On the way home from work tonight, I needed to do some grocery shopping and fill up the car's tank with gas. Before that, I had to chat with a friend. And after I got home, there was the chore of putting the groceries away, followed by dinner. All of this meant I wasn't able to get into the Sweat Shop until around 9:30 p.m., so I only finished quilting one block tonight--September.
September's background was a hard one for me to design. In September, the weather here is hot and the air is still. It's back-to-school time, but try as I might, I couldn't think of anything school-related to fill the background. Finally it occurred to me, and it was so simple too!
There, right in front of me, was the sign "Apples for Sale" so I quilted the branches of an apple tree entering the block from the left hand side and then I filled in with leaves--no need to worry about quilting in the apples, because they've all been picked and are ready to sell! Under the sign and at the side of the house, I added some leafy vines.
Before I started the background quilting, I again lightly drew in some of the branches using a regular pencil. Someone asked whether I erase the pencil marks when I'm done. The answer is that sometimes I will, but usually I don't. Regular lead pencils are one of the marking tools I use for quilting, and they've always washed out easily for me. With this quilt, I haven't decided yet whether I'll wash it or just hang it when I finish; if I don't wash it, I might go back and erase a few of the more obvious lines, but most of them are so light that by the time I've quilted over them, they aren't at all noticeable.
Someone also asked about the pattern. Originally this was a free block of the month pattern posted on the Shabby Fabrics website in 2012, and it's no longer available there. In the general directions posted in 2012, Jennifer Bosworth said she would make the pattern available for sale beginning around June of 2013, so if you're interested, check the website periodically or contact the shop to find out when the pattern will be available.
The other thing I was thinking about tonight--did you by any chance read JoAnne's post about her friend Freda's idea for using a wire mesh caddy from Target to hold quilting tools and things on top of the table? Both of them bought one and are using them to store all sorts of rulers and gadgets. Well, I like cute stuff that can be used to store other stuff and I was tempted, but I already have places to store the things I like to keep within reach and all of that's working for me just fine. BUT, I didn't have one of these . . .
. . . until tonight. When I was grocery shopping at Safeway, they had a couple of these holding bags of onions in the produce section, and I found a couple more of a slightly different style--with a longer, narrower "bed" made of solid wood rather than the fence pickets--in the floral/seasonal display area. AND they were all on sale. So after considering both, I decided the picket fence look was more "me" and I figured it would fit better in my space, so I rearranged the onion display and made room in my shopping cart for my new "bike." My thought is that the bed of the bicycle might hold precuts like jelly rolls, etc. Space is limited in the Sweat Shop, though, so I'll have to give it a little thought and decide how best to utilize it, but I'm sure it can assume a decorative AND productive role in my life. I think I might need to paint the wooden pickets white--maybe a whitewash type of finish. I'll be sure to show you what I decide to do to it and what I end up using it for. Right now, Hubby and I have a bet about how long it will take our cat Spike to try to sit in it. I hope she waits until we're around to watch.