Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How My Bathrooms Got Cleaned

I've sort of set aside my major ongoing project for a bit. My designing just wasn't going where I wanted it to, and so I'm back to the consultation phase with my daughter-in-law. That means that I'm also back to the little quilt I started a few weeks ago, and it's almost a finish. 

When I work on a FMQ project, I tend to get obsessed with getting it done. My shoulders tense, my hips get stiff from treadling without breaks, and (with my less-than-stellar eyesight) my vision gets blurry from too much staring at one spot and not enough blinking. I also get sloppy because I try to go too fast (not that my stitches are so even anyway). So I decided that this time around I had to do something about that. I would take breaks after every section of quilting. 

And that's how my bathrooms got cleaned. 

I like a reasonably clean house, but I don't like the reasonable amount of cleaning that's needed to keep it that way. It just seems a waste of time to clean something that is just going to get messy and dirty in a few minutes again. Especially when I'm sewing, which is pretty much all the time. I feel the same way about cooking. Why spend hours making something that will get eaten in less than ten minutes? I'd rather make a quilt that I can give to someone and have it last than make a big meal that just gets consumed. When I said that to my husband, who does a LOT of the cooking around here--or we might go without food--he was not amused. Oops. Digression. Anyway, throughout my adult life, I've had to make lists and schedules to get myself to do mundane household chores. I even joined Flylady, an online support community, to try to get into some good habits. (The only habit that has really stuck is making my bed every day; I do like getting into a made-up bed at night. And think about it. If you are a quilter and have a quilt on your bed, isn't it nice to have it all smooth and pretty during the day?) 

So today, after each section of quilting, I did a little bathroom chore--cleaning mirrors, counters, toilets, and before I knew it, the quilting and the bathrooms were done, I still had my vision and I wasn't stiff. Woo hoo! The rest of the house is kind of a disaster, but I guess that just means I need to find something else to quilt. 

So here's what I've got:

The sashes are quilted as suggested in the pattern I used (Gently Down the Stream by Christina Cameli). I'm going to call them organic wavy lines, because that sounds a whole lot more sophisticated than saying that they are a bit unintentionally wobbly. They were fun to do, and by stuffing the whole quilt under the harp area of my machine and quilting my way out, I was able to keep quilting across the whole length of the quilt without stopping. The pattern also suggested a stylized floral design in the printed fabrics, and I tried a free-form version but I wasn't happy with my effort, and the designs didn't really show that much on the front or the back so I ended up just meandering. I like the contrast between the squishy meandered quilting and the tighter quilting on the sashes. 

Next up is the binding--that strip you see there. I can get that machine sewn yet today, and then I'll hand stitch it to the back tonight while watching TV.

I'm linking up today with Freemotion by the RiverFreshly Pieced,  and Sew Fresh Quilts.
Check back tomorrow for a Throwback Thursday quilt. And I think on Friday, I'll have a finish to show. Yippee!


  1. I've totally done that whole cleaning one task at a time between things before, and it works great! I also like using my timer to have fun sewing or reading for a set amount of time and then doing one thing.

  2. I have to admit.... Although the photo of the quilt is enticing... I was really drawn in by the title of this post. How did Janine get her bathrooms cleaned and still make this lovely quilt? Here I was thinking you had bribed someone else to do the cleaning while you quilted. Hahaha! Good for you pacing yourself and being able to do such a beautiful job on the fmq. It looks perfect with the dense quilting in the sashing and the meandering in the prints.

  3. I know exactly what you mean - I actually wrote about housecleaning on my blog too - such a thankless and short-lived outcome to three plus hours of work - still, it's good exercise! I really love your quilt, too. :)

  4. I like the bright fresh fabrics you used. Great idea to use housework to take quilty breaks--my husband complains about the threads on the carpet (but he doesn't vacuum, I do) so maybe I should do my vacuuming lol.

  5. Your quilt is going to be lovely when it's finished!

  6. A good way to get the chores done. I find myself putting off almost everything when I'm at the machine ('I'll just do one more bit...') and I'm only piecing. This quilt is looking good - I like the organic wiggles.

  7. It really does help too read up the quilting process. Better for the quilt and for your shoulders. You did a great job quilting this one. Don't knock your stitching, it looks beautiful. Seems like that would be a challenge on a treadle. I have a vintqge machine that uses a knee bar to power it and it feels so jerky that I can't imagine using it for FMQ. Well done Jeanine.