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

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.

 

 

26 Projects List – May 2017 Edition

Well, hello! It has been awhile since I confessed to my UFO and WIP list. February, as a matter of fact.

Finished 2017 Quilt Projects

None yet. Sad I know. My fabric used list is really suffering.

Finished 2017 Non-Quilt Projects

Shockingly, the above along with donation blocks and tops is about 50 yards of fabric this year and I am only a little bit in the black in terms of usage.

Doing Good

In Process
The  ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or pretending to stitch. I try not to put away projects, because that will ensure I never work on them.

  • Carpenter’s Wheel blocks – The  blocks are completed, as you know and I am well into putting the blocks together.
  • City Samplerblocks all made. Need to sash the blocks and finish putting the top together. I have the fabric I will use and I have no washed it, so nothing is stopping me from getting going.
  • English Paper Piecing Project– half hexies – I am still making stars. I am still using the big stack of fabrics I cut over Thanksgiving to make more stars. This piece is a weird shape otherwise I would just finish it and move on. I still a month of traveling with DH and he has plans for other trips where he has no duties, though there is still some negotiation to made on that.
  • En Provence – Second clue is finished. I have decided to use blue where the purples are in Bonnie’s version. The blues are cut and I just need to sew.
  • FOTY 2016 – It is still time to start arranging it. I wanted to do it immediately after finishing the Peacock top, but with my design wall issues, I don’t think I will.
  • Lobster – have more stitching to do and then I need to quilt it.
  • Octagon 9 Patch: ready to put together. Not sure what I am waiting for. Another leaders/enders project or do I want to lay out the blocks more carefully?
  • Under the Sea: class project; like the design and am happier with the colors. I haven’t worked on it since February.

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

    1. Aqua-Red Sampler – I need to lay the blocks out and put the piece together.
    2. The Tarts Come to Tea: I still haven’t worked on this since April 2011, though, I did bring it to the 2017 CQFA Retreat as a potential project. It is still in a prominent location so I have easy access.
    3. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
    4. Pies and Points from Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. No further progress. I did wash the background fabric I found when I went to Portland, so I am ready to cut. I need to focus on this and it is not up high enough on the list yet.
    5. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. My career counselor breathed new life into this project for me. She asked a simple question and the end result was inspiration for this piece, but I kind of lost steam again after printing images on paper to try out different designs. Lately, I have stopped feeling like I need to finish this piece. I am not ready to give up on it yet. I think it really needs major surgery.
    6. Serendipity Lady Quilt: no progress.
    7. Stepping Stones #2 – I am ready to make the border blocks , but haven’t gone beyond designing the blocks yet.

Ready for Quilting

  • Nothing

In Quilting Process

  • Peacock Quilt – at Colleen’s
  • Thanksgiving tablemat – I started quilting this piece at the 2017 CQFA Retreat. I made good progress, but it isn’t finished yet.
  • Theoretically, the Tarts Come to Tea is in the quilting process, though I haven’t worked on it in a while. It did come with me to Retreat and almost made it high enough on the list to get some love.

Binding

None

Hunting and Gathering

  • 30 Something: I am still cutting 1.5 inch squares. I am pretty sure I have the 800 I need, but I am not ready to sew these yet, so whenever I have a chance I cut more. It will give me choice when the time comes. I’ll have to think up a new name, too.
  • Blue Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch blue rectangles
  • Blue Lemonade: cutting blue, green, purple 2 inch squares. I am going to use these squares for En Provence, so I will need to cut more, I think.
  • Pink Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch pink rectangles
  • Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. I probably have enough fabrics and just need to decide to start.
  • Windmill quilt: Still hunting and gathering. I am supposed to be cutting a variety of greys for the background. I bought a new template, so I should be able to get going again

Other

  • Stepping Stones #3 using the Macaron pre-cuts from Hoffman. I have all the fabric in pre-cuts and am just waiting for space (and desire) in my schedule.

What’s on your list?

Thinking about Flying Geese

Last year (???) or maybe the year before I did a Flying Geese exchange with TFQ. I know you have seen the design I am considering. I have been thinking about the Flying Geese themselves.

