21 October 2021


My mother-in-law had to buy a new sewing machine last year during the height of the pandemic. Like me, before I had to buy a new domestic, she'd been using a 30-year-old machine, but only for mending and denim rag quilts. Like me the first time I get any new sewing or quilting machine, she was hesitant to test-drive her new Brother. Both of us longed to be able to spend time together, and not just to visit after such a long absence. She was hoping I could help her become more acquainted with her new machine, which is a pretty decent upgrade from my now three- or four-year-old Brother.

We recently spent a week together doing almost nothing but staying home (although Lizard and I did walk and ride in the neighborhood every day) and enjoying the peace and quiet that sometimes seems fleeting at my house now that I'm working from home. It was my first non-medical time off in nearly two years (except for a similar visit back in May that turned out to be funeral planning and attending, rather than any kind of relaxation). I had no idea how much I needed a break from work and medical appointments. Now I'm excited for the next time I get to take some time off and do nothing. Who knew there is life outside of being a weekend warrior after a tough family diagnosis?!?

First up was showing Lizard's mom how to thread the machine and wind bobbins. I've been telling her for a year now I would teach her to quilt. A walking foot came with her machine! I have not purchased one for mine yet. But I bought a longarm right around the same time as Lizard's Parkinson's diagnosis, hoping quilting might be good therapy for him, as well as a super enjoyable pastime for me. So I can't give walking foot lessons yet. I do still FMQ on my Brother once in a while, but I'm trying to do most of my quilting on the longarm these days so I can gain proficiency.

My mother-in-law convinced us to visit a quilt shop in her home town, and boy, was that dangerous! But not because of any germs! It had been so long since I'd been able to see so much fabric in one place. My budget was in peril for at least half an hour! I ended up buying two charm packs so I could show my mother-in-law disappearing four-patch and disappearing nine-patch piecing as a beginner project.

Now I'm going to have to keep an eye out for a good charm pack (or layer cake...) sale with fabric she might enjoy. I think she'll eventually try the method with denim because she seemed fascinated by all the many options. I think she will have a lot of fun if I can find just the right cotton prints.

Initially, I thought this Snow What Fun charm pack might become the back for a WIP at my house. Once I started playing with blocks, my mother-in-law decided they would become the perfect baby quilt for her neighbor's newborn premie twins. Initially, my mother-in-law thought perhaps she might be able to make a pair of quilts for the babies once I finished piecing these blocks. But then she decided she'd rather have me finish two giftable baby quilts for her while she learns the basics on her machine. Now I just have to figure out what to make for the other twin.

I had to add some of my own blue snowflake stash at home to make the different-sized blocks fit together and to make the quilt top big enough. I ordered a yard of the cute dark blue penguin and polar bear print for the back, and it finally arrived yesterday. So I hope to have this half of the twin project finished next week!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Great idea for getting going on quilting--charm packs and disappearing 9 patches!!!

  2. Can't wait to see it finished. Have a nice Sunday!

  3. You found some great charm packs. They really worked well for the disappearing 9 and 4 patches.

  4. sounds like you had a wonderful time and a much needed relaxation!! Glad you could refresh! the blocks you all made are wonderful!


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