The other day I talked about making the two sections of section 2. After I did that it took me a few days to sew section 2 together and then sew that large piece to section 1.
I still need to make and add Section 3. I have barely any 4 patches left for the background, so I have to sew those blocks together first.
I am stupidly pleased with this section. Even more so because the feeling of having crossed a huge hurdle is even stronger now that I can see this section laid out. Of course, I may never be able to see the entire top as it is so large. I might have to move the dining room table and get a ladder to take future photos.
With two more seams, section 2 will be finished and attached to section 1 making one large section.
To get there, I have to sew two seams. Before that I finished all of the section two background blocks. As a bonus, I feel like I surpassed a major hurdle. The feeling of slogging through and never making progress was strong, but finishing this section made the light at the end of the tunnel visible.
It is so odd how I can feel like a project will never end, then suddenly, with no warning, I see the end coming.
The other day I talked about needing leaders and enders. I was working on another section of background for the Carpenter’s Wheel project. Each of those background blocks has about 64 pieces, though sometimes less when I replace a 4 patch with a 4″ square.
I focused and was able to complete 4 blocks. That is the middle part of the center section.
I have four more background blocks to complete the middle section. After the middle section I have approximately the equivalent of what I have already sewn to make again. It is a lot of little 2.5 inch squares.
The interesting part of this section is the ghost block. I got the idea in my mind that I should put a ghost Carpenter’s Wheel block in the exact center of the quilt. I hemmed and hawed and almost didn’t do it. However, I know myself well enough to know that if I didn’t see that idea to fruition or failure that it would haunt me. Every time I would look at the quilt, I would wish I made it.
So I sewed another Carpenter’s Wheel block.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Because the background is very scrappy – that is my goal – I have to make about twice as many pieces as I need. With the colored Carpenter’s Wheel blocks, this was ok, because I could use various bits and pieces in the other blocks. I only needed one of the Ghost Blocks, so I have a lot of parts leftover. I guess I am building up my Parts Department.
Also, I wanted to make sure that the Ghost block blended in, but could still be seen. I made one bad choice, but it isn’t fatal. Otherwise, I think the design doesn’t scream at you, but also blends in. I am pleased with it and pleased now that it is done.
This is big. Fortunately, I know and can accept the width. It doesn’t mean that it is small. It isn’t. Even this partial section is big. It is 80″ wide* as you see it. I will be 112″ wide when I sew the last four blocks to the top section.
This is a perfect example of me not making small quilts.
*Thus the wonky photo. I am not tall enough to take the photo, don’t have a large enough floor or design wall.
Hard on the heels of the Peacock was a deadline for the Carpenter’s Wheel. Since I had started thinking of the background for each block in terms of low volume prints, there was a lot of text fabric included.When the text Challenge was announced at my modern guild, I immediately thought of this piece. It wasn’t exactly made specifically for this challenge, but it fit the theme and the blocks were just hanging around, so Text challenge quilt it was.
That meant that I had to get some of it done before the big reveal, which was Saturday. I couldn’t be there due to #politicalwifery. Still, I had options for showing it.
I used some mini charms, which I bought in Oregon, to get the ball rolling, but picked up other text fabrics along the way as well. A few weeks ago, I spent some quality time with the Accuquilt and the 2.5 inch die cutting, what I hoped were, enough squares to make 3 background blocks.
I refused to compromise my vision, which started with the layouts I worked on in the spring of last year. I wanted some good texture int he background, so multiple squares, rather than big squares of fabric it was to be. I began using the 2.5 inch squares as leaders and enders as I finished the back for The Peacock. I made a stack of 4 patches, which later turned into 3 background squares.
I wanted to see how 4 inch squares would look mixed in. I chose the fabrics carefully and fussy cut in some cases. I thought they fit in and didn’t scream, so I used a couple in each block. This make the piecing go a little faster and add a little relief to the background.
I had to sew into the evening on Thursday in order to give it to my SIL on Friday to take to the meeting. I succeeded and still got to spend time with DH. I have gotten some very nice comments on Instagram and hope, even if unfinished, it is well received at guild.
I am trying out a new concept for the Carpenter’s Wheel blocks. It is not a completely new concept because the idea comes from the layouts I tried back in April when I was playing with layouts.
I still like the circle layout and am moving in that direction. As mentioned, I wouldn’t put the two blocks in the middle.
I was relieved and pleased to see, when I put the blocks up on the wall, that the foreground pieces were not overwhelmed by the background. The Carpenter’s Wheels stand out well. I do think I need to cut some larger pieces to mix in. It will take me a thousand years to sew so many 2.5″ squares together and I think larger squares would add interest. I’ll have to try it out and see, of course.
I hope to get these 6 sections sewn together so SIL can take the piece to the meeting. I have a lot of work to do to get there, so we will see.
I have been thinking about the Carpenter’s Wheel blocks lately. As you know, I made two more blocks recently in order to lay the blocks out in a circle effect.
