ScrapHappy December 2020 — The Quilt That Won’t Quit

I have been enjoying the book Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkinson.  There are several patterns in there that I would like to make, but I started with Scrapper’s Delight, a large-scale log cabin.  I wish I could show you the picture from the book, because that quilt is bright and cheery and spring-like.  Mine is currently in its ugly duckling stage (compared to the one in the book) and I am not sure I will ever like it much.  But at least it is using up scraps!

So here are some of the blocks I have made:

Scrappy blocks on the design wall.

The pattern calls for 36 blocks that are each 12.5 inches square.  It should give the look of 9 huge log cabin blocks that are 24 inches square.  So I thought, since I had so many scrappy strips already cut, I could knock it out quickly.

But here is what happened.

Each block is made like a traditional log cabin, small squares to start, with longer strips being added to the sides.  But instead of going around all four sides, you only add on two sides.

Partial log cabin block.

I stitched away happily, and when I had about 24 blocks half way done, I started to place them up on my design wall.  That is when I noticed that my little center squares were not going to line up the way I wanted.

The look I thought I would get.  See the rectangle of little squares in the middle?  That is what I wanted.

The look you get if you always add strips to the same two sides.  See how the smallest pieces don’t match up?

Here it is again, with red outlines:

The rectangle I was going for.

The more intricate shape I was getting.

The second shape with the pinwheel effect may be more interesting, but I wanted the more staid rectangle.  So that meant I had to create another set of blocks, where I added strips in the opposite direction.  I had been holding the smallest squares to the top left as I oriented the strips for stitching; now I needed to hold them to the top right.

I thought I caught the problem in time — I needed 18 blocks with the corner in top left, and 18 in top right.  I would make 18 new blocks and just leave out 6 of my already-made blocks.  And then I would congratulate myself on scraps well used, and I would go on to making cute Christmas decorations.

And then I found another box of strips and decided to incorporate them.  And somehow I now have about 54 blocks and only 12 of them have the proper corner in top right.  I am getting that pinwheel shape whether I want it or not.  Plus a lot of dark colors have crept in.  A lot.  And because I am now obsessed with somehow melding all these blocks together, it is dragging my attention away from Christmas projects.

I think one of my problems is that I have already pulled scraps in colors I love, and used them in other projects.  This one has the real color leftovers, and they don’t have design styles or motifs in common either.  They are decades apart in age.  At this point, I am just studying the blocks and trying to figure out which ones I like for future reference– the contrast-y ones?  the ones where one color blends into another?  Would it have been better to keep the color families together?  I don’t think it could have hurt!

(My husband came through the room while I was writing this, and asked me what it was about.  Once I had explained, he said, “So you are less than scrap-happy.” Pithy and perceptive.)

It is going to take me a while to decide what to do with these blocks.  I may end up using them for small lap quilts.  Or I may just persevere and end up liking it in the end! At least I have had the satisfaction of stitching things together; that always makes me happy.

ScrapHappy is a lovely virtual get-together hosted by Kate and Gun.  We post our scrappy creations on the 15th of the month, and if you would like to join us, just let one of the hosts know1

And here is our current list of participants:

Kate,  Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen (me!), Connie, Bekki,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin , Vera, Nanette and Ann