Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

WIP Wednesday – Long Time Coming


IMG_1681If the pile of trimmings on my cutting board are any indication, Herbert and I have been making much needed progress on my WIP list. Yes, it has been since January that I wrote a WIP Wednesday post and yes, I did spend most of February doing nothing. Well, not nothing, but certainly very little sewing. I tried to get things going with a rather easy sort of project. It was meant to be a quick finish so that I could get back into sewing after having struggled a bit with more precise piecing for my version of Empty Bobbin’s “Seeing Squares.” In my mind I wanted something like Amanda Blake Soule’s beach blanket from “Handmade Home,” but I didn’t have the yardage necessary for something exactly like it. Time to improvise, yes?

Famous last words.


I ended up with something like this. If you read the “Design Friday” post on this you’ll remember how I ended up here and where I thought I’d be headed. Simple borders on the top and bottom. Simple. Except it wasn’t. I had wings. The seams were straight on the inside and every single one of my attempts to “fix” it without taking it apart only made things worse. The damn problem kept reoccurring. Tears, dear reader, lots of tears. My brave husband even tried to help me sort it out.

House and Country” broke me. I wanted to ship it out to someone’s house in the country and bury it in the pasture. I put it away for a day at which point I decided that the issue was something my rotary cutter could fix (and it would be faster than the seam ripper). Break me? I’ll break you down instead “simple” quilt.

I cut the fabric up into the largest squares I could get from each portion of the quilt and re-pieced. Only I was still having difficulties with finished block sizes. My cutting? My sewing? Both? After having my far more talented mother double-check my block sizes we determined that it was more than likely the seam allowances. More seam ripping. More sewing and piecing. New sewing machine. A living room floor layout to see what the next step would be. More fabric.


New iron. The nicely pressed big blocks are hanging up on my design wall now waiting for the new fabric and more piecing so that I can finish the top of this “easy” quilt. Dear reader, never declare a project to be “easy” before beginning. Bad idea.

IMG_1629Sunbonnet Sue still sits patiently on the back of the glider in my studio waiting for the day that I feel like finishing her. On the other hand, at least the binding is most of the way finished. I just need to finish the hand stitching. I predict she’ll be finished in time for Yule this year.

IMG_1684If you remember this slightly cryptic post, then you’ve seen at least a portion of this quilt. I’m using Art Gallery Blenders and Kona solids in my rainbow-tastic version of Empty Bobbin’s “Seeing Squares.” So far. So good, but I still have a long way to go.

IMG_1632This pile of strips is being pieced using Rayna Gillman’s book “Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts.” I’ve been using the leftovers from the Batik Squares quilt I gave to my mom plus another fat quarter I picked up at JoAnns a few weeks ago.

IMG_1690I’m taking the strips, sewing them together, and then cutting and piecing them together in what will one day be my very own Batik Squares quilt. I’m trying to decide if I will stick to the same form as the last Batik Squares I made, or if I will follow Gillman’s directions in the book more closely.

Quick Finishes (or the “finish it already!!” group):


  • Shattered – needs quilting and binding
  • fleece quilt (pictured here) – need to finish sewing nine patch blocks, need to finish sewing together rows and then needs some sort of binding to help keep it square-ish – but mostly waiting on inspiration.
  • The beach blanket from “Handmade Home” by Amanda Blake Soule – waiting on fabric to finish the top

In Progress:

The Great Big Wish/To Do List:


From “Sewing in No Time” by Emma Hardy:

  • fireplace screen
  • drawstring toy bags
  • fabric covered storage box
  • floor pillows
  • floral pillow with ties

From “Quilt Revival” by Nancy Mahoney:

  • 30′s Shadow Star

From “Oliver+S Little Things to Sew by Liesl Gibson:

  • tutu (x2)
  • reversible bucket hat (x3)

From Oliver+S:

From “Little Stitches” by Aneela Hoey:

  • Empire State Building Needle Case
  • Rain, Rain Go Away Hanging Hoop

From “Liberty Book of Home Sewing” by Liberty of London:

  • Sugar Bag Doorstop
  • Toiletry Bag
  • Bean Bag
  • Keepsake Board
  • Lampshade

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedI haven’t done this in a loooong time, but today I’m linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced!

14 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday – Long Time Coming

  1. Splendid, simply splendid! Wonderful progress. Keep going the rewards are worth it. Send me Sunbonnet Sue. I would me delighted to finish her.

    • :0) I just need to talk the husband into keeping the big overhead light on when we watch TV and I should be able to get her finished. I’m just…distracted by far more interesting projects right now. Poor Sunbonnet Sue!

  2. as I pluck away on my sewing machine I am wondering if there are a.- better machines and b. better irons. I think mine does not get as hot as I would like it to be.
    I am playing with small things that can be finished in my “spare” time. Who knows I might just have to step up my game.
    I love seeing all your projects.

    • Well, there are probably better machines, thought that’s not always the case and I think it’s a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to picking out a new machine. For me, IDT was pretty much a non-negotiable. I don’t like the external (and far more bulky) walking foot and I don’t like the way companies like Janome try to get around that. I think their “Accu Feed” feet are just as bulky and hard to see around. My other non-negotiable was a free arm which ruled out the one Janome that I could afford (the 6600). I think Babylock has an IDF that’s very similar to the IDT on the Pfaff.

      The best bet is to find a dealer that sells a wide variety of brands and then trying them out with a project or two of yours. Unfortunately, around here that meant going to the one dealer I won’t do business with (and even then I don’t think they have everything). Sometimes, if you don’t mind your machine too terribly much, then it’s best to just stick with what you have…or at least that’s what I’ve decided after buying my new machine.

      As for irons…I love, love, love my Black & Decker Digital Advantage. I’ve had it since Monday and I still love it today. That’s obviously not very long, but so far, so good. And yes, an iron that gets hotter really is helpful when you’re sewing. :0)

  3. You’ve got a lot going on! When I look at your to-do list I don’t feel nearly as overwhelmed by mine!

  4. I found you!

  5. I typed up my want-to-make and incomplete lists a while ago. They were just as long as yours. You are not alone!