Lots has transpired since my last post, but since it's been so long since I've written about a new project, I'm starting with that. If this looks a little familiar, I'll say at the outset that, yes, these were leftover 2" squares from Molly's quilt. To back up a little, we were away for 10 days and during our trip, I came across an online quilt challenge. I usually enjoy watching these from the sidelines, but found myself returning to the idea of participating so many times that upon our return, I took the small step of starting a trial piece. That's me ~ jump right in, by dipping one toe in the water. (Which reminds me of something I hadn't thought of in many years, that on the last day of summer camp one year, no one went into the water until I 'ducked', because I was always the last to get wet. Some things don't change...)
The reason I wanted to do a test run was because this challenge is to make a Trip Around the World quilt, by hand, and the instructions said roughly, 'cut out 2" squares and sew them together, row by row, eyeballing the seam allowance as you go'. I'm laughing at myself as I type this but my initial reaction was, 'Eyeball the seam allowance?! I always make window templates for handpiecing'. Followed by the immediate realization that of course I knew what 1/4" was after so many years of quilting (I could probably do it by touch!) and that these were simple squares, very easy, right? Not to mention that all of the old quilts were done this way.
Wacky, mid-twentieth century Trip Around the World quilts are among my favorites, but the other thing that gave me pause (and this may have crossed your mind, too) was how much whining I've been doing about Molly's wedding quilt, a Many Trips Around the World, stitching through all of those thick seam joins. But while I made my test block, someone posted the back of her block and she was pinwheeling the seams, something you can do with a hand-pieced TATW. Bulky seam problem solved! With that realization, I was all in.
There are some rules for this challenge, but they are being doled out piecemeal, sort of 'mystery quilt' style. Again, something I don't usually go for, but I'm having fun with this. One is that a red/dot fabric of some sort must be used as the center square and then repeated in several subsequent rounds. I chose these three fabrics to start.
So far, so good, but this is not called a challenge for nothing. For me, the challenge is definitely choosing one fabric at a time. No turning back! (Well, maybe a teeny backward step once in a while, but who wants to rip out handpiecing?) The handwork is very relaxing, it's a perfect carry-along project and there are forced pauses, while awaiting the next instructions. (All the better, as I have yet another new *something* stirring...)
So, where've I been? Up in Massachusetts, *home*, for a niece's wedding. We took extra time as long as we were making the trip and were away for 10 days, a wonderful time celebrating with family. The wedding was lovely, near the coast, and everything was picture perfect, including so many details ~ place cards, favors, even the groom & ushers' ties ~ using Liberty fabric. That caught my eye right away!!
We spent a few (too few) days following at the Cape with Molly & her husband, on his first trip to New England. The view from our place in Chatham pretty much sums up our days. It was a full trip of visits and travel, not to mention numerous indulgences of our very-missed food favorites. It felt good to get back to Ohio, but I wish we lived closer. The good news? A nephew got engaged last week so we'll be back soon. *wink*