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Sunday, February 22, 2015

PQ: 6.4 Unchained Heart (The clock is ticking)

Whew! That was close.  Two minutes to spare on this week's challenge. I'll be fixing this post as soon as I catch my breath....  (OK, a few details finally added!)

Well, that was a challenge! I know, it is supposed to be a challenge, but I don't think I've ever cut it as close as this one.

I decided on Sunday what I wanted to make.  I made this quilt  several years ago.  My mom asked to have it so, of course I gave it to her.  She then turned around and gave it to my niece for her wedding present.  Apparently they've had a thing about hearts forever and ever.  Sneaky mom!  I always loved that quilt and wanted to do something to replace it.  So for this challenge I was bound and determined to make a quilt that used similar elements.  Tick.  Tock.

But I dithered around forever and ever on it.  Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.   My first plan was to do a quilt as you go piece. It would have the hearts in the middle and each block would be surrounded by the red blocks.  It was all good until I started thinking about the edges.  I was going to have to do something funky with the number of blocks.  Probably not an issue but it hurt my head.  Tick.  Tock.  Tuesday.

So I thought about the quilt I made for the spuds' teacher when she retired.  I like the Irish Chain pattern.  It i one of my favorites. I figured it would work for the project.  But then I had to decide how best to do it.  I did not want to cut individual blocks.  I thought about it and finally came up with a plan. But then it was Wednesday (Tick, Tock, Tickety, Tock) and the quilt was going to be too big to finish in the remaining time.  So I pondered for a bit longer about plan B.  There was no plan B.  Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Late Wednesday night I pulled all of my red fabrics, selected 20 and cut strips.  About the time I cut the last wee bit of red with white hearts wonky, I gave up and went to bed.  There was no point in messing up anything else.  Tick. Tock.  Ticktockticktockzzzzzzzz........

Thursday I started in with the white fabric.  All 20 strips were cut.  Then I cut each WOF strip in half.  In order to make sure my nine patches would come out right, I figured that I would sew three pairs (red to white) and then add the third to each before moving on.  Two would get another red.  One would get another white.  Worked!  I ended up with exactly the right number of strip sets.  Well, except for the wonky heart strip which only made on set and I had to pull one more fabric and cut one more strip.  


The next question that deserved a long session of pondering was how to iron the seam so it would all work out.  (Tickety. Tockety Tick.) Of course, any experienced quilter would immediately know that you press them all to the red and it will be fine.  Took me a while to get that worked out.  But they were ironed and ready to cut.  

If you don't have this June Tailor shape cutter ruler, you need one.  It is the best.  You line up your strip set and then cut several at one time.  No moving the ruler.  It is big enough that it doesn't shift.  It is great for squaring up HST and QST blocks as well.  

Strip sets cut, blocks made.  More challenges with the rotary cutter.  Who knew it would be so hard to cut 60 - 6.5 inch blocks of plain white fabric.  Give up and start again on Friday. OK.  It wasn't really that simple.  I gave up after I realized that I just cut through one of my finished blocks and had a major panic about whether or not I would have enough blocks to make the quilt AND after another futile search for plan B.  Finished piecing on Friday night.  (Ticktockticktockticktock)

Tock. Tick. Tick. Tock.  Where ever did Saturday go?  Mostly done but OH My it is 2:39 am! Ticktockticktockticktock...

 Brrrrrrrring!  10 am!?!!  Tick. Tick. Tick. Two hours to finish.  Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick.
 11:26 am.  TOCK.  Where is the camera?  What? No charger?  Just enough battery for a couple pictures.  TICK.  EEP.  Too windy.  Quilt moved.  TOCK.   WHAT????  TICK.  Processing?  TOCK.  Who set the camera on raw format? TICK. TICK.  Where is the phone?  TOCK.  Email. Refresh.  TICK. REFRESH!!!! TOCK.  Upload. TICK TICK TICK.  Posted!  TOCK.  LINK.  Done. 11:58.  Breathe. 

The details:  This quilt measures 60 by 72 inches, machine pieced of quilter's cotton,  It as a polyester blend batting and is machine quilted with walking foot and embroidery unit.  There are precisely 12 hearts! Not saying there won't be more in the future, but I kind of like the band of hearts across the top!  The binding is machine sewn.

This quilt is my entry for the Project Quilting Season 6, challenge Have Heart.  Project quilting is the brain child of Kim Lapacek who blogs at Persimon Dreams.  The challenges come from the strange brain of her mother-in-law Diane.  You can view all of the quilts on here and follow along on the Challenge Quilts Facebook Page. 


  1. This is the second nine patch quilt I've seen this week that has made me want to make one! Love the quilting, too!

  2. I love this quilt! Want to make one!

  3. Wow girl, you've been like a sewing maniac getting this quilt done! I love the red and white and the binding is perfect. And your quilting is awesome! It's a super beauty!

  4. Very pretty. You ticked the tock and rocked this project challenge. Gorgeous!

  5. LOL! This is wonderful! I just love your stories too - they always make me laugh! Great work and I'm glad you made the deadline!