Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Kitchen Sink

It's a finish - my second and final (for this year) quilt from my dark neutral scraps. It was my goal to get this one done by the weekend, and I squeaked by, finishing it yesterday afternoon.

I deliberated (too long) on a name for this quilt, which is totally ridiculous since it's always been intended as a donation quilt. So here is "Kitchen Sink", a quilt of leftover bits and pieces from my browns, tans, grays and blacks.

As usual, without a quilt holder I pinned up the top part on my design wall and let the bottom fall wonkily. In real life, it measures a consistent 50x60".  While designing this quilt, I couldn't decide on which block or blocks I wanted to make, or what size. Finally, after listing several of my favorite blocks (that were simple - no Burgoyne Surrounded blocks here!), I divided them up into those that worked best with a 6" finished size (9-patch, rails, Friendship Stars, etc.) and those that worked best at 8" finished size (Double 4-patch, Puss in the Corner and the Windmills). And since 8 six-inch blocks is the same width as 6 eight-inch blocks, 48" became the width I'd use (before sashing).

Then I went through my scraps and matched up their sizes to the block components necessary. The largest pieces went into the Snowball blocks (6.5"), then I used my 4.5" pieces in the Puss in the Corner blocks, the double 4-patches, and on down the line. I tried to mix gray, black, brown and beige into every row.  Every couple rows or so got a 1.5" black sashing strip to prevent it all looking like mush.

I wanted to do custom quilting on each row, then came to my senses when I remembered that this is just a donation quilt. Unfortunately, I had the not-so-brilliant idea to practice my swirls, which are badly in need of practice. It took me three sessions (of an hour or two each) to quilt it. What was I thinking? Anyway, I learned that the faster I went with the swirls, the better they looked. Not that that's saying much. There are still boatloads of wobbles.

And I am SO over variegated thread. That is, I'm over buying it; I still have a couple spools-worth to use up. I used the variegated on the top and finished three partial spools of various gray threads on the back.

This is a picture of (most of) the back. I had one extra 9-patch and some other blocks from leftover half-square triangles, so I pieced those into the center column.

This side backing fabric is a piece I bought about 18 months ago on sale.  I adore it, both the print and the colors. It was always intended to be a backing for my scrappy dark neutrals, but I didn't buy enough.

Here's a close-up of the blocks pieced into the back with the Quilts for Kids label.

Where the yummy graphic fabric came up short, I inserted this linen-look cotton-poly blend fabric. About a year ago, when daughter Stacy and her family moved into their new house, she asked me to hem some curtains for her.  This was the what I cut off and saved. The texture really shows off the quilting.

So, because I used so many scraps and patterns on the front, leftover blocks and curtain cut-offs on the back, several partial spools of thread..... you probably can understand why I'm calling it Kitchen Sink.

Kitchen Sink was not only a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project (and I'm linking up to Scrappy Saturday), but also Goal #12 on my 4th Quarter Finish-along list, which you can see here. It was listed there as "Winter Patchwork".

This coming week is going to be interesting. On Tuesday I'm getting my "annual" (it seems) cortisone shot in my right shoulder. And then Thursday, well that's the big day - carpal tunnel surgery in both hands. Actually, I'm not expecting it to be bad. Yes, they knock you out, but it's an arthroscopic procedure done by making a half-inch incision at the wrist. There will be bandages, and I do have wrist braces if necessary. I hope to be sewing again (not pin basting) by the weekend. We'll see. In the meantime, my sewing goals prior to surgery are:

1.   Add outer border to OMG (One Monthly Goal) quilt top, then pin baste it. Maybe quilt and bind it if there's time.
2.   Make my block (and an extra one) for my Block-of-the-Month (BOM) class this month
3.   Make the 8 hourglass blocks for the Seeing Stars sew-along at Butterfly Threads Quilting.
4.   Make progress on the kitty quilt for my grand kittens, Carl and Xbox. They are about 5 months old now. Carl is gravely ill, and we are hoping that there is a cure. More tests this week.

My hope is to do a mid-week post with progress pictures.

And to close on a bright note, here are five Evening Sunset blocks that I made for the November Block Lotto. That link leads you to the introductory post and tutorial for these blocks. They're 6.5" (unfinished).


  1. Kitchen Sink is the perfect name for that quilt, Cathy! I love how it turned out! Hope all goes well with your carpal tunnel surgery, and you are back to normal (or maybe I should say "better than") normal quickly!

  2. I just love your kitchen sink quilt...and the backing fabric is great!!
    Prayers that your shots and surgeries go well and that you will find a cure for Carl soon...hugs, Julierose

  3. I wasn't sure how I would like all of the neutrals playing together in Kitchen Sink. It turned out SEW lovely!!

  4. Buddy thinks your mastery of neutrals is almost as exquisite as his own. He thinks gray, taupe, beige and black are the best colors. Hope your surgery goes well and you set a world record for recovery.

  5. It's a great quilt. I REALLY love the fabric back...lots.
    xx, Carol

  6. I love it!! Such a great idea to use up scraps, and the 6-8" or 8-6" idea is brilliant. Can I add one of your photos and a link back to this post in my latest orphan block series? Kitchen Sink is a primo example of a row quilt.

    Best of luck on your surgery :)

  7. Well done. That's a great row quilt and suitably gentle neutral and the graphic backing fabric is perfect. I find swirls difficult to do, as well. When I did them on a quilt for my BIL some of them looked like ET heads. Hoping the surgery goes well and solves your problem.

  8. Love your Kitchen Sink! (Both the quilt and the name!)
    Good luck with all the medical bits, and may all your healing be speedy!

  9. Love the name Kitchen Sink (oddly, one of our favourite restaurants has a dish on their menu called by the same name). Must say I am not in the same camp when it comes to variegated thread, at least for landscapes. I love it! Best of luck with both your shot and your surgeries. Can't imagine doing both hands at once!

  10. A perfect name for this wonderful quilt... great job!
    Hope your shot and surgery go well this week and you're good as new to get sewing again!

  11. Your Kitchen sink looks pretty snazzy. I don't see the wobbles and I'll bet the recipient won't care;) Good luck with the surgeries, wow both at once!

  12. You can call it Kitchen Sink but I am going to call it Old Spice. Because it does emanate that strong masculine sexy feeling. A girl can dream of cuddling with that one :-p
    It also reminds me of Stringing g in the Rain. You make such handsome quilts :-)
    I am sending you lots of love, hugs, warm wishes and healing vibes so that you are good as new soon and back to sewing with a vengeance :-) You go girl!!!


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