En Provence Part 4

I went to Craft Night with dark blues and text fabrics in hand. The event was at SIL’s and she has the Peaky & Spike die. I planned to cut up the Peaky and Spikes I needed for the next step in the En Provence quilt.

Peaky & Spikes for En Provence
Peaky & Spikes for En Provence

I accomplished my goal. These are supposed to be purple, but I am not using purple in this quilt. I find purple to be a depressing color when I use a lot of it in a quilt, so I tend to shy away from it.I don’t hate it, I just have other favorites. Since I used blues in the recent 4patches, I am using a dark blue to go with those pieces

I had to dig through a lot of my fabric to find these dark blues. I used up most of the my dark blues on the Stars for San Bruno quilts. I don’t use dark blue that much, but I am finding that it comes in handy periodically. Not all of these blues are super dark. They are, however, different and darker than the blues used in the four patches.

I have started to sew the Peakys to the Spikes, but haven’t gotten very far. Small accomplishments.

En Provence Clue 3

DONE!

I know I am crowing about the tiniest of progress, but I have to take finishes, even semi-finishes, where I can get them.

En Provence Four Patches
En Provence Four Patches

I finished Clue 3, which was a surprise, because I thought I would have to cut more 2″ squares to finish more four patches. I thought I had about 40 more to make. They were done and I didn’t figure it out until Sunday when I counted all the 4 patches up and came up with 171. That means I have 3 extra.

I am pleased, but I know the joy will be short-lived since I have to make more Peaky and Spikes next similar to the ones I made before.

Sewing a Gazillion Squares

Carpenter's Wheel - Section 1 & 2 sewn together
Carpenter’s Wheel – Section 1 & 2 sewn together

I had such a nice weekend. I was able to, essentially, spend two days sewing after really missing it during all of my #politicalwifery over the past few weeks. As I mentioned, I had to cut a lot. I just didn’t have enough variety of text squares to make much progress on the Carpenter’s Wheel. I see to sew this piece in fits and starts.

After sewing the cut squares together into 4 patches, I began to assemble the blocks. It takes 64-2.5′ squares to make a block. As you have seen in other posts, I do put a larger square in to the blocks to add interest, so I don’t always have to sew 64 squares together. Still 60 squares or 56 squares, because I usually don’t sew more than 2 large squares into one block, is a lot.

Carpenter's Wheel -almost last row, section 2
Carpenter’s Wheel -almost last row, section 2
Carpenter's Wheel -almost last row, section 3 - in process
Carpenter’s Wheel -almost last row, section 3 – in process

The section above will fit on to the bottom of the two sections I already sewed together, shown above.

I was able to finish one whole section and make a good start on the last section, shown right. I really enjoy making progress on this quilt. I only have about 10 seams to have these four blocks sewn together. I do need to make two more text blocks (like the lower right) in order to finish the section.

Definitely progress.

Working Towards a Gazillion Squares

Squares
Squares

I had to bite the bullet over the weekend and just cut like crazy. I can’t finish any more of the Carpenter’s Wheel sections until I cut some more background patches. As I have said 3,000 times, I desperately want to finish a quilt top and so certain tasks must be accomplished.

I can’t finish the 4 patches for Step 3 of the En Provence Mystery Quilt until I cut more blues.

I have had some bits of times to cut and have made some progress, but I really went at it on Saturday and spent nearly the whole day cutting both blues and the text fabrics. It was kind of crazy, actually, because I really cut a lot of squares.

I should have used my Accuquilt for the 2.5″ squares, but the blades on my die have never worked quite right. The pieces I cut last time were more trouble than they were worth. I have to get a new die. In the meantime, I am going through rotary cutter blades.

92 Four Patches

En Provence 4 Patches
En Provence 4 Patches

I am back from Grand Parlor and finally had some time to sew yesterday. I started cutting out a new quilt. More on that later. I also made 92 four patches for the En Provence quilt. This is clue 3. I am using blues rather than purples.

I had some blues that could be mediums or darks. I had to make really make sure that I wasn’t using medium blues as darks and lights in the same block.

I have 74 left to make.

Blue Lemonade Cannibalism

Blue Lemonade Cannibalism
Blue Lemonade Cannibalism

I decided to use blue instead of purple on step 3 of En Provence. I have been hanging around not doing anything about step three for several weeks. Finally, needing something mindless to do for a few minutes, I cannibalized the blue squares from my stash of Blue Lemonade 2 inch squares. I planned to use them for En Provence and replace the Blue Lemonade blue squares before I started to sew that piece together.

Everything didn’t go as planned.

Blue Lemonade also has green and purple squares, so the entire box wasn’t blue. Also, there were duplicates, so I didn’t take all of the blue squares as I want both to be relatively scrappy. Not even the majority of the box was blue. I think the squares were evenly distributed between the three colors.

