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.

Finito…Mostly

I am REALLY, really, Really excited that I finished the Carpenter’s Wheel top on Friday night. DH was preparing for a Native Sons event and I sewed after dinner until 10. As I have said before, after dinner is not my best time, but I have been getting good sleep lately (no coughing), so I was up for the challenge.

Carpenter's Wheel top finished
Carpenter’s Wheel top finished

I had about half a block to finish sewing.  Then I had to sew it together and sew that block to the last row. Once I completed that section, I had to sew that section to the right hand corner section to make one giant bottom row. After that it was just one long seam to join the two halves of the quilt together.

I did it and stay stitched around the whole quilt. As I knew it would be, the quilt is a giantess.

On Saturday, I sent DH off to a Native Sons event and laid out the top in the living room and measured it. Laid out is kind of misnomer, because the thing is too large for my floor.

I also made the label, but had to go and get ink for the printer, so I did that, then came home and started sewing the back. I promised myself I would stick to LARGE pieces and stay away from fiddly sewing. I mostly did that. The back is mostly 3 large pieces of fabrics with a few fill in smaller pieces. Nothing crazy and I didn’t finish it feeling horrible. I felt find and switched to another project right after I finished.

Still on the to do list:

  • Prepare binding

Right Hand Corner

I decided to work on the Carpenter’s Wheel and move towards getting the top done. I have spent the past week making background blocks during every spare moment.

The bad part is that I had no time over the weekend to sew. I spent the weekend with DH on #politicalwifery. We didn’t get home until 7pm Sunday after leaving at 11:30am on Saturday. Very limited sewing time. Also, as an added ‘insult,’ we were so busy I didn’t even get to visit any quilt shops.

Still, after working part of Friday, I spent a few hours Friday afternoon adding to the section I finished last weekend (section 3).

I decided I would make the two blocks (far right) to finish section three. Once I did that I decided it would be easier just to add the three background blocks to the bottom of the section, making a giant 9 patch. What you see above is a giant 9 patch and the entire right hand corner of the Carpenter’s Wheel quilt.

Carpenter's Wheel - left hand bottom
Carpenter’s Wheel – left hand bottom

I am using the same technique to finish the left hand side of the quilt. One background block, which is next to the bottom Carpenter’s Wheel, is finished and I have two more to make. The two sections will end up together like:


I know it isn’t ideal but you can sort of get an idea of what it will look like.

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.

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.

Carpenter’s Wheel Row 3 Section 1

Carpenter's Wheel Row 3 Section 1
Carpenter’s Wheel Row 3 Section 1

Except for one long seam across the center, I actually finished this piece before I went to Portland.

It is the first section of the last row and it is a bit of a trial. I have more cutting to do for the text squares and it is a bit of a trial. There seems to be a lot of cutting in my life right now.

I have now started on the next section. I have to cut, as mentioned, and make a bunch of four patches before I can make any significant progress, but I am making some progress.

Layer Cake Explosion Gets Started

Yes, I am starting another project. Mostly I am starting it because Daisy said I should and then the omens were good. I found a layer cake I liked at $15 off and found some American Made Brands background at a $1 off per yard. Perhaps this will be boyish enough for one of the nephews?

I couldn’t have done it without my recent travel. I got the layer cake (left) at Fabric Depot in Portland. That place is huge-HUGE and they were having a pretty good sale. Yes, both new items add to my fabric usage totals, but I am hopeful that I’ll be able to finish something larger than a handbag soon.

The charcoal is from Yoder’s in Shipshewana, Indiana. They had the whole line, which was awesome! I got a bit more than I needed, but you know, mistakes. The fabric is now washed so I can start cutting.

The quilt is called the Layer Cake Explosion. You can find the free pattern on Craftsy. Also, check out Daisy’s blog for more information. I did look at the templates for the alternate block and I am thinking I might do something else. I am not a fan of the way that little triangle looks. We will see.

The pattern calls for the Creative Grids Stripology Ruler. There is a YouTube video which shows you how to use this ruler. As much as I love rulers, I don’t think I will be using it. I think I will use my Accuquilt, though it is possible I don’t have the right die for the strip size. Stay tuned.

Carpenter’s Wheel – 2 Rows Together

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.

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

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.

Carpenter’s Wheel -Section 2

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.

Section 2: right blocks
Section 2: right blocks

It is so odd how I can feel like a project will never end, then suddenly, with no warning, I see the end coming.

Ghosts and Carpenters

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.

Middle blocks of middle section
Middle blocks of middle section

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.

Carpenter's Wheel Ghost block
Carpenter’s Wheel Ghost block

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.

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.

Improving my EPP

I haven’t been happy with the right sides together method of whip stitching my EPP pieces together. I don’t like the stitches showing on the front. No matter how careful I am, I seem to always get a few stitches showing. ERGH!!!

Finished star using flat back stitching
Finished star using flat back stitching

I mentioned recently that I had heard about the Flat back stitch for sewing EPP shapes together. I watched the video thoroughly, eventually, and tried it. I like the technique, although it isn’t without hassle and have modified my stitching accordingly.

One thing the video shows is starting inside a seam. The idea is to slip the needle between the fabric and the paper, catching the knot on the inside. I never thought of that!

Flat back stitch using WonderClips
Flat back stitch using WonderClips

I have been using WonderClips to hold my pieces together. It is imperfect at best despite the fabulousness of WonderClips. The video shows using regular transparent tape. Another great idea.

There are a couple of other good things about the flat back stitch. First, you don’t have to bend the paper/card pieces when you insert a piece (Y seam idea). This makes the card last longer. Second, the stitches don’t show at the beginning of the line of stitching, which they can if you are even a tiny smidge not careful. DIY Addict has some info about this after the 2:50 minute mark on her video.

This technique takes me longer, but I like the look and really am not in a rush to get another star attached to this piece.

It is a good day when I learn something new.

Other resources

DIY Addict video: flat back stitch

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.