Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chicks Arriving

I'm thinking yellow today!

The resident hens need to have the bar raised on what is expected of them so My Farmer ordered 50 White Rock chicks from Alberta, 2 provinces to the west. They arrived this morning bright and early at our local post office. Noisy bunch! Chicks can go 3 days without food and water so the airplane flight wouldn't have been too much of a hardship in these days of jet travel. I expect hens need 3 days to complete brooding all their eggs so the chicks must be able to chillax for a while before taking their first stroll.

Now where was I... Baby Quilts
A friend has 2 daughters who gave birth to their babies within a week of each other. One is a boy and a second child. The other is a girl and a first child. So I picked a bright, busy, animal print for the backing. I didn't want to play favorites and there was enough backing for 2 quilts so I considered a second top similar to the first. The girl's bright pinks went together well so I looked at my other hand dyes. I had the most selection in a run of yellow golds to orange red.

If I added a jungle print and a red/gold geometric stripe I could pull the range of hand dyes together. Eight 5 inch finished squares fits the backing width perfectly. So 8 x 8 = 64 squares and an easy peasey few hours of sewing. I didn't even need my handy dandy calculator! lol

First I spread the most noticeable squares around to evenly disperse them. Then I begin to fill in with the rest. I still needed that yellow print that has proven so useful in my stash so I added those and then one small dotted print to add to the eye spy aspect.

Again, I sew by bringing pairs to my sewing machine which is on my cutting table so I can sew standing up. The best rhythm for me is to have one pair to clip off, one pair under the needle and when I take the sewn pair back to its place on my design wall I bring back the next. I can still get things upside down but my mistakes have been significantly reduced since I've begun this practice. You can pin numbered papers on key points as well. But since I'm older and slower I can slow down and enjoy the process more. I can also enjoy the chicks and the occasional cuppa in my Coop and Saucer Playroom! 8^)

So it is pairs, then fours, then eighths to complete the rows. Some sew in squares, some in lines or rows. I like rows.

When that is done I press the first row seams to the right and all the odd numbered rows as well. I press the second row seams to the left and all the even rows as well. This enables me to butt my seams and I don't need any pins.

I pinch the area where the seams butt with my right hand. They kinda nestle together. Then I allow the feed dogs to ease in any fullness in the fabric. This works with slight amounts of ease. If there seems (oops, 8^) a pun) to be a lot then turn the whole thing upside down and get that fabric with the extra fullness down on the feed dogs so they can shuffle the fabric under the foot and needle. This works for small amounts but not large amounts. But I can testify that the more I do the better and more accurate I get! Who'dda thunk it?

Then I again sew two long rows together, then 4, then I sew the final two big sections together. The only difference here is that I'll press the seams to one side each time I add a row just because there is less bulk than waiting till the end.

Next decision will be the machine quilting and the binding. But the grass may need cutting before I can do that. I'll have to study the sun and the clouds to see what my future plans for the week hold!

But with yellow now taken care of, I'm thinking of something a bit more daring for the days ahead.

I shall consult with the chicks to see how they feel about cobalt blue with apple green trim for the new paint for the Coop!!!


Dianne said...

Found you from Altered Book Lover's blog...your quilts are stunning! I love your blog and all about your farm, buildings, summer decorating, and your dh making projects happen...very startling story about moving buildings! you made me smile, and I wish you much sunshine!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I'll give you a ton of sunshine and way to much heat and humidity. May I please have some cool weather in return (grin)? Cobalt blue and either apple or lime green would be perfect.

Twisted Quilts said...

Great quilt and I love the way you are working. I take a picture with my digital camera and then print it on plain paper so I can remember where everything goes. I love the yellow and orange and the randomness (is that a word?)