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Orion, Crazy Crumbs, and Arkansas

(How’s that for a weird, random post title?)

First up, Orion!

After setting it aside for a while, I’m back to crocheting “Orion”, a doily pattern from Grace Fearon.

There are tons of popcorn stitches in this one; fortunately, I like crocheting popcorn! There’s also something the designer calls a “special small bullion” stitch.  It sounds kind of scary (to me, at least), but don’t let it intimidate you.  They’re actually pretty fun little stitches to make, I think.  I like them and hope they’ll make an appearance in some of the designer’s future doily patterns.  (What I did have some frustration over was the dtr6tog, but they didn’t turn out too bad.)

Here’s a photo of my progress from a few days back:

"Orion"

Second topic: crazy crumbs.

This project has been evolving for a long while.  It started out with using up crumbs left over from my first string quilt.  Those first crumb blocks were fairly small– something like 5″ or 5.5″?  Then I had the brilliant idea of joining them together and making larger crumb blocks of 12.5″.

…The thing is, crumbs are by definition small, and when you start trying to make a large crumb block, it’s not easy.  There’s a certain temptation to start using larger pieces– which is fine, but maybe doesn’t really create a true crumb quilt, if that’s what you want.

Personally, I don’t care if this quilt is “crumby enough” by anyone else’s definition.  It’s my own ugly utility quilt and doesn’t have to meet anyone else’s standards.  (Isn’t it nice to thumb your nose at the rules from time to time?)

I had a basket of scraps I didn’t want to use for any “real” quilts (too thin, not really quilting cotton, etc.), so I used up a lot of those to bring my crumb blocks up to size.  (I’ve also used some of those reject fabrics to make string blocks that will eventually be turned into a dog quilt.  No photos of those at the moment.)

I’m tossing in things that aren’t remotely crumby, too– such as two pumpkin prototypes I pieced when I was pondering the “Dancing Pumpkins” window covering pattern.  (Might as well go truly off the rails, right?)

Anyway, I’ve been working to get those crumb blocks ready to turn into a finished top.  This is a project I’d like to see finished soon.  The piecing has been valuable– entertaining and educational– but I’m not really a “crazy crumbs” type of person, generally speaking, and I’d like to get this one wiped off my mental slate.  When I try crumbs again, I might approach it from a different, more restrained angle.  Monochromatic crumb blocks, maybe… In the centers of stars… (I love stars in quilts!)

Crazy Crumb Blocks

The last item: Arkansas.

As in Arkansas Crossroads.
I’m still new enough to quilting that my vocabulary of even well-known traditional blocks is very limited.  I gather that the Arkansas Crossroads quilt has been around for a long time, but I hadn’t noticed it until recently, when trying to find a good leaders and enders project.

The last time I tried to have a leaders and enders project (my version of “Rainbow Rows”), it wasn’t long before it became my primary project.  (…And now it’s still waiting for one more seam to become a finished top.  So lacking in discipline!) So, what are the chances that this will not stay a leaders/enders quilt for very long?

In any case, I’m excited to see how this will come together!
So far, I’ve only cut out my pieces.  The plan is to make 12 big (16″ finished) blocks, 3×4 layout, so I needed a whole heap of 2.5″ colorful squares and a smaller (but still hefty) stack of 4.5″ background squares.

For the background, I wanted to use something from my stash, and I don’t really have much yardage in my stash… What I ended up doing was using three different cream-on-cream prints that can be mix-and-matched.  (They’re actually leftovers from my very first quilt– the herringbone design made from half-square triangles.)

The smaller squares are more fun.  I started with a stashed jellyroll from Michaels (thank you, coupon!), which took care of somewhat less than half the squares.  Next, I went through my collection of strips… Then moved on to some scraps I had left over from “Rainbow Rows”… And finally pulled out a handful of uncut fabrics to round things out.

Arkansas Crossroads

Since taking that photo, I’ve paired the squares up (and given two to each background square, as well).  In the pairing process, I had some second thoughts about some of my fabric choices, but it’s too late (imho) to question things, now!  I’m sure it’ll work out ok.

– – – – – – –

Those are the crafty things I’ve been doing, lately.

I’m also starting to get more involved with the garden again.  (It’s that time of year again, believe it or not!)  There are new daylilies waiting to be planted, seeds to get started, and about a trillion weeds in need of urgent attention.

I’ve also started taking the doors off the kitchen cabinets, because we’re finally going to paint our cabinets white.  (I’ve wanted to paint them since we built the house.  White-painted cabinets weren’t available from our builder, so we chose the lightest wood they offered and planned to just paint them ourselves.  That was well over ten years ago…  Yes, it’s time to just paint.)

We’ve also decided to upgrade our floors soon.  We’re replacing our original carpet and sheet vinyl with “luxury vinyl plank flooring” that looks like wood (but is waterproof and scratch-resistant, ideal for those of us with indoor dogs).  That’s sure to keep us busy for a while, once we’ve settled on the color and placed our order.  Just getting rid of the carpet will be a a job.  (The plan is to do all the work ourselves.)

I’m getting tired just thinking about all of this!  Fortunately, we can work at our own pace for most of these things, so there should still be time to do the things we enjoy, in between the DIY projects.

Welcome!

I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

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