I wanted to look at them all together. The photo of the ones I have previously posted are above. What do you think?

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.

Design Wall Monday

Design Wall, March 26, 2017
Design Wall, March 26, 2017

I think it might have been last November that I did a design wall post. I am a little short of content, not having finished or really worked on anything worth showing recently. Some projects are actually worth showing, but not in a recognizable stage. I kind of feel like this whole year, so far, has been dedicated to process and some mindless sewing.

I had to work hard yesterday to fill it up so it would be interesting for you to look at. Not that I hadn’t planned to sew a lot anyway, but you gave me true purpose.

Design Wall, March 26, 2017 annotated
Design Wall, March 26, 2017 annotated

I was pleased and a little shocked that none of the major projects on my design wall were there last November. I am pleased that I have made some progress.

  1. The Lobster has been up there awhile, but not 5 months, which is a relief. I have been feeling twinges lately about continuing to stitch on it, so you may see some progress in the coming weeks.
  2. Latest standard donation blocks
  3. Latest patches for FOTY 2017
  4. Four Carpenter’s Wheel blocks I made yesterday
  5. Latest non-standard donation blocks. I ran out of white squares. While I have more charm packs and can cut them, I didn’t want to stop and take the time. I have been thinking of making some postage stamp blocks with all colored 2.5″ squares and no white. I seem to have a lot of black and dark grey squares, so I decided to head in that direction by making a couple of blocks with those darker colors as background.
  6. The En Provence square is still on the design wall in an effort to keep it on my mind. As I think I mentioned, the Peaky and spike patches are done and I need to move on to clue 3. I am not quite there yet, so it is up there as a reminder.

I am linking up with the Patchwork Times.

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.

Following up on Grace

The other day I wrote about grace. The part that has been on my mind, some from Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark, “I am still trying to get a firm image of grace in my mind. Bloomston provides several metaphors which inch me closer. “Grace is the hinge between effort and effortless. There is a moment in our creative flow in which we are utterly absorbed, content, focused, and present with the moment and everything in it” (pg.42). This is the place I strive for. I do think, however, that we can get snatches of it within each project when the stars align, but that actions we take outside of each project, though including each project help make those moments more and more frequent. For example, how we tidy up, where we find that one scrap we need, etc.”

The main part that has been on my mind is the last couple of sentences – how we prepare for grace. For me, organization is key. I don’t feel that my workroom is optimally organized, but I always work on it. I was on the phone with a friend yesterday and filed random papers and sorted scraps while we spoke. These types of things make way for the creativity. If I don’t have to worry about where something is hiding or where I put that certain piece of fabric, I have more space for creativity and, perhaps, grace.

Part of that is space. I need more space, but have a lot and am concerned that if I get more I will just fill it up. Thus, I am clearing out fabrics I won’t use and trying to keep projects from stacking up. This isn’t always easy as I have to balance having enough to work with having too much spilling over into my workspace.

I’d like to have an organizer come in and make a plan for more shelving and cupboards and a better organization system in the Fabric closet. That expense will have to wait until the YM is finished with college or I win the lottery.

I don’t let this discourage me. You can see the work that I do by reading the blog. Culling fabric also helps even if it is a little at a time. One yard gone is one yard less taking up space. I appreciate the incremental progress. This is my process. This works for me. It might not work for you. Don’t wear my coat. It probably won’t fit.

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.

Peacock Top Complete

Peacock top Complete
Peacock top Complete

I finally finished the Peacock top. The photo looks a little odd, because my design wall isn’t large enough for the whole top so it is bent around the corner and taped to the fabric closet door.  Still, done is done albeit large.

I also finished the back this past weekend. I knew it would take awhile so I started after I returned from the CQFA meeting and the BAM Sew Day. I spent about 4 hours and got about half of it done. The rest of it took me all day on Sunday. I thought about this and decided that the smaller the pieces I have to work with the more time the back takes. I had used most of the large-ish pieces on Saturday, so I was left with rather small pieces. I thought I would be annoyed, but I sewed, actually, quite happily on the back.

