A lot of what I've been doing hasn't lent itself to photos or been especially blog-worthy, though. I can't imagine that anyone wants to hear details about me dithering over online purchases of batting, or my quest for the right fabric for new quilting frame leaders.
But I do have some results to share. My first braided rug is done! It's about 2 feet by 4 feet, consumed nine pairs of khaki pants (with very few scraps), and should be sturdy enough to survive years of shoes, melting slush, salt, mud, and washer and dryer sessions.
For strength and speed, I chose to machine stitch the braided strips together. To avoid thickened ends, I just machine stitched several rows close to the cut ends, instead of binding them. We'll see how those cut ends hold up. I can always trim and finish them a different way later. My sewing machine complained a bit about having to pierce umpteen layers of tightly woven cotton twill (especially at those joins), and I broke one needle.
I'm planning to make more of these, experimenting with color placement. Although I like the chenille rug a lot, these are less taxing to make and also more rugged (pardon the pun).
Now, back to quilts. After some mulling, I decided to pare down the scrap star quilt top to a more manageable size. Now it will fit a queen-size bed, with modest overhang. I'm debating whether to try basting it on my hand quilting frame---something I've never done before. The advantages are saving space, much easier access, and an overall more pleasant and ergonomic basting experience. Hmm.
The 14 blocks (two rows) I took off are now, somewhat rearranged, the basis for a second scrap quilt. I dug out the scrap box that has the leftovers from the original top and found two extra star blocks! Both have stars made of fabric that I like but decided was too dark for this project. But I'm going ahead and including one in this second top, to make a 3- by 5-block center. (The block at the lower left.)
I plan to string piece the multitude of scraps into a border, adding whatever else is in my stash of cut-up shirts to make a decent-sized top.