Cutting from Scraps
Cutting from Scraps

I ended up with about 380 squares. If my math is right (never a guarantee), I need 672 squares to make 168 four patches. Bonnie doesn’t exactly say, but I think I need 672 squares to make 168 four patches. My math isn’t so terrible that I can’t multiply. Still, it seems like a lot. I can use strips and make them less scrappy. We’ll see.

Blue Scrap Bin
Blue Scrap Bin

Then I started to cut from my scrap bin. I have a lot of blue scraps, so I was able to cut several out of the scraps. My scraps are either too small or too big. Still, I found some I could use. This put me up to 464 squares. Not shabby, but still 200+ short. I don’t relish the thought of cutting 200+ squares, but it has to be done or I have to use strips.

Then I have to replenish the Blue Lemonade squares as well. Sigh.

 

 

En Provence Update

En Provence with Peaky & Spike
En Provence with Peaky & Spike

I have a very tiny update for the En Provence Mystery quilt. I have enough of the Peaky & Spike blocks finished to make 9 patches.

In fact, I may be completely finished with the Peaky & Spike blocks. I don’t know what goes in the corners and haven’t taken the time to look it up.

This block, the only one I have laid out, is not sewn. Laying it out, however, gets it closer to being sewn. I hope you don’t think this is a poor showing!

I have to say that it occurred to me that I might want to use the blues from the Blue Lemonade Hunting & Gathering box for the colored 4 patches. If the clue asks for 2 inch squares, I’ll be golden or In like Flynn. I have to find the clue and look it up.

Accuquilt Die v Ruler Smackdown

OK, smackdown might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it sounds impressive, right?

I am working on the Bonnie Hunter En Provence Mystery Quilt, as you know. The second step, which I have partially finished, uses Peaky and Spike* blocks. Peaky and Spike sounds more fun than “weird triangle blocks”, right?

Peaky and Spike
Peaky and Spike

Peaky is the pink part and Spike is the black on white part. For En Provence, I needed to make 100 of these elements. Not rocket science, but not squares either. The bias could be problem. At Sew Day I cut all of the Spikes using the appropriate Tri Recs ruler. This piece has no notches except for the top, which is easy to deal with.

I bought the Peaky and Spike die with a gift card for Christmas, but by the time I was ready to start cutting, it was still on backorder and had not shown up. I began cutting the Peakies from the ruler at Craft Night. SIL told me that she had the Peaky and Spike die and I switched to that. I cut all of the 200 Peakies I needed in about an hour. Much easier than using a rotary cutter.

Die and Ruler
Die and Ruler

The interesting part of this is the sewing. The ruler has a notch at the bottom (photo right bottom) and the die (photo left top) has a notch at the top. In the directions for the quilt, Bonnie admonishes us to be sure and cut the notch at the bottom**. As a result, I placed the ruler on the die cut Peakies and also cut the bottom notch. This got old really fast and I stopped.

Peaky & Spike Annotated
Peaky & Spike Annotated

Once I started sewing, it didn’t matter. The bottom notch (from the ruler) was certainly helpful. You need either the top or bottom notch to sew the pieces together easily and in alignment, however either one will work.  I really didn’t need both.

Tri Recs Ruler
Tri Recs Ruler

The ruler has the advantage of enabling the user to cut multiple sizes. The Peaky ruler has the notch on the bottom because of the different sizes.

The die only cuts pieces for one block size, and, thus, can have the notch more prominently on the top.

This was a interesting learning experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Peaky and Spike is the name given to these blocks by Doreen Speckmann. Doreen was a fantastic teacher, funny, fun loving and a master at helping students understand the structure of block elements. If you don’t have her book, Pattern Play, start haunting used book stores. It is a classic.

 

**The mystery quilt directions focus on the Tri Recs ruler and not on the die, though the die is mentioned as being available.

En Provence Progress

Four patches for En Provence
Four patches for En Provence

I am doing the En Provence Mystery Quilt. I have just finished step 1. I am very pleased with the four patches I have made. I have part of step 2 finished, and have some Spikes to cut. I am dreadfully behind, but I don’t care. I saw the reveal on January 1 and am pleased to say that I like the quilt design. It is always kind of a crapshoot when you don’t know what the quilt will look like. Not that there is any shortage of fabric.  Some people have already finished theirs and have shown their versions, which is great for me, so I can compare different color schemes. I am happy to pick out colors as I start each step. So far, I have sort of stuck to Bonnie’s suggestions, but I am not going with the purple she includes. Just not my thing. I don’t hate purple, but I think this quilt will stay here so I want something that will work in my house.

This project is part of the reason why I feel like I am treading quilt water. Many steps forward and no finishes.