Monday, August 29, 2011

Peeking - Boxes # 3 and # 4

Boxes 3 and 4 contain the last of that initial stash, the stuff cut into six inch squares ten years ago. I am determined to use it up.

My scrappy Ohio star required me to subcut some of those stupid 6" squares into four 2.5" squares and a 3.5" square out of others to make the QST star points. Once I sashed the blocks together, I remember being rather proud of myself. It looks like what I always pictured as a traditional quilt. After all that extra sub-cutting and piecing, I ran out of steam when it came to a border.

I put together a couple of prairie braid strips, using the 6"x 2.5" stip I trimmed off the squares when cutting for the QST blocks, then felt rather blah about that. Eventually I got distracted by something else and folded it all back into the box, intending to get back to it shortly. Hah!

Then I saw some gorgeous black n' white quilts, and some jaw dropping red n' white quilts at a quilt show... I sat down with the box of 6" squares and separated out the red, white and black 6" squares and started making barrister blocks. It was more an infatuation than an obsession and I only made ten red blocks and eight black blocks before moving on to other distractions.

These pink & purple 10.5" quilt blocks are the result of more "good advice" I picked up at a quilt shop. (Honestly! I need to stop being so willing to follow advice without thinking things through!) Anyway, the advice was that before committing to making a quilt, we should audition it by making a block or two, and if we did this with a colour scheme, we would eventually have enough blocks to make a co-ordinated sampler.

I don't have anymore of these fabrics or any that comes close. Needless to say, the whole audition the blocks and end up with a sampler idea might be an excellent idea, but I think you should put aside enough co-ordinating fabrics to actually make a quilt or go scrappy from the word go. I didn't think of that when I started these and the quilt shop lady didn't mention it (probably because she thought it was obvious). These 11 blocks may end up being pieced into a quilt back for my Scrappy Ohio Star.

After I tried out a couple of Farmer's Daughter blocks, an obsessive compulsion grew in me -- I HAD to make an entire quilt of that block in pinks and greens, which I worked on between other projects. I am a farmer's daughter and the pinks represent the wild rose (the floral emblem of Alberta), and the green of the fields in early summer. That quilt is currently waiting to go to the long arm quilter.

Under all that, the remnant 1.5" x 6" strips trimmed off those silly 6" squares, and the overflow of my 1.5" strip box.

I see I've already begun stitching the 6" lengths together. I think that it's easier to become distracted and abandon an activity if I don't have a specific pattern or project in mind. So I found two string patterns I really like, both free patterns generously offered by Bonnie Hunter at her website Quiltville
This means I've just moved these strings to the sewing table as my current leader n' ender sewing assignment. The Scrappy Ohio Star, the braids, the sampler blocks are all next on my hit list. The box has been flattened for recycling.

Box # 4 contains the rest of that stash. Some 6" wide lengths of neutrals and some bricks 2.5" x 4.5" and 2.5" x 6". There is enough here to make another full size quilt (at least). Aaaarrrrgggghhh! This Box goes back on the shelf in the new wardrobe as stash fabric. I refuse to think of starting another new project in the middle of stash reorganization (especially as I haven't hit the UFO bin yet). And I'm going to put the barrister's blocks in here for second consideration.

So far not bad. I've eliminated two of four cardboard boxes, and am actively working on finishing two projects that can realistically be done quite quickly.

I'm making excellent progress on the stash reorganization and, at two boxes a day, will coast to the finish line by the end of the week. If I rushed, I know I would just tuck each item into a plastic bag and into the UFO bin without taking the time to make decisions and set priorities. This also has the benefit of allowing me time to do other things, such as trim HSTs (I've already trimmed ten this morning) and working on sashing my scrappy 9 patch.

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