Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Design-floor decisions

 Using leftover muslin from the last few quilts and my overly full tin of two-inch blocks, I decided to join the Celebrate Hand Quilting 9-patch challenge.

Now that the blocks are piling up, I need to figure out how this quilt will go together.  The fastest way would be to cut the remaining scrap muslin into six inch blocks and alternate the lay-out.

Of course, when cutting the two inch scraps, I had leftovers that could be made into one-inch blocks. Well, not wanting to waste fabric ... why, I feel that way I don't know but I do toss anything smaller than a one-inch square.

Anyway, those bits have turned into three inch 9-patch blocks.

So ... the plot thickens. If I decide to use the small blocks between the large ones, I will need to cut the remaining scraps into 3 x 6 pieces. Of course that also means some of the larger scraps might have to be chopped up to make more one-inch blocks and the quilt gets a bit busier.
As far as the quilting it would mean filling many 3 x 6 areas rather than fewer 6 x 6 areas.

Of course I could figure out some kind of a border to use up the smaller blocks. Straight or on point or using solids might work.

I rather imagine when I cut the leftover muslin, there will be some scraps that are small and I could use for the smaller blocks.

One other layout on my floor is adding fabric to those little blocks and putting them between the larger ones.

That would take a lot more piecing but it would also eliminate the amount of area to quilt once the in-the-ditch work is done.

I am now running out of small scraps to cut so I really need to figure out how the layout should go.

If it is any help in deciding, I have no plans for the piece I am working on. Probably large areas of light fabric would not be very good as a baby quilt. It is already too big for a table runner so probably a single bed cover is the best plan ... if I don't want to buy more muslin (and I don't).
No plan ... no deadline ... just take-along work for the new year.   advice welcome.

Norie's family came for Christmas and it was so nice to have help in the tiny kitchen.

Leia had school on Christmas and arrived later in the day with her father. Since she will have holidays through New Years, the children were assigned projects of their own choosing to finish and report on. Leia got out the craft book and found instructions for a pin cushion.  She measured and sawed a section from a heavy cardboard core of a wrap tube. She had to go through my collection of saved tubes to find one of the correct dimensions.

After covering a small cardboard circle with fabric and also the tube, she glued the small circle into the bottom of the tube.

Then she measured and marked a circle of fabric for the upper half.

She stitched carefully along the seam line with tiny even stitches. I have taught adults hand piecing and their stitches were never more small or even than those Leia was making.

When she finished, we used excess scraps of batting to stuff the top and she gathered her stitches tightly and glued the finished top into the upper part of the tube.

The pattern called for a bowtie on the side so I pulled out my boxes of saved scrap ribbon. Sure enough, she quickly found a good length of purple ribbon to go with the three purple fabrics she had dug out of the scraps from Ben's big boy quilt. That was quickly tied into a bow and  ... as in the instructions, she cut the ends with V cuts.

Her goal .... get her homework project out of the way so she can enjoy the holiday ...

Does she look happy?

Kind of a blurry picture.....

How about this one?   there was time left over to enjoy the turkey dinner.
Hope you go into the new year with all your projects finished off too.

I think I will need to take a few lessons from Leya.


  1. your granddaughter is beautiful... and has obviously inherited her grandmas skill with the needles xxx

  2. Dear Julie, how pretty is your little are a lucky Mummy :) I can see she will play with the little needles as her grand-mother !!! Goodl uck for your new project that already looks beautiful :)
    I take opportunity of this message to wish you and all your family a very Happy New Year. May this new year 2016 brigns all of you a good health and the best :) With all my best thoughts from France. Isa

    1. Isadarena, I wish I had your e-mail address. The no-reply is a problem for me too when I comment on several blogs. Thank you for your comments that never fail to make me smile.

  3. If there is no plan for your blocks, why not just keep making them for a while until an idea pops into your head. Relax and enjoy.
    It is lovely to see you grand daughter enjoy her stitching.

  4. The pincushion and Leia are both lovely. She did a great job. As to your project, I personally like the smaller blocks interspersed in with the larger blocks. I like both of the pictures on the left - so it will depend on how large you want the quilt to be.

  5. I think the top layout, it shows off your blocks so well. What a great sewer Leia is, a pin cushion in one go, I can see she inherits your love and expertise with stitching. Happy New Year to all at your home, with wishes for a happy and healthy 2016. Hugs, Jean.

  6. I love your small blocks but no way would my fingers handle those small pieces any more! blessings, marlene

  7. I like the layout with the tiny blocks inside the bigger ones - more work - but more beauty. What a fun project. Your granddaughter did a spectacular job - it is always fun to watch the little ones achieve something - and she's cute besides. Happy New Year my friend - may all your projects be enjoyable.

  8. I like the last layout - the one where you added fabric to the little blocks and put them between the larger ones. It will be more work but maybe you could do that for the center part and then switch to only the larger blocks when you get to the border area - that might save you some time.

    Leia looks very happy with her pincushion - she did a great job! You have taught her well. I could take a lesson from her as well - there is no way that I will be able to go into the new year with all my projects finished off. I have enough to keep me busy for quite a while.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!! - ;))

  9. Hi Julie, Leia is darling, and that pin cushion is just adorable. The little bow gives it so much personality ! Julie, we love the nine patch quilt, and whatever setting you end up with will be fabulous. We feel the same way you do about scraps -- we want to save even the smallest pieces. New Year's blessings to you and your family, from Marina and Daryl

  10. That is a beautiful quilt and always love seeing your process.
    Leia takes after her grandmother, beautiful pin cushion and you can tell she put a lot of care into making it.


  11. Leya has learned a lot from you! Her project success is encouraging to us savers of things that might come in handy someday. I have never seen an arrangement of ninepatch blocks where little ninepatches are placed inside larger ones. That is one reason I like that arrangement the best. Also I think it is pretty and interesting to look at.

  12. Cute granddaughter. Can't wait to see what layout you decide on. That sounds like a wonderful way to use your scraps. Have a wonderful new year!

  13. I like the layout which intersperses the 3 inch 9 patches and the 6 inch 9 patches. But whichever you choose they will look wonderful I think. Leia is a beauty. How could she not be good at sewing with your influence around her. Bravo! So fun to see children take up stitching.

  14. Happy New Year to you and your whole family. Leia did a great job and has the added advantage at such a young age to know the calm of not procrastinating! Your scrappy nine patches are awesome whichever way they end up. I like the last layout best, with the floating 3-inchers (wow, tiny pieces!).

  15. Happy New Year to you and your whole family. Leia did a great job and has the added advantage at such a young age to know the calm of not procrastinating! Your scrappy nine patches are awesome whichever way they end up. I like the last layout best, with the floating 3-inchers (wow, tiny pieces!).

  16. That pin cushion is very cute. Nice fabric choice! I like the second 9 patch layout most. Good luck with it!

  17. I like the 9 patch arrangement with the smaller 9 patches I between rows. It c eats an almost Irish Chain pattern. Cute little bow tie pin cushion and the maker is even cuter.