Wednesday, October 13, 2010

just marking time ....

I finished quilting 2 queen sized client quilts.  I'm happy with them and hope my client is too!

Normally, I would be loading a new quilt (one from my big, ol' pile of Tops to be Quilted) and putting my Lizzie to work.  Whereas in times past, I would be on a piecing treadmill ... one right after the other .. because I truly do love creating tops ... *now* that I have my own longarm ... a wonderful Tin Lizzie 18 ... I realize that I can't be piecing all the time.  *Some* of that time needs to be spent quilting!

And I would happily be doing just that ... except ... Mr. Pirate & I are going on a small vacation.  I don't want to load a new top onto Lizzie because I won't be able to finish it before we leave.  I don't want to leave an unfinished quilt on Lizzie and  I also don't want to leave it up whilst we are gone.

We've been getting our gear ready for our trip, but in the evenings, I like to relax in front of the TV.  However, I can't JUST watch TV ... I need to be doing something productive.  It is during TV time that I do a lot of piecing.  Normally, I would have an on-going piecing project ... but not right now.  I don't need a new one since all those previously pieced tops are waiting to be quilted  (see the 2nd paragraph above)!

I'm convinced that if I simply watch TV, my mind (what is left of it) will turn to mush.  Who wants a mushy mind?  :-)

So, what to do??  I don't want to start a new pieced project, even though I have LOTS of them waiting to be started.  Then I remembered a scrap project I started who-knows-how-long-ago of a Double Wedding Ring.

Now, don't you start groaning on me!  I *love* Double Wedding Ring quilts!  I've made two of them already: one for our oldest Dear Daughter's high school graduation (2002) and our nephew's Christmas present (2009). 

Both of them were constructed using John Flynn's method.  I particularly love the arcs when they are made with individual wedges (as opposed to a single piece of fabric) but  Would Not Ever cut out all those wedges to make the arcs.  John Flynn's method allows you to create arcs with individual wedges but you start out with strip sets.  It completely circumvents the tedious cutting of small pieces but it is still a fairly laborious method.

Then, "a while ago", I realized that I could make those arcs using freezer paper piecing!!!  Oh, how utterly awesome!  I had learned the freezer paper piecing technique from none other than Judy Mathieson herself.  This method has ALL the advantages that paper piecing provides but NONE of the drawbacks because, since you aren't sewing *through* the freezer paper, there is *no paper to tear off afterwards*.  ::swoon::  As a cherry on top of the whipped cream, the freezer paper template can be reused over and over and over ....until fabric will no longer stick to it.  Her technique is worth it's weight in gold.

And I'm not exaggerating!  [Want to learn how to do it?  I have a tutorial on my website, appropriately titled, Freezer Paper Piecing.  Try it ... you will be Amazed.]

So, back to the Double Wedding Ring .... McCall's quilting has a free downloadable pattern for a Double Wedding Ring.  I copied the arc pattern to freezer paper and began making arcs.

Oh. My. Gosh.  Freezer paper piecing is SO MUCH EASIER than John Flynn's method!  I took down my box of 2" wide strips and began piecing the arcs together last night, whilst watching TV.  Each arc doesn't take very long and at the end of my marathon TIVO watching session (love TIVO!), I had 20 arcs.  Yes, TWENTY arcs ... all with individual wedges ... all scrappy.  I have lots more scraps and a couple of nights before we actually leave, so I anticipate making quite a few more arcs.  :-)

At this point, all I'm doing is mindless sewing of arcs.  It's just a way to be productive and creative whilst passing the time watching TV ... all because I don't want to get involved in a "real" piecing project right now.

I'm not thinking about the melons or the center sections ... I'm just making arcs. 

And having a FABULOUS time.  And using up stash strips. :-)

but mostly having a grand time.  :-)


  1. "but mostly having a grand time"

    ...And that is what it is all about!!

  2. You sound so thrilled and excited about these methods, that now I have to investigate. I've never made a double wedding ring, but have admired them. And I love piecing in front of the tv. That's my company. Thanks for sharing.