Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Taking a Hatchet to my Scraps

"The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes


It's way past time to use up my remnants and scraps. I used the largest to make a simple four-patch called Hatchet that is often seen as a signature block. In fact, I used the block for my first guild name tag. My rule was that each fabric had to make between two and seven center squares cut 5.5" each with pairs of 3" cut squares for the triangle sides. Five inches is fairly wide for the scrap bag but I grabbed bits from previous projects that are less than a fat quarter and remnants from clothing construction. After marking the diagonal I sewed that line and cut off the extra.

The  blocks are sewn with two small squares in the corner of a larger square. The outer half of the small squares will be cut away to finish the design
Hatchet blocks sewn but not pressed

By the end of the week I had enough blocks for two tops which finished the widest pieces in the scrap bag. One of Fern Royce's scrap quilts reminded me of the ribbon border on my Strippy Nine Patch. A celebratory quilt of streamers seemed like the perfect plan.

Here's the original layout.

Hatchet blocks for the quilt as originally set on the design wall
Hatchet baby quilt 1
Designs can be tightened by moving the blocks. Extra blocks are so helpful I usually sew enough for a second quilt. {Baby quilts are great for this purpose.} The finished quilt has streamers of red, blue and light green replacing a cream streamer and some darker streamers.

Hatchet blocks form ribbons of color down a quilt
Hatchet 1 scrap quilt

The back of the quilt includes leftover blocks. These were duller blocks that were pulled from the front. They look well with this funny pink fabric.

The quilt back includes a row of extra hatchet blocks inserted in a pink plaid
Hatchet 1 baby quilt back

I used simple parallel quilting lines, one of my favorite ways to quilt. The binding is a yellowish fabric with green polka dots. That creamy yellow matches the plaid in the pink fabric.

Folded quilt shows detail of the front, back,,binding, and quilting design
Hatchet 1 baby quilt detail of quilting and binding

Quilt Specifics
Size: 45" x 45"
Design: Hatchet or Signature block
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton
Thread: Superior 50 wt grey cotton thread
Quilting: Parallel lines with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.625 yds


Still at home ourselves, Bill Bryson's book of the same name caught my eye. His premise was that every room in his Victorian Yorkshire parsonage could springboard to the history of domesticity along with the scientific inventions and etymology that define our current way of living. He sets the stage with the year his home was built, using it to discuss the Crystal Palace and the appointment of clergy in the Church of England.

Starting with the hall, which used to be the entire house, Bill discusses how each developed. The addition of fireplaces allowed floors to be built above the ground and promoted the idea of privacy. The kitchen explores gastronomy, nutrition, and the Spice Trade. The scullery leads to the fuse box which leads to a discussion of lighting - one of the points that interested me most. The refrigerator light is stronger than the total amount in most 18th century homes. Those pictures of families working a a table lit by one candle illuminate the utter darkness of night for most of history.

Of course, hygiene is discussed in the bathroom while sex, death and sleep inhabit the bedroom. The study reminds him of the mice, rats, bats, lice, bedbugs, and the many microbes that live on our bodies and in our homes. Why? Because that's the room where they catch most of their mice. Darwin, and the destruction of country homes, and the sale of parsonages by the church conclude the book in the attic where are the ephemera of past glories go to die.

This was an excellent reading choice for self-isolation or any other time.

Enjoy the day, Ann