A Quilting Day In The Life, By Pookie

Last night I finished my fourth quilt top in the last few months! Woo-hoo!

Bliss Top Finished

I saw this pattern (“Hook and Eye” by Teacher’s Pet) done up in these fabrics (“Bliss” by Bonnie and Camille) at Quilt Asylum in McKinney, TX last year and decided I wanted a quilt exactly like it. I thought it would be a lovely Christmas quilt, but it could also be a plain old Winter quilt for January and February. I finished all the blocks just after last Christmas, but then dragged my feet on laying them out. Then I lay them out months ago and sort of forgot about them. Then I picked them up again recently, but lost track of how they were laid out. In the end, I had a lot of instances of the same fabrics showing up right next to each other. Um… that’s charm, right? ::shifty eyes::

Anyway, I’m quite pleased with how it looks, especially against a backdrop of July corn. Of course, now that it’s done, I’ve been thrown into a tizzy of having a billion projects I want to work on and a full Saturday with nothing else to do but quilt and watch DVDs. I’m so all over the place with what I want to be working on, so I figured I’d keep a running diary of what I manage to get accomplished today.

11:00 am: The first thing to do on a day like today is admire one’s work on a newish project. In this case, I laid out the first five blocks for FiestaFudd.

FiestaFudd In Progress

Just after finishing “Bliss” last night I realized I wanted to be working on something new. Something bright, sassy, and fun, but preferably with nice big pieces. Of course, starting a new project in quilting is tough because you have to cut the pieces and get them marked. So really, FiestaFudd could not have been more perfect! It’s bright (um, probably to a fault), sassy and fun, and it’s got big pieces that I had already cut and marked. But it’s not new! Waaaah! Just kidding.

11:15 am: Consider whether the panel from the giant stack of Helen Dardik fabric I got last week will work in this awesome quilt from the book “Gone To Texas”. The answer may surprise you.

Quilt Planning

The answer? No. No, it won’t work. Shuckydarns. But, there’s still hope that the fabric line will work for this pattern, just without showcasing the adorable panel. At least this means I don’t have to get online and order yards more of the panel today.

11:30 am: Press pieces stitched the night before.


I had some loose FiestaFudd pieces, and the top to Bliss, and the background square for Cheeky Dracula to be pressed. Pressing is a great way to kick off a stitching day. It’s kind of like organizing a desk or weeding a garden bed.

12:00 pm: Seethe with jealousy over Schnookie’s new project, “Basement City”. It’s going to be an incredible quilt made up entirely of 1 1/4″ squares (3/4″ visible), all made with repro fabrics from Boomer’s stash. She ordered some lime green solid for the background, and then started picking fabrics for the prints.

Basement City Materials

Basement City Begins

At some point today, I have to start cutting these fat quarters up into thousands of teensy tiny squares.

12:30 pm: Decide the thousands of teensy tiny squares can wait. Sit down on the couch and waste time on the internet and on buying stuff on iTunes (I’m pretty sure lots of people buy Dolly Parton and Fantomas at the same time. I hope I screwed up Apple’s demographics on that spending spree.)

1:00 pm: Put in the first stitch of the day. Yeah! I’m stitching up a storm today!

2:15 pm: Two television episodes later, I have 1/3 of a Cheeky Dracula dresden plate attached to the background. Threads of Fire, that’s me! At this rate, I’ll have this quilt done in… um… ::does some math::… 100 years!

2:16 pm: Commence cutting the first of 14,000+ 1 1/4″ squares for Schnookie’s “Basement City”.

Schnookie and Her Squares

Dear Accuquilt,
Please create a 1 1/4″ square die.
Hugs and kisses, Pookie

3:00 pm Cutting several hundred 1 1/4″ squares actually went pretty quickly, thanks to Schnookie helping out with the trimming. If you ignore the 8 1/2 yards of background we have to cut, the whole thing doesn’t seem that bad. Since I still had some cutting get up and go, I launched into a proof-of-concept block for the Farmyard fabric we ordered a few weeks ago. SeptemberFever has been creeping into the air here at Maple Hoo (probably thanks to the 5 hours of rain yesterday) and there’s nothing more September-y than this line.

Cutting Scraps

4:00 pm: Time for more TV! What are the chances I can finish the dresden plate block before dinner?

4:43 pm: I was fairly confident that my zeal for all my quilt projects would overcome my recent obsession with “Red Dead Redemption”, a.k.a. Grand Theft Horsie. It’s now six hours since I got out of bed today and I’m starting to get twitchy. Must. Not. Turn. On. xBox… Must… Quilt… Arrrrgh!

