Thursday, March 19, 2020

What a Difference a Week Makes!?!

Is your head spinning over every thing that has happened over the past week?
A week ago, we were being "urged" to take precautions here in the USA and now we are being "ordered" to take precautions.  Today, I am suppose to be on the Platte River in Nebraska enjoying a "bucket list" birding experience but I'm home doing laundry, figuring out what to fix for supper, and puttering in my sewing studio.  Thank goodness I have a lifetime supply (really, maybe a couple lifetimes) of stuff!!

I finished and washed this little quilt to donate to a local veterans facility (though that may be delayed at this point).
I machine quilted this funky piece of scrappy patchwork I showed you last week. I am so surprised at the response it got on Instagram -- really, it's just leftovers?  
And I didn't even like it while it was happening.
I decided to finish it into a pillow cover and while I love the finished look of a piped edge, I hate the actual task of adding piping to anything.  It would be whimsical to use ball fringe -- but a bit too funky for me.  So as I was poking through the trimmings stash looking for inspiration (without leaving the house), this wide rick-rack caught my eye -- insert that in the edge seam???  
No, too much like adding piping. 
But (light bulb moment), what if I stitched it to the patchwork like a border.  
Perhaps it will distract the discerning eye from an easy (but common) knife-edge finish.
That works!!
(Make a note if you also hate inserting stuff to make a pillow cover more whatever.) 
One pillow down!!

In January, I set a goal of "eliminating" 10 UFO's.  I "only" got to 7 in January but I have been continuing to reach for that goal.  I decided to finish this color exercise sample from an old teaching workshop into a large floor pillow.  So while the motivation from finishing one pillow was high, I set to machine quilting this piece.  It took two evenings, nothing fancy, a simple grid with fuchsia thread!! 
There was even a nice big piece of black and purple corduroy in the stash for the backing!
Ta-da -- UFO #9 eliminated!! 
But as if often the case, almost as soon as I eliminate one UFO, another appears to take it's place.
When I pulled out my "drunkard's path" teaching box to use a template to curve the corners of the pillow cover, this little block was lurking inside.
The greens were part of a 2 1/2" square charm pack.  I must have been bored and stuck with no sewing machine when vending with a friend at a quilt show because it's hand pieced.
Cute block -- the rest of the charm pack was there, too -- maybe I could make a few more of the blocks?!?

It took less than a minute to squelch that impulse because there wasn't enough of anything to do much except create a bigger UFO.  
 I put the rest of the charm squares into my 2 1/2" squares scrap basket and decided to make the block into a potholder.

Well, this morning when I decided to stitch some of the leftover squares together to make a potholder back, this little block happened -- I may be intimidated by "improvisational" piecing but I am a master of "spontaneous" piecing.
It occurred to me that someone else might find this little block useful.
It uses sixteen (16) 2 1/2" squares.
Nine laid out in a 9-patch grid.
Six squares cut in half - 1 1/4" by 2 1/2" for the "sashing". 
One square cut into fourths -- 1 1/4" squares for the "cornerstones". 
All laid out and ready to stitch together!
And here's the back of the first block I made to show you how I pressed it.
Then while I was eating lunch, I sketched the block out in EQ7.  It finishes at about 8 1/2".  I also set it into a simple layout with sashing (cut 2 1/2" wide) for a small quilt that will finish about 32" by 42".
Since I always have a stash of 2 1/2" squares that need using up, I think I'll piece more of these blocks in bright colors for an easy, pleasing quilt to donate or give away.
No hurry -- just a quick little block to piece now and then until I have a dozen.
(Did I just create another UFO or is this a WIP?)

Those two blocks are still destined for potholders for my impromptu gift stash!!
Let me know if this block inspires you to use up some scraps!
Staying inspired and cheerful is the thing that is going to get each of us through this weird and scary time, isn't it?

Using up more stash for now, Mary


  1. I like that block. Yes, this is a good time to tackle UFOs. (In my book it is WIP so long as it is out. Once it gets put away it becomes a UFO.)Claire aka knitnkwilt

  2. Some beautiful finishes, and I love your mini-charm square block! I keep a bag of 2.5" squares and strips, this might be a great use for some of them, thanks!

  3. What a great bunch of projects and thanks for writing up how to expand that "pot holder back" design! Funny how the search for fabric snowballs into additional projects. Same thing happening here!

  4. Hi Mary! Way to blow out those UFO's. The red rick rack brought back some fun memories. Genius addition! I have a proposition for you if you'll write me back. :)