I’ve been away a wee bit, but unlike seemingly everyone else in the quilt world, not at Quilt Con… Rather, I was in DC (my old stomping grounds for 7th-12th grades) for a funeral. My great aunt passed away; she lived a long and good life, and was ready to go, so while I am so very very sad, I am also happy that she met her end on her own terms, at home, at relative peace. I left the husband at home with both kids. They all traded cooties which I seem to have missed. Hopefully. Then I flew back into town just hours after my MIL flew in for a visit… So the last 10 days or so have been simply insane.
I *did* manage to get to a fab yarn shop while back East- Fibre Space in Alexandria, VA. I treated myself to a luscious skein of locally hand dyed sock yarn that is part cashmere. And my god, it was SO cold while we were there, I was debating trying to whip up new socks in one day. Instead, I kept going on my packed project- a slightly less squishy pair of socks. Mom and I decided to make the most happiness out of this sad trip, and so aside from getting to spend wonderful time with family, we also went to my mom’s fave museum, our favorite restaurant, and the National Portrait Gallery so I could visit one of my loves…
All of this also meant that I hadn’t sewed in a bit. BUT! I did finally pick a background fabric for my City Sampler:
Carolyn Friedlander, Architextures, Crosshatch in black- thanks for all the advice and suggestions; they were very helpful!
I ordered it not having seen it in real life, and so my fingers were very very crossed.
It arrived last Tuesday. Phew! I love it with my colors…
But of course, now came the hardest part- picking a layout for my blocks. Because I was worried that the grey blocks would retreat into the background fabric, and because many of the pink blocks used the same fabrics over and over (oops!), I decided a rainbow-esque layout was out of the question. Instead, I needed to mix them all up. So, I sorted the blocks into piles arranged by dominant color, totally cleared my design wall, and got down to business.
Slowly, slowly, a layout began to grow. I don’t know how long I spent arranging and rearranging, but I came up for lunch ;-) There was a lot of stepping back across the room, and sitting in my sewing chair, just looking. I really tried to achieve a good balance. Finally, I ended up here:
(PS Did I mention that my design wall is just barely too short to put up all 10 rows by 10 rows? SO annoying. So that top row is crammed up there, folded in half…)
I was worried that the greens pop too much, but not much to be done about that now. I got to cutting, and got all my background strips ready to go. And then…
It’s a terrible cell phone photo, but I am in LOVE. Love. The dark but not too dark crosshatch fabric makes all the blocks pop. You can really see the colors, and the piecing. And the many raccoons, squirrels, and foxes I fussy cut throughout the thing. I got through 7 of the 10 rows before I needed a break- plus, time to watch the Oscars. (How on Earth could NPH be so dull??) There will be a 2.5″ strip of sashing between each row, but I wanted to get each individual row pieced before I started joining them all together. That will hopefully happen this upcoming Sunday. I was briefly hopeful we might get a snow day on Monday- and then I’d be showing you a finished top today- but no such luck. Instead I slogged through a 2 hour carpool from hell since none of our kids’ schools were on delayed start- thank goodness the school where I work was, or I would have been so very very late.
Here’s hoping that I DO have a finished top to show you by next week… I’m so excited to get this one done.