Thursday, April 27, 2017

Going Around in Circles

Sometimes when I am working on a particular quilt, I feel guilty about not making another one.  I've realized that this guilt comes from feeling like my quilts are in competition, like a race. When one is "winning," the others are falling farther behind.  I feel much better when I think about them in an unruly line.  Sometimes they manage to sneak up or down the line, so it isn't a straight line.  The important thing though is that, when I am moving one quilt forward, this means the rest of the quilts in line get to move one step forward too.

Block 188

I was going to piece this, but the brown fabric was too skinny, and it was easier to applique. It was also going to be an X, but this reminds me of a Brownie sash, so I left it as a diagonal.

Block 189

This is a leftover piece from the improv quilt.  I cut it in half and sewed it together to make a wider piece, then cut it into circles.

Block 190

This is the other circle made from the improv piece.  All three of these pieces are obvious circles, for a change of pace. 

All of my WIPS and UFOs get to move up three steps in line!

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Zipping Along

I'm still zipping along with my fifteen minutes of sewing a day, feeding my machine whatever I can find to feed its ravenous appetite.  What else can I sew?

 I've found that I can't spend too much time thinking about what to sew, because that seriously cuts down on the fifteen minutes.  Just do it. Don't think about it.

I have a big list of things I can work on, but the circles have taken priority at the moment. I blame Cynthia. She said, ' I can't wait to see all of your "circles" together.'  Well, Cynthia, I can't either!  I originally kept joining the circles together so they stayed in order and didn't get lost.  Then I found a box to keep them in, so I didn't worry about them getting lost And I broke the rule about them having to be in chronological order. Then I found that with different size blocks, I had to add the rows in a certain way so it would fit. So that took away all the incentives to sew the pieces together as I went along.

Then there were some odd shaped pieces that required some thinking about proper sizes and where to put adjusting pieces, etc.  And then I needed a certain number of pieces sewn together, and I didn't have that number. Rather than unseam something, I figured I would just add more.  This paragraph is really why they weren't put together yet.

Well, with the hungry machine, and the just-do-it attitude, I started zipping along and joined the rows.  This is actually a good thing, because that is how the first few rows were put together. And because it saves my poor tired brain. I was able to add two rows to the original piece.

There is an obvious blue adjusting piece on the left, because apparently, I did not follow my original plan that my tired brain had gone through the trouble to figure out, but it works out. I think I had made some blocks smaller to accommodate the applique piece which I didn't add here.  I'm going to put tiny dots on that adjusting piece, and  no one will know it is an adjusting piece. I have some blocks left over that will go into the next row(s).

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Elephants Pushing and Shoving

My Elephant Parade quilt was started the same year as the Life of Plenty, and both were quilt-alongs where the blocks were revealed gradually. As a result, since I worked on both quilts at the same time, at least for a few months, these two quilts became related in my mind.  And the Elephant Parade became like a pushy brother who kept wanting attention every time I worked on Life of Plenty.

I've been spending my fifteen minutes of quilting time sewing down applique - on Elephant Parade, as well as old prepped but not sewn down circle blocks, new circle blocks, and anything else I can find. If it needs to be sewn down, the machine is ready for action.

Block 186

I had this block turned another way when sewing, but it is turned this way for the photo op. Who knows how it will wind up in the quilt!

Block 187

This one is to copy the porthole blocks Tanya is making with Liberty fabric.  This of course in no way looks like her blocks, which are neat and beautifully made.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Circles Continue

Since the top has been put together for A Life of Plenty, it is time to do a little bit of tidying.Some people make up rules about how big a piece of fabric has to be in order to not throw it away. Mostly it has to do with how much fabric will be left after the seam allowances are taken into consideration.  But I am not one of those normal people, and try to use up my trash in my trash circles. I don't have to throw it away if I can find a way to use it.

These are four-inch square blocks now and will be 3 1/2 when they are pieced together.

Block 180

I tried to keep the shapes pretty much the way they were cut out. There aren't any rules though, and if I don't like a particular shape,  I am free to change it.

Block 181

 Mostly it is a matter of taking a few trash pieces and seeing if I can put them into some arrangement that looks good to me. I try not to overthink it or worry about finding the right piece of scrap.  There are a lot of blocks to make and I want to let the process flow naturally.

Block 182

These circles were originally going to be used for A Life of Plenty, but I decided to needle turn the circle block and I wasn't about to needle turn this many circles, eight! I thought about separating these to make more blocks, and needle turning just a few, but they wanted to stay together. I also thought about separating them and making more than one circle block, but ... they wanted to stay together.

Block 183

This one makes me think of one of the space movies, not sure which one.

Block 184

This lady has lots of circles around her neck. She's  not from A Life of Plenty. So sue me.

Block 185

I know some of this will get hidden in the seam allowance. Sorry for the blurry picture. I want to focus on making the blocks, not showing them off.  I have more blocks prepped, so hopefully will be able to show them soon.

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Oh Scrap! 
Monday Making

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Life of Plenty Topped

This dark row of blocks was the one I still needed to replace on this quilt before it could be put together. I just thought it was too dark for this quilt and doesn't look like it belongs.

I made lighter blocks but this still looks like too much. Maybe it is too bright. I was trying to figure out what to put instead - something simple like nine patches would help use a variety of fabric and keep it light.  Maybe an applique block or two. Four patch would be nice and easy. An Ohio star would be good.

Zeus popped by to remind us that it is not 2015 anymore. I thought putting the date on it would motivate me to finish it quicker. Hah! Although ... if I wait until next year to finish, the 5 would be easy to change into an 8.

Then I realized that I had a spare row of flying geese!  Why do I have a spare row?  I don't know. My guess is that one of my rows were a bad quality and I made another one.  I didn't realize I had a spare row and have already put the other row into the quilt, chopped off points and all. Which means this one is available to put right here. I like it. It doesn't look like there are too many flying geese in there at all.

Circle Block 179

I also added a block of circles.  This will be a nice addition to the circle quilt. That is some serious rule breaking - to make a circle block that doesn't wind up in the circle quilt at all. I've been thinking about this idea for a while, so I might have already used it in some other quilt, but I like the idea, so I am using it (again?). These circles are deliberately wonky to fit the prim mood.

I don't expect you to go back to my posts from 2015, but will tell you that I varied some of the blocks from the original pattern. The rabbit, the turtle, the friendship star, and the circle are not in the original pattern. Jeni didn't have hearts in her quilt either. I copied that from another quilter who added a lot of hearts to her blocks.  I also changed the layout a bit, because I didn't like the long row on the right hand side, and I moved around the same size blocks to balance the colors a bit. The pattern is still available on Jeni's website and Facebook page for free.

I am really happy with the way it turned out, and really happy that I was able to finish it this weekend.  I start work again tomorrow so it is good timing.  There are some little things I still need to do, like adding a handle to the basket at the top. And since my spool block on the bottom isn't centered, I figure I could applique a needle there and make it look like it was planned.  Maybe outline the turtle so it is easier to see.

The borders for this quilt are plain with cornerstones.  One of the quilters who did this quilt-along appliqued the title of the quilt on the top border, which I think is a fabulous idea. I really like the name of the quilt, and it is a good way to show gratitude without telling people what to do or think.

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Slow Sunday Stitching