Tim and I worked on the Anchor quilt on Saturday. This is a true group project. Gerre organized it. Christina did the piecing. I appliqued on the anchor and Tim will do the quilting. The last time I talked about this quilt was back in June and it has been languishing. Now we are back on track!
Saturday, he did everything and I just stood there and helped him pin and gave my opinion.
We had to work on the back a little bit. The back was two large pieces and the big area of white was bugging Tim. We talked about different things we could do and finally decided on adding a piece that Christina had started sort of 1/3 of the way down the quilt. I think it broke up the white enough for comfort.
We also looked at quilting ideas. Tim had some ideas in mind and they were good. We found a couple that we thought would reflect the them and he will do the quilting soon.
I made a lot of progress on the En Provence quilt and it is nearing the conclusion.
I started out Saturday afternoon sewing the two halves of the top together. Then I laid out the quilt to see where I was. It was really great to see almost the whole quilt laid out. I think it looks really great.
After seeing the quilt so close to completion, I was on fire to sew the last 4 rows. I took everything back upstairs and laid on that bottom corner on my design wall. I didn’t have much more time to do that on Saturday and no time to sew.
Laying out the last corner was huge, though. I found I was missing a couple of Peaky & Spike blocks, so I had to cut some fabric to finish those. It was good, though, because I could switch out some of the Peaky & Spike blocks that I hadn’t yet sewn.
After we came back from a NSGW event on Sunday afternoon, I put the pedal to the metal on my sewing machine and sewed 3 rows. I know there are only 3 blocks left in each row, but there is still a lot of piecing. I also have to add the border and that makes some of the blocks larger, thus more time consuming to sew.
I ended up with what I thought was 3 good rows.
Standing back really helps and I found a mistake. I stopped after the mistake block. It was really too late for me to be sewing anyway and I’d already had to rip out two sections of that block.
Except for the two pieces, I am pleased with how this quilt came out. It is not insane like Grand Illusion, but it was complex enough to keep me interested and interesting enough to want to continue to look at it.
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.
I added “Piecing” to the hashtags for this post. Immediately my mind revised that as ‘interminable piecing’. I don’t really feel tired of this project, but there are a LOT of seams and I am ready for this top to be finished. Good thing I made significant progress over the weekend.
The upper right hand corner is finished and this means that I have 4 rows of 3 blocks to finish. If I had 4 days free, I could finish the top by the weekend.
I have been sewing the border on as I go along. Using the ‘self-bordering’ technique makes the border much more precise in terms of matching seams. You also don’t have long seams to sew (and match) or borders to add once the center is done. I use this technique as much as possible. It makes my life so much better.
Since I am still working on En Provence, I thought it was prudent to finish that before starting another mystery. I am reading and collecting the clues in case I change my mind.
While I was working on En Provence on Friday, I made some more donation blocks. I used the donation blocks as leaders and enders, of course.
I figured out that each donation block has 15 seams. I made about 6 in the course of several hours of sewing, which means I sewed somewhere in the neighborhood of 180 seams total. That is between the En Provence pieces and the donation blocks. I did a couple of other things in between as well, so my total is probably a few more.
Of course, the seams are short, which means they are quick, but I am making progress.
I am feeling like I am running out of 2.5″ pieces in my donation bin from which to choose. I think it is just that I don’t have enough to make blocks from one color. I also think that some of the choices are not my favorites. I have a number of pieces left and will make an effort to use those up before I commit to cutting more.They are not ugly and someone will like them, so I will need to use them.
We had 24 people over for Thanksgiving, so there was no sewing Monday through Thursday while Thanksgiving prep was taking place. I was also working. I did, however, make some good progress over the weekend.
I spent most of the day on Friday sewing. I even declined to watch a movie with the boys in order to sew. They needed some alone time anyway. More than half of En Provence is pieced and I am working on the upper right corner.
I got up and set about sewing pretty soon after that. I usually go for a walk before I sew to get it out of the way, but needed more resting time before I did that. The first thing I worked on was finishing the last/top row of the left hand side.
