The Beginning of the End

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 flewย 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…

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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:

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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.

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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.

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Slowly, slowly, a layout began to grow. I don’t know how long I spent arranging and rearranging, but I came up for lunch ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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:

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(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…

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It’s a terrible cell phone photo, but I am in LOVE. ย 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.

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.

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26 Comments

Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL, WIP Wednesday

26 responses to “The Beginning of the End

  1. Susan

    Love love love it!!!

  2. Looking great! Looking forward to seeing the finished top. I hope to have a finished top in the next 4 days as well… how did it get to be the end of the month so quickly!? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. The crosshatch is a genius choice! It’s the perfect dark shade for all the blocks! It’s looking so awesome.

    • Thanks, Jo- I think these crosshatch prints are going to make it into frequent rotation over here- they are magnificent blenders/solid sunstitutes!

      -Sam

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 7:36 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:

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  4. Wow this quilt looks amazing, the green fits it well.

  5. It sounds like you achieved some much needed happiness to balance out the sad in your trip. All the food photos you posted on IG looked so incredibly yummy! The Crosshatch you chose looks great with your blocks. I can tell you are excited and I bet it won’t take long to get the top finished when you get some sewing time again!

    • I have big plans to binge watch House of Cards and sew, sew, sew on Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚

      We did have some delicious meals in DC. The best part by far was getting to hand deliver the sock monkey quilt to my newest cousin- and getting to hold him and snuggle him. Such a cutie!

      -Sam

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 7:49 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:

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  6. That Architexture fabric looks good as your sashing. I’m always nervous trying to match fabric I have on hand to an online store’s selection, but this is one for the win column!

    • I was so nervous from the moment I ordered it until the moment I opened the package! But phew, I do love it!! I know I can’t always get this lucky from ordering online…

      -Sam

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 8:44 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:

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  7. Regardless of your design wall being too small…its gorgeous! I’m excited to see it with the sashing. Your blocks are so pretty and it looks like you achieved a great balance!

    • Funny thing is, normally I would have spent way more time agonizing over the block layout. But one morning was enough- and I think I’m happy w/it. I’m excited to get the horizontal sashing strips on this weekend!

      -Sam

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 9:31 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:

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  8. So sorry for the loss of your aunt. I just have to tell you that your quilt is an absolute work of art. Amazing job. And btw, isn’t it maddening that there are no quilt shops in DC? Frustrates me every time.

    • Thank you both for the compliment on the quilt, and sympathy for my aunt… ๐Ÿ™‚

      Are there really no decent quilt shops in DC? I admit I haven’t really looked- have only been back twice in 5 years… and somehow my family doesn’t seem to prioritize crafty shopping as much as I do. Odd ๐Ÿ˜‰ But fibre space is a wonderful yarn store- well worth a visit!

      -Sam

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 10:27 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:

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  9. Perfect choice for the background fabric.

  10. Your background choice looks wonderful, just right! Looking forward to seeing it all together- no pressure here! Linda

    • I am hoping to have all day sunday to binge watch House of Cards on netflix and get the top all together ๐Ÿ™‚ Cross your fingers for me…

      -sam

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 1:46 PM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:

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  11. Sorry to hear of your loss. I’m glad you were able to balance the sad with some happy time. I *adore* how your quilt is turning out, the sashing is perfect!

    • The best part of the balancing happy and sad was getting to meet and snuggle with my newest little cousin. I have decided in the future I shall only attend funerals where I can cuddle adorable squishy babies.

      -Sam

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 6:14 PM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:

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  12. Cher

    it’s Sunday, so I am imagining you sewing madly along on your last round of sashing! I love Carolyn F’s fabric, I bought some in turquoise as I know it will work with a project I have in mind…you have done fabulously! Glad the sad visit included baby snuggling -nothing comes close to that new baby magic.

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