In between a lot of work (actual work, the kind I get paid for) and work on the Orange Strip Donation Top, my main project for the weekend was Flying Around. I had a goal of getting the borders on the top part of the quilt finished. The left hand side was easy compared to the right. The right side was difficult, but the border is off the design wall. It’s really annoying how often this problem affects me. I know I should make smaller quilts, but my ideas make it impossible.
The top center is looking a bit weird and I am trying to decide if I need to rip it out. I am thinking that I can move the section right above the blue Friendship Circle up and add some more Flying Geese to connect the ones already there.
Friend Julie talked to me about the piece on Friday and that really helped. Sometimes getting an idea of what others are seeing is a good thing.
Keep in mind as you look at this piece that much of it is not sewn together, so it looks a little weird.
After a few weeks of hiatus, I finally spent some time on this project again this past weekend.
I was feeling bad about Flying Around – sort of uninterested and not getting anything done. What I needed was some time to work on it. This is not a sew and think about something else. This is a thinking project. Every seam I sew requires thought. These types of projects require time and no interruptions.
I got into the groove and made some good progress. I added a purple Friendship Circle, which you can see adds a lot to the piece. It isn’t sewn yet, so we will see some better photos later.
I also sewed some sections together, which makes it look more like a quilt.
Despite my determination, I wasn’t 100% sold on the pattern I mentioned. I went back to the box of patterns, blocks, etc and looked through the rest of it to make sure I didn’t find a pattern or idea I liked better.
I found a few that I thought were more interesting or had some promise.
My top contender for the moment is a block I found in a Japanese magazine. Because I do not read Japanese and I ripped out the page at some point, I don’t know which magazine or issue.
As you can see from above, the block breaks down into Flying Geese and Peaky & Spikes as well as some strange pentagon shape.
The page showed a number of different blocks both in outline format and in black and white, but with fabrics. The example shows four blocks together as well.
The four blocks together is what caught my attention as I looked through the box. The black and white fabric image makes it look like there is a circle going on.
One of the trends I saw in the box was a lot of blocks with curves or either implied curves.
I drew up the block in EQ8 and made a quilt from the drawing, so you can get an idea of what my version of the quilt will look like.
I don’t know if I get the full effect from the drawing of the circles, but I see it a little bit.
I used the colors from below to create the quilt example (left). I think I have more colors and fabrics, so the example is not reflective of what the quilt will look like.
I also found an inspiration page from a home magazine that I ripped out at some point. With a couple of exceptions it mimics the colors in the fat quarter pack I bought and plan to use in this project. I intended to add some turquoise, but may also add a mustard-like color as the inspiration suggests.
I haven’t started this yet, but I plan to. It started out as a yearning for a fabric bundle I saw. I am not allowing myself to buy fabric, for the most part, unless I have a project.
The other week Stash Fabrics was having a sale on Art Gallery fabrics. I love Art Gallery. I know many people don’t because of the tight weave, but I do. I saw a bundle I wanted. I tried to resist, I really did, but bought it in the end. The fabrics came on Thursday and I was a little disappointed to find that they were not as bright as they appeared on the website. It isn’t a problem as I need a few more fabrics and will add in some turquoises and some brighter blues.
Since I needed to find a project, I looked through a big box of patterns I have ripped out of magazines. I found one that would work and that I liked. A Maze of Little Gems (Yes, I will change the name!) is the pattern that I picked. Nancy McNally has it on her website/blog as Playground of Triangles. N. B.: I am glad it isn’t going to get lost in the Quilting Company debacle. The pattern is fat quarter friendly and uses a lot of the HSTs, which will work well for the fabric I have. I added in a AGF solid in Ash as the background. Yes, I am still on the grey background kick.
I have to finish Flying Around before I start something else. I also have a number of small projects I want to work on or finish.
Yes, I think I will call this quilt Flying Around.
I was sort of avoiding this project because it is hard. I had the first dedicated time in 2 weeks on which to work and I just decided to do it. Often I decide to sew two pieces together. Two pieces become two more and suddenly I am in the middle of it and enjoying myself. That is what happened on Sunday.
First, I was thrilled to be at my machine again. I loved the travel, but really missed sewing. I did bring some handwork with me, but just didn’t do it.
Second, I was excited to be making progress and I really felt like the part on which I worked just went together. That is not to say I don’t need to do some ripping, but this piece is difficult because I have an idea and not a pattern. Nobody is telling me how to piece it or which piece to put where. It is an intellectual challenge, but it is difficult.
I have to work on the edge of the upper right hand corner. It is off the design wall, so I haven’t concentrated on it. I will need to do so soon, though.
I often think I am in a good place with this piece, then I look at the whole thing and realize I haven’t made the progress I wanted. That was the case when I looked at this whole piece as I was photographing it. It is still too skinny. I need to make it wider.
