Sunday, June 14, 2015

Saved From Shopping

Someone once said there is always free cheese in a mousetrap. I got another invitation to buy more fabric and notions at a deeper discount at the estate sale, and even considered it.  Luckily, I learned that the seller opened the very small house up to another 20 quilters to come and shop. That was enough for me to back away. Sometimes there is almost a shopping frenzy that goes on when that many women gather with money in hand.

I've actually gotten caught in those frenzies a few times in my life. In the moment, I had to have 'this one special thing, no matter the cost' and once I got home, wondered what I was thinking. It was surprising that my initial mental response to the invitation was that I would just look. Maybe thread. I could use thread. I learned that her thread supply was almost all sold. No need to go and look. Chances are that if I were to go, I would come home with some really great purchases, and stuff them in the closet. 

I learned about online shopping a few years ago, and it all got so much easier. Living away from the big city, I calculated that it cost at least $15 a round trip, depending upon the price of gas. Shipping charges are rarely that much, so it is worth it not to go for impulse items. When I do go out of town, I go with a list and stop at several stores.

I stayed home and focused on Jake's quilt first. Most of the blocks come from other quilters in a swap. Although there is a standard to send 12.5" blocks, hold to piecing with 1/4" seams, and keep the points off the seam line, when I started to trim up the blocks for my Grandson's quilt, I found 8 of them squared up to only 12.25". Some points even come to the end and are lost in the seams. Then came the challenge to lay them out.

What I decided to do is put four smaller blocks on the top row, and four of them on the bottom row. It is my plan to adjust the sashing by adding 1/4" to it, and then making certain the cornerstones work on the first and last row connectors. I love the variety in the blocks and cannot imagine removing any of them from the quilt top.... mistakes and all. If they are really mistakes. Its going to be a lovely quilt and he will love it. I have, however, withdrawn from the 12" Christmas block swap. I want to go onto other themes with the quilts and will use up what is in my stash to make smaller items like mug rugs, table mats, and napkins. 

In fact, I had a small amount of vintage holiday fabric from my friend Virginia's Mother and didn't have the heart to cut into it & make smaller scraps. I made a couple of mug rugs of out what was there for her & Dan. I quilted a simple grid over them, so nothing fancy. I wondered what her Mother had in mind, or if she had already used it and this little bit left was a leftover. This is exactly what I mean about putting what I have to good use. It brought joy to my heart to use the fabric this way. It felt like I honored her. She was one who did not have a lot to her quilting estate, and I am making good use of what was given me. Each time I work with it, I send good wishes across the rainbow bridge to her.

I've finished pulling threads and removing the paper from the Cat Paper Piecing project. I need to go back and check the seams and then am ready to by fabric...yes, buy...for the borders, backing and binding. It has specific needs that my stash cannot meet.