After I finished the fourth placemat in my now-official "Placemat Series" it occurred to me that I had not come across a house block that I distinctly remember making but do not remember using.
"Where is that block?" I wondered.
I had been through the blocks in the drawer often enough to be confident it was not in the drawer.
"Have I used it in something I've forgotten about?" I don't know what that would have been.
I lay awake that night, thinking about it.
The next morning, on a whim, I went into my studio closet. My studio, I should confess, is what was intended to be the master bedroom of this house. The closet, therefore, is twice the size of any of the other closets in the house. It has rather deep, dark recesses at either end which I have managed to fill up with assorted boxes and containers of things. You know the sorts of things that end up in those kinds of corners. Don't tell me you don't! Anyway, right on top of one of those stacks of boxes was a pair of brown cardboard boxes almost exactly the same size and shape. I pulled them both down to inspect the contents. The first box held rescued linens that I intended to incorporate in my quilts someday. You know, dish towels with puppies embroidered on them, an embroidered pillow top, a couple of small molas I acquired when I was working at the La Conner Quilt Museum... that sort of thing. But the box held something else as well: more orphan blocks and bits. For heaven's sake! How did these get in here? Why weren't they with all of the others? What am I going to do with these?
Well, several of them were four-patch blocks featuring animals that finished at 3". There were a few strips of piano key or Chinese Coin piecing. Hmmm... you know... if I alternate the four-patches with the strip pieced bits...
Before I knew it I had another placemat ready to be quilted! DD had asked for one that had an assortment of animals on it for DGD to find and name. And I didn't even have to work at it!
And that house block? I found it. It was in the second box, the one clearly labeled "Houses."