I have been thinking I would square up the top and bottom then make it wider. Somehow it just keeps getting longer and appears to be skinnier.
Fortunately, I still need some length so the work will not go to waste and I won’t have to rip it out.
As an aside, I saw an exact match to this quilt (except for the fabrics) on a Kansas City Star page. They call it Whirligig. Do I like that name? Maybe.
I am kind of thrilled that the Kansas City Star has a pattern for this quilt. I’ll have to look it up and see what my copy says about the pattern.
I have been making slow and steady progress on the Flying Geese quilt. I have done a lot of cutting and some sewing.
I am trying make a color wheel effect, though it will be subtle in the finished product. As with FOTY 2017, my design wall isn’t large enough to contain my piece. This means I have had to sew parts together in order to put various parts on the wall. You can see the squished green bits on the right.
I am struggling with keeping pieces in the right place as I sew and the piece shrinks. I experienced the same thing with FOTY 2017 and got through it. I will here, too.
In the course of making this quilt, I had some thoughts about HSTs and update the Triangle Technique tutorial.
I spent a very happy day on Sunday working on my Flying Geese quilt. I really have to think of a better name for it, but for now, that is what I am calling it.
This is a difficult quilt on which to work, because when it is unsewn it looks messy and the pieces look out of place. When it is partially sewn, pieces still seem out of place. Still, seeing the Friendship Star block starting to come together is a good thing. It still a bit confusing, because the other pieces around it are not sewn together. I can start to see what is happening with that one section.
I am pleased with how the blue section is coming together. I am not sure if I like the Flying Geese so close to the top of the Friendship Stars, but in that case, I guess it looks ok.
You can see, also, that I have cut a lot more of the grey background squares, which is helping to make it possible to put the pieces together.
This piece is making me think about Kelly’s Round Robin. I don’t know if she every put it together or what she thought of my work. Anyway the piece has been on my mind.
I am never going to get this project finished if I don’t work on it, so I work on it whenever I can. Lately, I have just been making stars. I have a whole Scone container full of the little stars and some pieces in my Sew Together Bag cut to make more. I decided I had better put some stars together to make a section that will increase the size of the main piece before I made more stars. As a result, I have been beavering away at that task.
It doesn’t look very impressive, I know. That takes a bit of the wind out of my sails, because all of that piecing is handwork and it took quite a while, though not years, to get that much done.
I am still trying to think of this as my slow quilt project, but it is hard. I am kind of ready to be done with this project and move on to something else. At least I finished one hand project this year.
I was a very good girl on Sunday and spent most of my sewing time making sleeves. I am entering a couple of quilts in the Fair and they need sleeves. Also FOTY 2017, now finished will need a sleeve. Since I was doing finishing tasks anyway, I made a sleeve for it as well.
Partway through the drudgery, I decided to branch away from my UFOs and project lists. I decided to start on a new, fresh quilt project that I designed. I decided I would set the Flying Geese from the exchange I did. the photo, left, is a selection of the FGs I made and received in the exchange.
So, as I was working on the sleeves, which, have I mentioned, can be quite tedious, I did little tasks on the FGEQ (not sure what I will name this quilt yet). First, I got out the boxes of FGs. Then I printed the design, then with FOTY 2017 off the design wall, I started following my design to put FGs in place on the design wall. The photo doesn’t make it look like much, but getting all the FGs on the design wall helped me realize that I needed also to put the HSTs on the design wall. I thought I could hold off, but I needed to do it.
Using my Triangle Technique, I starting making HSTs. I just thought I would make a few to get the idea, but the more I made, the more I wanted. This quilt is evolving in such an exciting way. The layout of the Flying Geese does work! That is really great. The Friendship Star blocks really fit in. They look great.
I used some Queen Street fabrics I had leftover from my Queen Street mania from a few years ago and the BAMQG IRR. I have started in on a selection of those for the blue area. I am thinking of a color wheel kind of effect, though I don’t know if I will put them in color order.
There will be a lot of fiddly sewing and, perhaps some partial seams to get this baby together. I posted the last picture on IG and got some great responses. I can’t wait to see how it looks with more finished.
Right now I know I have to face the following challenges:
Sizing everything. Math isn’t my forte and I think I have selected a size HST that will fit with the FGs, but one can never be sure.
Right now it looks like I have more than plenty Flying Geese. What do to with the extras will be something to consider. I’d like to use them all, but that may not be possible. There could be possibilities for a half border or something.
Perhaps I should double up the FGs so they stand out more? That is a ‘make visual decisions visually’ problem and I will have to look and see.
How big? I want to put more Friendship Star blocks in the corners. Will that make the quilt too big?
