Wednesday, October 3, 2012

happy scrappy

 Here's a really fun quilt for inspiration--

Made by Joyce, multi-talented quilty buddy, from lots and lots of little bits.  Using 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles sewn in long columns, she ended up with a good-sized (78x94) quilt from a whole lot of what usually gets thrown away!  This didn't happen overnight, but has been a work in progress for awhile.  I'm not sure if she had a pattern of some sort to start with, or just let it develop along the way.  The black strips are cut 4 1/2" wide, and do the work of stabilizing all of those little pieces.  If you want to make something like this, put out a message to your friends and let them help you with collecting the thousands of little bits that you can use.  It was fun to quilt and note all of the interesting little designs.  This could even be assembled as an "I Spy" quilt for a child.  Use little cutouts of kid-friendly designs, and use it as a story-telling or learning tool.  Help the child learn the alphabet by finding pictures that start with a chosen letter, or learn numbers by counting puppies or flowers, etc.  So many possibilities, so little time!

This quilt also serves as an illustration of really good construction that makes a really good quilt top for me to quilt and ends up as a really good finished quilt.  Some key points:
  1. Joyce pressed all the seams of the little rectangles open and FLAT.  The seams between columns were pressed toward the black and FLAT.
  2. No long threads were left hanging!  Trim as you go to keep it neat.
  3. Make all of the pieced columns from the same number of strips, and when they are all done take an average measurement of the length.  Cut all of the black strips that same length.  Cut them on the lengthwise grain of the fabric if possible to eliminate the need for seams and take advantage of the less stretchy direction (on the warp) of the weave.  Pin and ease the rectangle strips to fit the black strips, and your quilt top will be just as square and flat as Joyce's!
Now I just need to get this back to Joyce so she can put on the binding.  I wonder what that will be?  Lucky girl is on a Stitchin' Trips retreat at Beaver Lake Landing right now, probably collecting more little bits!

Looking for a good idea for a delicious and easy meal for the cooler weather we are having?  We made a crockpot meal of Chicken Taco Chili last Sunday and really liked it.  Well, Bob put it all together while I was at work, and I made the cornbread from the recipe that accompanies it when I got home.  Bob is a fan of the little Jiffy mixes for his cornbread muffins, and he bakes them often.  But this cornbread from scratch really rises above the box mix, and since I now have some buttermilk to use up I think I will be making more.  We chose not to put any jalapeno pepper in the cornbread and liked it just fine.

I have enjoyed listening to another Jodi Picoult novel during my drive-time.  Click on the link to get a little synopsis of this story.  

As usual, she has put together a very thought-provoking storyline.  This one really took me back to situations I experienced when I was a nurse in trauma/neuro ICU.  I suggest you give it a try.  And make sure you are an organ donor and that your family understands your wishes.   I could get on my organ donation soap box for awhile, but I can sum it up with one thought-- if you or any of your family or any of your friends ever want to receive an organ to save a life, then you had better be an organ donor.  I would like to make it a law, but I think that won't be happening!


Daniel said...

That chili and cornbread recipe sounds amazing!

Pam said...

I might have to make it for you when we visit!