Sunday, September 15, 2013

Girl in da House!

I bought fabric here yesterday. But never fear, I'm still "on the wagon"! It's a long story, so let's start from the beginning...

Udderly Quilts and More, 922 Lincoln Way, Nevada, IA
This blog had a secret ulterior motive. On some level it was a prayer for a child. I figured if I emptied my sewing room, perhaps a child would come to live in it. (Never mind that we already have two empty rooms upstairs.) I just wanted to be ready. Then, last Wednesday, a week or so after starting the blog, I got a call. Could we take an emergency foster-care placement that very night? Darn those prayers work quick!

So 13-year-old B. came to our house. She loves being out here in the country. She's bright, fun, talkative--and hungry for one-on-one attention. Our hunger is for a child to give our attention to. (But who are we kidding? We also want a kid's attention to our infinite store of wisdom!)

So, of course, one of the first things I invited B. to do was to pick through my scrap bins. Here are some of the fabrics she chose for the quilt she is now (as I type!) sewing:

This is a pretty diverse scheme, so I figured we needed to find a solid or near-solid to pull it all together. Whatever we needed, it was definitely not in my stash. So I turned to Liz, at Udderly Quilts and More, a brand new store in my little "cow" town.

Liz has many of the same goals I do. Number 1: De-stash (all the fabric in the shop is from her stash). Number 2: Connect with quilters. Not necessarily in that order. I figure, buying a yard or two from her is okay. We're in this together.

So, what do you think can pull together blue, white, red, pink, orange, purple, brown and green? A neutral, you say??? How about the hottest of hot pinks (a vintage fabric from the 60s, at only $6.50 a yard--and prewashed)!

The last step was deciding on the pattern. B. is a beginner, so triangles were out (bias seams are tricky). I chose this simple pattern, as it is so "forgiving". If the blocks don't all turn out exactly the same size, they can easily be trimmed without changing the effect. If things get a little wonky, that just adds to the fun. (On a large scale, this design often has an optical vibration, even without hot pink in its palette.)

B. stitched and ironed all afternoon yesterday. It felt like we had been sharing the sewing room all our lives. Her plan is to finish the quilt today! (all 50-some blocks).

At one point, B. confessed that she had chosen what I would call "conversational" fabrics because she wants friends to come over to her room and give the quilt some attention. Well, by golly, of course she does!

The good news? Emergency respite has turned into an official foster care placement! She'll be here in our home 'til the cows come home. When that will be, we can't venture to guess.


  1. Good job young sewist! Your quilt is looking beautiful!

    Did you know that the Des Moines MQG is making quilts to donate to foster care? We are collecting them at our October 18th meeting. You could use up some of that stash for a good purpose. :)

    I have some quick and easy charity quilt ideas this month on my blog:

  2. I loved all the sewing lessons I had with my mom and I still do. We started with clothes but it's great to hear she's not intimidated to dive into a big ole quilt!