Making Do

Yesterday I finished the quilt top for the Dream Machines quilt. It's not going to top my list of favorite quilts, but the top is finished now. Finished is better than perfect, right? I hadn't intended to spend the entire afternoon on it, but that's how long it took. I started around 1:00 in the afternoon by finishing up the bottom sashing and sewing the rows of blocks together.

Around 2:30 I added the inner border:

I finished the outer border just as Mike got home from work. Phew!

So, as I said, it's not my favorite quilt ever. I didn't really have good border fabrics for this one. This was my quilt for last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and I really didn't want to buy any more fabric in order to finish it. These were the fabrics I pulled from my stash:

I'm going to use the one in the upper left for the back. The one on the lower right was the fabric I had originally selected to use for the outer border, but that pink turned out to be way too bright. It's hard to tell, but it practically glows in the dark. Nevertheless, when the quilt is finished, I will have used all of the rest of the fabrics in that image. There's something to be said for using everything. In fact, I will have used all of the polka dot fabric I used for the background in the blocks, and I will also have used all of the lavender I used for the inner border. That means when everything is said and done, I will have used all of seven lengths of fabrics from my stash. If making do was good enough for my grandmother, it's good enough for me.

Finally, I laid the fabric I selected for the binding on the right side of the image below. I'll still need to piece together the back for this, but that will be my binding fabric when I get to that part.

There is still quite a bit to do before this will be ready to mark as a finish. As I said, I still need to piece together a back for it. Then it will need to be sandwiched and quilted. I'm going to use some metallic thread to stitch a sewing machine needle onto each machine, and I'll also be sewing three buttons onto each one. All of that before it will be ready for binding, but I'm sure happy to have the top finished.

This morning I walked with my friend Sue. We haven't walked for over a month. Sue has been off gallivanting in warmer climes...such a gallivanter, she is. We managed to walk between rain showers today, even though there is a 70% chance of rain. The sun happens to be shining as I'm writing this, and we're expecting sunshine all weekend.

The warm weather we've had is showing in the trees that are starting to bloom. We saw this one along the trail:

Toward the end of our walk, we felt very fortunate to see a red-breasted sapsucker along the trail. I tried to take a picture with my iPhone, but that was a dismal failure. Instead, I have this image taken by Steve Byland, who graciously granted me permission to repost his photo. You can see more of his fabulous bird and wildlife images on his FlickR page.

At home, the flowering plum blossoms are starting to open.

It's very early for these.

And some of the daffodils have opened as well.

Yes, as a matter of fact, it has been raining, but the temperatures are still unseasonably warm.

With the Dream Machines top finished, there's only one thing left on my to-do list for February, and I think I'll be able to squeeze it in before tomorrow. It's my Let's Book It project. I've had the same project on my list for two months, and I've come to the conclusion that I really don't want to make that project. It's time to choose something else. And that brings me to a very fortuitous email exchange I had with my good friend, Sharon V. Sharon, of course, hosts the "Let's Book It" linky party. I jokingly mentioned what a "burden" fabric can be sometimes. This is especially true for people like Sharon who really go to great lengths (no pun intended) to use the fabric from their stash. 

In the course of our exchange, Sharon mentioned that she had some fabrics on her shelf that were so unusual, she had no inkling of how she would ever use them, and she mentioned these dancing plucked chickens. (These are the pictures she sent me.)

Oh. My. Gosh. Well. I just happen to have a PERFECT pattern for these right on my book shelf. And what a perfect choice for my Let's Book It project. The pattern even comes in book form!

This pattern has been around a long time. I first saw some of the blocks on The Quilting Board when I used to hang around there. I've had the pattern on my shelf literally for years.

So...long story short, Sharon is sending me her fabric, and I'm going to use it as a back for this quilt. Isn't that perfect? Thank you, thank you, thank you, Sharon. What a great bloggy friend you are. I am going to have so much fun making this quilt, and your fabric will be perfect for the back.

And all of that to say, that is next on my list. I can hardly wait to get started. But first, I absolutely must do some of the housework I didn't do yesterday. 

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Christine M said...

Your sewing machines look great, Barbara.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love seeing the flowering trees - how I long for those. The sewing machines will come to life once you get your quilted frosting on that lovely quilt.

Dana Gaffney said...

I can't get the plucked chicken fabric out of my head and how perfect it works for you. I guess they all have a purpose.

Carole in Nebraska said...

Some fabric designer(s) sure knows how to give us a smile. That chicken fabric must be a kissin' cousin to the dancing frogs in pink ballerina tutus that I have. I fell in love with it even though I hadn't the foggiest idea what I was going to do with it. I finally got to use some for the Mrs Claus Project doll quilts ...and it was everyone's favorite! (Stitchin Therapy blog Nov 25) I can't wait to see the chicken quilt that you come up with.

Diane Wild said...

Good accomplishment to get a top done when you're not too excited about it. Been there. Fun chicks. Who would design fabric with plucked chickens? Lol. Sew on.

liniecat said...

That is the craziest fabric I've ever seen lol but as you say, perfect for the pattern you had archived!!

Kate said...

What a fun project! The fabric is going to be perfect for the backing!

Brown Family said...

I understand about quilts that you do not love but are compelled to finish! I have at least one on my stash.. How fun to trade fabric with a friend!

quiltzyx said...

Love the plucked chicken fabric & your next book it choice! That will be making big smiles!!