Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summertime Smorgasbord

Time to catch up and let you know that I haven't fallen in!  I've been busy with several projects lately, but nothing seemed newsworthy by itself.  So here are a few things that have been in the hopper...

Civil War Blocks

Randy at the Barrister's Block took July off from her Sow-a-Long, so there weren't all those blocks to cut and piece.  I used the time to finish up the twelve Double Monkey Wrench blocks for the Civil War block swap at Pieceful Quilting.

 I put them together to see how they looked, and I really liked them!  The blue and white HSTs in the corners come together to make a square-in-a-square across the blocks.  I neglected to take a photo, but here's a digital mock-up to give you the idea.

When I first started putting the blocks together, I never noticed that three of the five fabrics were directional!  And one (the blue one) was "one way only"  :-(

In the end, I had to put all the pieces up on my design wall and try to make sure that everything in a single block was going the same way.  This would be such a simple block to sew, but I had to keep every piece organized so the blocks came together.

But you know what?  One of the things I love about quilting is learning how to see, how to figure things out, and how to punt when necessary.

The last four blocks I made came out way small (1/4" overall for the block) -- I don't know why.  I re-sewed them and they were OK, but the seams are so narrow!   I almost decided just to keep the blocks, but finally took them into the store for the swap.  Fortunately, they didn't check the backs of the blocks or notice that they weren't all exactly the same.  Each participant will get 12 different blocks back in September.  I can hardly wait to see them!

Simple Sampler

The block for the July Simple Sampler class was a little pinwheel.  After ripping and resewing the last four Civil War blocks, it was nice to have something easy!


Fireplace Mosaic

Preparing my mosaic quilt is turning out to be much more of a challenge than I'd expected!  According to the project map, I need 20 different colors of fabric, and the range isn't very great -- mostly in the brown/orange/red area.  I selected a lot of scrap pieces, but also dug into my yardage and bought some fat quarters when I needed a lot of one color.  I guess the quilt will be "semi-scrappy"!  First I had to pull all the fabrics that I thought I'd want to use and marked them with the letter from the project map.

Brown, rust, dark red, orange-red, orange, ack!
Then I cut things into 2" squares and made sure I had enough of each color.  The grid is 30x30, so I figured I needed about 900 squares.

BUT!  Some of the grid squares are half square triangles.  This created two complications.  First, I had to figure out all the triangle pairs and pull out the squares that would be used for triangles.  This took some serious tracking skills -- if there's only one red/black triangle, then there will be 1/2 of a red square and 1/2 of a black square left over.  If there are 3 red/yellow triangles, then I can use the leftover 1/2 red from the red/black for the red/yellow.  Are there any extra yellow triangles anywhere?  Arghhh!

The second complication was that I'd forgotten to account for the triangles until I'd cut the fabric.  So the HSTs would be less than 2" when sewn.  After some cogitation, I realized that the quilt would be too big if I used 1/4" seams.  I'd planned on a 20x20 grid, which would have given me a 30" quilt (minus borders).  But with a 30x30 grid the quilt would be 45" -- way too big.  With 1/2" seams it will be the 30" that I'd planned and they will easily catch the HSTs.  Yes!  There will be fabric waste from the full squares, but that's acceptable to me.

One Last Thing

Last week was the 6th Annual Island Shop Hop here on the east end of Long Island.  I got to some shops I hadn't been to and picked up lots of bargains in fabric.  And it was a great opportunity to discover the difference in fabric lines among the various shops.  One was almost all batiks, beautiful but not in my plans for my next few quilts.  I didn't get to the shop that was furthest away but apparently others weren't so distance-challenged.  The grand prize winner of a new Bernina sewing machine was someone from Brooklyn!

No comments:

Post a Comment