Monday, April 13, 2015

At a Standstill but Moving Along Anyway

It's mid-April.  My mom is settling into her new apartment, but half of her things are still here at the house.  I can't move into the house until it's cleaned and some repairs are done, but I can't do those until Mom's things are dealt with.  At the same time, I more or less have to be in the house because it's heated by a wood stove.  In this cool, damp climate, if the house isn't heated it will deteriorate even faster.  I tried working from my trailer and running over to the house every two hours to put wood in the stove, but that proved to be inefficient.  Sooner or later (usually sooner), I'd get involved in something and totally forget about needing to feed the wood stove, then I'd have to spend an extra half an hour or more building another fire and getting the house warmed up again.

So, I sort of halfway moved into the house.  I brought enough kitchen supplies over here to prepare meals.  I got a phone hooked up so that I have internet access on my old desktop computer.  And I set up my old manual sewing machine on the kitchen table so that I can work on small projects when I get a few minutes here and there.  It's not ideal, but it'll have to do for now.

Last week, Mom gave me a small bag of fabric scraps she no longer wanted.  Amidst the scraps of children's prints, I found 25 strips of 2.5" squares of Christmas fabrics.  Mom must have been working on 9-patch blocks but gave up on the project.  After examining them, I could see why.  She must have cut the squares with scissors, as few (if any) were cut exactly square.  And although her seam allowances often started at 1/4th inch, they dwindled down to 1/8th inch or less by the time she reached the other side.  Mom sews for the fun of it.  She has never been that concerned about accuracy and for this reason has more success working with larger squares, like 5" or larger, where she has more room for fudging.

There were two many strips for me to toss the lot in the trash with a clear conscience, so I decided to see if I could salvage the project.  First, I resewed all the existing seams as best I could without ripping out the original seams (the squares weren't square anyway so why bother, was my thinking).  After pressing, the strips looked like this on the back side:
And this on the front:

I cut a few 2.5" squares from my own scraps and sewed two more strips to make 27 total, then sewed them up into nine 9-patch blocks:
Most of the seams don't match up, but a few do!  They actually came out looking better than I first thought possible.  As I was working on these, the nursery rhyme about the crooked man with the crooked little smile kept coming to mind, so I'm calling this project The Crooked Man's Christmas Quilt.  Tomorrow, I plan to rummage through my stash to find an appropriate sashing fabric.

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