I took my own advice and rummaged around a bit in the old stash cupboards this past weekend. Oh my, look what was hiding away in a plastic project box labeled "Pretty Maids". At first I had no clue what "Pretty Maids" meant. I have glanced at this box a hundred times over the past few years, and really never properly considered what was in it.
I have a habit of pulling fabrics together for quilts I think I might like to make in the future, putting them away together in a box, and promptly forgetting all about them. Now that is a bad habit I would like to break.
So here were all these positively gorgeous blues and browns, just wasting away in the dark. I think the majority of the fabrics may have been designed by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Bros. Aren't they sublime?
What the heck is "Pretty Maids"? That was the name of the pattern for which I was considering using these fabrics. But I changed my mind after taking everything out of the box and inspecting it.
I am going to use this old Miss Rosie pattern called "Message in a Bottle". The scrappy lights will go back into the stash for another day, but those yummy blues and browns will all get to play. The fabrics are all older pieces from my stash, but there are a large number of a collection called Nottingham Village that was designed by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Bros.
My line of thinking is that I finished something old, so now I get to start something new. (Bye Bye Jellystone, Hello New Project). This is a concept I hope to put into effect this whole year. I cut out the fabric while Eva played at my feet, emptying out all the pantry shelves and kitchen drawers.
My fabric is all cut out, and I am drawing lines on some of the lighter squares, to make half square triangles.
I did make one modification to the pattern instructions. One of the block units is "Square in a Square". This is a block that has ALWAYS given me fits. There is a tool that my friend Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts (and host of the Blogger Girls BOM) invented that makes this problematic block easy peasy summer breezy.
The tool is "Fit to be Square". You make the block unit larger than you need it to be, and then use the ruler to trim it down to the perfect size. Similar concept to her "Fit to be Geese" ruler. See how those digaonal lines are lining up exactly with my center square? I trim the top, turn the block and trim each of the four sides accordingly.
My thought is that I would vastly prefer to spend a few more minutes trimming down an over sized block than to wrestle with a mishapen one, trying to make it line up and fit with the other blocks in the quilt top.
The modification I made to the pattern was to cut the block units according to the chart that came with the ruler. For a finished 6 inch block, you cut the center square 4 3/4" and cut two squares 4 1/2" (cut once diagonally) to form the four triangle sides.
As are all Monique's tools, this one is a winner, and I highly recommend it. Monique did give me this ruler, but I'd have bought it anyway!!