New Section of the Carpenter’s Wheel

Top Section of Carpenter's Wheel
Top Section of Carpenter’s Wheel

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.

Carpenter’s Wheel – First Piece

Carpenter's Wheel - first piece
Carpenter’s Wheel – first piece

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.

Carpenter's Wheel - Feb 2017
Carpenter’s Wheel – Feb 2017

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.

Carpenter's Wheel background block
Carpenter’s Wheel background block

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.

Carpenter’s Wheel Moving Forward

Carpenter's Wheel - Feb 2017
Carpenter’s Wheel – Feb 2017

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.

Carpenter’s Wheel Play

Carpenter's Wheel
Carpenter’s Wheel

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.

Carpenter's Wheel Layout #8
Carpenter’s Wheel Layout #8

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.

Getting closer.

Last Carpenter’s Wheel? 

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.

Everything Old is New Again

Carpenter's Wheel n.13
Carpenter’s Wheel n.13

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.

Carpenter's Wheel Layout #8
Carpenter’s Wheel Layout #8

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?

Revisiting Projects: Carpenter’s Wheels

Carpenter's Wheels
Carpenter’s Wheels

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.

Carpenter’s Wheel Layouts #2

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.

Carpenter's Wheel Layout #8
Carpenter’s Wheel Layout #8

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.

Carpenter's Wheel Layout #9
Carpenter’s Wheel Layout #9

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.

Carpenter’s Wheel Layouts #1

Lots of design work going on in my workroom.

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.

Color Group Donation Quilt
Color Group Donation Quilt

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?

Back to the design wall, I think.

Carpenter’s Wheel #10

Carpenter's Wheel #10
Carpenter’s Wheel #10

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.

Carpenter’s Wheel #8

Carpenter's Wheel #8
Carpenter’s Wheel #8

I finally finished another Carpenter’s Wheel block. As I have said there is a lot going on and focus is difficult. Looking back, I found that I posted #7 on March 1 even though March 1 seems like a long time ago from where I am sitting now.

I am pretty pleased with how it came out. Since I have so many blocks, I do think a quilt is in the offing. I have been thinking of layouts and was thinking of something asymmetrical after attending QuiltCon.

8 Carpenter's Wheels
8 Carpenter’s Wheels

However, I put them up on my design wall and really like them jammed together. There is something about them together that looks interesting.

Carpenter’s Wheel #7

Carpenter's Wheel #7
Carpenter’s Wheel #7

Yes, this is block #7 of the ‘test’ blocks. Apparently, I have a lot of testing in me and can’t stop.

I think that I am making a quilt. I can’t imagine piecing all of these pieces and then giving the blocks away or something. I guess I am making a quilt.

The patches for this particular block were on the wall for a long time. Some of it was that I was away from my machine for various travel and some of it was that I was sewing other things when I did have time. I fiddled with the layout quite a bit until I decided to go with what I had and began sewing.

There are colors, and similar colors that are near each other in this version. I decided to be ok with that. There are no hues that look so much alike as to muck up the design. In the grand scheme, I think it will be great.

I washed a bunch of low volume prints and am ready to lay out the next block.

Pink Carpenter’s Wheel

Pink Carpenter's Wheel (#5)
Pink Carpenter’s Wheel (#5)

I was finally able to finish this pink (the center is pink so I think of it as the Pink Carpenter’s Wheel) Carpenter’s Wheel block. While I was working on the Sew Together Bags, I didn’t have a quarter inch foot on the machine, so I did barely any quilt work piecing. Very sad as that means very little gets done.

But the Sew Together Bags are done for the moment and I got quite a lot done over the weekend.

This one has more HSTs. I put some in the center, outside the Sawtooth Star, to try and get the look of a ring going. Not sure if I succeeded, thought I do like the look and the opportunity for additional color more HSTs provides.

I am still interested in the low volume background and am adding more of my own fabrics to the mini-charm packs I bought in Corvallis.

I cut and laid out another Carpenter’s Wheel block. I didn’t do it because I wanted an even number. I did it because I had another idea for a variation.

Color Selection on the Carpenter’s Wheels

The Carpenter’s Wheel blocks were off visiting Kathleen in Reno when I started laying out the 5th version. Yes, I had another idea for a variation and decided to try it out. I was challenged by the center square. I got it in my head to use orange (forgetting that I had already made one with an orange center), thus had some fun trying out different oranges.

Carpenter's Wheel with orange
Carpenter’s Wheel with orange

I really thought that the tone-on-tone orange would be the perfect center for the 5th block. Somehow it didn’t work for me. I think the bold patterning of the other fabrics made the tone-on-tone look flat.

Carpenter's Wheel with batik orange
Carpenter’s Wheel with batik orange

I didn’t want a fabric that screamed because it is such a large piece compared to the other patches, so I tried this great orange batik. I thought it was probably the best of the lot, but there was something about it that didn’t quite work.

Carpenter's Wheel with tone-on-tone orange
Carpenter’s Wheel with salmon-y orange

I picked out a more salmon-y orange, thinking more pink might work better. The pattern was better, but the pattern wasn’t bold enough to compete with all that was going on in the block and didn’t work.

Carpenter's Wheel with stripey pink-orange fabric
Carpenter’s Wheel with stripey pink-orange fabric

I did think more pink was good, though, so I looked through my ‘oranges tending towards pink’ fabric to see if I could find anything. This was better. I almost went with it, but though it was a little light. You can see the block evolving as I move some of the other pieces or change them out as well.

Carpenter's Wheel with pink stitch
Carpenter’s Wheel with pink stitch

I finally decided on a pink stitch design. I think it competes well with the other fabrics, but doesn’t overwhelm them.

I am working on stitching it down. As you might recall, these blocks have a lot of pieces, so it takes time. I also laid out another block and will need to pick out another center. Stay tuned.