The view from my sewing machine

The view from my sewing machine

Yes, that is the ocean in my view line. I love to sneak away from Iowa winter for a brief time each year. This year friend Carol is with me. We brought along our machines, folding machine tables, and many projects. You just never know for sure what you will want to work on. I also bring hand stitching as there is nothing better than doing it outside; seventy-four and a light breeze.

Do you recognize this sentence: A quick brown fox just jumped over my very lazy dog.

High school typing class, right?  I think I have it a little wrong as I do not see every letter of the alphabet. It was our warm-up activity each day in class. Sometimes I need a warm-up activity in my sewing room. This project makes for a good one. For some time now when I have had  Civil War fabric on the cutting board I try to remember to cut an eight inch square and put it into a container where I store them.


Years ago I saw this concept of marking the back of your cutting board. Use masking tape to mark where to place the eight inch squares. Use a Sharpie marker to mark the desired cutting lines. I numbered mine in the order I would be cutting them.


My Marking is for the Square In A Square block.  If you look close you can see that this technique cuts off the dog ears before you sew.


You can pair them up in sets of two fabrics for the traditional block.  Or you can use three fabrics for your blocks.  I guess you could have all four corners different if you wanted to.  I have chosen to go with three fabrics in each block.

Having come on my trip with the box of eight inch squares and the markings on the cutting board, this is my “quick brown fox…” warm up activity each morning.


This does give you a set of three blocks with a light, medium, and dark center each time.  I have played with laying them out on my bed and that is another fun activity until bed time.img_5884

There are multiple ways that  you could mark your cutting board.  I discovered this in the box so I must have tried that design also.  I think I have enough eight inch squares that I could play with both designs.


Carol brought along several small kits.  That is another great way to travel.  She even did a lot of cutting before we left home.  She has her first two completed, while I keep changing projects and have nothing completed.  But we are both having fun.  Plus we have discovered that we can sit on our balcony and do nothing and feel no guilt.  That makes this even better than a quilt retreat.