Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. We did, although we wished Eric was with us. He arrived in Afghanistan about eight or nine days ago and said he’s already heard mortars exploding.

I’ve had a bit of a problem easing back into quilting after eight weeks of marching band, our trip to New York to see Eric and all the stuff that was going on after that and now with the approaching holidays. Last weekend, I picked up a 1930s reproduction project started when we lived in Houston, but abandoned for reasons I couldn’t recall—until I cranked back up on it.

Here is the pattern:

This is from the book "Threads from the '30s" by Nancy J. Martin. The white squares finish at 3" with the thirties prints finishing at 1".

This is from the book “Threads from the ’30s” by Nancy J. Martin. The white squares finish at 3″ with the thirties prints finishing at 1″.

I so adore the look, but oh, those postage stamp sized pieces can get to you after a while, even with strip piecing. As I reviewed the fabrics and pieces already cut and stitched, I dug up other Aunt Grace prints purchased years before, like these 6½” pre-cut squares:

pre-cut squares

I was glad to have them, but as I worked with them, I realized that I’m not in love with pre-cuts.

First, I wasn’t comfortable throwing these pint-sized pieces into the washing machine, even if I was to use a zippered mesh bag. I felt pretty sure that at the cycle’s end I’d be pulling apart a big wet fabric ball, so I soaked them in a bowl filled with warm water.

Second, I realized that there was no way to know for certain whether my cut pieces would end up on grain, especially after washing them.

Third, since I trimmed the 6½” squares to 5″,

trimmed square

I lost 40 percent of the total amount of fabric in that square. Do that for 36 squares and you end up with a lot of waste.

scrap pile

I also located these cuts of Aunt Grace Fifteenth Anniversary prints

AG anniversary prints

and pulled other thirties prints from my scrap box.

scrap box

To make things easier, I cut 5″ x 1½” strips

thirties strips

of all the different Aunt Grace and other thirties fabrics and chain pieced them in threes and in twos:

chain in threes 

chain in twos

After two and a half days, I finally had enough squares sewn together to create the first row of the quilt.

first row

first row close up

This will probably be one of those on-again, off-again projects, where I’ll work on it when the mood strikes. Those one-inch squares make for an extremely cute quilt, but working with them leaves you a little bleary-eyed if you don’t know when to quit, which sometimes, I don’t.

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