Monday, November 16, 2015

Flipping the script

Have you seen that gorgeous plaid string quilt in Julie K's blog header?  I've been wanting one just like it ever since I first laid eyes on hers.  This fall, I finally started it.  I am using phone book pages as the foundation for my 8" string blocks.  I have a ton of homespuns I have collected over the years for just such a project.  I was sure it would be a quick project; after all, I've made string quilts before.

I was wrong. It's been two and a half months since I started, and this is all I've got.
I've got a LONG way to go!
For some reason, I just haven't been inspired to go down to the sewing room and work on it.  I've been scratching my head about this, trying to figure it out, and I think I finally have an answer.  Even though I am using a variety of plaids in this quilt, and even though I am so excited to have the final result of all those wonderful plaids playing together, working with plaids just isn't all that exciting to me.  Part of the reason I love making scrappy quilts is that I love not knowing what scrap is going to come out to the pile next - a repro? a novelty print? a calico? a geometric? a floral?  With this quilt, I know - whichever piece I pull out will be a plaid.  Ho hum.

So today, I flipped the script.  I'll still work on this quilt, but as a leader and ender project while I work on something else.  Have I finished my log cabin quilt yet? Nope.  How about my Carpenter's Wheel?  Nah.  Instead, I pulled out a baggie of shirting & shirting-like neutrals that I've been wanting to play with, and started making a variation of Bonnie Hunter's Smoky Mountain Stars quilt.  With my significant stash of pre-cut squares, I picked out a bunch of red and blue 2.5" squares, cut my neutrals to 4.5", and got to work.  Quick and easy, just what I need to feel productive again!  Here's what I got done in the hour or so I spent in the sewing room today PLUS 2 sashing strips and a 9-patch cornerstone for the plaid quilt AND a pile of bonus triangles, already sewn up.
Oops!  That top right square is oriented wrong.  I love how a photo helps you really see your project.
I know I should focus on some finishes, but I find the siren call of new beginnings too strong to resist!  Besides, I do have SOME recent finishes under my belt, mostly class samples for the shop.  I'll be teaching a beginning knitting cables class this week, and this cabled cushion is my class sample.
the front
the back - removable so I can change out pillow covers
I'm also teaching 2 sets of kiddos to make turkey potholders this week, just in time for Thanksgiving.  I'll encourage them to use darker fabrics for the turkey bellies, though.  You can see right through this yellow belly to the darker background fabric - oops!

Here's hoping my productive streak continues!