Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Riding the Rails

I needed an item to donate for an upcoming fundraiser event that a family friend is assisting with.  The church's youth group is raising funds for a Mission Trip to South Dakota and they are holding a dinner, as well as offering some Musical Entertainment and a silent auction.

I could have easily pulled something from my inventory for the summer Farmer's Market... something like a purse or a casserole carrier... but my mind kept wandering to the train fabric I had in the closet - Thomas the Train and some fun novelty print train fabric...

I also had in mind a big block style pattern - one that I have used a few times before... but couldn't find because I had re-organized all of my pattern books and magazines a few months ago.  I pulled my stack of magazines and searched - page by page - three times and finally gave up.

I remembered the basic dimensions so I drew up a quick sketch and started pulling some coordinating fabrics.

There was a lot going on with the flying geese!  

I started searching for border fabric and felt like it needed some solids to calm everything down.

What a difference that made!  Thank goodness!  Because I was pretty disappointed and discouraged because it was not all that I had hoped for... I even considered tossing the whole thing aside because it drove me NUTS!  

Once the borders did their magic and calmed it all down I sandwiched the quilt and was ready to use my handy-dandy new stippling template.  I love it!

As I pieced and quilted this quilt I considered some creative options for a photo shoot.  We have a train crossing just 1/4 mile down our road that I thought give a try.  With quilt and camera in hand I headed down the road... a few people staring at me as I carried the quilt. 

One idea I had, but could not make work very well was hanging it on the crossing pole.  The wind was blowing, I wasn't quite tall enough to get it draped just right and I could have used a few clothes pins to hold it in place.  But again, I had a good time trying some creative shots.

It is my hope that all in attendance of the fundraising dinner have fun in support of the youth.

When faced with a look that is not all that you had hoped for, what do you do?  
Do you have another tip or suggestion to "fix" or calm down the busy look?

I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and share your thoughts...

Keep Calm and Quilt On,


Melva Loves Scraps - home of the Quilters Through The Generations series

Linking with:
Movin' it Forward Monday at Em's Scrap Bag
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
To Do Tuesday at Stitch All The Things
Fiber Tuesday at Quilting Room with Mel
Linky Tuesday at Free-Motion by the River
Let's Make Baby Quilts at Michelle's Romantic Tangle


  1. What a fun quilt; it's perfect for a fundraiser for youth! I do love those solids in it as well. Great pictures!

  2. Are you kidding? Someone will snatch that up who knows a child who loves Thomas and trains! We are much too hard on ourselves. I have been pretty fortunate in my quilting, and when it does happen, I try to find something else to make it work, either quilting or an embelishment.

  3. Very cute Melva. It looks really great with the solids. I know some little boy will be thrilled to have it. And I love those pictures, especially the last one.
    (I have found out it is best to leave my sewing room alone. Every time I have tried to organize my stuff, I end up searching for days trying to find things.

  4. I think your instinct was right on. With the addition of the solids, the center comes into focus. What a cute quilt for your fundraiser. And those photos! I've done photo shoots outdoors in public places and yes I've gotten the curious looks. I still love doing it, even if sometimes a shot will not come together exactly like you wanted. I tried hanging a quilt off a low tree branch once. Never did get that photo to work out! Oh well. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

  5. Really cute quilt. Love the way you displayed it!!

  6. Lovely quilt - the borders worked a treat to focus the train train fabrics. The photo shoot location is great. We just don't have big wide open spaces where I live. I shall have to be a bit more adventurous and take my quilts on a day trip!
    I find borders often calm a quilt or help draw attention to particular fabrics. Even the choice of binding can affect the overall look of a quilt.

    1. Thank you Allison for your kind words. I agree that even the binding can affect the overall look, which is why I often audition borders and bindings at the same time. A day trip for a photo shoot sounds fun. Enjoy!

  7. That quilt is going to be well loved, Melva. I tend to reach for solids to tame things down and use prints and novelty prints as sparingly as I can, but that’s just me. I know that those trains are going to be a big hit with the right person.

  8. I like those big geese! They work well the square, creating nice balance

  9. What a wonderful quilt! Love the fabric and the style! Great photos!