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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quilting Recess

Today, I enjoyed an hour of quilting recess....the kind of recess we enjoyed when we were in grammer school.  You know, the hour of play time to get away from your school work and do something fun.  Now... I have to qualify that with an explaination 'cause the work I do is very fun....but this is a bit different. 

There are quilts that nudge and nag me.....quilts I want to make....no doubt hundreds of them!  I have oodles of patterns and kits all patiently waiting for me.  The kit or pattern I just bought is the one I'm most excited to make....until the next one comes along.  Sound familar?  Uh huh!  But there are those special quilts that stay with you....no forgetting about them 'cause you just have to make them. 

Well, I've begun to reorganize my scrap bins (this is yet another stage in the ongoing house renovation project!) and as I've been working thru the bins and piles trying to organize them, I've also been pulling fabrics for ongoing scrappy projects.   Some of these fabrics haven't seen the light of day in many years....but actually, that's nice because it's like seeing an old friend.  As I sort, I'm thinking.....oh....that will make a great basket (for the Blackbird Designs basket quilt I'm working on) and when I come across a narrow strip, I grab that one for a Courthouse Steps I'm working on....you get the idea.  Well....getting back to that quilt that keeps on nudging me.  When I was sorting, I started to make a pile for a Thimbles quilt I've been dying to make.  I just keep thinking about it. 


It all started with this book.  It's one of my all time favorites!   It combines small blocks, which I am crazy about, and stunning scrap quilts.

Guess what's in there??  This wonderful Thimble quilt called Rocky Mountain Thimbles.  It has 6,536 Thimbles in there.   Hhmmmm.....I'll aspire to this...but isn't it wonderful?  Ever since I bought the book, this quilt has tugged at me. 

Then....along came Tara Darr's new book, Simply Charming.  (See my post of January 25th to read more about Tara's book!). 

Guess what's inside?

Yup......another Thimbles quilt!  I love it.....I covet it....I want it!  More nudging and nagging.  Hhmmm...this time, I only need 380 Thimbles.  Very doable.  So, yesterday, after collecting a pile of scraps, I made my template and traced a bunch of Thimbles.  Last night, while watching TV, I cut them.

This morning.....I took an hour of recess from work to try my hand at making one row from the pattern in Tara's book.

Ta Da!  It was soooo fun!  I loved trying my hand at sewing something new....something I've never done before.  Not too bad for my first try!  I'm gonna love putting this little quilt together.  It won't be done anytime soon because I don't have anywhere near the 380 Thimbles cut out and ready to go, but that's ok.  I don't have all of my basket fabrics together either, but as I work on other projects and sort thru my scraps, I add to the pile.  And...I'll add to my Thimble pile, too. 

I like having long term projects to work on.  If I trace a bunch, I can cut them out while talking on the phone or watching TV.  It's also great to have a project that uses smaller scraps because you can make use of that last little bit instead of throwing it away.  These scrap quilts feel like freebies, too, don't they?  And....as Tara says, even the ugliest of fabrics look great when they're cut small and added to a scrap quilt.  Reproduction quilts need those "uglies" as they give them more of an authentic feel. 

One more thing I wanted to share with you.  Having the right tools for the job makes any job easier, right?  Well, recently, my girlfriends told me about the scissors you see on the left.  They're called Cutter Bee scissors.  They are very light weight, easy to handle and sharp, sharp, sharp.  Best of all, they're only $5.99 at JoAnn's!  You can find them in the scrapbooking dept.  (They may be available elsewhere, but that's where I got mine.)  Between the Fiskar's and Cutter Bee's my hands were never sore from cutting my Thimbles.

So....take my advice and take a little quilting recess.  Make a block you've been dying to try.  Start a new project and quiet those nagging urges.  If anyone gives you grief, just say Pam said I just have to do it! 


  1. Did the bell in your head ring when recess was over ? Time to get back to work ? I get a recess this weekend - a workshop day with guild members ! Yehaw !

  2. Thimble quilts have intrigued me as well, but I have some big finals coming up, so my recess will just have to wait! ;O) Have fun!

  3. Hi Pam,

    Oh, those are sure cute little thimbles! You're on a roll now. Have fun with this project. Tara's book is on my list, too. So many cute projects in there! Enjoy, Karla

  4. I knew there was a reason I was keeping all those little scraps! Now all I need is a nice, long, recess! Thanks for the great idea!

  5. A thimble quilt is on my list, too. You have a fabulous start! I love my copy of Stunning Quilts - the title is true. Those Cutter Bee scissors are great - very sharp!