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WIP = Work in Progress

Happy Wednesday (and, yeah, that other thing, too, if you’re into it.)

I encountered this very regal goose at Leslie Groves Park the other day and thought I should share the magnificence.  (We won’t mention the fact that its call sounded like the whiniest baby imaginable:  WAAAHHH)

We could also probably talk a little quilting while we’re here.  Specifically, this:

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My baker’s rack and a couple of binder clips:  essential photographic gear.

If you recall, this quilt top is now in four pieces for quilt-as-you-go purposes.  In preparation for quilting it, I set about making a scrappy backing from the leftover fabric from the top.

Like most things, it’s easier said than done, but this is what I’ve got for that section:

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I started the process by googling–there must be a tutorial someplace on how to do this, right?  Well, there may be, but I didn’t find it.  Lots of quilters do things like inserting a finished quilt block into a plain quilt back, but I didn’t really find anything on making a totally scrappy back.  So I spent about three days–and nights, as I tend to dream about problems I’m working on–thinking about how to turn a pile of scraps into a quilt back.  My goal was to use up as much of that fabric as possible without using a quilt pattern or spending a huge amount of time on it.

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The method I came up with was to cut my pieces into squares and rectangles as efficiently as possible.  All the resulting strings were sorted into piles by length and each pile was sewn together, then trimmed.  That gave me larger string blocks to work with; I laid out the section of quilt top, then moved around my string blocks and larger pieces of fabric until it was completely covered.  Then I sewed the whole mess together.

Here’s the front of the second section I worked on:

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And the pieced back:

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This was the perfect opportunity to use that Sylvester and Tweety fabric!  I got it in a huge Freecycle box of fabric several years ago and have been saving it for just the right project; I only had that one strip and the design is huge, so it wasn’t the easiest scrap to use.

So, verdict?  This was really fun to do and I love how the backs turned out!  And LOTS of scraps found a home–almost all the fabrics you see here were completely (or almost completely) used up!  I only made two of the four backing sections I’ll need for this quilt, and I’m actually a little concerned that the blocks I have left won’t be enough to make the other two, so I picked up another fat quarter today while I was out with my mother.

Do you ever start a project for reasons other than “I love this and can’t wait to make it”?  Then your feelings about it change as you go along?  This quilt wasn’t one of those “true love” sorts of projects for me; I started it as an experiment to help me learn more about combining colors and fabrics, and as a way to use up a bunch of scraps.  The farther I get with it, though, the more I like it; I suspect it’s going to be the “good friend that became THE ONE” of quilt projects.  How appropriate for February 14th.  😉

In other exciting news, we were overjoyed to welcome this new addition to our family:

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Thus ending almost three weeks of what my partner and I are calling The Dishwasher Saga.  I won’t go through the whole thing, but it involved (literal) fire and flood, two dishwashers, four installers, innumerable phone calls, a few tweets, and me stomping out of a large department store while swearing to TAKE MY BUSINESS ELSEWHERE.  The saga finally ended last night when I filled this with dirty dishes and ran it.  Then my honey and I found ourselves hanging around the kitchen, half expecting the thing to blow up or something.  It seemed impossible that it should just work without any drama, but so far so good.  [crossing fingers and toes]

I leave you with a picture taken at the viewpoint outside Ellensburg on our way to the Seattle Bike Swap.  Spectacular weather that day, and I was able to get this nice shot of the Kittitas Valley.  (Unfortunately, the weather for the rest of the weekend was, well, normal for Seattle in February, but we still had fun and unloaded a bit of our bike stuff stash.)

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I hope all is well with you and all your projects are well-behaved and free of drama.  Unless that’s what you’re into.  I don’t judge.