Thursday, September 4, 2014

Quilt Along Blocks # 11 and # 12, Tools and a Bookshelf

I can hardly believe that the last two blocks of this quilt are finished! I suddenly feel lighter, like I've lost a few pounds! The next hurdle will be choosing a layout and putting the quilt top together. I won't even think about the actual quilting and binding just yet. For the next few days I'm going to savor the "doneness" of the blocks.

Block 11

The tools block will come as a surprise to a lot of folks. I don't know that tools were ever mentioned in our list of ideas. But, it is so fitting!

I love how it adds another dimension to the overall theme. The idea was inspired by my friend, Midge, of course.

My little camera doesn't allow me to adjust colors, so the bright, white background always looks gray. :(
Over our weekly coffee we chatted about what was needed to complete those last two blocks. "You've represented children and pets," she said, "and, there are several blocks that show women's interests, but what about men? Shouldn't there be something that has a more masculine feel in this quilt?"

She was absolutely right, of course. There are lots of very happy homes that have no men in them, but I would guess that there are at least as many homes in which the husband and father is very central to the meaning of family and home.

We brainstormed ideas. Lawn mower? Backyard grill? Fishing gear? Tools?

Tools won, hands down. How can you keep a home without a few tools?

Block 12

What to do with the last little block? I posed the question on my Facebook page and offered a choice of teapot or bookshelf.

The bookshelf won the vote by a large margin.

That would have been my own first choice, too. If I'm addicted to anything, it's books. 

And chocolate, of course, but we won't go into that today. 

I didn't even try to count the actual shelves holding books in my house. It's enough to admit that I have four large bookcases that are absolutely stuffed. Library books are scattered everywhere, too.

A home without books? Not for me at all. 

A quick little sidestep here

Have you ever used a hera marker? It's a lovely little tool, and very inexpensive. I marked the lines for lining up my books with a hera marker instead of a quilt marker.

So slick! It makes a tiny, visible crease, but leaves no residue that needs to be removed! I also like using the hera marker with anything that needs to fold smoothly and evenly - even for making my own bias tape. The crease creates a natural fold line that presses with beautiful ease.

Oh, something else! My friend, The Patchsmith, has a very clever idea for adding book titles using selvages of fabrics. Be sure to check out her bookshelf mug rug in Craftsy patterns.

Going back to the bookshelf now

I liked the bookshelf so much in all it's bright colors, and it really is the exact size for a mug rug. So I made one of those, too. 

I chose a totally different color concept for the mug rug. Black and white with just a splash of red can lend sophistication and elegance to almost anything. Even a mug rug.

But what if you want a teapot or a coffee mug in your quilt? 

Can you wait one more week?

I'll be posting a pair of mug rugs - just the same size as the quilt block. These will be mix and match. A teapot, a coffeepot, a cup, and a mug. You could easily use one of those to replace either the bookshelf or the spools block.

Now to choose a layout. Hmm....

I need better lighting for these photos!!
The original idea?

Something a little bit different?
I think I may want to redo my cookie jar in different fabrics.  When I made it I didn't know how my colors and fabrics would come together, but now the cookie jar stands out as different from the other blocks. Fortunately it's a very easy one to do over.

I need a couple of weeks to get to the layout plan. Other projects are screaming for attention!

Wishing you a lovely month of September!!

And, happy stitching!