Kevin and I cleaned all afternoon (the tub! the fishtank! the cabinet under the sink, even.) and then ordered pizza and retreated to our relative computers. He was deleting unloved music when I last checked in, and I finally caught up on the last few days of npr, and worked on the green squares for the quilt.
My computer desk is tucked into a little nook, facing a matching bookshelf that stores all of my craft things (thank you, Target), and because of the flat panel monitor (thanks yet again, Mom and Dad!), it’s easy to put the sewing machine (also Mom and Dad) on the desk without displacing any computer parts. I have a file cabinet a few feet away, with an iron pad on top, on which I iron the pieces as I work.
With my new system of cutting all of the strips ahead of time, things are moving much more quickly. Opening the seams and ironing is the slowest and most annoying part (especially since the steam compounds the summer heat…), but I always enjoy setting back down with my newer, bigger squares, and running the next round of strip selection. It’s not a scientific process — I try to place a medium tone strip against a light or dark, and a light or dark against a medium, and whenever possible, I try not to repeat strips within a square. Usually, when I finish and take a photo, I see two identical strips in the same round somewhere in the batch, but I’m relying strongly on serendipity, and unless my seams are too crooked (I seem to have a lot of trouble with the smallest strips going off kilter under the presser foot), I don’t rip strips out.
Sorry for the flash, and the ghastly color on the far left (in person, it’s a mottled lime green backing with ivory leaves. This picture looks like the skin of the mermaids in Harry Potter.), but here’s the fabric lineup waiting to be applied to the newly-ironed squares.
Each square takes 17 strips and (hopefully) ends up 5″X5″. These green squares are for the extreme foreground of the quilt and are meant to be a hodgepodge — they represent the landscaping, trees, bit of road, etc, that make up the area in front of the lake.
I can’t wait till I’m done and can see if the effect works and show you exactly what I mean. I was so happy to find fabric patterns that were more or less green, but also included red (for all of the shrubs that are red for 3/4s of the year), and yellow and blue (for the construction and streets). We live in a relatively urban environment. I want this quilt to represent the view of the Olympic Mountains and Lake Washington from our street. And while I block out most of the foreground in appreciating those, I want the serenity of the lake and mountains to clash a bit with the jangled suburbs in the foreground. Again, I can’t wait to see if it works.