Friday, August 9, 2013

Snowballs in August in Florida????

Don't panic, we're not experiencing a strange weather phenomenon here in hot, humid St. Pete!!!!  Snowballs are what I was "creating" this past Sunday in my sewing room!!!!  At the January retreat, six of us (Gloria, Vicky, Wynette, Diane, Paula and myself) decided we needed to do an exchange. I have never expressed how I really feel about exchanges in any of my posts, so here's my chance.  I'm always polite and agree to participate and even express how much fun it will be and then I start to think about having to get 3244 3" blocks done in just 6 weeks and I start to get a little panicky - stress does that to you - and I then I start to question my sanity!!!

Gloria explained this exchange and of course I agreed; it all sounded reasonable while I was sitting in that room with all those lovely ladies.  Snowball blocks - how hard could it be!!  5" blocks with 2" corners - no problem!!  Not due until the September retreat -  piece of cake!!!  And then I forgot about them until I got a text message from Wynette (months ago) that she was finished!!!  And then Diane finished!!!  What's going on here?  Obviously they must be new to this exchange thing!!!  Who gets their blocks done months in advance, not me, that's for sure!!!  So now I'm entering panic mode and I contact Gloria and ask her for the information again.  288 blocks,144 in blues and browns and 144 in tans.  Six participants, so 6 sets - easy!!!  So I begin pulling fabric for the darks and when I have 50 I stop and think wow, I still need 238 more darks and I still haven't even thought about pulling the lights.  Are you beginning to see the problem here????  I was pulling enough fabric to make 6 sets of 288 dark and light blocks and if I got that many blocks from each person (calculator moment here) I would end up with1728 blocks!!!! Now my mind is racing - what size quilt are we making, are we covering one of the tanks at Camp Blanding with it's own quilt?

And that's another reason why I'm not so sure about exchanges - it's the math thing!!  Well it turns it, if I had read the instructions correctly, that we will each end up with a total of 288 Snowball blocks - 144 darks and 144 lights.  We will receive 24 darks and 24 lights from each person!!!  It all started making sense to me and my stress level was lowering - slightly.  Now I realize that I have pulled 50 darks (blues and browns) and that's really 2 more than I need for 2 people.  A quick phone call to Paula to determine she hasn't started her's yet either and I assure her that I have both of us covered on this exchange.  I've cut all of the fabric for my 24 sets of lights and darks and Paula's 24 sets AND I only used scraps AND I didn't make a dent in the fabric stash!!!!! I packaged them up and set them aside and even brought them to the July retreat and then proceeded to bring them right back home. 

The September retreat is just around the bend, so Sunday was Snowball day in Florida.  I did manage to finish 24 sets of lights.  So either Paula or I are halfway done!!!

Here's a couple of pictures to show my progress:
This first one is my pretty packaging and I'm all ready to start sewing:  stack of blues, stack of browns, 2 stacks of lights and little stacks of the corners in lights and darks.  I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with my packaging.  Made transport very easy!!  Now if I could just figure out how to rotate the picture!!!  I edit and save them the way they are supposed to look and when I bring them over to the post they rotate - very frustrating!!!

Here's my first set of 24 lights all done!!!

At this rate I only need 3 more Sundays before I leave for the September retreat to finish them!!!  Today it's back to the Savannah I've been working on.  I should finish today - mitered border and that's all folks!!

Now, will I do another exchange - of course!!! What's a little stress in my life!!!! And I never even mentioned the stress that comes from knowing that other quilters are seeing my piecing!!!  Way too much stress for one blog post!!!!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen