Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sneak Peek

First of all, thanks to everyone who has been leaving me comments lately. I appreciate them more than you can know right now. I wish I could be better at responding and visiting your blogs, but it's been tough to be consistent, and I'm sure I've missed getting back to some of you. Much of my day is still taken up with therapy, and when I have free time, my first priority is to try to sew. And today my persistence paid off. I'm really pleased to say I finished what I hoped to on the secret project I've been working on. I never thought I'd be able to say that, but as I said in my last post, where there's a will there's a way.

The adventures with one-handed sewing continue. With success! I discovered that I could rough cut fabric into small pieces with my right hand. I cut paper patterns to trim around and adhered them to the fabric with masking tape. It was easier to cut small pieces than to cut a long strip and subdivide it. 

After a couple of sessions, I had all the patches I needed.

It took me parts of three days to piece a strip of geese, but then I got faster and was able to do a strip in an afternoon or evening for the rest of the strips. I'm not going to show you the finished strips here because that would give away a little more than I'd like. But I have to say, paper piecing flying geese was a good choice for this project in my situation. I could cut regular shapes of fabric, the placement of the pieces was in a consistent pattern, and there was no need to join multiple sections.

After I finished the strips, I realized that I would need to cut some longer strips of fabric to finish the quilt top. I would also have to trim the strips of geese. There was no avoiding using the rotary cutter. But I needed to do it safely. (Well, of course! I still have a scar from a slip-up awhile ago. But I mean extra safely.) I remembered that I had some four-pound weights that I had once thought I'd use to build up my upper arm strength. (Ha!) They seemed like they'd be a good stand-in for my left hand. I also had a piece of thin rubber (a jar opener giveaway that my husband got years ago). That would ensure that the ruler would stay in place on the mat. I also used my smaller rotary cutter. I'm not sure why, but it seemed like a good idea. 

Here's how the set-up looked:

I cut very slowly, and it worked great. In fact, I might continue to use this method from now on. Everything stayed in place, and the blade wasn't anywhere near my fingers. 

So now everything is sewn together. I used a bread board on my lap to lay out and pin fabric together before sewing, and I guided my work with my right hand at the machine, sometimes placing it to the left of the needle. It was slow, but accurate. 

So here's a sneak peek at part of the project. The strip on the left hadn't been sewn yet when I took the picture. 

I can't wait to show you the whole thing. You'll have to wait until next week during the Autumn Abundance Blog Hop hosted by Bernie at Needle and Foot and sponsored by Paintbrush Studios. I'm so excited! Especially since I thought a few weeks ago that I wouldn't be able to participate. Five of us will be presenting our projects. Oh, and I heard there might be some giveaways!

See you then! 

I'm linking up this week with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Be Social. And after therapy today, I plan to take a break from sewing so that I can be a little more attentive to the blogs. Click on the link here or on the side bar to join the fun. 


  1. I am glad that you are able to get some sewing in while still recovering from your shoulder surgery. That's a great idea using the small handweights to hold down the ruler.I need to remember that when I need to square up yardage or cut a pile of 2.5" strips. I think there is a set of ankle weights here in the office/sewing room.(Brand new in the box lol).I try to use my 12.5" square ruler along with the 6 x 24" ruler to square up. The 12.5" square has ridges that help grip the board, sometimes. I look forward to seeing your reveal. The paper pieced flying geese look lovely.

  2. You just made my day with your joy in quilting and your determination to overcome your challenges! I can't wait to see your finished project. You are such an inspiration. :)
    I saw some fabric similar to your Into the Woods yesterday at my LQS - so beautiful. It was Autumn Splendor. I need to get some and do a quick project!

  3. Hey you are getting in more sewing than no sorrys. :) :) Glad therapy is going well. THanks for the sneak peek!

  4. Wow, is it ever pretty! No wonder you are inspired to make it work! I know all of us out here in blogland are very proud of your perseverance and positive attitude. You are quite the inspiration! Keep up the good work. Can't wait to see more! XO~karen

  5. Thank you so much for sharing how you are working around your reduced ability! Quilting one handed is tricky, but you are making it work and that's great. Someday we will all need to change how we sew, and your post will show someone how it's possible.

    And I completely understand why you are motivated: what gorgeous fabrics in your secret project! I'm a sucker for autumn colors and themes, sigh.

  6. That is serious, serious dedication! Your geese look perfect, too. Can't wait to see your project! :)

  7. I am inspired by your determination Janine. Looking forward to seeing your project next week -- this is one you will surely remember!

  8. It is quite astounding that you will have managed a whole one-handed quilt! It is interesting to see what solutions you come up with at each step of the way too.

  9. Wow! Super impressed at how you made this come together one-handed! Great job! And the colors are so pretty too!

  10. Woo HOO!! Your geese sewn with one hand turned out better than mine sewn with two LOL!! Gorgeous fabrics and yay, I'm so glad you can join in fully and completely. I cannot WAIT to see what you've created.