Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Checking In

Where, oh where has the summer gone?  I know it's not quite over yet, thankfully, but it's winding down and I feel like I haven't much to show for it and haven't done all the things yet.

(Cattle grazing along a bike trail.)
But I have gotten a couple items moved along, for however much (or little) time has been spent in the sewing room.  Specifically, the String-X quilt is now quilted and finished.  

I am planning to gift it to a nephew (who doesn't read this blog—I don't think, anyway).  He's an avid hunter and has a birthday in a couple months.  I'm hoping he will like the fall colors.

I had a couple extra blocks left, so I made two throw pillows.  One to go along with the quilt and one to keep.

Recently, the hubs and I took a little road trip to the southwestern part of the state.  

(View from Wyalusing State Park overlooking the Mississippi River - note smoke haze in distance from western wildfires)
I took my sewing machine along and worked on some Carolina Chain piecing in the evenings.

I thought I had cut enough strips/pieces for the quilt, but when I came to the end of the fabric I'd cut for the predominantly light blocks, I counted them up and compared it to the pattern instructions, and realized I was only ONE-THIRD of the way done making them!  And that was just the light ones.  Then there were the same number of predominantly dark ones to make. Augh!

When you're only part way through making the same quilt pieces (and, let's be honest, bored with the process), what do YOU do?  

Soldier on?  Work on something else?  Cut more bits?  Put it away completely for a while?  Bake some brownies?

(Recipe HERE)
All viable options.  What I decided (after baking the brownies) was to reduce the size of the quilt and change the layout from on-point to straight on (or whatever that's called), and probably add a stop border and an outer border, when I get that far.

That's the current plan, anyway.  Stay tuned...

In putzing around the sewing room, I recently rediscovered a piece of vintage decorator weight fabric among the stash.  It was fairly small and had a gnarly seam running through it (by the manufacturer), but I thought it might make a nice tea towel if I could piece it together somehow.  

But I know me.  If it's "too nice" a fabric, I won't want to get it all stained up using it.  And how many "nice" tea towels do I currently have languishing in drawers, unused?  (Answer: Quite enough already.)  

Looking around my sewing space a few days later, I spied my flatbed scanner with its vintage embroidered dresser scarf tossed over it as a dust cover.  Thus, a plan was hatched to go ahead and make the tea towel but use the piece as a new scanner cover.

And it makes me smile to now see it in use, serving a function versus decorating a different drawer.

(Courthouse Steps quilt in children's bedroom at Villa Louis.)
We toured an historic mansion, Villa Louis, on our recent getaway.  There were some beautiful antique quilts on some of the beds.

(Log cabin quilt in butler's quarters at Villa Louis.)
(Metal insert in door arch at Villa Louis.)
And I thought this metal insert in a high door arch was quilting inspiration, too!

There were a few stops along the way for fabric shopping.  A Ben Franklin store had a small table of fabrics at $2.99 per yard!  I bought a few.
At another very nice quilt shop, I left empty-handed but took a picture of this cool steampunk-inspired vintage sewing machine turned lamp. 

Pretty cool, huh?


  1. I love that string X-block! I made it for one of my RSC projects last year, but made the corners different colours of the rainbow, so I got squares on point where they met (took some planning argh), turned out pretty cool. Love yours, bet the nephew will too! Nice shots of your travels; so sad about all the fires. Wonder if there's a Ben Franklin in Michigan...2.99/yard?!!

  2. I think getting discouraged with the vast number of blocks is the reason most quilters work on several projects at a time! At least, that's my reason :) Keep at it and don't let it sit too long. Looks like it will be a great quilt. Love the dish that you baked those brownies in! And great fabric purchase - I still have some of that leaf fabric in my stash.

  3. you are NOT going to believe it, but that blue fabric in your Carolina Chain picture? I'm using it, too, in my Carolina Chain!! How fun. Here's my story. I cut a boatload of colors for the CC and then when I went to start sewing with my background fabrics I realized I had the colors from 2.5" strips and the backgrounds from 2.0" strips. So, Paulette, you are not alone! Perhaps the Carolina Chain is jinxed.

  4. My summer has not been that productive either - maybe cooler weather is what we need. If I had to sew that many blocks I would run for the hills. :-)

  5. When I come up that short on a project that does not THRILL me, I create a quilt using the pieces and parts already cut (i.e. my Dandelion Detour quilt). What a marvelous post - hooray for the scanner cover thought and I do love your String X quilt.

  6. I see quite a few quilts in your tour. The courthouse steps looks pretty new, doesn't it? Great idea to make a scanner cover with your tea towel fabric. I've been making piano key strips for awhile and hope to make a quilt with them someday. Yours is great.

  7. I popped on to see who still has an active blog after hunting down my own blog name this morning to retrieve a pattern for a Christmas project. Lovely to see that you are still posting and seeing some of your work over the past year! AS always you also had some good hints, shocking to see that Lizzy House fabric that you found at a Ben Franklin! I will now have to be sure to stop when I see one.


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