Memory lane.

Picture this: It’s early 2008: I am a young mom going to community college, living life with this cutie pie:

I decided to pick up a hobby and naturally looked to quilting. My mom had been a big sewist and quilter when I was a kid so I had a general grasp of the idea at least. I remembered a log cabin quilt we had and decided that would be the project for me. I had some crazy ideas back in those days, like machine sewn or quilted quilts look store bought and it’s got to be sewn by hand to be “authentic.” Let’s all take a moment and chuckle at that one. Anyway, mom tried to talk me down off this ledge but I was not to dissuaded. She helped me pick out some fabrics I went home and washed them and cut a whole bunch of 1.5″ strips. I don’t recall if I was following a pattern but I know mom gave me the skinny on making a log cabin block.

This was before I ever even knew about progress pictures or Instagram or anything like that, so bear with me. I took pictures this year and we can look at those. So I got started. I marked a quarter inch sewing line with pencil, sewed my seam, trimmed, and pressed. I used a simple running stitch.

Again, the strips are 1.5″ so the blocks finish (pretty consistently) at 6.5″.

I made a total of eight blocks and started another before I decided to follow mom’s advice and give the sewing machine a whirl. That wasn’t really a dream come true either and it would be eight more years before I finished my first quilt – you can read that story here. Anyway, my dreams of a hand pieced, hand quilted, hand everything’d quilt for my bed were set aside along with this quilt. In 2016, I pulled out all my old quilt stuff but I didn’t even touch these blocks since they were hand quilted. I’ve thought about destashing them so many times over the years but kept them around until this year, my year of WIPs.

I dug out this project and decided to assess the best path to victory. I am far less averse to the idea of hand-piecing today but the real detractor here is the color scheme. Tastes change over time and this project just doesn’t reflect my style anymore. With 8 blocks finished it seemed like a great candidate for a mini quilt. I had a couple of ideas for places that a small wall hanging in these colors might work so that seemed like the way to go. I played with a few layout options:

Before settling on a simple 3×3 mini that would finish at about 18.5″ square:

I just needed to finish that one last block and we’d be golden. Once I did that, I hand stitched the whole thing together and voila! a mini quilt top!

I had this baby basted and sitting around for quite a while but this last week of the year is a motivating time so I finished it up over a couple of days.

I love how it came out. I really don’t remember anything about these fabrics – I know there’s at least one Kaffe Fasset and one Amy Butler print, but that’s it. They were all pulled together from yardage at a quilt shop in Boone, NC that isn’t in business anymore.

I hand quilted it in a really simple on point grid with size 8 pearle cotton in a lovely gold that I seem to use for everything. I used a solid fat quarter from stash for the backing. Please excuse the cat hair, Cosi loves everything I make.

I don’t have anything in stash that really felt right for this so I just used a couple of strips that were for the quilt for binding. Since the strips were only 1.5″ I decided to try single fold binding for the first time – I am a fan! It came out so crisp and flat, great for minis or pieces that won’t get a lot of wear.

If there were one thing about quilting that I’d tell past Cortney it would be that finished is better than perfect. Visions and plans don’t always work out and that’s ok. Sometimes you frog the project and sometimes you decide to just call at nine blocks and be done. I am really pleased that I kept this WIP and got this little mini out of it. It’s nice to have a little piece of the first quilt project I ever started to hang on the wall.


#yearofwips projects finished: 12 of 19


Happy making!

2 thoughts on “Memory lane.

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