The tale of a sliced finger, a missed deadline and being saved by a friend

An emergency quilt meeting was held on Sunday night as I was struggling with the piecing. It was decided that the 9×9 squares should be cut down to 6×6, then we’d only have two sizes of squares to work with. “Can you just cut one down now?” my friend/client asked. “Sure.”

Lesson: do not talk and cut at the same time. I sliced a chunk off my left index finger with the rotary cutter. An hour and a half later, when the bleeding hadn’t stopped, I went to A&E. After waiting there an hour and not being seen, I came back home again! There was a three-hour wait and I didn’t fancy being there til 1am when my little man has been waking at 5:30am. So I went for the DIY approach.

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Being right-handed, I didn’t think it would hinder me that much. But, even now, I keep forgetting that I use that finger to type. And I can’t. For now.

Anyway, previous to the incident, the deadline of today (!!) was relaxed. On the basis that the – now one-year-old – recipient wouldn’t know if it was late.

I cut the rest of the large squares down. And that’s all I managed all week.

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Until tonight. I cut what I hoped was my last few squares. And started piecing again, according to what we’d agreed on Sunday night.

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Still busy. At this point, I was in despair. Wanting to rewind time and not accept this commission. I sent a despairing message to my crafty friends and a suggestion came back: try blocks of 4 larger squares and blocks of 4 smaller squares. I tried it.

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A big improvement! So I carried on.

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I’m going to pack it all away now, will start again next week. But am much happier with this type of formation. So glad my plea for help was answered! I’d be lost without my crafty friends.

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Piecing

Now the piecing of the memory quilt. begins. It’s hard. And headache inducing. I’m being paid to make this quilt for a friend’s little boy who turns one on Friday. I’m behind schedule so think it’ll be late … No change there!

I’ve cut out 84 of my squares, or squares totalling 84 6″x6″ squares. I was aiming for 88 squares. But I’ve run out of interfacing (more arriving Monday), so I thought I’d see how it looks with what I’ve cut so far.

I laid out some old wadding which is similar in size to the finished quilt size.
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All my squares neatly stacked ready to start piecing.

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Although I’ve been asked to cut different sized squares, I think my friend prefers the uniform look of squares which are all the same size, like this:

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But I don’t have enough squares that size, so I added in the 9×9 and 3×3 squares:

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I knew she wouldn’t be too keen on this look, and I think that too many small squares together looks a bit messy. So, I switched in some 6×6 squares, like this:

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I then added a row of 3×3 squares between each bigger row. Overall, I’m left with this:

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Needs a lot of tweaking to balance it out. I think my friend will find it too busy! Maybe I’ll start again tomorrow. It may mean getting rid of the 9×9 squares and having alternating rows of 6×6 and 3×3. Which means I’ll need to get cutting again! Zzzz

Seeing stars: take two

Trying day in Mummyland means that I’ve not cut as many squares as I’d hoped to have done. Struggling to get my little man to nap, but I’m hoping this is temporary – due to him being overstimulated by all the new things he’s learning. Today he’s been pulling himself up to standing on everything, me being his favourite climbing frame.

My day has been brightened up greatly as my husband surprised me by telling me we’re going on a spa day tomorrow for our wedding anniversary! Just what the doctor ordered.

Anyway, back to squares. Here’s today’s haul.
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The stars babygro was 12-18 months so provided lots of squares. I was distracted by the news of my surprise spa day and managed to mess up the cutting of both the 6×6 squares I intended to get out of it. So I’ve ended up with one rather ropey one and lots of smaller ones. With every 4 3×3 squares equating to one 6×6 square, I’ve cut out the equivalent of 11 squares today.
Yesterday’s total: 39
Today’s total: 50

Creeping there slowly.

I think I could be suffering from rotary-cutter elbow. If such a thing exists.

To do: squares, squares, squares

Today was my penultimate KIT (keeping in touch) day at work, before I return to work part-time in October. I treated myself to some new stationary on my lunch break:
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My post-baby brain is failing me and I’m always writing to do lists on scrap bits of paper. So I thought this may help me return to my pre-baby uber-organised ways. This week, the list will read: squares, squares, squares, make birthday card to be read out on CBeebies (little man’s 1st bday is fast approaching). No time for housework this week. Again.

Work getting in the way as it does, followed by a quick run tonight, I haven’t been very productive on the squares today. I’ve cut the equivalent of 6 6×6 squares out of leftovers of what I’ve cut so far. If my memory serves me correctly, and my calculations aren’t wrong (which they most likely are), I need 88 6″x6″ squares for this quilt. Scores on the doors are:
At yesterday’s count: 33
With today’s squares: 39

Must do better tomorrow!

Am trying to salvage the insides of the Sainsbury’s outfits, as the labels are quite cute. Can you spot the teddy which was lurking inside one outfit?

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Squares

I’ve been busy cutting out squares whenever I’ve had a moment. Takes longer than I expected! I focused on cutting out the appliquéd/fabrics with detailing first. I’m doing three sizes of squares 6″x6″ (6.5×6.5 with seam allowance), 9×9 (9.5×9.5) and 3×3. I’ve cut a few rectangles too, but not sure yet how or if I’ll work these in.

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I’ve just laid out what I’ve cut so far – this is not how they will be pieced – to give me an idea of size.

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What do you think? As I say, this is not how they’ll be pieced, but it’s coming out a bit better than I was expecting.

I reckon I’m nearly halfway there. Here are my piles. 3x3s are winning out.

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Now I’ve cut out all the main designs, I should speed up a bit. I hope. I’m cutting 6×6 squares where I can, then 3×3 with what is left.

The first cut

The memory quilt meeting finally happened this afternoon. My friend came over with her two children to go through what clothes she wanted to use, the sizing of the blocks, etc. As you can imagine, it’s hard to have crafty discussions whilst supervising young children. Chaos ensued.

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This evening, I’ve been cutting up lots of paper, trying to work out the best sizing for the blocks/squares. Like a giant game of Tetris. Getting a headache.

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Think I’m getting there. My impatience has got the better of me and, despite promising that I wouldn’t take my scissors to anything til tomorrow, I’ve interfaced and cut up one of my favourite squares.

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My first commission

Exciting times in Unfinishedcrafter-land. I’ve received my first commission. A friend has added me to make two memory blankets; one for each of her children. She wanted them both for her son’s 1st birthday, the 26th September. Having sought the advice of my two crafty friends/gurus, I’ve said I can only complete one in that time. The price we’ve agreed will work out as a pitiful hourly rate, but it’s my first time doing one and it’s for a friend.

So I now have three boxes of baby clothes sitting in my conservatory.
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We were supposed to have a blanket meeting last night, to choose the clothes and backing for the quilt, but I had to dash off to out-of-hours with my little man who had been being sick all day. As well as getting covered in sick A LOT, we’ve also spent most of today like this:

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Not going to lie, it’s lovely having him sleep on me, he hasn’t done that since he was really small.

Maybe tomorrow will be the day I begin on the quilt. It’s a tight schedule so every day counts.