After coming back from my walk, I laid out the upper right hand side and started piecing. I was able to finish sewing a row and a half of that quarter. I would love to finish this weekend, but doubt that will happen. Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilts require a lot of piecing, which is what makes them such great scrap quilts. Still, I have to sew a lot of short seams and there are a lot more to sew.
I started my contribution to the November Color My Quilt project for Melinda pretty soon after the October meeting. I meant to do more, but I just ran out of time.
Again, I used all scraps and did some Improv piecing. I was a little mean, but I couldn’t cut off that curve. It was part of the scrap that I used and I liked it. I am sure it will get cut off in the final piece, but perhaps Melinda will keep it.
The pieces have a fall-ish look, but are also bright.
The shards made hung together surprisingly well. I think the colors Melinda wanted were clearly defined and easy to use. There were lots of blocks this time, which made me happy. Someone made a block using the method from Sarah Goer‘s class.
In honor of Thanksgiving, I chose a picture of my pumpkin pie filling in process. I make a maple pumpkin pie. I found the recipe in a Bon Appetit magazine when I first contributed to Thanksgiving about a zillion years ago. Nobody has complained so I keep making it that way.
We remodeled our kitchen in about 2007 and it has red accents. We are very strict about what color appliances and accessories come into the kitchen. As a result, I received this food processor as a gift one year. I use it for all holiday food prep and it works really well.
I found out very quickly that the tight composition of the shot made for a very limited palette. The default palette, as we have found over the year, has a lot of neutrals. However, I found this to be a very warm palette.
I wanted to try and get more reds, more different reds, so I tried again.
n.2 has more reds, so I succeeded in that way. I am not that fond of Kona Caramel on its own, but with the reds, it does add something – perhaps a place for the eyes to rest?
I was able to get even more red tones in.3. I also changed the Caramel to Kona Latte for a slightly different look. I might like Latte less than Caramel, but I haven’t decided. As with Caramel, it does add something to the heavy red palette.
I kept a red, but tried out a dark neutral palette. The buttons of the food processor are grey, so I was able to add in Kona Mocha, which I think might be off in terms of names, but it is a nice addition to the palette. Kona Ruby comes from my spoon rest (made by the YM) and I kept it in to keep the palette from becoming too neutral.
I tried an even more neutral palette for n.5, building on n.4. I, again, kept some red, but changed the specific red from Ruby to Kona Cotton Wine. I wouldn’t make a quilt from this palette, but can see it being used for a very chic house sale.
Finally, for the last palette, I went for broke with the reds. I was pleased to see a Kona Lipstick show up! I love the name of that fabric. In this palette, the grey (Kona Mushroom) is the only neutral, though the Kona Mahogany could go either way in terms of it being one of the reds or a neutral
I know the differences are subtle between the palettes above, but it is interesting to see the changes one can make by moving the circles around a picture. As I have said before this is a good exercise.
I started out late on Sunday with the piece above. I had finished chopping about a million ingredients for various Thanksgiving dishes and was delighted to find that I had some time to sew.
I had sewn most of the last row together, but had a few more seams, so I put those together and found, suddenly that I was able to layout the last row on the left half of this top. Shocking! I thought I had miles together.
I really don’t know why I keep being surprised by this quilt – how much I have sewn, how much I have left, how well it looks. Perhaps I should call it En Provence Surprise?
I had to fold down the piece before I could layout the top row. I could have reached, but why? It would have been a stretch every time I sewed two pieces together or checked the pressing. I wasn’t up for it.
It is extremely gratifying to see the top row even if it is just laid out and not sewn yet.
Triple Star is at a stopping point until I lay it out and decide on a final design, so I used donation blocks as leaders and enders. I finished 2.5, which isn’t shabby.
I know it is all En Provence All the Time on the blog these days. It is what I am working on except for gifts, which I am not working on enough and can’t show at the moment any way. You’ll have to bear with me for the time being.
I counted up blocks and rows and units again and found that I am farther along than I thought. It all started when I noticed that I was getting very short of the quarter triangle units. I carefully counted and found that I only have to piece two more rows on the top to finish one whole half of the quilt.
Or so I thought.
