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.


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

  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.

  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.

  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...:)

  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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