Want some quilting advice? Do not make four queen sized postage stamp quilts in a row. Ever. I have decreased my two inch treasure stash by 12,512 squares, but that is merely a drop in the bucket. I think I have an eternal supply! Now that the fourth postage stamp quilt top is done, and the quilting in progress, I am happy to have a fun diversion. Marge over at Delaware Quilts is serving as a “Temporary Quilt Goddess” for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative this year, and I am working on four really little mini quilts for their fundraiser. I am sorry, I cannot show you pictures yet as it is a contest, but I will later!
And I do mean mini—the maximum size allowed is nine by twelve inches. I feel like I am making potholders! There are four of them, all different, and that means I have gathered scraps and cut things into a lot of Very Tiny Pieces. And here I thought that I was getting away from thinking in terms of small squares. That said, I am sorry to report that these new Very Tiny Pieces are not being cooperative.
The first challenge has been that they are getting up and wandering away. This is partly due to the fact that my house is not blessed with air conditioning, so there are window fans, floor fans, and table fans going all over the place to ward off the 90+degree, very humid weather. I cut the threads on a chain of half square triangles and instantly had 40 little orange and yellow fabric butterflies drifting around my dining room. Oops, so much for keeping them in order. Upon collecting them back together, I discovered I now have 39 of them. Hmmm. I wonder where that last one migrated too. Ok, make one more.Then there was the hungry herd of wild animals that stampeded through last night. Animals as in boys, who really are not boys, but men. Mom’s are always allowed to call them boys though, aren’t we? Fire up the grill, and friends appear en masse. When the skeeters hit hard, they just move Mom’s stuff out of the way and reclaim the dining table to its supposed purpose. Fortunately they are old enough that they attempt to restore things after, but how come I now have 41 little half square triangles? Hmmm.
So yesterday I sat down to put them to use in one of the mini quilts. The triangle squares are all pressed open, all 42 of them. Wait a minute there. A new one has magically appeared, and it is all yellow, unlike the 41 orange and yellow ones. Where did this little lost soul come from? Looking over my shoulder to be sure no son is around to hear me, I say loudly “I think I am losing my mind!” Maybe, just maybe, the “butterflies” are breeding. No, come to think of it, then I would have found a caterpiller instead.
The next real challenge hit when I had finished piecing one mini-quilt and was attempting to do a final pressing before making a quilt sandwich. The problem with hot, hot, really humid weather is that pressing loses its’ crispness almost immediately. With record-breaking humidity abounding, I opted for starch, and proceeded to attempt to press the little rebel into submission. There were a lot of seams on this little baby. They were ornery and fought me all the way. They were also determined to not lay square, insisting on becoming a parallelogram. This was not acceptable behavior! I pinned. I poked. I prodded. I pressed. I sweated. I even swore. Eventually, I won. I may just name this little quilt Dennis the Menace, as no matter what happens, it seems bent on getting in trouble.
This first one finally finished off smoothly. One down, three to go! I really AM enjoying this small scale version of quilt life. But I am already thinking ahead. Perhaps, when I eradicate a few UFO’s and WIP’s, I should take up whole-cloth quilting and leave the little pieces behind for a while.
Then again, when I finally get around to really cleaning my house, I just might find enough wandering souls to start a new project from the leftovers. If they aren’t too dusty.Do you want to make a mini-quilt for the Alzheimer’s Quilt Initiative? If you can turn one around quickly, they need to be delivered to Marge by August 21, which is the slightly extended deadline, click here for directions. If you do not have time to make one, but want to see some from last year, take a look here.
©2010, The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com.