Sunday, May 2, 2010

Getting ready for next Easter - Take Two!

Why do we crafters always think we can get more done than is humanly possible?  We set deadlines for ourselves that are far from reasonable and then stress out trying to meet them.  I wonder if male crafters do the same thing to themselves?  Maybe it's more gender related than hobby related.  Women just think they can do the impossible on a regular basis.

About a month before Easter, this Easter, I came across an adorable pattern on the Internet for Easter placemats.  No question about it - these just had to be made for my 3 grandchildren.  How much time could 3 placemats take?  A few days later, some friends and I were quilt shop hopping and the perfect fabric appeared.  Destiny was at work, I was certain.  These placemats would go together in a jiffy and be part of the Easter gift for the kidlets.

I should know myself by now.  I am not a speed sewer!  I like to take my time, enjoy the process, and refrain from making mistakes that cannot be rectified.  (That last part is really why I go so slow; inevitably, I make HUGE mistakes if I take shortcuts or rush the process.)  Among other things going on which were important last month, but which I can't remember now, I washed and ironed the fabric and proceeded to cut out the pattern pieces and start sewing.  I noticed right away that I wasn't going to have enough fabric for binding.  Not an insurmountable problem.  These are for kids, right?  They wouldn't care if the binding was different on each placemat.  In fact, my DD would probably just use the different binding to identify whose placemat was whose.  And, after DD throws the placemats into the wash along with towels, sheets, sweatshirts, and sox, they'll all look the same anyway!

Got them put together, machine blanket stitched the appliques, made my quilt sandwiches, then the panic set in.  How to quilt?  Looking at the calendar and the number of days left until Easter should have told me to just channel or grid quilt these babies.  Being the obsessive-compulsive-Virgo-perfectionist that I am, I of course decided to free-motion quilt!  Ta da - more stress!

I marked my chosen design on the first two placemats and did fairly well.  So well, in fact, that I decided to just wing it for the last two placemats.  I really felt comfortable by that time doing the quilting.  I think I'm going to enjoy free motion quilting more and more.  I do much better with some kind of markings, but progress was made.  Guess all those who advise you to "practice, practice, practice" really know what they are talking about.

Love the bunny faces, don't you?  I used fabric markers to color in the details rather than hand embroidery.  The carrot is open at the top so that silverware can be slipped in or a napkin.

By the time I was ready to figure out how to bind all four placemats, I realized these were never going to make it to the Easter 2010 table.  Sigh.

You can see a little bit of my quilting on this closeup.  Not ready for prime time, yet, but at least I can tell that it's a flower!

Now if I can just find a place to store these so that I'll remember them for Easter 2011!

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