Oh nine patch quilt….you seemed to simple to make and yet you’ve given me such a bad headache. What to do with you?

the final layout?

I think the best thing for me to do is to be content where I’m at now. I spent another day today making blocks, and I think I’ve been able to achieve a better balance of color and pattern with some of my original blocks. That’s a very good thing to me. There’s still something though that I can’t put my finger on that bugs me about it, but I can’t really figure it out. That’s why I’m going to call it good. At least, I think that’s the plan right now. We’ll see what happens in the next few days when I move onto sewing the top together.

And, to report–I ended up going to the Modern Quilt Guild meeting last night and was so glad to have gone. I had a really good time and I’m looking forward to going back next month! They’re a really nice group of people and I don’t think my awkwardness scared too many people away. (Although I won’t know that until next month.)

Dang, my blog readers are hard core about giving opinions! I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts and I’ve been seriously considering what you all have to say about the both colors. Honestly though, I still haven’t decided what I’m doing.

Here’s what’s new though:

and still more

I spent today making new blocks. I added pinks, grays and blacks and I think it’s been helpful to see more colors added in. At first I wasn’t thinking a whole lot about how they’d blend with the other blocks–instead I was just on a mission to make as many new ones as possible and edit from there.

nine patch jumble

This is what I had made by mid-afternoon. I put everything smooshed together on my cutting table and stood above, and just let the blocks sink in my brain for a while. I realized that there’s some blocks that I really love….and there’s some blocks that I really can’t stand. I started by separating those into piles. Then I added what I thought would still look good with the “like” pile. I feel a lot better about the blocks now, but was depressed to see that instead of having at least what I started with this week when I first showed you this project (30 blocks) and then sewing more blocks today (20 blocks) I am now down to 25 blocks.

I hope no one is disappointed that I don’t have a real answer yet. I’ll be back with more progress on Tuesday.

Oh! One other thing. I’m thinking about stepping out of my comfort zone a little (Hi! I’m totally socially awkward! Yay!) tomorrow to go to a meeting of my (sort of) local Modern Quilt Guild in Brighton, Michigan. I’m very excited about it. Has anyone else joined up with a Modern Quilt Guild? I’m interested to hear how people like them.

Okay, I need opinions once again. I thought about the ideas that you all had from yesterday (thank you for pulling me out of my mini-meltdown with good ideas!), and decided to lay the blocks out again on Kona White and Charcoal. I also liked the idea of Navy as well, but I noticed that too many of the blocks have dark blue in them and it blended in too much. I thought the Charcoal provided a dark color with enough of a difference from the dark blues.

But, which to choose now? (Pretend you’re at the eye doctor.)

Better A?

Better A?

Better B?

Better B?

Here’s some important thoughts:

1. I’m not sold on the placement of the blocks. I’m not even sold on keeping all of these blocks in. Heck, I might add more blocks and turn it into a bigger quilt. I just kept them in the same placement as yesterday for consistency.

2. I’m still thinking about adding single 2 inch squares in the corner of the sashing. (Take a look at the picture in the Hip To Piece Squares banner–that’s what I’m describing.) I’m thinking about this, but not completely sold yet.

I’m determined to make this thing work. I’m going to finish it.

I’m not sure, but I think I may have just spent the last two days on a big failure of a project.


I don’t know what the deal is with it. Part of me thinks that I should have used prints and solids in each block, but I wanted it to be busy. I think it needs a sashing in between the blocks, but I’m not sold on the Kona Ash that the blocks are sitting on. Should it be white? Or cream colored? Or should I go darker?

But on the other hand, I’m wondering if I should actually add some more color to the blocks. Maybe it’s too small?

I don’t know. I need to put it away for the night because it’s making me frustrated and angry. Any constructive criticism will be well appreciated!

I really like sewing on rainy days. For me, it’s the perfect setting for catching up on hand sewing projects or getting new ideas started. Luckily, I’ve had no shortage of either over the past couple of days.


It’s getting close to craft show season, so I’m starting to work on getting a stock of things made to tote around the state with me later this summer. Yesterday I finished assembling five lunchboxes, and now they need several hours of hand sewing to finish off the binding on the sides. It’s a little mindless, but perfect for rainy days while Netflixing TV shows on the laptop. Perfect.

