Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Year of Leftovers

I've been dealing with some strange muscular issues that, while not completely derailing me, have slowed me down to sloth speed (that's about 6 feet per hour according to a tv show I watched).  One day in April, I woke up unable to move my arms without weird cramping pains that were most pronounced when my elbows were bent.  Doing something with a side-to-side motion, like moving a carton of eggs from the counter to the refrigerator, was practically impossible (without dropping the eggs!).  No one really knows what's causing the pain, but through trial-and-error I've learned that keeping my elbows bent and using the computer mouse make it worse.  So I'm keeping mouse use to a minimum and finding activities that make me straighten my arms every few minutes.

I've been hand-quilting the Crooked Man's Christmas quilt with 6 strands of embroidery floss, cutting the thread as long as I dare so that my arm has to straighten as far as possible each time I take a stitch.  And I'm doing the same with a couple of unfinished plastic canvas and cross stitch projects.  I don't recommend cutting yarn and thread that long as a rule, but in my case a bit of tangling and a few unwanted knots are worth the risk right now.

After finishing the Crooked Man's top, I found a short stack of eight 9-patch blocks made 5-plus years ago.  In the same basket were some sashing strips leftover from another project from several years ago.  The colors were right, so I sewed the sashing strips to two sides of the 9-patch blocks, thinking I'd find find a coordinating fabric scrap somewhere for the other two sides, then I'd sew the blocks together into a table runner.

Well, I found a coordinating fabric easily enough, and finished the blocks,

but I couldn't make myself sew them into a table runner.  I have no use for a purple table runner, and I couldn't think of a friend or a relative who would want a purple table runner.  But what else can you make with eight square blocks?  The choices are rather limited.

So, I decided to rummage through my scraps and try to make a ninth block that was similar enough to blend with the other eight.  This is what I came up with:

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