Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Quarantine Quilting

It seems like we were living like normal then, BAM, we were in the middle of the great plague.  I'm in the fifth week of "staying at home" and really am staying at home.  On March 19, I had a doctor's appointment (nothing serious or related to the virus) and I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home.  I've been once to Staples in order to mail a package to my mom via UPS and once to the grocery store, followed by the drive-thru at Panera.  I do go outside for a walk almost every day.  My husband went to the grocery store today and scored a package of six rolls of toilet paper!  But only one can of black beans for a recipe that calls for two cans so we'll be improvising there.   

So...plenty of time for quilting projects.  Let me show you what I've been making.

First, like probably every other quilter, I made a lot of face masks.  My first lot went to my nephew's fiance.  She's a pharmacist or pharmacologist or something like that at a hospital in the Boston area and the hospital did not have enough proper protective gear to go around. 

Then I sent some to Miss Main Street, my daughter.  She has been working in Manhattan and living in Brooklyn, New York, aka pandemic central.  She worked from home (the tiny apartment she shares with three roommates) since mid-March (but is now furloughed until filming can resume - she works for a TV show production company), but has to go out for groceries, laundromat, etc.  Then some masks for my mom, living in a senior living complex in Michigan.  Then more to send to Mr. Main Street's and my siblings and their spouses and the adult nieces and nephews.  I got the whole extended family covered then I sort of sputtered out with the mask making.  I felt the need for something more creative, though I'll go back to mask making later if the need is still there.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote that 2020 would be my year to work on UFOs and to whittle down my stash.  And that's exactly what I've been focused on for the past few weeks.  I started machine quilting a wall hanging size quilt that I started in 2018.  I've almost halfway finished but ran out of thread, as least in the color I was using.  I ordered more but while I wait for it to arrive, I put that aside and started cutting fabric from my stash. 

This is Summer Romance, a foundation pieced string quilt I made in 2009.  It is one of my favorite quilts, there is just something uplifting about these pastel colors. 

I wanted to make something similar, but not a string quilt and not using foundation paper.  While I enjoyed that process, I wanted something else this time. 

Then Nicole at Sisters Choice blogged about the sew alongs she's doing and all her works in progress, including this block called Star Studded Event, a project from Primitive Gatherings a summer or two ago. 

I like the colors, I like the block in 19th century reproduction fabrics, I like the little star...but I could not see starting a project like this right now because those aren't the kinds of fabrics I have in my stash.  Then I had a brain flash - what if I made the blocks using my faded floral fabric stash, made all the blocks scrappy, and skipped the star in the center?  I made some test blocks, and, voila:

I'm pretty happy with it, although the blocks are only 6" square finished and I occasionally think I should have upsized them to 7.5" or 9" but I suppress those thoughts when they occur!  I have a lot of cutting and sewing ahead of me because I need about a bajillion of these blocks to make a queen size bed quilt (ok, I need 256 blocks).  But as I cut, I'm also cutting fabric for a second quilt, completely different, that starts with 2.5" strips. 

So clearly, I have plenty to keep me busy.  More soon,

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