Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fighting the "BLAHS"

In the extreme heat and humidity of this Tokyo summer, it is difficult to get motivated to do anything other than sit in the shower.
It is certainly too hot to sit with a quilt in my lap.(The one on-going project calling to me)

Last week as I was searching for the elusive fabric, I came across a box of scraps that was waiting for recognition ... or maybe action.

Some of these scraps had been given me by a departing quilter. They had been sewed in strips and cut in sections.

Along with those were some scraps I had made myself. This pile is one of the reasons I do not like machine piecing. I had made a "mystery quilt"begun in 1994 from Lady's Circle Patchwork quilts and finished in 2003 which I declared "The year of the UFO". You can see the picture and read the story in that section of the diary. These patterns call for cutting strips and sewing them together and then cutting again ... not a difficult thing to do. The finished quilt turned out satisfactorily. The problem is, what does a hand quilter do with these piles of connected strips left over from other projects? Un-sew them and re-cut them? The box under the cardboard box of scraps is Japanese fabrics I have done that with.

This week I began attacking those scraps. Most went into the big plastic case as one-inch blocks. Some were fussy-cut and went into the little containers to add to a special section within the box.

the tins of two and three inch blocks are so full the lid can hardly stay in place.

All the while I was doing this I was thinking what a mindless depressing task. There was no purpose in mind other than getting rid of the contents of that box.

THEN ... along comes Lurline of "Lurline's Place" who suggests I try a block I have been admiring on her blog. Well, why not? As long as I am chopping up scraps, I may as well do it with a purpose, no matter how remote.

Tomorrow is my quilt group and I will need something to take with me.

Here are a few blocks laid out on the ironing board. I am not sure I have the rules for this block figured out and they are far from as pretty as Lurline. I am trying not to get out my fabric boxes but work from the rather ugly assortment in the box that needs dealing with.

I am not even sure what this will turn into. It is a bit wild for a table runner but it probably wouldn't show spills very much. Or my rocker could use a throw over the back.

The most interesting aspect if this activity is that now I have begun, the BLAHS have left to some degree. I am still sitting and chopping up scraps but with even a small purpose in mind, I am beginning to feel a whole lot better. I'm even thinking how this pattern might look in a combination of blues and browns. I told Lurline I might blame her but, in truth, I need to thank her for the little push. I wish I knew how to add a link. Bloggers are the greatest!


  1. These look very pretty to me. You could call it your beating the blahs quilt (runner or whatever).

  2. Well, I couldn't resist the temptation to travel back to 2003 to see the quilt with the little cats. Always a perfectionist. I am glad you beat the blahs. Does that mean I have to clean up again to get my quilting mojo back? I do like LuAnn's block. What is the link to her blog?

  3. I think that is always the way - sometimes the hardest thing to do when you are lacking motivation is actually get started - kind of like an emotional inertia but once you get started it gets easier. I love this pattern. It is such a great way to use up scraps and so random in colour choices etc. I might do one of these this summer - that is when I spend the whole month of january just sewing for me! Keep on going - I am voting for a throw for your chair!

  4. I'm glad you're beating the blahs and I'm sure something beautiful will come out of all those pieces you are cutting. Hugs

  5. Heat always slows me down and we had a hot week, now it is freezing, lol.


  6. It has been too hot to quilt much here too & I have taken some time off from it this summer! I really like the blocks you made, as I prefer "scrappy" quilts these days. Your work always looks lovely!

  7. I am seeing this block a lot these days. Yours are lovely and inspirational. I had been wondering what to do with all those little scraps :-)

  8. Julie - I love your block! Scrappy is always so fun!
    For your readers who want to see Lurline's block - here's the link -

    Adding a link in your blog is very similar to adding a photo. I will send you an email with the steps I use to do it on my blog. ;))

  9. These blocks are really cute Julie. Keep at it!

  10. Even small goals put into action keep our minds content. When we get home one of my goals is to get more scraps cut into manageable pieces following your example. blessings, marlene