Machine quilting and finishing some projects has carried me through the past couple weeks! That is all good for sure!! Last week, I finished my youngest grandson's "big bed" quilt -- major goal reached!!
I made this quilt during the #littlemisssawtoothquiltqal led by Melanie at @southerncharmquilts via Instagram. I used a layer cake I had stashed with 1 1/2 yards of background fabric for the blocks. I moved through this project pretty quickly, starting the blocks last September and finishing the quilting this week -- not even a year!?!
So this week, I've been working on a small charity quilt. Remember this "sashed 9-patch" block I shared with you in March? (Here's the original post with my directions for piecing these scrappy little blocks -- it's at the end of that post.)
I pieced twelve of them and set them together with sashing to make a wheelchair laprobe and my charity quilting crew layered it at our July gathering (outside on the front porch, of course).
My current strategy is to alternate quilting one of my own pieces and then a quilt to donate. The idea has worked well for me because the charity quilts are generally small and by keeping the quilting simple I've been moving through them quickly but this time, after ditch-stitching the sashing, I froze.
My quandary was how to keep the quilting simple while enhancing the piecing. None of my straight line ideas were inspiring me to continue. While I don't consciously assign design tasks to my subconscious, I'm glad it goes to work on my creative blocks anyway. Between looking at the quilt everyday laying on the machine table and some Instagram scrolling, I was inspired to adapt a four-point star motif someone shared so it fit my blocks. As I worked with chalk sketching the idea, I enhanced it with a pumpkin seed flower to fill up the central space of the block. Thank you subconscious for the inspiration!!
Here is my chalk sketching of my idea. I've understood that I'm a visual person for a long time and sketching on the real thing helps me make decisions more easily. I use "chalk wheel" devices that lay a line of chalk which I can brush off if I don't like my lines. My original idea was to bisect the center square with straight lines that connected to the inner V's of the star but when I couldn't figure out how to stitch that without back stitching previous lines or extras stop/starts, I experimented with the pumpkin seed flower which could be easily worked into the design with no back stitching and no extra stop/starts.