Friday, July 8, 2011

9-Patch Mania and Sidewalk Sale Bargains

Yesterday I planned to work on the Tree of Life quilt on my design wall. I need to replace the border around the tree (first, because it is too narrow, and second, because I don't like it) and make 4 more Ocean Waves blocks before moving on to the next row of blocks.  All of the large corner triangles on the Ocean Waves blocks are from the same fabric--though the small HST are from a scrappy mix of blues and creams. I was laying out the next block on my design board to take to the sewing machine, when I couldn't find the corner fabric. This was the one constant fabric in those blocks and I didn't feel like I could just start going scrappy on them 3/4 of the way through. A trip to the LQS to find more of the fabric (who knows how long I have had it) was fruitless. Frustrated, I switched gears.

To lift my mood, I needed closure on something. I rummaged around and found a few 9-patch blocks that I had purchased in a former LQS that used to sell scraps by the bag--as much as you could cram into a very small bag for $3.00 (I was known as "the bag lady" and I  knew I could get more in a bag if I took the time to neatly fold it all). Every now and then you would find leftover bits of projects. That is how I acquired these. They were already sewn to the yellow squares--some in a row and some, just two squares together.  I figured they would make a quick and easy little baby quilt. I made myself stick to the "stash only" rule.
The center is all sewn together, but I need to trim
the borders and sew them on.
The checkered end strips and the green border were from my limited 30s fabric box--not what I normally use. The outer yellow is leftover from the backing of a quilt I made for my granddaughter a few years ago. It almost looks solid in the photo, but actually has little butterfly outlines on it.

I was on a roll. I also had in my "leftovers" box some pieces that were almost 9-patches. Another quilter had been making these small 9-patch blocks for a large quilt. She had just bought  a new sewing machine and was struggling to adjust to the 1/4 inch seam when there wasn't a 1/4 inch foot on the machine. So these pieces were already cut into strips and sewn together. Some of them were even sliced, but the irregular seams made them a challenge to put together. I received them a couple of years ago--knowing I would eventually find a way to use them. 
I can't decide if I will set them with plain squares in between
or if I want to make HST or broken dishes. I will probably
take the easy route on this one. 
I spent some time finishing off these little blocks. They look a bit skewed and are going to have to be trimmed quite a bit to bring them all to the same size. The center squares will probably end up disproportionately larger than the outer ones. But I think it will be a fun little quilt--eventually.

I said that the trip to the LQS was fruitless, but that isn't entirely true. This was the first day of the nearby town's Downtown Alliance Sidewalk Sale. It was a rainy morning, so the tables out on the sidewalk had been crowded together under some awnings. I came away with two large pieces and at $4.00 per yard--I emptied the bolts.
On the left is a Thimbleberries that will be the backing for
the Tree of Life quilt--over 8 yards. On the right is a
Windham Fabrics "Little Farmhouse" print--9 1/2 yards.
They also had many patterns at $1.00 each. I don't often buy patterns and I never stick to them faithfully, but at that price I can bring home a few for inspiration.
The sampler pattern is in colors I don't use much,
 but I do love samplers, and I can use
whatever colors I want.

That is it for now, so until next time, from the little mountain valley where the rain just keeps coming,
Janet O.

5 comments:

  1. What a banner day!
    Not only were you production in sewing - but you have great shopping funds.
    thanks for sharing!

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  2. If I ever come across one of those all you can get in a bag sales again, I will remember to fold the pieces nicely to get more in.

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  3. Isn't that frustrating when you can't find something you know you have! Glad you made the best of it.
    I always love a 9-patch. I was just thinking I wanted to do a 9-patch on point with hsts as alternate blocks. Maybe it will get done some day.
    You aren't one to shy away from a challenge! Good luck with getting those leftovers to fit. It will be worth it.

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  4. You sound like me - I enjoy the little pieces; putting something together out of stuff others throw away. And the $4/yd fabric is great with prices zooming up as they are now...luckily if I couldn't buy a single piece again for the rest of my life I'd be fine with what I have...:)

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  5. The sale must have been amazing. We pay $22/metre for fabric. But as Jean says, if I never bought again I'd still never run out of fabric!

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