Once again, it has been awhile since I showed my cutting chart. It is something I meant to do in January, but it never seemed to get done. The same thing happened last year, so it has still been a year, which is my actual goal. Once a year.
5″ squares – no particular project, but I thought it might be a good idea to start storing some up for a future project. The impetus was that DH got me a 5″ square keeper for my birthday. That’s as good a reason as any, right?
Blue Gradation quilt – 2.5 x 4.5 rectangle – this has been on the Dream Projects list since at least 2014. It might be time to put up or shutup.
Pink Gradation quilt – 2.5 x 4.5 rectangle –
– this has been on the Dream Projects list since at least 2014. It also might be time for me to put up or shutup about this project. I am not sure how many gradation type projects I can do in a row.
As you know, one of the major aspects to my quiltmaking is hunting and gathering. I prefer to make quilts, usually, that use a lot of fabrics. I think many different aquas will be more interesting than just one. This means that many projects, I need to cut a lot of patches from a wide variety of fabrics. It doesn’t work for me to decide to start such a project, open up a fabric bin and start cutting. I don’t want to always stand that long, I get bored and the whole situation results in me hating the project or just stopping about halfway through. Also, if I use that strategy, I get tend to have too many of one color and not enough of others. None of this is good for my stress level and definitely not they way I want my quiltmaking to be.
My system, which I have explained in similar terms before, is that once a project is in my queue, I decide if it requires a ton of cutting. If it does, I can figure out what kind of cutting I need to do (coordinated fabrics or scrappy fabrics as well as size). Either requirement can work with my system. Then I put the shape and color on my list, which I keep the list near my cutting table. When I have a new piece of washed and ironed fabric I have a good list of exactly what to cut.
Also, I don’t know of another way to really randomize this type of fabric selection. Cutting from fabrics I buy new or pull out to use seems like as good a way as any. Also, as an added bonus, I use fabrics that I like right now -> immediately.
Another problem I had was that I would take fabrics out of bins and find that NOTHING would be cut from them. Not one square. Shameful! This problem was alleviated by the Fabric of the Year project. You can read about the beginnings of that project for me in a post from 2008. Using this method for cutting started the solution to my Hunting and Gathering.
As I got use to cutting one shape, the Fabric of the Year shape, out of new fabrics, it became easier to cut more than one shape. I thought it was a good idea and it became easier to use this new system to make progress on projects I was not yet ready to start sewing. Pretty soon I was up to the number of pieces I am cutting now. And the stacks of those pieces were piling up.
I also found that the fabrics became less precious. I started not to save them for a better project. This meant that fabrics that I loved RIGHT NOW were in a project RIGHT NOW. I also found out, which I have talked about in terms of the FOTY projects, which fabrics were going to work for other projects. I could go and buy more before it was 3 years later and too late to buy more.
Now, there are many fewer fabrics that not been cut into. When I buy fat quarters, there is not much of them left after all this cutting.
One of the great things about cutting pieces from new fabrics is that it is a great warm-up. Sometimes when I need to get started, pressing fabric and cutting new pieces from new fabrics is a good way to get started. If I have 10 minutes, I can cut, feel like I made progress and got a little stress relief in.
I finally finished the City Sampler top. I have the binding dome as well, but the back is still in progress. No worries except time as I want to have at least two tops finished before I head to Colleen’s.
I didn’t use all of the blocks. I ended up deciding not fix the ones that would be a pain after I realized I couldn’t find all of the fabric. I did fix a number of them. The ones that didn’t make the cut will go on the back.
I was feeling a little discouraged by my City Sampler Progress. I felt like I spent last weekend sewing and sewing and sewing and not getting anywhere. Then, all of a sudden, the whole left side is together!
That side has 36 blocks, so I am not yet halfway through, but I do feel like it is significant progress. I also don’t feel as discouraged. I have hope that I will be able to get this top together.
I am thinking of putting the border on that side before sewing the side to anything else. I think it will be easier than wrestling the quilt when it is finished.
I am a little sick of the Half Hexie Star project, so I switched to Big Stitching the BAMQG IRR. It never ceases to amaze me how much progress I make when I actually work on a project. It has been awhile since I worked on it and it is a nice break from EPP.
I had to get back in the Big Stitch groove, which was difficult. I finally figured out that I couldn’t do it when I was stitching in a seam allowance, because of all the layers. That means I am doing some stab stitching in addition to the Big Stitch.
One of the challenges I have is what quilting designs to use. Right now I am just echo quilting. I don’t know if I want to do more, if curves will work with Big Stitch or if there are other designs I should use. I haven’t handquilted a lot. When I have done it I have mostly used echo quilting to highlight the block designs. Occasionally, I have used stencils. I’ll have to look at some books and see if I can get inspired.