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I just don’t have enough projects going simultaneously (yeah, right!), so I decided to do some playing around. With ideas, and of course with fabric. Because that’s what quilters do, right? So my challenge to myself was to pick out 5-6 fabrics in coffee colors (but not coffee-themed; no beans or coffee cups allowed) and make a variety of different blocks with them. The ultimate purpose behind them is a secret, but I’ll share the blocks themselves.  🙂

My first attempt was successful in one way, not in others:

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It’s supposed to be a coffee mug with two-tone glaze, like I remember seeing a long time ago. My husband asked why I had pieced a root beer mug; my neighbor saw it sideways and said she liked the handbag. Hmm. Well, as a block it did work, but maybe it isn’t quite what I was going for. Let’s try a more basic block:

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Friendship star. I kind of like this one. And one of the cool things is it can be slightly rearranged to make:

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Shoofly. Hmm, yeah, it’s okay. The concept of rearranging squares within a block is more fun to me than actually looking at it. Maybe that’s why I loved playing with Legos when I was young, but then didn’t know what to do with the built thing once I’d finished? Anyway, I wanted to try something simple or traditional, but with a bit more interest. I thought of a block I’d made a lot of more than a year ago for the Hurricane Sandy quilts project:

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Yay! This D4P (disappearing four patch) looks wonderful! When I made all those D4P blocks before, each block was made from just two fabrics. Choosing four fabrics this time makes it look gorgeous. I think this one is the winner. 

But then I ran into a stumper: what was I going to do while my sewing student quilted her tote? I only have one machine set up, and she was going to be using it pretty constantly during that session. Not wanting to just sit there and watch her, I decided to try a different kind of challenge: piece a block by hand. I haven’t pieced blocks by hand in about 20 years, but I was pretty sure I’d do a better job now than I had back then, simply because I have more experience sewing now and I know better what NOT to do. So, this is still unfinished but you get the idea:

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The top two are sewn together; the bottom right isn’t even ironed yet, let alone pieced to the one next to it. But I think I did a good job, considering all those set-in seams. While not as “wow” as the D4P, I kind of like this one. I’ll finish assembling it and add it to the pile.

Eventually, if I keep making these kinds of blocks (I still have some of the fabric left), I may make a sampler wall hanging or other smallish quilted project. The blocks were not made to be the same size, so I’ll have to figure out how to put them together. Or I’ll just have a lot of pot holders ready for gifts.  🙂

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