It’s been a while since I’ve had anything sewing-related to show off. It’s not because I haven’t been sewing at all, because I have. But I’ve done that ridiculous thing of starting too many projects, and getting nearly to the end of them all, but never quite managing to finish them off.
This weekend I decided enough was enough. ‘I’m bored of unfinished things!’ I shouted, and declared that I was going to spend Friday doing nothing but sewing, and finish at least one project.
Where to start? The birthday presents that are six months late? The bedroom blind that I took down in February and never replaced? The hat I made in August which doesn’t quite fit properly? Peter’s robe that I started making for Christmas 2009 and never finished? Aarrgghh!
I decided to start with the project that was taking up the most room, and that I’d been working on most recently. Some friends got married back in June, and we planned to make them a celebratory picnic blanket. I started it, and it didn’t look right, so I took it apart and started again, and then it got too difficult, so I abandoned it, right in the middle of the attic floor. It’s not really picnic weather any more, so it’s now a snuggling-on-the-sofa blanket instead.
Then I hit the first problem. It’s actually quite difficult to sew strips onto squares like that. I can’t really explain why, because I’m not entirely sure I understand why, but I could not figure out how to do them in the right order.
Then we decided the colour of the strips was all wrong, and had to start again. I didn’t even take any photographs at that stage because I was too busy despairing and wishing I’d just donated to their honeymoon fund.
Eventually I sewed the front, and it started to look quite like a blanket.
Until I turned it over to do the back.
Gah! One of the advantages of using fleece was that it didn’t need to be backed with a different fabric, but it turned out that this was also quite a major disadvantage. All those nice neat strips on the front had to be matched with nice neat strips on the back. Which would probably have been easier if I’d properly measured the strips and the squares, and sewn straight lines – none of which I managed.
First I had to sort out those gaping holes. The dragon fabric strips are quite lightweight, and a bit stretchy, and just would not sit flat. I ended up loosely sewing them together so I get the backing strips on.
By this point I’d been going for around six hours, not including the countless hours before Friday. I’m afraid I swore quite a lot. But I can be pretty determined when I put my mind to it, and I wasn’t giving up without a fight.
And so the strips on the back were sewn on, and the edging done, and finally the blanket started to look like a blanket.
Ok, so the seams aren’t straight, and the squares aren’t square, and the whole thing is considerably smaller than when I started because I had to keep slicing the ends off to make it straight, but it’s cosy with a hint of glamour, and by the end I was actually starting to quite like it.