Also on the rainy day agenda: scrap sorting and cutting. (That’s Audrey “helping.” I should add that I use the term “helping” very loosely.) Today was all about 2 inch squares. I spent all afternoon and evening cutting, and it took forever to feel like I had enough. I’m still not sure I do.


I think they’re going to become a nine patch quilt–something I’m really excited about. I was pumped to finish my little quilt last week, so I hope this is something that will go equally as well. We’ll see tomorrow once I get started sewing!

I know I talked a lot about it yesterday, but I thought I’d show you all the final version of my five (but now six, since it took me until this morning to finish the binding) day quilt.

scrap squares finished!

Introducing, Scrappy Squares!

quilted lines

I’ve got to say, that I was so nervous about putting this in the wash. I’m not typically a fabric prewasher, but I’ve been burned before with some of the red prints in this quilt. Instead of washing before I sewed them, I rinsed them in cold water after piecing, let them air dry until they were nearly dry, and then I ironed them with a hot iron. I was still pretty worried that I’d have some running, but it turned out great. I couldn’t have been happier.

(And after some thought about it, I decided to list Scrappy Squares in my Etsy shop.)

I’m not the type of quilter to make a quilt from start to finish in days. I take weeks, months, and fairly often years, to go through all steps of making a quilt. Even the ones that shouldn’t take that long often do.

I am a changed quilter. Let me show you what’s happened since Friday:

how'd I get this done in 5 days?!

Look at that! Everything but the binding is finished! And in like 5 days! I still can’t even believe it’s possible. I don’t think I actually did it. My dream of having elves work for me at night must be happening. Thank you, elves.

quilting in progress

When I started it, I was hoping that I’d have enough to make something at least lap size, but I quickly realized that I was going to run out of a lot of the important scraps that I was using. I thought about axing the project or finding a new use for the blocks, but I ended up finishing the top off anyway. I really loved these blocks too much to give it up. Then, last night I found that I had a perfect fabric for the back, so I made the quilt sandwich and today I quilted it. I love it so much.

And even though I don’t know what to do with it now (there are no babies here) I want to make more of them. It was a fantastic project to work on for a few days, and I did enjoy the machine quilting. It’s been way too hot to do much hand quilting, and this gave me the chance to finish a project without too much commitment or sweat. I’m considering listing it in my Etsy shop, but I’m not sure if anyone buys baby quilts. Ideas?

As of noon today, I am on summer break, and I am a very happy camper.


thumbs up for summer break!

I love summer for so many reasons. I love the flowers that grow in my garden. I love Fourth of July picnics, parades and fireworks. I love going swimming on hot days. But more than all of that I love sewing as much as I want, all day long. I feel like for two and a half months out of my year, I get to live my dream of being a full time quilter and crafter. It’s bliss, and it’s what I look forward to all year long.

In fact, in only took about 10 minutes this afternoon to get started.

new project

Bring on the new projects, the iced tea, the fresh blueberries, the day lilies that grow in my yard. Bring on my most happy time of the year.

More selvage action, people! I love this stuff.

Oh selvage...

Does it step over the line a little when the reason for wanting to buy more fabric has changed from using the actual fabric (or at least stashing the actual fabric) to being solely about the selvage? Because I think I’ve gotten to that point.

Also, good news everyone! I have two days left of work until my summer break starts. I am so looking forward to spending more quality time with my sewing machine.

I just recently (within the last six months or so) figured out about paper piecing, and it has totally changed the way that I think about piecing now. I got started with a few little string piecing experiments, based on Film In the Fridge’s tutorial and loved how simple it was. I love how you can take just a sliver of fabric and make it look neat and tidy in a block. It made me think about piecing in a whole new way.

little blue square

So last night I got to thinking about how I could make it work for squares and small pieces. I know so many people have figured this out already and are thinking “duh, Sarah, duh,” but I was so excited about how precise a teeny three inch square could look! Seriously fantastic.

I want to make a whole quilt out of these lovely little blocks, but for last night, I made a very quilty pouch with my little blue square. I’m thinking that tonight I’ll make a little green square!