Fat Cat Patterns has a new tea cup block swap starting that I found out about from Joan's blog. I decided to join in even though I'm mostly a solitary quilter and have been for, oh, thirty years. I don't belong to any guilds or groups, and have never done a block swap, a round robin or a mystery quilt (didn't even know what these things were until a few years ago. I just sewed!). And, it's applique, so I can keep practicing.
Slowly but surely, I'm getting happier about the concept of applique, but still wish that I could do needle turning like Mom. I have to cut out all the freezer paper patterns, fuse and baste before I am even ready to start the applique process. I'm still all about the speed! Mom just draws the shape on the fabric, snips it out, and away she goes. You don't want to know what my points and curves look like when I do that.
Synchronicity was in play again this week. I spent Sunday folding and sorting all my stash just in time to pillage through it to select fabrics for twelve teacup blocks, three pieces plus background for each. If I hadn't done all that sorting it would have been a chore, but now it was just pull down a box, pick, pick, pick, match, match, match, done. It would have been even easier if the fabric were folded on shelves like so many pictures I have seen in other blogs like Morah's and that to-die-for room from "Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space" that Joan has posted on her organizing blog. However, I have lots more small pieces than large cuts and the stacks don't stay neatly stacked. Tried it and discarded the idea. I'll stay with my big plastic boxes, although it's like weightlifting each time I rummage for a new project!
Limiting the selection to just twelve blocks is difficult. There are all those colorful pieces, fairly begging to be included! A good thing about the project is that the teacups will use up small pieces that I couldn't bring myself to throw out but weren't enough for more than a couple of pieces in a scrap quilt.
This is a good take-with-me-while-visiting project, because I can cut out three or four and pack them for my trip to Mom's next week (weather permitting - you just don't know anymore. I've driven I-75 over Jellico Mountain in the snow once too often). She turns in for the night early, really early, so I'm left sitting there alone until I can get to bed. Not criticism, she's in her 80's, she can sleep when she wants to. But she also gets up way earlier than I have been since I retired, and I can almost hear her in my sleep pacing around the kitchen waiting for me to get up. Having a sewing project will be just the ticket to fill the evenings. Turn on HGTV in the morning room and sit at the table and stitch. (FYI - I call it a morning room, but don't know what else to label it. It's a room that was a former porch off the kitchen with a dining table, couch, television and her desk. There's a real dining room, so this is like a breakfast room with extras. Thus, morning room.)
I also get to take my brother's quilt to him because they live in the same town. It's an early birthday present - very early, about 3 months, but I want to go ahead and deliver it. I'm kind of pumped about it. It's his favorite color and I haven't given them a quilt since Christmas 1992.
Oh, and, my brother-in-law seemed to be absolutely gobsmacked that I would make the red quilt for him. That's why I do this. The enjoyment of seeing someone examine a quilt I have made and marvel at all the fabrics and the patterns and the stitching. It's such a cool feeling to please a loved one so much!