Sunday, January 31, 2016

#79 Patience, #39 Grandma, #90 Sara

Not the seventy-ninth block I've made, but #79 in the book "The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt" and release #17 in the quiltalong that started September 28, 2015. There are over 6,200 members in the facebook group sharing and posting, from all over the world. As of today, there have been 36 blocks released with tutorials on gnomeangel's website.

Here is a picture of Patience in progress - very easy block. Nine little squares (which allow for fussy cut) that go together zip zip zip!!! with chain-piecing. Fifteen minutes to cut out, chain press chain press trim once again. Done! Zebra stripes, oak and maples leaves with pumpkin pie color background. (Debbie Mumm harvest print)
#39 Grandma was so many little triangles to sew together!!! Actually the biggest challenge was fabric audition. Gnomeangel used a print of luscious oranges, which provided inspiration to look for a fruit print. Strawberries were what I finally chose, with green batik and a lighter green print for contrast. After cutting, I line up all the pieces, then chain piece, press, check layout, repeat.

Grandma #39, all finished. Seeing the blocks made by the hosts of quiltalongs is both helpful and "blocking" (writer's block, creative block, get it??). For example, the tutorial for #90 Sara has a white/red floral, a dark red print and a medium red solid. Good value placement - but I couldn't see past this example. Finally I was able to visualize and chose a dark pink print (Sandy Gervais, Snap Pop), a light pink print and a light green print that picks up pink by Riley Blake. This went together quickly chain-piecing the 4-pieces, adding the triangle end pieces and assembling the rows. This picture exaggerates the bias stretch, next time I shall plan my steps to avoid it. 

Moon and Star Sister Blocks

With 38 minutes to spare, here are my lovely finished blocks created for the first month of the Bonfire BOM, hosted by AnneMarie of GenXQuilters. (Actually almost 12 hours remain but I liked the sound of 38 minutes better...). Apparently I an drawn to an orange and blue combination, as I thought I was doing something different in the second block (did I not even look at the first block??)  

Yes....there is an inset CURVED seam, preparing for which I slightly gritted my teeth and went forward (kind of like dealing with the "A" word)("A" as in applique). I looked at the text in "Sister Sampler Quilts" and watched the video link AnneMarie made, which actually makes the whole process look easy. I hand-pieced the seams in the first block (the one with the beige tone background), in the second block I did both hand and machine piecing on the curved seam. You don't want to use a lot of pins unless you're hand-piecing (stitch remove pin, stitch stitch remove pin...) and then if you machine piece you could run over a pin and break the needle of the machine. If you hand-piece it's much smoother, more consistent BUT you cannot trim or at least you have to really really really be careful trimming your block to size.

Here is the first month of craftsy's 2016 BOM, "Garden Charm," in a horizontal pose.
(Craftsy shows it vertically, as it were). It was an enormous challenge for me to adhere to the florals. Except for one BasicGrey which was needed as it had both green and pink tones, it's floral-ish. Flourish with the floralish. The tutorial did not provide for working with HSTs, you cut a square into diagonal quarters and sew individually (which allows for so much greater stretching error when sewing on the bias and feeding long ends so I sewed the "short" ends of the right triangles). The pattern calls for pink floral for the first border but this cadet blue volunteered. The next section is dogtooth (another pink floral) and an ivy green floral border. RJR designer and Thimbleberries founder Lynette Jensen created this pattern and the teaching videos and there was a kit available at, when I clicked on it today, it was available for $119.00.

Lynette Jensen said to experiment and move the hourglasses around until you liked the arrangement and to ensure there was the pattern of cream/floral throughout the block. The cream/floral pattern is intact in my block, but I didn't work the placement enough. I've found that the most casual comments of instructors are often the most influential - as I scowl at my clumpings of browns and blues. Below is what I will use for the outer border - Arabella by Marianne Elizabeth. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fixing to get ready to get started....

...and here I have resolved with this New Year, to shift into fourth gear. After drifting along for several hours today, looking at sites, I stumbled across "A Quilter's Table" and decided to join the 2016 Quilt-a-long. This is not another project - this is putting it out there that "I'm going to finish these UFOs this quarter." To wit - the batik table runner I handpieced on the road in Portland, Maine; Logan Airport in Boston, cross country, and waiting at LAX October 7-9, 2015. Pat Sloan's Little Wishes Challenge  (need 2 more blocks after deciding against the on-point arrangement). Quilt Sandwich Fabric's offering from Piecing the Piece o' Cake Way in a similar colorway because I like theirs so much (the July 31. 2015 post from quiltlsandwichblog). Last, the scrappy wall quilt I couldn't quite finish in 2015 time to donate to Interfaith Housing for their 2016 fundraiser, Ruby Slippers, on Feb. 6th. This little wall quilt will be up for grabs (probably in the silent auction.) And it's for a very good cause!!!
 ps the batik table runner - see Travels with the WiFi Bandit for the full story...