5:30 pm: Dinner is still hours away, but the dresden plate block is done! I’m doing excellent stitching!

Another Plate Attached

6:30 pm: Test proof-of-concept block of “Farmyard”.

Farmyard Proof of Concept

Looking good! I was very worried that once again I’d have chosen poorly vis a vis the scale of the prints and the pattern, but I’m satisfied that even with the biggest print in the line, the pattern pieces are just the right size. We’re thinking a deep chocolate brown background will be the way to go. Of course, no more progress can be made on that quilt until getting the background fabric, so onto the next project!

7:00 pm: Finish cutting the centers for the Cheeky Dracula plates.

Cutting Cheeky Dracula

Boomer picked up a circular cutter and it seems to be working quite well. Also working quite well? The towel draped on the dining room chair. It’s meant to keep Rollie from scratching the chair’s upholstery, but it doubles as a very effective miniature design wall:

Cheeky Dracula Centers

7:30 pm: Dinner’s almost ready, so it’s time to hunker down for the evening. After all that work I put in today on Schnookie’s new quilt, Cheeky Dracula, and Farmyard, it’s now time to focus on either more FiestaFudd, or more V&A clamshells. Or both! Either way, I’m feeling very, very accomplished already today. (Which means, I could turn on that xBox afterall and not feel like I’ve wasted my day… If only Grand Theft Horsie had an expansion pack where John Marston goes to a county fair to learn how to quilt from all the local rancher’s wives!)


8:30 pm: Finish dinner, tipsy from a very full glass of delicious red wine. Yessiree, today was a Saturday well-lived.


Filed under Pins and Needles, Progress Reports, Quilting

12 responses to “A Quilting Day In The Life, By Pookie

  1. Are you naked behind that quilt? HA!

    Oh, you and your teeny squares. I admire your tiny squares quilts. You are really amazing. I saw this quilt – http://www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson/2010/08/tokyo-subway-map-quilt-basics-and-supplies.html – someone at our modern quilting guild made a version, but it was the London subway map with a million tiny squares and it totally reminded me of you!

    Happy quilting!

  2. Schnookie

    Yup, I was completely naked in that picture of Pookie’s quilt. Thank goodness a stiff breeze didn’t blow the whole thing away. :P

    I’ve seen that subway map quilt before — that’s so cool that one of your fellow guild members completed one! I bet it’s even more beautiful in real life.

  3. Sarah

    I love a day in the life! Especially as I always wonder how you get so much done (and when you mentioned dinner I was like “hey! how were you able to sew right up until dinner!?” but then I realized Liz would have been making it.) Do tell about the circular cutter! I love quilts made up of many small squares. Can’t wait to see how you lay yours out.

  4. Pookie

    “hey! how were you able to sew right up until dinner!?”

    Having a personal chef really does help! :D

    The circular cutter is basically just a compass with a rotary blade on it. I think it’s slightly faster than using, say, a dessert plate and a pair of scissors, but it’s a little shaky. My circles are not perfect, that’s for sure.

  5. LMAO!!!! It’s SO nice to meet someone else who is schizocraftic. Love it.

  6. Pookie

    Schizocraftic! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s awesome.

  7. KTG

    Not only did you have a productive day, but the whole thing began because you were WEEKS ahead of schedule on the quilt top, if I recall…wasn’t that a “before August” deadline? Consider everything else you managed–and everything else you do before August–as gravy! (I would, anyway….) I guess this all just goes to show what you can accomplish once you actually have your sewing table handy…. :) Nice work!!!!!

  8. Pookie

    Well, I’ll admit, I do tend to overcompensate with my deadlines. I’m a total cheater. It’s like setting my alarm clock ahead. :D

  9. Good lord! 14,000 squares? I just finished my 1930’s repro quilt with 3,400 pieces, 3,100 of them being 1″ finished squares, and I can tell you, I’m sick of tiny squares. Never mind that I have 791 of them cut out and waiting for background fabric for the Tokyo Subway quilt…

  10. Pookie

    I saw your ’30s quilt in the Quilts and Quilting on Flickr and it stopped me in my tracks! It’s gorgeous!

  11. did you finish with the ghastlie circles????we are having a ghastlie blog hop in October..will you have it done…?
    if interested check http://www.sewIquiltnow dot com

  12. Pookie

    Sadly, I don’t think I”ll have it done, but I’m looking forward to seeing all the other Ghastlies projects!

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