Sunday, September 25, 2016

Block 38: Welcome Block

This week's block was my final 12" block. It is so odd to switch from the tiny pieces in the 6" blocks to these (relatively) large pieces. I did decide to piece it on the machine since the seams would be longer and I thought the result would be better done by machine.

Here is the Welcome Block:
 Here is the back, if you're curious.
A few open seams, but mostly I pressed to one side or the other with and furled the main intersections.

After sewing some "flippy corners" for units in the block, I sewed the triangles that you normally discard into half-square triangle blocks. I had some fun playing with what I could do with them:
Not sure what will become of them, but they're safely in a bag in my scrap box waiting for the right project. :)

Here are all of the blocks I've done so far in a virtual layout:
Sure looks better with that last 12" block filled in, doesn't it!

Won't be too long now and all of the blocks will be finished!
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Here is Kim's block:
I think it looks like a flower!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Quilt Blocks Squared

At O'Hare airport
I have been rather obsessively sewing my red nine-patch blocks whenever I have a chance, including when Troy is driving and during the bus ride and flight I had recently. And lots of time on my couch in the late evenings, of course.

I don't have a count of how many I have sewn but I am keeping track of how many I have cut out. I divided the squares into two groups first: red and not-red. Then each group was separated into four categories from light to dark

Then I mix and match them with the lighter reds going with the darker not-reds, etc. I also make sure that I have equal number of squares with four dark patches and five dark patches because in the final quilt, you need half of each.

While I was at my sister's, she let me go through her scraps. She always says she doesn't have many and doesn't keep small pieces, but I found plenty to work with! I didn't cut any yardage she had; just the leftover bits. I cut 2.5" strips whatever length I could get (anywhere from 2.5" to width of fabric). When I got home, I cut them crosswise into 2.5" squares:
Isn't that a wealth of scraps!! I was just itching to use them up! It was fun to have fresh fabric to pair up with contrasting pieces.

Following are pictures of all the squares done so far on my flannel wall. I tried to lay them out in pattern, but for some of the groups, I had more of one layout than the other. Don't worry...I've cut out and set up the right pieces, but they haven't been sewn yet.
Light reds with medium-dark not-reds
Medium-light reds with dark not-reds
Medium-dark reds with light not-reds
Dark reds with medium-light not-reds
I think you can see how even though there are lots of colours, you will still get the checkerboard effect because of the light and dark values of the fabrics.

Right now I am thinking they will be arranged in the quilt either in a gradation of light blocks to dark, or maybe more of a colour wash--yellow toned blocks moving into orange into green, etc. while the red remains a constant. I think there will be a lot of playing with this one when the blocks are done!

I'm planning on 15 blocks on a side so that is 225 blocks. I'm pretty close to having enough pieces cut out but I have quite a bit of sewing to do!! Most of these are hand sewn just because I can take it with me and I enjoy doing it on the couch while watching TV/Netflix. But I'm not handsewing the batiks so they are all done on the machine. I also can't imagine doing the long seams by hand when I will be assembling the top. But we'll see...

I'm still excited about this crazy quilt of mine. It's a fun experiment in "what happens if I..."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Block 37: Corn and Tomatoes

This week's block is called Corn and Tomatoes. I can't really imagine why but it did dictate a yellow and red colour scheme.

Then again, looking at it while squinting your eyes, I guess the longer yellow pieces could represent a corn cob and the smaller red triangles, though not very round, could sort of be tomatoes. I guess...?

That part of the block with the red, yellow and white is a trick with the angled seams. The designer chose to do it with "flippy corners". It's a good way to sew the bias seams and not to have to cut out triangle and diamond pieces.

You start with a yellow rectangle the size of the finished unit. Layer a white square on one side and sew from corner to corner:
Cut off the excess on the left, leaving the 1/4" seam. Then fold (or flip) the white triangle that's left so it completes the rectangle shape.
Then you do the same thing on the other side with a red square. Sew from corner to corner on the red square parallel to the previous seam.
Cut off the excess leaving a seam allowance and flip the red triangle over.
Give it a press and you easily have this complicated looking piece.

Here are all of the blocks done so far in a virtual layout:
_____________________
Here is Kim's block:
Can you see that her "corn" pieces are made with corn kernal fabric? That girl doesn't mis a trick!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Block 36: Churn Dash

I not only brought my Postage Stamp block with me on the trip to my sister's, I brought the next block too. I didn't sew it while traveling because I had other things to work on but I did have a chance to sit in their backyard on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and sew.

In no time I had my block done. Kim was busy with preparations for their anniversary party (the reason of my visit), but she took a "minute" on Sunday evening to sew her block.

This week's block is a traditional Churn Dash block.
Can you guess which is whose? I didn't think about it, but Kim went with yellow because she thought of butter for a churn dash block. Once again I'm surprised by the similar choices we made even though we don't see what the other is doing.

Here is another look at all of my blocks done so far in a virtual layout:
And now we're caught up to yesterday as far as the schedule goes. Time to pull out another block kit... :)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Block 35: Postage Stamp

There were a lot of pieces in this block!! It's a 6 by 6 grid of squares that finish at 1 inch.

I took the pieces with me while flying to see my sister. I wasn't sure I would be able to work on it during the trip because of the many pieces to keep track of, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

Enter the chance to take a later flight and get a $500 voucher for a future flight. It was the ideal situation to be the volunteer as I was traveling alone and there was nothing planned for the evening I was landing. Once I made a quick call to my sister who was picking me up, I had an extra five hours in the terminal. Sounds like a good time to pull out 36 tiny pieces of fabric!
You can see evidence that I also spent the five hours
searching out patches of sunshine!
I laid out the pieces on a file folder I brought for the purpose.

Then I sewed all the seams in one direction:
 I don't cut the thread in between the pieces so that they stayed laid out in the right position.

Then I sewed the seams in the other direction:
Easy, peasy, done!

Once I got to my sister's, we could share our blocks with each other:
(Hers is nicely pressed, mine is not!)
Although I think you can tell our blocks apart by the difference in the color tones, this is probably our most similar blocks because of the wide variety of fabrics used. I think there's only one fabric we both used. (Can you find it?)

Here are all of my blocks in a virtual layout:
That last 12" block is looking conspicuously absent!! I am looking forward to when it will finally appear in the schedule.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Block 34: Grandma's Quilt

This block has a fun name. It makes you want to like the block.

No, that's not setting up a story. It's just how "Grandma's Quilt" strikes me.


And here's the whole block:
I can see why you might call it Grandma's Quilt. I can't remember if I planned the X that the pinks and reds form. (The pattern didn't show those pieces in the same colour family.) More likely, I just had a lot of reds to use. :)

Even though this block isn't just connected squares, enough of the seams met that I could furl most of the seams:
Here's a close up of one quadrant if you want to see more detail:
Here are all the blocks done so far:
That blue space is shrinking and shrinking!
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Here is Kim' block:
I love the red/crimsons in this block!! And Kim confessed she had been waiting and waiting to use that little face that was on one of her fabrics. She found a good place for it!! Every quilt can use a little whimsy. :)

And now I am caught up with the blocks that were scheduled to be done up to August 27. I will make this week's block while I'm travelling to see Kim this weekend. I have some serious bus time and plane time in my weekend.

I'm bringing the block for this week and next week so hopefully I can show them both to Kim in person. I'm not pressuring her to get them done though; she's hosting a party and I'm sure that will take up much of her time!

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