Planned Improv Block n.6

Planned Improv Block n.6
Planned Improv Block n.6

This is the last block before I put the quilt together. As with the others, I like the way it came out. I think I might like to consider making a whole quilt using Sarah’s technique, eg cutting much larger pieces, arranging them, calculating the background and then sewing the whole quilt together. I could possibly use this technique with the FOTY patches, though it might not be necessary.

2018 Donation Blocks

I started in on some new donation blocks for the guild.

I am still working through the dregs of my donation bin patches, so some of them are a little strange, but I am committed to using the fabrics I have cut before I cut more.

Not sure how many more I will make before the meeting, but I will try to make more.

Planned Improv Block n.2

I decided to start on a new Planned Improv (from the Sarah Goer class) block to work on in between the gifts and Christmas stuff I had to make. I put the first block on the design wall and started with the same idea.

Planned Improv block n.2 - 1st draft
Planned Improv block n.2 – 1st draft

My first iteration was ok.

As I worked on it, I looked at the balance of shape, size of blocks and color of red.

Some problems I am running into are:

  • not enough choices of squares. The solution is that I need to cut more squares in different sizes.
  • Impatience. I need to slow down and look at my piece and add squares until I get something good.
  • Running out of background options. I don’t mean I don’t have enough squares cut; i mean that I don’t have very much dark grey yardage. I don’t think I really want to buy more, but I also want some variety, so I may need to buy more.
Planned Improv block n.2 in process
Planned Improv block n.2 in process

I am sewing my final design together and I am pleased with it. The only thing that I need to worry about are partial seams. There are a lot of them in this block. I am not scared of partial seams and have a tutorial for those of you who haven’t done them, but they make me sigh. I just wasn’t thinking when I decided on the final layout. Oh well.

 

Even More Donation Blocks

You must be getting sick of my donation block craze. I really do want to add more blocks and quilt tops to my 2017 list, so I made 5 more blocks on Sunday.

I worked on them while I was piecing the last quarter of En Provence. The blocks seemed to fly out of my machine despite the fact that I was really struggling to find backgrounds.

I have been working through my  little bin of donation patches since I started on this binge. After 20 blocks, I have few backgrounds and a lot of fabrics that I am tired of using. Still, I was determined not to cut more backgrounds until I absolutely had to. I decided, after I made the Cal block (blue and yellow) that I needed to see if I had some charm packs.

The blue and yellow block as well as some of the others will be difficult to use with the standard blocks others make. There is some thing about using up as much as you can before you have to cut more background.

Eventually, I went to my tote of charm packs and found two of white fabric. I started cutting up one of them, so my next batch of donation blocks will be pretty standard.

All Donation Blocks All the Time

Although I had a lot of other projects to use as leaders and enders, I really made a lot of donation blocks throughout the weekend as well.

I have used a lot of 2.5″ squares this weekend and I am kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel. It is not a bad thing as I am using up pieces I might not normally use. I’ll have to cut some backgrounds soon, but I hope to work out some piecing so I can use some donation blocks from last year to make a new top.

Triple Star Blocks Finished

I had an unexpected day of sewing on Sunday. Mom and I were scheduled to visit her quilt show, but she was called on to act in her Presidential Duties at her church. I was sad not to see her, thought glad to avoid the 2+ hour each way drive. My long commute has prevented us from getting together regularly and that is hard. Mom and were able to catch up for a few minutes on the phone and that was nice.

I sewed instead. I sewed A LOT.

One of the projects on which I made progress was the Triple Star blocks. I have made all the blocks called for in the pattern. After taking Sarah’s class on Saturday, I have a different idea of the layout and may need to make more to get the right balance.

The pattern calls for a straight set – 4 down, 4 across. After Sarah’s class, and after thinking about the layout of the Stars #3 Donation quilt, I want to do something different, more interesting.

