Finding my sew-jo during lockdown

My planned 8 x 10 block layout for RSC21

Well! We’re not in our first or even our second lockdown here in the UK. Nope! We are settling into our third. I don’t know why this one has hit me hard. Perhaps the announcement last Monday, 4th January, came just a bit too soon after all the emotional re-adjusting we went through in the run up to Christmas? Plans to see family and friends petered away to a quiet, stay in your household, affair.

Whatever the reason my sew-jo disappeared. It took me ’til the weekend to uncover Julie the Juki ready to power through some patchwork piecing. During the week I did visit my sewing room a few times and fiddled about sorting pink strips, pressing them and cutting foundation papers to size (or what in my fuddled state I thought was ‘to size’).

Halfway through the first string block the bobbin thread ran out…. Then nearing completion of the block it suddenly dawned on me that the foundation paper was 8″ square. My plan was to have 8″ finished blocks! *Groan*! The papers should have been cut with a seam allowance, making them 8ยฝ” square. Rookie mistake! After a quick look at the scruffy, untrimmed edges of the block I felt the fabric strips were long enough and the seams stitched far enough beyond the paper that I would be able to square the block to 8ยฝ inches. Thankfully that worked. For the remaining seven blocks I made sure to extend the strips and the seams well beyond the edge of the foundation papers and trimmed them all to the correct size ๐Ÿ™‚ So glad I only cut the eight paper squares needed for this months Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks and didn’t get carried away cutting loads of papers, the wrong size, for future use.

These eight blocks will form one row of my RSC21 quilt. Thought I’d leave my pink slippers peaking in the photo!

The lockdown no-sew-jo has been broken, all be it a rather shaky break-through. Just as well I chose a forgiving block – no accurate cutting or seam matching required – whew!

Now I’m attempting to re-engage my brain cells by writing and testing a new pattern. It involves hearts… Will it be ready for this years Valentines Day or 14th Feb 2022? ๐Ÿ˜€

If your sew-jo has been missing I hope you re-discover it very soon ๐Ÿ™‚

Linking with Cynthia for Oh! Scrap (she’s making pink blocks for several rainbow scrap quilts) and Judy for Design Wall Monday (she is making Drunkard’s Path blocks).



13 thoughts on “Finding my sew-jo during lockdown

  1. I am impressed and ashamed. I am impressed that you not only have a plan but that it is just perfect for the RSC. I am ashamed because my day job is a planner and I should have thought of it. Insert face-palm emoji here. And finally, Allison, do we have your permission to steal your brilliant idea? I am looking forward to the blocks and how your plan comes together ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Preeti it would be a honour for me to know you are using my design plan for the RSC ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll be interested to see how your scraps and eye for colour will change and develop it.

  2. COVID brain is real ๐Ÿ™‚ It is hard to concentrate sometimes. I’ve never done string blocks but yours sure are looking good. I live in California and it seems we will never get off lockdown. Currently 1 in 8 people in my county have COVID. ๐Ÿ™

    • Wow! 1 in 8 that’s terrible. Our national average is 1 in 50 – the new variant is so contagious. Thankfully the vaccine programme is being rolled out – our parents and many elderly friends are due the first dose this week.
      It certainly can be very unsettling and play on the mind can’t it? My husband is working regular hours from home and that’s giving us a routine and a rhythm to the week which definitely helps.
      It is hard to focus on anything though. I’m doing tonnes of Sudoko puzzles – not very productive at all but when I’m doing those my thoughts don’t wander!
      Stay safe and stay hopeful – it’s a long tunnel but there is light at the end ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Your rainbow scraps in pink are delightful. Your challenge quilt will be very pretty.
    My mojo is in nearly the same place as yours just business us the cause.
    I am sad for your lockdown. I don’t know how business and the economy survive.

    • I’m sorry you are having to deal with concerns over a business as well as with the pandemic. I hope that you can keep it together during the restrictions and come through ready for a strong start when normal life resumes. I know many people are suffering terrible financial difficulties at present but many who have been able to maintain their income are sitting on cash waiting for retail and leisure activities to resume. There will be a bit of a spending boom at some point ๐Ÿ™‚
      In the meantime a bit of sewing and creativity is good for our wellbeing. I hope you can relax with some stitching and give your mind a rest ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Great plan for your rainbow scrap challenge. It will turn out to be a pretty quilt. Sorry you are covid quarantinedโ€”โ€”we all are everywhere. So strange. My sister, in a nursing home, will be getting the vaccine this week. Thanks for linking with my blog for Design Wall Monday. I like to see your quilting progress. Hugs, Judy

  5. Great idea with the rainbow scraps, using a light stripe in the middle and corners. It will be fun to see it progress. Thanks for linking up with Design Wall Monday linkup. Judy

  6. My Sew jo got a bit lost too! Here in Canada, and in particular my small town, has had a very difficult time. A good friend had it much worse and thru supporting her, it supported me. We started meeting on messenger to sew and chat. It really helped both of us get back in the groove to sew!
    String blocks are some of my favorites!! I don’t always use foundations to piece tho, I just steam press frequently and then trim up! Happy stitching and stay safe!

    • Hi! Deborah I’m sorry your community has been through tough times. It’s good for us all to reach out to others in times like this isn’t it? I’ve found the ‘stay at home’ message has made me a bit of a hermit and too insular in my thinking. I haven’t tried sewing on line with friends, however our Church has managed to move on line so I get to see friends at regular small group meetings.


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