I needed to get it done before the CQFA Retreat, because someone wanted to buy my design wall. That didn’t work out so my Pind design wall is available for sale, if you are interested. It works great and is in great shape; it just isn’t large enough for me. Let me know if you are interested.

26 Projects – February 2017 Edition

I am clearing up my workroom a bit after taking down my large design wall and finding a plethora of odds and ends behind it. In the course of cleaning, I am assembling fabrics to donate, which count in the ‘used’ (e.g. no longer in the stash) column of my fabric spreadsheet.

Finished 2017 Quilt Projects

None yet

Finished 2017 Non-Quilt Projects

Doing Good

In Process
The  ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or pretending to stitch. I try not to put away projects, because that will ensure I never work on them.

  • Carpenter’s Wheel blocks – I made a few more blocks and am ready to put the blocks together. This means making text/low volume blocks, which I want to do quickly so I can also get this piece to Colleen.
  • City Samplerblocks all made. Need to sash the blocks and finish putting the top together. I have the fabric I will use, but I think it needs to be washed.
  • English Paper Piecing Project– half hexies – I am still making stars. I am using the big stack of fabrics I cut over Thanksgiving to make more stars. This piece is a weird shape otherwise I would just finish it and move on. I do still have 4 months of traveling with DH.
  • En Provence – Working on the second clue, I think. I put it off while I finished The Peacock as the mind shift was making me a little crazy.
  • FOTY 2016 – time to start arranging it. I wanted to do it immediately after finishing the Peacock top, but with my design wall issues, I don’t think I will.
  • Lobster – have more stitching to do and then I need to quilt it.
  • Octagon 9 Patch: ready to put together. Not sure what I am waiting for. Another leaders/enders project or do I want to lay out the blocks more carefully?
  • Peacock Quiltoff the design wall and the top is sewn together. Next step is to make the back. My deadline is Feb 6 as I want to take it to Colleen that week.
  • Under the Sea: class project; like the design and am happier with the colors. I bought a few spools of Sue Spargo’s embroidery thread and continue to embroider. I want to finish it soon, though the piece does keep calling for more embroidery.

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

    1. Aqua-Red Sampler – The partial seaming tutorial was finished in September. Now I need to lay the blocks out and put the piece together.
    2. The Tarts Come to Tea: I still haven’t worked on this since April 2011, though, I did bring it to the 2017 CQFA Retreat as a potential project. It is still in a prominent location so I have easy access.
    3. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
    4. Pies and Points from Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. No further progress. I did wash the background fabric I found when I went to Portland, so I am ready to cut. I need to focus on this and it is not up high enough on the list yet.
    5. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. My career counselor breathed new life into this project for me. She asked a simple question and the end result was inspiration for this piece, but I kind of lost steam again after printing images on paper to try out different designs. Lately, I have stopped feeling like I need to finish this piece. I am not ready to give up on it yet. I think it really needs major surgery.
    6. Serendipity Lady Quilt: no progress.
    7. Stepping Stones #2 – I am ready to make the border blocks , but haven’t done anything yet.

Ready for Quilting

  • Nothing

In Quilting Process

  • Thanksgiving tablemat – I started quilting this piece at the 2017 CQFA Retreat. I made good progress, but it isn’t finished yet.
  • Theoretically, the Tarts Come to Tea is in the quilting process, though I haven’t worked on it in a while. It did come with me to Retreat and almost made it high enough on the list to get some love.

Binding

None

Hunting and Gathering

  • 30 Something: I am still cutting 1.5 inch squares. I am pretty sure I have the 800 I need, but I am not ready to sew these yet, so whenever I have a chance I cut more. It will give me choice when the time comes. I’ll have to think up a new name, too.
  • Blue Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch blue rectangles
  • Blue Lemonade: cutting blue, green, purple 2inch squares
  • Pink Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch pink rectangles
  • Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. I probably have enough fabrics and just need to decide to start.
  • Windmill quilt: Still hunting and gathering. I am supposed to be cutting a variety of greys for the background. I bought a new template, so I should be able to get going again

Other

  • Stepping Stones #3 using the Macaron pre-cuts from Hoffman. I have all the fabric in pre-cuts and am just waiting for space (and desire) in my schedule.

What’s on your list?