This is a sewing marathon! However, the practice has been very good for me, I can see that I have improved my piecing accuracy, and now notice where my “issues” are, and have learned how to adjust or fix some of them on the fly. I must admit, it was a huge relief to have the inner blocks completely done, but I was not looking forward to placing everything before sewing them all together.
I was able to solve that problem by turning my piano students loose, and having them lay out the blocks while they waited for their turn at the piano. A couple of moms got in the spirit, and by the time I had finished lessons, the 152 blocks were all laid out! Yes, I discovered I had miscounted and would have to sew two more of the green blocks–Rats! I allowed myself only 6 changes in the layout, and then began piling them up for transport to the sewing room. I numbered each column, then placed it on the futon, where it sat for the rest of the week, while I got the two blocks completed and did a little practice and prep work for borders no. 2 and 3.
A few evenings of sewing and I had the inner quilt top finished, and the first border attached. While sewing on border no.2 I worked the math in my head and realized that I was going to need a lot more 1 1/2 inch green squares cut, which was a tad discouraging, since I had already cut stems out of my main light green fabric. Oh well, that’s why I had more of the same color in reserve. (for a change!)
Through all this sewing, I had been thinking there was no way that I was going to be able to finish the applique by hand, but doing it on machine had me a little bit worried. I was concerned that the roses that were such a bear to press would be even worse to sew, and that my machine would not behave well. I finally decided to give the instructions from Kim Diehl’s book a try on the stems and see what happened. Oh. My. Goodness. Amazing! My grumpy Necchi loved it! I had my first set of stems done in 5 minutes, on the first go. Of course I couldn’t stop there, so went through my thread and found something to work with a red rose for the center, and gave it a whirl. Two more layers to go, but I think I can do this! Back to Quilt Connection for some monofilament thread so I don’t have to change with every color. Look close and you can see those tiny little zig zags…I think I could have the top finished in 2-3 weeks at this rate!