Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Final Schnibbles Exhibit and Finding More Time

Finally, my last finished Schnibbles... This one's called State Fair, and since it's basically a pinwheel pattern, I, of course, LOVE it. Not only are the printed squares essentially big chunky windmill/pinwheels, if you look for them, you see the smaller white pinwheels nestled between the printed windmills.


For the quilting, I simply quilted wavy vertical lines up and down the quilt. I thought about quilting wavy lines horizontally as well, to make little wavy boxes, but I decided not to. Maybe I'll do that for one of my next spurts of machine quilting.


As far as the process of constructing this pattern goes, I pretty much ignored Carrie's directions. I'm hoping she'll forgive me somehow. See Nicole's post for a quick recap on how to construct the windmills. Instead of making them the prescribed way, I trimmed each charm square to 4.5x5", then made each "square" into 2 logs, measuring 2.5x4.5." From there, I attached each printed log to a white/cream background log (also 2.5x4.5"). At that point, each of the logs were 4.5x4.5, and I cut each square diagonally and matched up some coordinating prints. Clear as mud? I thought so. Keep in mind: If you choose to follow my garbled lead, know that the windmills will turn out chunkier than if you actually follow Carrie's instructions.

State Fair leftovers

The good thing about following my garbled instructions? You'll end up with a whole set of quilt blocks in reverse, with white windmills and printed pinwheels nestled in between. As you can see, I still haven't done anything with these blocks.

Vital stats:
Started: June 2010
Finished: August 2010
Machine-pieced, machine-quilted
Collection: Hunky Dory by Chez Moi


Getting More Done...

At the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild meeting yesterday, someone asked me how I get so much done. Um, I dunno about y'all, but I always feel like I'm at least 3 steps behind where I want to be, when it comes to my craftiness. About 24 hours after someone asked me this question, I stumbled across this link. The post is more directly related to folks interested in developing their writing skills, but I've adapted them slightly to apply to getting more sewing done (preachin' to myself here too, y'all)...

  1. Cut back on television - Since sewing/quilting is one of those things that doesn't always require absolute focus on the task at hand, this isn't completely necessary. I would amend it to say "Cut back on unproductive television." When I watch tv, I always try to have SOME kind of craftiness to work on - binding, cutting out small pieces for another quilt, squaring up blocks, basting a quilt sandwich, etc.
  2. Be highly selective with time spent online - I should probably take this one under better advisement. Quilting is one of those hobbies that has benefited HUGELY from the explosion of online image sites, along with the rise of self-published content on the Interwebz. Consequently, I have a ton of quilt blogs in my Google Reader, a lot of group memberships in flickr, a load of tutorials tagged as "todo" in my delicious account, not to mention all those online fabric shops that make oh so easy to acquire new fabric. It boggles my mind (in a good way) that all this inspirational content is freely available out there, but a lot of the time, I have to make myself close the laptop, then climb the steps to actually sit down in my sewing room and SEW.
  3. Be more selective with what you read - Hmm, for this one I might edit it to say "be more selective with what you sew." Just like there's lots of online content to be consumed, there are lots of different patterns and fabrics you can invest your time and energy in. Invest your valuable time and brain cells working with patterns and fabrics that you LOVE.
  4. Get up earlier and write first thing in the morning - I kind of have a problem getting out of bed in the morning. I always thought this problem would get better as I got older. So far, it hasn't happened yet. Maybe the idea of quilting would be more likely to get me out of bed than exercise, even it's just 15-20 minutes.
  5. Secure enough alone time away from your family for your writing - I'm extremely lucky in this regard in that 1) I have no children and 2) The Hubz is uber-understanding that I'm a much happier person on the days I get to sew, even if it's just for a few minutes. If I go for days that I don't get to sew, he knows that I'm going to have a serious sewing binge at the first opportunity. And he's okay with that.
  6. Eliminate distractions from chat and email - I usually don't sew with my computer open right beside me, so this isn't such a big deal. I do make a point to leave my cell phone in another room or across the room, so I'm not tempted to jump up every time my Facebook app chimes.
  7. Leave work early - Um, so I dunno about your job, but it's pretty tough to pretend to be working and actually be sewing. Unless you work for Hanes or something. But if you find yourself putting in lots of late hours during a workweek, it might be worth it to ask the boss if you can take off a bit early on Friday, then go home and get in a bit of extra sewing time.
  8. Write during your commute - Do you have a long bus or train ride? I have a split commute - half of the time on the local transit, and other half in my car. I usually read, but I have thought about developing a hand applique project to work on instead.
  9. Write at work - Um, again, I don't recommend busting out the quilting frame in the middle of a boring meeting or webinar. However, you might be able to discretely doodle some free motion quilting designs while you're on hold with customer service. Or bring some handwork to keep you busy during your lunch break.
  10. Keep your notebook and pen with you all the time - I've actually found that this helps with craftiness. Ideas strike at the strangest of times, and if I can at least jot down a few keywords associated with a quilt idea, I'll add it to my Google Docs spreadsheet of potential projects the next time I sit down in front of a computer.


  1. Your quilt is beautiful, but that list about finding time is fabulous! I do a lot of those things already, and should really get up earlier instead of lying in bed reading! Those are great tips and will really gain you some additional time! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Your quilt is gorgeous! Love your list too ☺

  3. Great post, Megan! I love that list of tips. I have a little retrofitted vintage lunchbox that I use as a sewing box, and I bring handwork with me to work on during my lunch. 200 hexies down so far! I also have printed out some free graph paper to doodle layouts and designs on for projects that won't leave me alone. (Am I the only one who gets like that?)

  4. In the full quilt shot, I only see the white pinwheels, but in the close up I see the colored ones. Nice.