Rainy Sundays are the best

I love everything about fall Sundays – the sound of the rain, the gray light, sipping tea, curling up on the couch reading.

I interspersed a few accomplishments among the cups of tea and books.

My kitchen shelves are stained and up on the wall.


I made the first fall crockpot stew.


And I helped my niece start her second ever quilt – the help consisting of supplying all the fabric, cutting tools, and sewing machine.  She wanted scrappy, bright, and triangles, and she got all three.


I’m not in love with all her color combination choices, but she is, and that’s the important thing.


She dedicated the whole day to the project, cutting all the triangles and starting in on sewing the rows together.  I already see a big improvement in her sewing accuracy over the first quilt she made.


The next generation of quilters

Scrappy Chains quilt

My niece, who lived in my basement with her family for several months this summer, has just moved out – along with the rest of her family and the dogs, but unfortunately leaving a cat behind – but before they left she told me that she wanted to make a quilt.  She hadn’t seen before, but she had been watching me and felt like giving it a try.
Scrappy Chains pattern

We found a fairly basic pattern in a quilting magazine I had – Scrappy Chains from the March/April 2015 volume of Quilting Quickly – and she spent the next two days cutting squares and rectangles from many pastels pulled from my stash and scrap bin.

Cutting for Scrappy Chains

Cutting for Scrappy Chains

She was really dedicated, which was impressive from a girl we have trouble shifting out of bed before afternoon.  When the cutting was done, the sorting and matching began.

Scrappy Chains squares

Sorting colors for Scrappy Chains

Next I gave her a quick lesson in sewing scant 1/4″ seams and pressing for nested seams, and she was off and running with the sewing machine.

Scrappy Chains - first block

Her first ever quilt block!

I went away the next weekend and by the time we got back, she had finished all her blocks. All 168!  And very shortly after that, the top was done.

Scrappy Chains top

It isn’t perfect – but then very few are.  There are some places where not everything matches completely, and some seams that had to be reinforced later.  But it is lively, and colorful, and she did it all herself.  Very impressive for someone who had never sewn before!

The next step was introducing her to the quirky locations that I have for pinning.  I’m sure many people manage this step without needing a push broom to remove maple leaves, but that is an integral part of the process around here.  Pinning is for sunny days at my house.Pinning Scrappy ChainsPinning Scrappy Chains

She wasn’t quite ready to quilt yet, so I took care of that step.  I went with curvy crisis-crossing lines, which is becoming one of my favorite overall quilting methods.

Quilting Scrappy Chains

The binding I pulled from a jelly roll my kids bought me – it made it so quick to have the strips already cut.  And the orange, yellow, pink, and blue fit in with all the many pastel colors she’d chosen.

imageScrappy Chains binding

I trim and quilt and added the binding today. I so love the Wonder clips.  I wasn’t sure I really needed them, but they are much smoother and less painful than the pins I used to use.  I sewed the binding on both sides rather than hand sewing it. I’m doing that more and more often as it seems sturdier on quilts that will be washed a lot.

Scrappy Chains binding

And now it is done!   Fresh out of the drier and ready to be given to her tomorrow.

Scrappy Chains quilt finished

(All my usual quilts holders were either asleep or AWOL, so please excuse the bad photo shoot.)