Could You Sew to a Timetable?

A ‘quilted’ hill just a few miles away, taken this time last year.

I don’t know about you but I find that the patterns I have earmarked for Christmas or Valentines day never get done in time because I don’t start them early enough. I begin some things and drift on to other things I fancy and end up with a pile of quilts at various stages of not done.

So I thought why not make a timetable with a couple of quilts to do  each month and a couple of UFO’s added in, in case there is time for them?  That way I could factor in Spring Autumn, Winter and holiday themes  and begin them well ahead of time, too.

I could check my list each month knowing I only had to concentrate on those few. The ones that were not finished by the end of the month would be left as  UFO’s to be carried forward, or not, and I would move on the following months’s projects.   I have made plenty of timetables in the past, for exams, for housework, for writing and have never been able to stick to them but I’d thought I would give this a go, regardless. Of course it would mean that, in most cases, only the pieced quilt tops would be finished. It would be unrealistic to imagine I could quilt and bind them as well but I would make good progress, right? Hmm.

My list for July was to make:

An Attic Window with something Scottish in the window:

I ended up making two Attic Windows but they still need something in the windows. The piecing and embroidery in  Hill and Heather, mentioned in my last post,  was done early in July.

‘Foxes in the Den’, begun months ago, didn’t get a look in, but I managed to complete ‘Dog Log’:

If you remember, when I added the binding it cut off the edges of the images around the sides of the quilt, so I had to add a narrow pieced border and sew the binding over that that to reveal the whole image. It does make a difference so I’m glad I did it. This is how it looked before:

‘Dog Log’ with cropped images – not a good look!

That led me to squeeze in another dog quilt this month, a  much smaller (five and a half inches square) spin off from the one above (just under nine inches square). Here it is,  a Dog in the Cabin block that I need a name for. Any suggestions?

‘Sniffing the Morning Air?’ Log Cabin Block

It reminded me of another dog quilt I made for my son years ago called ‘Mr Pickles in he Cabin’.

Its amazing how far two fat quarters with dogs and bones can go!

And so to August. The main thing on my list for August is to make one of the unmade quilts that I bought the fabric for years ago. This was a pack of Laura Ashley pre-cut fabric squares called ‘Whitley’ Bay that I bought from France. It had a sailing ship on the top square but  when I received it, many of the images were not centred on the cut square. Who wants to use part of a sailing ship? I don’t buy cut squares now unless I can see every one. I started making it using more pre-cut squares with checks and stars that I bought from Ebay but they are quite thin and not of the quality that I would buy now. If the description says the fabric is suitable for dressmaking or shirts, I don’t buy it because I know it will be too lightweight. I didn’t know that then.

I had intended it to be cot size, using nine images, but I have cut it down five images, so it will be faster to complete and I can be rid of the pressure of it. I have done my best with the images but in these days of precise fussy-cutting, perhaps it’s isn’t really acceptable.  Here it is in progress with just the triangles to do to complete the top:

‘Whitley Bay’ in progress – just the edge and corner triangles to add to complete the top

I have teamed the Laura Ashley and checked squares with some duck egg tone on tone fabric and I have some fun decking fabric for the back:

‘Coastal Painted Planks’ by Makower UK’

Maybe that will help improve the rest of it though, as the saying goes, you can’t (often) make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

This month I also have  two new quilts ‘Little Star’ and ‘Walk in the Glen’ to make. In addition I need to appliqué some shapes to complete the top of ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’,  add the windows and doors to ‘ ‘Liberty square’ houses, finish two half-done Angel quilts and fix a problem with one called ‘Into the Blue’.  So August is more about fixing and completing than making, it seems.

I’m not sure if this is good progress but it is progress. I might be asking too much of myself, especially as soon it will be time to work in the garden again before winter but I can always make my list shorter. It’s early days. It will be months before I will know if this idea will really work in my favour.  I am sure I will still drift away from it often and make something completely different, just because I fancy it. But what the heck? This is meant to be a pleasurable activity.

So,  I’m thinking timetables can work if you see them as flexible, just to help you along. And if they work for you, rather than you for them. What do you think?

I have some very nosy neighbours at the moment!

Till next time….

4 thoughts on “Could You Sew to a Timetable?

  1. Hi Lesley Am a newbie to your blog…. am enjoying it. You do have mistakes which you talk about. You don’t show off perfection and you sometimes do small quilts…. love that!! Janey

    Sent from my iPhone

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    • Hello Janey, and welcome! It’s great to hear from you and what lovely things you’ve said. Thank you. I have been quilting for about six years now and I still make loads of mistakes. I always think that it might help someone else avoid them if I point them out and show how I tried to get around them. Pretty much all my quilts are small wall hangings or picture quilts, some framed, some not. I sometimes make larger ones, but rarely. Please feel free to ask questions too. I am happy to try and answer them.

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  2. I don’t think it would work for me as I think it could become overwhelming and stressful. For me it would impede the creative path too. But on the other hand it can be helpful to have a deadline as it makes one focus on the task and not worry so much. Lol !

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    • The trouble is I find all the unfinished stuff piling up overwhelming and stressful, too! So it’s an experiment. I’m not expecting huge success. It’s a way of reducing my ‘to do’ sea of stuff.

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