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?!


  1. Wow! I love the quilt tops you've been busy with! I think your idea of taking orphan blocks and making 1/2 log cabins with them is brilliant! I may need to "borrow" that idea, if you don't mind.

    It's OK to have a little down time, when you've finished some things. But I know what you mean when you say it's scary when you don't know how long that will last. You could always go to You Tube and look at some of the Missouri Star Quilt Co.'s videos for some inspiration. There are a lot of them there!

  2. When I'm in that dry space, I tend to clean the studio, re-fold and tidy my stash, make sure I have documented recent projects, clean out the gestation file (that always seems to help), and if all else fails, I pick a part of the house and start doing some deeper than usual cleaning (i.e. getting rid of stuff we no longer use).

    Before long, the mojo returns and I'm back at work in the studio!

  3. Thank you so much Sue for the 2 amazing quilts. They are packed safely in the van for the trip tomorrow morning to bless someone in need! You are amazing and I so appreciate your continued support for Layers of Hope - Quilting 911~

  4. what fun quilts! apparently you do not have any ufo's hanging around. I have a stack of ufo's so I always have something that needs to be worked on.
    I do love how you put these together and they really are great.


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