Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Did you think I'd dropped off the face of the planet? Almost, but not quite.

After finishing up the last four quilts one right after another I was left without a clue what to do next. Oh, there were options... but none of them held enough appeal to get me going. Part of the problem was that I had emptied my creative well. I've been through this cycle often enough now that I recognize it for what it is. It's still frustrating and uncomfortable to be in that dry space however. I just feel so useless when I'm not making something. Not knowing how long it's going to last can be scary too.

I was finally able to talk myself into turning some 6" orphan blocks into 12" half log cabin blocks for future use. I pulled out the blocks that had been passed over before, blocks that didn't seem to fit in with others of their kind. I've learned that I prefer to use 3" strips for the processes that utilize strips so I also decided to use up as many of the 2.5" strips in my closet as I could.

In the photo above you can see some of the 3x6" flying geese units I'd prepared to assemble between seams when I started sewing again. It was very helpful to have them handy.

At about this point I remembered a quantity of Scrappy Trips blocks I'd made, also out of 2.5" strips. I found them, counted them, and decided to make a few more. Pretty soon I had enough to create a lap quilt. This is 12 blocks, set 3 x 4:

I set aside the half log cabin blocks to continue work on this lap quilt. To reach the dimensions recommended by the Alzheimer's Disease Co-operative Study I needed to add four inches to the width. I accomplished that by stringing 2x4" flying geese units together end to end:

By the end of the day I had a finished top and a back ready to go! There's even a batting remnant in the closet that will fit this beautifully. :- )

40" wide x 48" long

At this point I went back to the half log cabin blocks. There were 15 when I got distracted. I made five more.

This now measures 48" x 60" (plus seam allowances). I'm thinking I'll stop here, let someone else quilt it, and see that it goes to a local chemo patient. There's so much to look at in all these scraps that it ought to be a good diversion from what's going on around the quilt in that setting. Unfortunately that leaves me back at Square One. What am I going to do next?!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Grandma's Box of Crayons

Things have been quiet here in The Magpie's Nest for the last couple of weeks. Conditions around here seem to be either feast or famine. What're ya gonna do? That's life.

I still don't have good pictures of the big quilts I finished recently. What I can show you is Grandma's Box of Crayons:

Since it's been a while since I started this project (January of this year as I recall) let me refresh your memory. Inspired by the Rainbow Scrap Challenge I thought I would make one or two Scrappy Trip blocks each month. It didn't work out that way of course. There were months I didn't make any blocks and other times when I couldn't stop making blocks. Mine are 15 inches finished and there are 20 of them.

When it came time to decide on a layout the first challenge was to arrange the colors in a pleasing configuration. That took some doing, let me tell you! Then there was the detail of whether to let the diagonal line of the strongest values in each block fall all the same way...

Or whether to alternate the directions:

The first was too static for my taste so I chose the second option.

My talented son quilted the top for me. We struggled with that decision too. I knew I wanted something curvilinear to contrast with all the straight lines in the piecing but I also wanted something more than just a meander. I love these hearts!

Of course I had to find just the right binding print too.

I've had this one in my stash forever. I think it's an old Hoffman print. After I told her the name of the quilt my daughter said the binding looked like melted crayons. Perfect! I couldn't be happier with this one - which could be why I'm having trouble getting interested in beginning a new quilt project. ;- )