Triple Star Potential Layout
Triple Star Potential Layout

I did a quick layout with three quarters of the blocks, which resolved my uncertainty. I like the asymmetrical idea, though I realize that I may need a few more blocks for the upper left and lower right hand corners.

Even if this particular layout (definitely without the toes) will not be the final layout, I am on the right track. Using Sarah’s technique, I be able to cut exactly what I need to put it together.

Triple Stars Return

I was hung up on the Triple Star project because I needed to cut a few more pieces. I couldn’t seem to get to it. It seemed like a good thing to do over the weekend while I was home fighting off a cold. Wielding a rotary cutter isn’t always a good idea when taking cold medication, but in this case, all the cold relief was minor.

I got the pieces cut and was back in business making Triple Stars in between putting En Provence together.

I finished n.12, which had been in process for a few weeks. I was also able to finish a second.

I am finally making progress on this project again. Three more blocks and I can put the quilt together.

 

Another Triple Star

I really feel it keenly when I can’t sew, so I think I am posting every little bit of progress so I don’t seem like a slacker in my own mind.

Triple Star #11
Triple Star #11

This is the most recent star that I have made.

Due to some cutting errors I repurposed some of the pieces to other uses in the Triple Star. This means I have to cut more before I can make much more progress on the rest of the stars. I have one in progress and am sewing as much of it as I can, but I have to cut.

As much as the flippy corners method is a pain, I do like the look of the Friendship Star in the center.

Four and a half more blocks to go.

3 Triple Stars

In between working on putting together the En Provence quilt, I have been sewing Triple Star blocks together. I use the blocks as leaders and enders.

While I am concerned that using the blocks as leaders and enders means I am not as engaged with the quilt, I really have to have something in between the En Provence pieces to keep them in order. While I could make make more donation blocks, I want to make progress on other projects as well, so the Triple Star blocks are the leaders and enders.

Unlike Fresh Fruit, I have to pick a lot of colors for the blocks. I also have a lot more seams to sew, so I do pay attention.

Triple Stars Again

In between putting together En Provence, I made some more Triple Star blocks. I have about six done and have to cut some more pieces to make more. I have ten more to make. They are sewn together pretty quickly with all the pieces cut.

This pattern is from Scrap-Basket Beauties by Kim Brackett. Frances turned me on to this author. There is at least one other scrap quilt in this book I would consider making.

Triple Star Test Block

Triple Star Test block - half sewn
Triple Star Test block – half sewn

I made another cutting mistake on the Triple Star and decided it was time to make a test block. I laid out two blocks so I could see what I was working on and came up with some great blocks.

I fooled around with the colors until I was happy and began sewing.

I am really happy I made the test block. Even laying it out on the design wall would have been helpful. This block is not difficult, but it is confusing. Still, the effect is really great.

Triple Star - first block sewn
Triple Star – first block sewn

The block came out really well. I am not sure about that mustardy color and may limit it. I am hoping that it will enhance the other colors. Not sure sure yet.

Triple Star Progresses

I had a few minutes to sew on Friday night after work and I blew through about 30 pieces for the Triple Star quilt. Not tons, but some progress, which felt good.

Triple Star - August 2017
Triple Star – August 2017

I have to admit I was avoiding quilting on the art quilt. I had taken off the walking foot in order to finish the star donation quilt and just drifted over to piecing rather than be disciplined about quilting. I have to give myself a break. This is supposed to be fun and I have been driving myself.

I was pleased to do some piecing. I received the Chroma finally, so I could cut the rest of the large rectangles. Now I am in the process of sewing (using the flippy corners method) 2.5″ squares onto two sides of the rectangles to make a parallelogram. I need a lot of them so it is taking forever. I might sew a sample block just to ease the mindlessness. I have no excuse to be bored 1) because I can switch to other projects and 2) I just started!

Other Posts on the Triple Star:

Triple Star Progress – July 6, 2017
Triple Star – June 20, 2017