I’ve got a list up over at Flashlight Worthy Books. They’re worth supporting.

Yesterday, after doing a bit of work and grocery shopping, I began on a new quilt.

You’ll be thinking that I shouldn’t have done this. I have a lovely quilt that’s been waiting around for me to quilt it for a year or two now, I have a couple of blocks pieced for the Art Nouveau quilt I’m planning, and I have Salt Peanuts in a state of distress, so the last thing I needed to do was to start a new project.

I did anyway.

I brought the sewing machine out to the desk which is still sitting in the living room waiting for me to figure out what to do with it, put on a disk of Coupling for background amusement, and got to it.

I’m using a quick method from Layer Cake, Jelly Roll, and Charm Quilts to make the traditional Dutchman’s Puzzle. Usually, you cut millions of little triangles and sew them all neatly together.

This way, you have rectangles. You layer  one over another and sew a triangle. You can do this in a long chain, doing the whole block’s worth before you cut the thread. Split the top layer up the middle, open it out, and Bob’s your uncle. At this point, you’re supposed to cut away one extra layer of fabric and press the other one down, though I experimented with cutting away both.

I should probably follow the directions.

You can do this with any Flying Geese type of quilt pattern. It’s fast and as accurate as your normal method of piecing. The downside is that it is wasteful.

However, I have a Jelly Roll, which is a collection of 2.5″ strips of a whole lot of fabrics. You can see it down at the bottom of the page in its tidy little carrying tin. In this case, it’s Moda’s Patisserie collection, which I quite love. But let’s face it, being careful with the fabric would just give me a larger quilt — there’s nothing useful you can do with a few extra inches of 2.5″ fabric, is there?

And of course I’m now thinking of all the things I could do with it. Never mind. Time is sort of a huge big deal for me right now, and this method will produce another lovely quilt top for me not to quilt.

As you can see, my triangle points are mostly chopped off, as usual, and this method, simple and precise though it seems, hasn’t caused me to become any more precise than I usually am.

Nonetheless, I made three blocks last night and plan to continue today. Theoretically, I could have this quilt top put together by the time school starts again.

“Theoretically” doesn’t always work well for time. I spent a bit of time last night figuring out my schedule for the fall semester. I have three classes, so I’m teaching from 8:00 to 10:15 most days. I’ll go to the gym on my way home, have lunch when I get home (I plan to pack up a bento box before I leave in the morning to avoid those “Oh my Lord I have so much work I’d better grab a sandwich on the way home” things), and easily have 1:00 to 6:00 at the computer. That’s my twenty-five billable hours.

I have eight Dark Lite clients, my two agencies, plus a website a week, so theoretically I can do all my billable hours in the afternoons. So as long as I get up early enough to do the unbillable hours before I leave, all will be well. My daughters are doing some of the unbillable and some billable stuff now, so we should be able to maintain business growth even if I go to the gym as planned.

It doesn’t seem impossible. I had a system wherein I had 10 theoretical teaching hours a week, 10 for the agencies, 10 for Dark Art Lite,  and 10 for the other random stuff I pick up and unbillable, adding up to 40 working hours a week. #1 daughter didn’t like the theoretical nature of this system.

Three classes means nine contact hours, plus grading, which isn’t actually ten hours in our dimension. Ten for the agencies is usually real, though it’s so variable that I can’t be sure of it.

Eight Dark Art clients makes for more than ten hours, for sure, but they can be fitted in among other things. Other random stuff includes the websites we’re doing for our future firm, so I’m supposed to increase those things. I also have all this tuition to pay, so I don’t want to cut back much.

However, teaching three classes actually covers #2 son’s tuition and about half of #1’s. and that’s definite. If I keep the current number of Dark Art clients, that covers all our housing costs, and my overhead. So I could, if need be, cut back in the other areas without serious consequences.

Still and all, I had probably better do my best to finish this quilt top before school starts.