In September, DD and the Grandsons came to visit for two weeks – which was wonderful. It seems so much longer than five weeks since they left. After his experience at Easter time, Older Grandson wanted to sew! This time, Younger Grandson wanted to sew too – but the truth is, he just wanted to be allowed to play with the buttons and dials on my sewing machine!
Older Grandson decided that since he had made blocks from strips last time, this time he was going to make blocks from squares. He chose my container of 3” squares. There was no way that I was going to be left making a quilt entirely from 5” four-patch blocks (b-o-r-i-n-g), so I looked through a book which I later gave to DD (so I can’t tell you what it was called – WM found it at work and brought it home in case I was interested in it) and decided to make a block comprised of two four patches and two units containing half-square triangles. In the unknown book, the block is called “Road to California” but in my “Encyclopaedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns” by Barbara Brackman, the block with this name is a nine-patch block. I couldn't find the block we were making in the Brackman “encyclopaedia” but I eventually found it on EQ7 as “Road to Oklahoma”. The version we made has a light square in the corner where EQ7 has a dark square but, essentially, it is the same block.
OG quickly lost interest when he realised that more care had to be taken when choosing a light square and a dark square (as opposed to randomly selecting any strip) and aligning them carefully before sewing them together. He also realised that all his younger brother was doing was pushing the start/stop button and so that’s what he decided to do too! Therefore, I really can’t say this time that the blocks were made by either grandson. DD, too, lost interest because of the matching of points that has to take place – she’s a perfectionist and if it wasn't exactly right she got frustrated (I can live with a millimetre or two out!) So, in essence, I made the entire flimsy.
At first, I really didn't like it. The lights and darks weren't working as I thought they should. It just seemed too scrappy, too disordered; I like scrappy but need it to be controlled somehow -- usually by the pattern of lights and darks, and this just didn't seem to be coming together. I still don’t have a design wall so I have to use the floor to see what I'm making. Because the blocks were ten inches finished, I needed to have five and a half blocks across and six and a half blocks down to make the flimsy within the size requirements of our quilt group. I, therefore, could see no other way to set the blocks but “straight”; that is, every block (or half block) facing exactly the same way. If I’d had an even number of blocks both ways, there all kinds of permutations on EQ7 that I could have used. But it was not to be!
What is surprising is how quickly this came together; especially considering there 715 pieces in this quilt top. I really didn't want to work on it but had to keep moving the finished blocks and part-blocks every time I wanted to do something else (like play the piano or use the computer). So I bit the bullet and got to work on it. It took three days but I finally completed it last Thursday. So, here for your viewing pleasure, is my Road to Whoopi flimsy. (“Whoopi” is the nickname given by the locals to Woolgoolga, the town where DD, SIL and the grandsons live). Don’t look too closely then you won’t see all the places where the points don’t match exactly! ;-)
It’s not by favourite quilt by any means but, seen in this photograph, the lights and darks are working as they should and the extreme scrappiness is under control. I think I'll quilt it with a light thread through the diagonal light squares (going down from left to right) and with a darker thread through the diagonal dark squares (going the opposite way). But first, of course, I have to make a backing.
Hopefully, I'll be back sooner rather than later to show you either the finished quilt or some photos of our garden or of the grandsons on their recent visit.
In the meantime, may your stitching bring you joy.