figured and counted, and counted and figured, and realized I'd miscounted when I counted the sashings I'd need. The pattern was partly to blame for this because it told me the number I'd need. It said to cut 48 each from dark and light. And I said to myself, that makes sense...12 blocks four sides...48 sashing strips. What I failed to take into account was that I'm using an extra of the dark all around the outside, which brought the number to 62, not 48. And I'd used all the branding iron fabric I had. (Insert bad words starting with "F" here.)

I made a half-hearted attempt to find more online, even going to the manufacturer's website, but no luck. I purchased this fabric in 2014 at a quilt shop located in a remote part of Montana. (I was actually very surprised to even find a quilt shop in Shelby, Montana, with a population around 3,500.) And the fabric was manufactured even before 2014, so I suppose someone somewhere might have more, but I'm not going to put a lot of time and effort into finding it. Smitty was bummed too. Apologies to Shakespeare for co-opting Romeo and Juliet: Sewing is such sweet sorrow.


Okay...so moving on to Plan B: Obviously, I can't put those sashing strips around the outside of the quilt, and so I took the time yesterday to remove the ones I needed to. I didn't actually take a picture, but here's the new layout. I just cropped out the parts I took off:


The saddest part of this is that I won't be able to use as many of the quilt block cornerstones. The original plan would have included 20. Plan B will use 10. I'll continue on with this and then put two borders around the outside with a quilt block cornerstone in each corner of the whole quilt. The rest will get used at some point in the future. 

Today I'll need to make a trip to the fabric store. Now I'm on the hunt for a mottled fabric to match the orangy-brown in the branding iron fabric. It's the same color that appears in the wheat fabric I'd always planned to use for the outer-most border.


I'd prefer something mottled, but I can't be too choosy. At this time of the year, I figure that color won't be hard to find. So, it was kind of a bummer of a day in the sewing room, but nobody died. You know our rule here at the Three Cats Ranch: If nobody dies, then it's been a good day. 

Okay so finishing off with a bit of good news, I'm making a trip to the fabric store today. I'll probably drown my sorrows by shopping the whole store and loading up on stuff I don't even need. It's a good plan, I think.

24 comments:

Barbara said...

When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear. ~ Mark Twain

MissPat said...

Ooh, bummer (and I probably would have used the same descriptive words when I realized my error). You've earned some retail therapy and besides it will take your mind off worrying about the election for a few hours.
Pat

justmakeitfit@gmail.com said...

So sorry about your quilting dilemma, but I completely agree that drowning ones sorrows by getting plenty more fabric or notions or whatever, is a great idea! Happy shopping!

Quilting Babcia said...

There's a website that people can use to try to locate older fabrics. I'd also put it out there on the Humble Quilts and Celebrate Hand Quilting FB groups if you're a member, with the amount you think you need. If I can come up with that website name I'll let you know.

Betty said...

Well, darn! That word would have gotten me in trouble when I was a kid. LOL
I have a suggestion that you might consider, although it would require the use of a seam ripper (gasp). There's a pattern called Warm Wishes that uses two different dark strips with the same light for the sashing sections. I think the concept could be adapted to your quilt. That might be a way to be able to "stretch" what you have to use all 20 of those cute cornerstones. Here is the location for a free pattern for Warm Wishes: https://s31968.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Warm_Wishes-crib_size.pdf

Ruth L. said...

Oh no! Losing those fussy cut block prints would be unthinkable to me. OK, you have to work in a new fabric. Or two. Or three. Fine. But keep those cornerstones! They're too important a design element. I l-o-v-e how you've put all those separate theme components together. Keep working it, girl!

Unknown said...

An s… I agree with Betty about warm wishes! Good idea! But if not you can always save the small quilt blocks for the next barn quilt! Love what you have so far! Violet

Anonymous said...

Hello... Just a lurker quilter here... I enjoy your blog! As to the fabric you're searching for, I have had great success by googling using the info found on the selvage. Maybe worth a try, or maybe you've already tried that. Good Luck and Happy Quilting!
Annette in Omaha

Sher S. said...

You might look at batiks, they have similar mottled fabric and they look great. Just my 2 cents worth.
sher

Anonymous said...

Hi, My friend has taken a photo of the fabric and printed it out on photo transfer fabric....the result was acceptable.???? Might work? Sure enjoy your blog.
Louise

Julierose said...

Oh what a drag to have that happen--such a shock when you realize that what you thought was going great--really isn't ;000 (Ask me how I know this). I am sure you will find a great fabric--really...;)))
I love those cornerstones--they are really lovely...
hugs, Julierose

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this problem, but glad you were able to come up with a solution. I feel like I'm personally invested in this quilt (LOL) since it was seeing one of your finished barn embroidery patterns that led me to your blog a while back and I'm happy I found you. Hope you were able to find some fabric to match.

heartsease54 said...

Barbara, Quilt With Class is still in business in Shelby and if you call and explain to Bonnie Nickol (owner) your dilemma, she might be able to help you out. She may have some in her own stash or know someone who does (Shelby is a very small town and I'm sure she knows pretty much everyone there). As a matter of fact, she is married to a man that I graduated High School with in, you guessed it, Shelby, Montana.

gpc said...

Fooey! Fiddlesticks! Fudge! Sorry, I don't usually use the F words either but I am so distressed for you. And being forced into a trip to a fabric store! My heart overflows with sympathy.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Rats!!! Sorry about the fabric. Wish I had some, but I don't. Hopefully you will find something that will work for the outside border.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Since it is just the outside, it will work with something similar (and use those fussy blocks) - will look like you planned it.

Gail in Vegas said...

You can copy and print fabric at Spoonflower.com from what I've heard. It would be such a shame not to finish it with the original plan.
Good luck!

piecefulwendy said...

I hate it when that happens; how frustrating. I know you enjoyed some fabric therapy, though!

Sherry said...

Oh that is bad news. The quilt was perfect. I hope you find a good solution. But hope you had fun on your shopping trip. At least it won't be like the grocery store.

Debbiegsp said...

Hi, Barbara. I have some brown Western-style fabrics from a quilt kit, that I am not going to use. My DIL wants blues, not browns in the quilt, so I bought other fabrics. These are not identical, but might blend very nicely, as a previous commenter suggested. I have 3 yds of a dk brown leather-look fabric, 23 “ of a golden brown rope print, 17” of a cream rope print, and 32” of a golden-brown leather-look. I would love to mail these to you. Please contact me at debbiegsp@gmaildotcom.

juliehallfeldhaus said...

I have a 1/2 yard piece of the branding fabric. I might have the wire one too. You are welcome to what I have. Julie

QuiltShopGal said...

You are certainly blessed with a beautiful Fall. As far as your coming up short on fabric for your stunning barn quilt, I think you should step back for a wee bit to let magic happen. Check out Missing Fabrics @ http://missingfabrics.com/ I have had good luck finding old fabric via this free source. There are a lot of small home businesses with old fabric that monitor the "missing fabric" section. Maybe as you step back you'll see other finish possibilities. E.G. For you rail sashing currently comprised of 2 contrasting fabrics, what if you introduced a 3rd fabric and go for a shaded rail fence (dark to light)?

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you - I never thought you would ever use such an awful word as 'fiddlesticks'. Wow, what's this world coming to?
I don't know if I've told you how much I absolutely love, love, love this quilt. Your fabric choices for the settings are spot on too.
I can but dream of a fabric store trip....suffering hugely from withdrawal here at Chez Magpie.

Kate said...

Those frustrations usually result in something being put away till I can face it again. You've been brave and just soldiered on with the changes.