Really, I have to piece two blocks top to bottom for the right side. I was shocked that I had so little left to do. I had been sure that I had an equal number of blocks to piece for the right side as I had on the left. I don’t know how I got so turned around, but this is great news! I thought I would never finish piecing this quilt. Yet, I had already done so much.
As a treat, I decided to see how the piece would look once it was stuck together. Sort of.
I put two images together. There are slight differences in lighting, and the bottom is folded up, but you still get the idea. I am thrilled.
I made a little progress over last weekend, after fixing my Oops. I was able to take down the bottom quarter of the quilt top and put up the pieces for the top left quarter. In addition to the three rows you see in the image, I have two more rows to sew to complete half the quilt.
I know I am getting ahead of myself, but I am excited to see the progress of this quilt. It is really a lot of piecing. The result is fantastic, from what I can see so far, but it is taking a long time to piece.
The half rows I am piecing have 75 units to sew together to get the 6 block half row. I say units because I have already pieced the units together. Each blue star has 32 pieces and each pink star (not the border blocks) has 24 pieces. I am glad the units are all pieced, I have to say.
A few weeks ago, I went to a conference in Monterey. For many reasons, Monterey is one of my favorite places and October is a great time to visit. I was fortunate that the weather was fantastic and I took some beautiful photos. You might see more from this trip later.
I walk a lot and a path I was on gave me a great view of the pier and the Bay. I decided to use this for my next ColorPlay. What I expected was bright colorful palette.
As usual, the default palette was neutral. Might be a nice palette for a new house.
This one got a little better with the addition of the Cobblestone. I tried to doctor the palette with the addition of a more turquoise-y. Couldn’t do it. My photo just didn’t have the turquoise.
I decided to embrace the neutrals. This one is almost all grey with a blue-grey thrown in to liven things up.
The next neutral palette is a darker one. The Kona Spruce and Kona Stone is a really nice combination in the palette above.
The Kona Teal and Kona Everglade look similar, but are just a little bit different. Everglade is a tiny bit lighter. The gold adds a slightly different look. More like the day right after sunset.
I felt like I exhausted the options of this picture despite the promise, so I left the number of palettes at five.
I was able to spend time working on it on Saturday night and some of the day on Sunday. I was able to add a short row vertically on the right and put together a row that I will be able to add to the top soon.
You might be wondering why this piece is taking me forever. I haven’t yet put together blocks, so I have to put the blocks together before I can put together the rows. I need to watch placement of the fabrics. While the piece is scrappy, it is not a charm quilt and I’d like to keep like fabrics away from each other as much as possible.
This quilt definitely has fewer colors than I like, but the controlled palette really enhances the curved look of the piecing. I am so pleased with how this piecing is looking that I can’t stop looking at it. That surprises me since it is just a pattern, not much original.
Well, I seem to be quite lackadaisical lately with the posts. I thought I would have more time this week and, apparently, didn’t. I was sewing, so there is that.
At the retreat, I started to sew together some Terrain rectangles I had laying around. You might remember that I made the Renewed Jelly Roll Race from this line of fabric. it started out as a disaster, and ended up pretty well after. At some point in dealing with the disaster, I must have cut up these rectangles, but I really don’t remember doing it. I especially don’t remember WHY I might have done it.
Regardless, they have been laying around bugging me. I brought them along to the retreat and when I was sewing the Mostly Manor Lozenge blocks together, I used these as leaders and enders.
At Craft Night on Monday we looked at different layouts and eventually settled on the one shown.
SIL and I are working on this together.
I brought some white for another project and we used a lot of it to make the background. SIL plans to quilt it.
I made good progress on Saturday. I have nearly a quarter of En Provence sewn together. I probably need another row of the pink stars on the top and one the side to have a full quarter, but progress is being made.
I am pleased with the way it looks. I think it is turning out well. some of the light blues are a bit light and do blend with the text fabric background. I hope that will add interest. The larger squares I am adding in are working well. I am very pleased I decided to use a controlled scrappy palette. I think it gives the quilt a cohesion it wouldn’t otherwise have.
I am not sure when I will get to this quilt again, but I hope to finish it soon. I have to day that I kind of just want this piece done. I REALLY like, but I just want it done.