Big Numbers…

I stayed up late to finish numbering. I know you find that surprising. I really was going to stop at midnight, but I really really (notice the two reallys) wanted to know how many pieces she had. So I numbered…for a total of 2 hours and 33 minutes (not all last night, mind you)…and she has 1954 pieces. Not bad. Less than 2000. I guessed right. So now I can process that in my head…make sense of it. Everything will take longer than the last couple did. And I’m OK with that.

I like having summer quilt projects with big numbers…lots of pieces. It’s like books you really love…you want them to be big, thick tomes so they take up a huge amount of your brain and time to read. I like to have big hefty quilts that will take up a huge chunk of my summer creating time. It’s somehow easier. I used to only make big quilts in the summer, but now I just make year round.

I started numbering at the bottom and went to the top. I try to be logical, but I was tired last night, so when I start tracing and ironing stuff, you can remind me that I probably wasn’t as logical as I’d like to be. You can see how big it is here.

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I number in sections…one leg, the other leg, one arm, the other arm. The head is often last…some cactus there and an octopus.

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I try to make it easier when I can…number all the background pieces and then the stuff that lies on top of them…a bat, the tail of a snake.

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Midnight likes to lie on it while I’m numbering, until I poke her too many times and she gives up and goes somewhere else…stares at me balefully from the couch.

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Here’s one of the crazier sections, although, again, while I was drawing, I tried to make sure I could trace all the petals of those flowers as one piece…and the pine branch above it is a little nuts, but not as crazy as it could be.

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I even marked a couple things as embroidery or beads (the tips of butterfly antenna do not need to be cut out of fabric). Does it have a lot of pieces? Well, yeah, but that hasn’t worried me before. Last year’s big summer quilt had 1850 pieces in it, finished the drawing in mid-July and the whole quilt by the end of September, with that 17-foot woman done in the middle of it. Plus surgery, the start of school, and taking girlchild to college. So I did OK. It was 164 hours total. So tracing on this one will probably take about 22 hours…My goal is to be done with ALL the Wonder Under, tracing and trimming, by the time school gets out in three weeks. I think I can do that.

And yeah, I know a lot of people think I’m crazy for making quilts like this, using all the tiny pieces, but I like the process and how it looks in the end, so I am going to keep doing it this way. I do have more problems with my hands than I did when I was young, so I realize I might not always be able to do quilts with this level of detail in them, but until that happens, I’m going to take advantage of the hand years I have now.

OK. I’m actually a little excited about this quilt now. Next stage. Tracing is meditative. And I do have two more major drawings to do before the summer is out…

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