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Seaching for the Perfect Summer Craft

Summer requires a special sort of craft project. Something portable. Something that doesn't cover me with tons of hot, heavy fabric or yarn. Something that doesn't require electricity. The sort of project I can work on while watching the kids play in the backyard or toss in the car to take along on a road trip. Finding the perfect summer project is always a bit of an ordeal. This year it especially was for some reason. Maybe because the nice weather has been so fleeting. Maybe because I didn't want to invest a lot in materials- I wanted to use supplies I already had on hand.

I thought about crocheting or knitting- small projects. Socks. Toys. A lightweight scarf. Small squares to turn into a funky afghan. Nothing was really exciting me. And all of them would have required buying yarn since my yarn stash is at an all-time low.

Maybe embroidery? I looked at patterns- here, here and here. I even bought a little pre-printed kit for a table runner to test the waters.
It's 1/4 of the way done and I can only get excited about the quilting I'm going to inflict upon it when the embroidery is finally done.

So, I went back to my current obsession- quilting. But, hauling the sewing machine out to the backyard is not really practical. I thought about hand quilting. No, too hot to sit under an entire quilt. And, if it's anything other than a baby quilt, it's really not very portable. I thought about hand piecing. I couldn't really get excited about hand piecing something that would look just the same as if it was machine pieced. So, what about all those trendy hexagons that are just not truly possible with a machine? I hate to say it, but I just wasn't feeling the hexagon love. But, then I stumbled on this blog post. Paper-pieced diamonds! I could not get that final quilt out of my mind. White stars, colorful background. An easy, portable, electricity-free project. I went back and forth- yes and no. Finally, yesterday, I printed out my templates, put together a starting bag of scraps and committed to this as my official Summer '11 project.
Paper Pieced Star Quilt- the very beginning
I was originally thinking all white stars on a all blue scraps background. Now, I'm thinking white, yellow and orange stars on a blue background would be much more my style. No definite goal- I'll just keep going until I'm ready to be done with it, whether that's at the end of this summer or at the end of three summers. Wall-hanging, baby blanket, queen sized quilt, whatever. One block down- many, many, many more to go.


Sarah Camilla said…
Beautiful and perfect for you!
Melynna said…
What a good idea! Can you pass along the pattern and recommend a good paper piecing tutorial? I've never done it, but something to take to the park sounds awesome.
Sounds fantastic. And I'm going to point out that it is a hexagon. :) So you did get on board the hexagon train after all. I can't wait to see the finished project, whenever that is.

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