I found myself in a bit of a quandary when Penny told us what she wanted us to make for her month of Busy Bees. To quote her: “The theme for April is crazy, busy, scrappy! ” Uhmmm…yeah. If you know my work, you know that I tend to be neither crazy (we’re talking sewing people, not personality!), nor busy (again sewing, not time). I do scrappy all the time. In fact I love scrappy….but together with crazy and busy? That I don’t do. I do nice orderly scrappy. 😉

Penny gave us this mosaic for inspiration:

photo courtesy of Sewtakeahike

I know, I know…they’re so pretty.  It shouldn’t strike terror into my heart!  lol.  But I am out of my realm when someone wants me to put together fabric this way.  It is so different from how I normally think about fabric.  I think that I have a little equation in my head for how I determine what fabric to pick…and I’ve gotten very comfortable with that.  So this block idea S – T – R – E – T – C – H – E – D me.

In the end, after putting it off and putting it off, I decided to do a little of me and a lot of Penny.  I can’t help it. I had to have some order!  So half-square triangles won the day.  But they did so in a way that I would not have done on my own without prompting.


And you know what?  I kind of love it.  I kind of hate it too, but I’m surprised at what fabrics make this style work…they are of course the fabrics that I would shy away from in my nice little Joel Dewberry/ Anna Maria Horner etc. loving world. These are fabrics put together with (moderately) crazy abandon!  And it’s really fun to see what crazy, busy, and scrappy can look like.

I didn’t use a brown bag method or anything like that because A) I’m too controlling and B) I wanted to evenly distribute color, light/dark throughout the block myself.  Hmmm….it’s really just all about A) I’m too controlling.  😉


Some of these are scraps that Penny sent us, but others are my own.  She wanted a bit of each of us in the block.  I think my design alone is a bit of myself….but I happily traded her ridiculously fabulous scraps for some of my own. 😉

I just find it so interesting what you can do when you make something for someone using a technique or fabric that you are not naturally drawn to…and how much you can love it.

I hope you enjoy the block Penny!

14 thoughts on “Stretching”

  1. It's very cool, and I love it!! It is hard to step outside of your comfort zone, though – but good practice. Try just putting scraps together into "made fabric" sometimes – it's very relaxing, and it makes neat little blocks! Plus it uses up scraps!!

  2. So, you spent your time being crazy & carefree & I have spent the last two evenings IRONING quilt blocks. This is the final sign of the apocalypse.

    Beautiful block!

  3. Am I a total weirdo for loving it when you write a post about struggling with your limitations? I guess I'm just relieved that I'm not the only one who struggles with seemingly innocuous tasks in the quilting world. And your block came out beautifully–it does seem a nice blend of your orderly style and crazy style 🙂

  4. First off, I ADORE Penny's inspiration mosaic. Second off, you did a great interpretation! My experiences with that kind of half square triangles did not leave me nearly as happy as your block does. She'll love it!

  5. You did very well. I like it. I'm more like you in leaning toward controlled scrappiness and I sweat when I have to break tradition. Especially when it's for someone else…

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