What’s that people say about the best-laid plans? When I first blogged about my plans for a weekly “Downton Abbey” Sew-In, I mentioned that my baby daughter has been going to bed at a regular hour, allowing me more time in the evenings to get some things done.
But instead of sticking to her schedule on Sunday, she took an early nap, which resulted in an unavoidable late nap, which then kept her up and running (literally!) until about 10:00. Sigh. So I was able to give maybe 65% of my attention to the first episode of DA but there are things I missed, like, what was this book Anna and Mr. Bates kept talking about and why does it matter?
And I missed some of the interactions between the Dowager Countess and Mrs. Levinson, which means I’m definitely going to have to go back and watch the episode online. Aurora Greenway takes on Minerva McGonagall? What could be better than that?
Is it just me, or do the styles of the 1920s particularly suit Lady Edith in a way the Edwardian styles didn’t? Or is it just her character’s growth and maturity that makes her more beautiful? There’s a fabulous embroidered coat she wore in one scene that I’d love to know more about, as I bet it’s a vintage piece.
And of course we have the wedding. When Lady Mary descended the staircase in her wedding gown, my older daughter (did I mention the 3-year-old was also still awake?) gasped and said, “Look, mommy, it’s a princess!”
So that accounts for the “Downton Abbey” part of my Sunday night plans. But what about the sewing part? It was not as successful, although I did at least pull the UFO out of the closet and look at it. That counts as progress, right?
This is a double Irish chain lap quilt that I started piecing in, if memory serves, 1997. (And believe me, the fact that I’m working on an Irish-themed double Irish chain while watching Branson — excuse me — Tom rail against English imperialism, the injustices of the class system and the abuses of the Black and Tans while extolling Irish Republicanism is not lost on me. The advantages of being a 21st-century American include being able to indulge my Anglophilia while rooting for the Irish.)
This wasn’t my first or even my second big project, but I was basically still a beginning quilter. Strip-piecing helped it come together relatively quickly. Sloppiness and an inaccurate 1/4″ seam also helped it come together relatively quickly. After I got all the blocks assembled, I think I was stymied by how to deal with the uneven raw edges before I could add borders, so I stopped working on it altogether.
This is the most egregious example of bad piecing, but — seriously? That’s the best you could do, Mary Kate? Ugh. As I said before, this just will not do.
The only real work I did on the quilt on Sunday was 1) accept that I need to re-do some of the sewing and 2) get out my seam ripper and put it to work. I ripped out about 12″ to 14″ of the seam shown above. There may be a couple of other spots that will also get ripped and re-sewn.
Although I didn’t get terribly much done during week 1 of the DASI, just having an appointment with myself to pay attention to this particular UFO was enormously helpful, not to mention a fun and proactive way to finish my weekend (unlike the Dowager Countess, I am all too familiar with the value of weekends!) and get ready for my work week. Only five days to go until the next go-round!
Edited to add: Click here for the weeks 2 & 3 update.