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?

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.

Incremental Peacock Progress

I sewed a few seams last night and think I made some progress that sent me over the edge into less decision making and more rote sewing. I think.

I need to get past the small hexies to get to the point where I can finish the top background. On the left is the piece from Monday -earlier this week and the right is the most recent incarnation. I have added one strip, but this required lining up the small hexies with their bottom halves on the row below. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is easy to get them out of alignment.

The Peacock - top left
The Peacock – top left

Next, I have to finish that row, which means deciding if I will keep the blue half hexie (far left) or replace it with a regular strip. Some of that depends on how much of which dark fabrics I have left. Working with solids in this project reminded me why I don’t like to buy just FQs.

These are my next goals. Stay tuned!

More Peacock Progress

I spent several hours over the weekend working on the Peacock. I was determined to make progress and I did! I am pleased with the progress that I made. Several hard decisions were made and lots of sewing was completed.

The Peacock - top right
The Peacock – top right

I spent a lot of time on Saturday making the smaller hexagons large enough to fit into the rows of the piece. During this joy I kept asking myself whose bright idea it was to add the smaller hexagons to the piece. They take more time and are a bit fiddly.  Most of those I worked on will be on the darker side of the top of the piece. I will scatter them around and up to the top. A few will go on the lighter side.

The Peacock - full piece, January 2017
The Peacock – full piece, January 2017

Including this, I am marching up to the top of the piece. I am a row away from having full strips to piece into the top and I can’t wait.

I took some time to piece the rows together on the bottom. These are just long and awful seams. I can’t do any chunking on this piece, which is a pain. I want to finish the left side including the small hexagons with black backgrounds in a border type treatment and then move the entire piece over towards the left so I can work on the right.

I’d love to tell you tomorrow I have the top finished, but I think that would be too optimistic. I plan to work more on it today and, hopefully, make some good progress.

Sew Day

I am going to miss a lot of BAMQG in the next couple of months, which makes me sad. Perhaps I’ll have something to show by the time I make it to the March meeting?

Mary, once again, did a great job setting up and organizing the room for us. Thanks, Mary!

We all dodged the rain and there was a good turnout.

Haley's t-shirt quilt
Haley’s t-shirt quilt

Tim was there with his niece Haley and they put a t-shirt quilt together for her. She just graduated from college and the quilt is made from all of her college t-shirts. It looks great!

I worked on cutting. I started cutting for the second step of the En Provence mystery quilt. People have started posting the blocks and I am glad I am making it. I can choose some colors better now that I know what the piece will look like.

I know I am not quite finished with step one, but cutting is a good thing to do at Sew Day and it doesn’t go bad. I didn’t feel like bringing my machine to the event.

Rhonda's Handwork Project
Rhonda’s Handwork Project

Rhonda worked on her Carolyn Friedlander handwork quilt. She started to put the segments together. Another great project!