I laid out the blocks on the floor (design wall is full) and the photo left shows the top of a layout. I am not sure about it-imagine adding 7 more blocks. It will make a very large quilt. I also don’t really want to fill the blank spaces with 2.5″ squares. It would make an interesting background, but would also make me crazy sewing. I could use larger squares or even different sized squares to add interest. The small size, however, makes the wording less prominent, however. I don’t want some giant word to end up in the middle of the quilt.
After taking this photo, I went back and looked at my other layouts. I like this one the best. The only thing I have to decide is whether to put the two blocks in those blank spaces or to make the circle bigger.
I am hoping that this is the last Carpenter’s Wheel block. My fingers are crossed because it would be nice to finish something AND I want to turn this in for the BAMQG challenge.
As I may have mentioned, I have an idea for the layout and I’d like to get to it. Of course, I have to get the Peacock off the design wall.
I started in on Carpenter’s Wheels again. I finished n.13 over the weekend in the frenzy of sewing I did to heal myself from the shopping marathon we did on Sunday*.
I was able to finish this one without much extra making of parts, but n.14 needed a few new Flying Geese and some low volume fabrics.
I was inspired to do so by Karen, the Challenges chair at BAMQG. Her last challenge as chair has to do with putting words on a quilt. The Carpenter’s Wheel blocks have text fabric included, so I am going to try to get the top done before February. I know I started this out as an experiment in low volume fabrics and it will still be that.
I want to do the round layout. I don’t want those two blocks in the middle, thus I needed two more blocks, which I am in the process of making. The new blocks won’t be unique layout like the others, but I think the layout of the entire quilt will be somewhat unique and I am excited about it.
* Shopping is terrible, but this trip wasn’t completely terrible. DH made me pancakes for breakfast. He and I were able to spend the day together. We also accomplished a lot of niggling little tasks that comprise the holiday season. It feels good to cross things off the list. As soon as I said I had had enough, we finished up and packed it in. No arguments from DH. Finally, I ended up with 18k steps. That is almost a Disneyland day. Who would have thought?
The last time we talked about the Carpenter’s Wheel blocks I was trying out layouts. One reason these blocks are not next on my list is that I still have not decided on a layout. My mind keeps floating back to the round-ish layout I talked about after being inspired by Scraps Inc.
I think I really want to set these blocks in kind of a round layout and sew a million 2.5″ squares together to make it work. I might have to make a few more blocks.
I haven’t taken a photo of the layout, because my design wall isn’t large enough (I know I keep saying that) so I will really need to figure out how to take a photo and figure out if I need more blocks.
In between other things going on here in the Artquiltmaker Workroom, I wrote the book review of Scraps Inc. As you may have read, I was lukewarm about the book in general, but everything can provide some inspiration.
One quilt (from the related blog post) that I didn’t think should be included in the book** provided inspiration for the Carpenter’s Wheel layout, however. I don’t think I have quite enough blocks to make this layout work. I can’t really tell since the design wall isn’t large enough to give me a good sense and the proportions of this layout are off. I might try it on the living room floor since I can see it from the upstairs hallway.
My SIL suggested a regular on-point 3-2-3 layout. I tried it. This might work without the bottom two blocks, but with those two blocks, it looks crowded and odd. If I do this layout, what will I do with the bottom two blocks?
I have more work to do on this piece, so stay tuned.
**Nota bene: There is nothing wrong with the quilt and it is very modern, but it uses very few scraps, thus I didn’t think it fit the definition implied by the book. YMMV.
Before I allowed FOTY 2015 to take over my design wall, I did a little bit of layout design with the Carpenter’s Wheel blocks. I don’t want the layout to be a straight block layout. I am willing to piece a bunch of low volume alternate blocks if I need to (rote sewing- YAY!). I only have 10 blocks, which adds to the design challenge.
I was first thinking of designs that were similar to a donation quilt that Kathleen and I made. It was all Kathleen’s idea, but I happily went along. Donation quilts, as I have said about 12 million times, are good for trying out new ideas.
I wanted to stretch myself with these blocks. I like the linear effect of the donation quilt and wondered what I could do with the Carpenter’s Wheel blocks that would give the same effect?
I tried out different linear type layouts. Of the above, #1, #6 and #7 are my favorites. I like the idea of giving these blocks some space and all of these layouts give the blocks space. That might not be the case with alternate blocks made up of low volume prints, however. I might be able to mitigate it by not including any patches that have a large concentration of black. We’ll see. I may need to do a test block.
#1 is a bit too symmetrical and I wonder if that layout is not stepping out of my comfort zone enough?
I made more progress on the Carpenter’s Wheel project over the weekend. I worked on this one in between working on the Cutting Corners donation top. I put in some newer fabrics and that makes me very happy. I am totally in love with that flower print I used for the center. It is by Studio E and that blue is fantastic! Especially since it is not turquoise. 😉
Now I have a dilemma. I now have 10 blocks. That is a very awkward number with which to lay out a quilt. I am going to look at the blocks and see if I can eek out two more unique layouts. If not, I may make two more of my favorites. I will also try to lay the blocks out in different ways to see if there is an interesting layout which will work for this piece.