Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cleaning and Remembering

My daughter arrives tomorrow and we plan to spend a quilt-y weekend together, sewing, attending a couple of quilt shows, and taking a class. I was on a mission to clean up my sewing room so that she and I could both work in there. Clean up to me means recovering from past projects and beginning some sort of cohesive approach to managing my scraps. I came across my guild's block of the month and so sewed that up. I will turn that in next month.

I also found a block from many, many years ago, from another small quilt group at my work. When I began to assemble it, I discovered that the strip of the paisley print fabric that was provided was not long enough to cut out the four corners squares. Perhaps that it why I never did the block. Anyway, I substituted something in the blue-violet family from my stash for the four corners. The pattern is called broken dishes. I like the feature where the square in the center of the edge spans a seam instead of mating at a seam. Three blocks on the middle of the perimeter mate with two in the central section. This is kind of unusual and I will keep it in mind for a future quilt. The perimeter is based on a 2" grid while the center is based on a 3" grid; yielding a 10" finished block. 

I suspect the block looks better in multiple repetitions when the corners are the same as the large HSTs. But this is a singleton and the date to turn it in has long since passed. I will add it to my box of blocks designated for future use somewhere, sometime. This orphan will eventually get incorporated into my "glorious scrap quilt of the undefined future". The broken dishes pattern may live on in another quilt of a more planned, rather than random scrap colorway.

Something else surfaced during my cleaning efforts – remnants of some coral colored fabric. Last week we'd had a couple over for dinner and I'd bought flowers for the table, a dozen roses from the grocery store that I could not pass up because of their luscious color. I'd put three each in a bud vase by each person's plate. Then my quilter's brain recalled I had a fabric almost identical in color to the flowers. With guest arrival two hours away, I set out to find that fabric and make some matching napkins. I allowed myself an hour and, if unsuccessful in finding the fabric and making those napkins, I would settle for classic, but ho-hum, white napkins. I found the fabric I'd remembered having and had time to make just four napkins to use at dinner. I took the photo below during my sewing room cleanup when the roses are nine days old – and they still look pretty. What a color match!

Without my hemmer foot I doubt that I could have churned out those four napkins in so short a time. I'd had two yards of fabric, enough for six 20" napkins, but I'd set aside the remaining fabric to make more another time. That other time was during this clean-up when I unearthed the remnant. I finished the other two napkins then. I am so glad that I took the time a few months ago to learn how to use my hemmer foot. (I have an April 8, 2013 post on it.) It can do such a tidy, quick job once I mastered the trickiness of getting it started. See the edges in the following photo.

I still have three trays of recent leftovers to sort. During a project, I cannot bear to toss all but the tiniest pieces of fabric, and so the remains pile up. So here is the counter top stuff I need to deal with. (There is lots more in my closet, this is just the recent visible stuff.) I plan to tame the mess while my daughter sits and sews. It will recall memories of past quilts. I see flannel strips from burp cloths, the remains of the Ghastlies Quilt, and the baby Nautical Quilt, and the Owl and Pussycat quilt, and the newly made napkins, and I am sure others will surface. Yep. There is a piece of backing from the my son's Monkey quilt and some cloth books, too.

For inspiration I keep referring back to the QuiltingIsMoreFunThanHouseworkBlog and all her Scrap-A-Palooza tips. Be sure to check out the Scrap-A-Palooza Quilt Gallery tab to see what marvels can be made of all those scraps! I am impressed.


  1. Heh. After seeing your sewing room after WE got done with it, all I can say is, I'm not impressed with that mess! But, the blue-and peach block is lovely, and my sewing room often looks like that last photo too. Guess I should head over to Scrapalooza myself.

    1. I finally dealt with that mess yesterday. I piled it all into a bigger plastic bin. Although I did keep scraps from a project grouped within a ziploc bag that I put in that plastic bin.