I get asked lots of questions from those who visit us. One of the most often asked questions, second only to, “How old is this house?” and “Do you live upstairs?” by those who are new to the shop, is “What are you working on?”
More often than not I can’t really show what it is I’m working on because a lot of my work is done in my head. I spend a lot of time looking for ideas, patterns, books, notions, etc. to share with you which takes time away from my time to do actual hands on sewing. However, there are just some days that I have to get away from the computer and away from all the websites that I visit looking for “stuff” for you and do some sewing for myself. Of course, when I do sewing I still have to keep in mind that whatever I make has to be something that you too can make because if I take it downstairs to show it off more than likely someone, and hopefully several someones, will want to make the same thing.
This past Monday was one of those days. I’d been working on the newsletter for our local guild (yes, I’m the secretary and I have to put a newsletter out every month which usually takes at least a weeks worth of my time) when I decided that I needed a break. Since the shop was closed on Monday, and since Victoria had visitors of her own from school that she was entertaining which meant we couldn’t do what we’d planned on doing over the holiday, I decided to make a new pattern by Buttermilk Basin that I’d ordered. This is a monthly project that hangs on the new mini-version of Ackfeld’s table top stand.
This little quilt measures 6” square and is a great way to use up little bits and pieces of fabric. The binding on this little quilt isn’t what I’d planned on using but was left over from a past project. Since it was long enough to go around the little quilt, I used it. In addition to making the little quilt you can make a 5-1/2” square pincushion if you’d prefer. Being the pincushion fanatic that I seem to be I’m soooooo very tempted to do just that with this pattern. I’m trying hard to tell myself to wait and do the one for February or one of the other months instead. Can I resist?! Only time will tell. If you see me put up a picture of pincushions in the future and one very much resembles this little quilt you’ll know I caved.
When I bought this pattern I had in mind that we would kit it up, but after having made it, and because it is so small, I really think that most folks will want to use up stash scraps. The strips are only 1-1/2” wide and who’s to say that you couldn’t even piece some of the longer sides if you needed to. I think if you kept the color the same, the print fairly similar, and pieced a strip no one would be any the wiser unless they looked really close, or until you pointed it out as we’re so often prone to do. Why do we do that I wonder…
So, there you have it. A small project that was completed in less than a day, used up several scraps without having to cut into a large solid piece, and one that I quilted as I went because I sandwiched the whole thing before I began. I even did the appliqué on the machine right through all three layers. It saved having to use a stabilizer on the snowman which has a very tight stitch around it. I think I might do all of these little patterns the same way. The only thing I haven’t done yet is a little bit of handwork. The snowman needs two arms and three “X”s down his front, the star needs some lines (maybe), and the scarf is supposed to have some little lines to look like fringe. Will I add these? I’m thinking, I’m thinking… With the snowman positioned on the dark side of the log cabin block you can’t really see his arms. If I just happen to do the pincushion, I think I’ll put the snowman on the lighter side, making sure the lights aren’t so light that he gets lost on them, and then add the arms. They, and the scarf, would show up so much better if they were stitched on the light side of the log cabin block.
Another idea that just struck me is this. Since this is a BOM type offering, you could make each little block and then at the end of the year piece them into a small wall hanging doing three blocks across and four down. How about doing three blocks, one on top of each other, to mark a certain season? This would make a long, narrow hanging that would be perfect in those little places like beside a door facing or between windows. If you did that you could do three blocks for spring and then three blocks for summer and put spring on one side and summer on the other. That way it’s reversible and you only have to keep up with two hangings, one for spring/summer and a second one for fall/winter. I really like that idea!
What do you think? I also think this would be a great little gift idea for a secret sister or best friend who you want to do something special for. What about a new bride? Wouldn’t it be a nice gift to give her the frame and the little quilt that matched the month of her wedding as a wedding gift and then on the same day each month thereafter give her the quilt for the next month? Or, if the wedding was very late in the month you could give her the quilt for the upcoming month on her wedding day and save the one for the month of her wedding to give as a first anniversary gift. Who wouldn’t love getting a little gift like that each month!? I would have loved it had someone done that for me at my wedding. I’d still love it if someone were to do that for me. What treasures those 12 little quilts would be. If you could incorporate fabric from any past projects that had been made for her, or fabric from family member’s clothes it would make these little quilts all the more precious. See what I mean about creating in my head!? It’s a constant, never ending sickness I think.