I finished the Triple Star top and back. The package is ready to go to the quilter, which will, once I get it there, make 4 quilts she will have of mine. I am waiting to finish another top before I take this one to her.
I used Sarah Goer’s Planned Improv technique to lay the quilt out, as I mentioned. It worked well, though I would have made some adjustments if I had a larger design wall. Some of the stars needed a bit more space. I just didn’t have the room I really needed to work.
Still, I am pretty pleased with the way it came out and am on to the next project(s). 🙂
This is a very preliminary layout for the Triple Star. I had planned to use Kim Brackett’s straight layout from the book, Scrap Basket Beauties, but the thought of that type of layout just became too boring for me*.
I decided to use Sarah Goer’s Planned Improv method to layout these blocks. I thought it would work with a quilt in addition to just blocks. I got out some graph paper, taped it together and began drawing in the blocks.
Unlike the blocks for my Planned Improv Quilt, there will be spaces in between the blocks. I am also not starting in the middle and working out, which complicates the design. I had no trouble drawing out the design, but I think this quilt will be primarily made up of partial seams. Partial seams are not hard and some people equate them to Y seams (also not hard, check my tutorial), but they are really different. I have a tutorial on partial seams if you don’t know how to do them.
*I am not implying that the layout Kim Brackett shows is bad in anyway. I just didn’t want to lay my blocks out that way.
I decided on a layout for the Triple Star quilt and needed one more block to make it look mostly balanced.
I made it mostly from the leftovers that I didn’t use in the other blocks. This makes it heavily made from warm colors. I decided not to worry about it as it wouldn’t stand out with all of the other blocks.
The Ta Dots and Stripes quilt top and back are finished and with Colleen ready for quilting.
As I said, this was going to be a donation quilt. It turned out to be much more appealing, though still an eye bender, than I thought so it will go to one of the nephews.
It is on the small size – about 45×60. I wanted a border to contain the chaos and make it a little bigger. I tried some fabric, but my IG peanut gallery nixed the idea and I had to agree. I couldn’t find a fabric print that worked and a solid was be too flat.
I tried a grey dot, which was ok, but not great. I like the fabric, but it just didn’t work with the activity of the quilt. So, no border.
This quilt might have been a freebie from the Mostly Manor Lozenge quilt, but it might also be something that I pass along to someone else to work on.
What I have now is not large enough to make much of a quilt with. I need to find fabrics to go with the Mostly Manor fabrics I have already used and make more HSTs to make it larger. I could just add some white squares, make a back and call it a donation quilt. I am not sure at this point. I like the what I have so far, but don’t want to spend time making something that won’t be satisfying. I am not saying that this is an ugly quilt; I am saying that I don’t think I want to spend time on it. Even if I finish it as is, someone will like it.
The top is finished. It came out to be about 60″ x 84″, which I think is a great size. No, it isn’t bed sized, but it will be a good couch, snuggle quilt.
I cut the border pieces to fit each block and sewed them on to the blocks, then sewed the blocks to each other. It was pretty easy to match up the seams using this modified ‘chunking‘ method. It is somewhat scrappy within both colors – interesting, but not psychedelic.
I made a list of projects I had in process in my journal and found a lot. Seeing them on paper seemed to galvanize me in a way that seeing them here did not. I like having them here as it makes me accountable, but the combination of paper and bytes works for me.
One problem has been that I have had my design wall set up since last January. I have been using my small design wall, but really need a larger one. I have been hoping to sell the Pind Design wall (you know you want it!), but no luck so far. I finally spent time on New Year’s Day setting it up.
For whatever reason, the first project I put up was the Ta Dots and Stripes quilt. Yes, that is the new name.
I started working on it as a donation quilt using the Leaders and Enders method while I worked on the Planned Improv blocks. I made some progress, but it is easy to get confused about where what goes.
I found some more dots and decided to make another row of HSTs, so I prepared them at Sew Day and sewed them when I got home. It will make the quilt a little larger.
I thought the quilt would be a donation quilt, but after I sewed a number of the sections together, I think it will become a Niece-phew quilt for one of the nephews.
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 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 had an unexpected day of sewing on Sunday. Mom and I were scheduled to visit her quilt show, but she was called on to act in her Presidential Duties at her church. I was sad not to see her, thought glad to avoid the 2+ hour each way drive. My long commute has prevented us from getting together regularly and that is hard. Mom and were able to catch up for a few minutes on the phone and that was nice.
I sewed instead. I sewed A LOT.
One of the projects on which I made progress was the Triple Star blocks. I have made all the blocks called for in the pattern. After taking Sarah’s class on Saturday, I have a different idea of the layout and may need to make more to get the right balance.
The pattern calls for a straight set – 4 down, 4 across. After Sarah’s class, and after thinking about the layout of the Stars #3 Donation quilt, I want to do something different, more interesting.
I did a quick layout with three quarters of the blocks, which resolved my uncertainty. I like the asymmetrical idea, though I realize that I may need a few more blocks for the upper left and lower right hand corners.
Even if this particular layout (definitely without the toes) will not be the final layout, I am on the right track. Using Sarah’s technique, I be able to cut exactly what I need to put it together.
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.
I was hung up on the Triple Star project because I needed to cut a few more pieces. I couldn’t seem to get to it. It seemed like a good thing to do over the weekend while I was home fighting off a cold. Wielding a rotary cutter isn’t always a good idea when taking cold medication, but in this case, all the cold relief was minor.
I got the pieces cut and was back in business making Triple Stars in between putting En Provence together.
I finished n.12, which had been in process for a few weeks. I was also able to finish a second.
I am finally making progress on this project again. Three more blocks and I can put the quilt together.
I really feel it keenly when I can’t sew, so I think I am posting every little bit of progress so I don’t seem like a slacker in my own mind.
This is the most recent star that I have made.
Due to some cutting errors I repurposed some of the pieces to other uses in the Triple Star. This means I have to cut more before I can make much more progress on the rest of the stars. I have one in progress and am sewing as much of it as I can, but I have to cut.
As much as the flippy corners method is a pain, I do like the look of the Friendship Star in the center.