Friday, July 20, 2012

Wandering

Have you ever had a week where you wanted to sew/create but you couldn't find your groove and just the right project?  I've been all over the place this week.
I managed to find my place and finish piecing this little charity top.  Will fold it, put it up, and quilt/bind it when I have another one or two ready. I prefer assembly line when I'm working on these.
And what is this ugliness, you ask.   Good question.  All week I've been feeling the pull of my little bin of florals.  I finally segregated them (sans Kaffe, of course) because I found I wasn't using them.  They are 1/2 yard cuts, FQ, charm squares, and all in between.  Some I bought on vacations and others have been gifted or swapped.  Either way, I never seemed to pull them for a scrap quilt.

In my head, I want to make a disappearing nine patch out of them.  I'm hoping for a cacophony of color and a happy quilt.  For the most part, florals are happy fabrics and they should translate into a quilt of the same tone - if the design is right.  I think this is -- but needed to make a prototype block.

So, that's what this is.  I took some 3" squares and strips and made a nine patch and then sliced it down the middle to see what the proportions, dimensions, and color placement would be like.
This fuzzy shot is the finished project.  Here's what I learned.  I like the "dark" squares in the center and they way they break up.  I like the dimensions (block will finish at 7" with the squares at 2.5").  I liked the process -- sometimes a prototype is enough to tell me that it's not the right thing for me or the fabrics I was using.  I don't like the "light" blocks as the squares and will switch out the medium (blue) value with the light (white).  I don't know about you but playing with a sample block can save a lot of heartache and redo later.  It also lets me know how I should press for ease of assembly.  That wasn't abundantly clear on this block so I may just press seams open.  I pin anyway so I just have to be a bit more cautious.
But -- you know that small voice in your head that asks why on earth you would start another project when you have so many totes of in process quilts already?  My little voice was chattering away - particularly when I had to move a number of other totes to get to my florals.  But cutting new fabric and thinking about a new quilt is so much more fun than trying to figure out where you are in a "work in progress", right?

That's the case here.  This is Roll Roll Cotton Boll which is on my list to finish this year.  It was a mystery quilt at the end of 2010 and I have all the pieced blocks made and all the string blocks sewn into halves.  I just need to finish assembling the larger string blocks.

I started this quilt when we were working on getting the house in Chicago ready to sell and knew that I could do most of it from precut strips and my strings.  I was close to right -- there was plenty of cutting but it made a dent in a lot of my smaller pieces and used many of them up.  That's the spirit of cleaning up to get a house (or sewing room) more in order, right?

The suggested color palette was pink where you see blue -- and I didn't have pinks.  Unfortunately when you are cutting for a mystery quilt, you don't know how the blocks will go together and whether your color choices will work.  I don't think these did.  You also get in pretty deep sometimes and can't get out.  That was the case when one clue was to make 600 of the red/white HSTs and sew them into 120 strips of five.  Some of you know the feeling that comes when you read that and think "REALLY -- 600?".  I didn't get that clue finished until we got moved to Kentucky and I needed mindless sewing.  I had them pieced but not sewn into strips of five.
When making the string blocks, I committed heresy by foundation piecing mine.  The risk is that you don't know how they are going together and you could have a lot of bulk.  That is the case here.  Because the original blocks were cut in half and reassembled into a larger block of four halves, you have some bulky seams - even with lightweight foundation.  The good news is that you have stability.  When you look at this quilt, there are LOTS of pieces and lots of ways for things to get wonky.  These blocks actually provide framework and since I'll just be doing a large meander when I quilt it, I'll avoid any little mountains that might exist.  We'll see if I can keep motivated to do one row everyday.  If so, all the blocks will be pieced within a week and then we'll see if I can figure out where I am on the border.  I have all the pieces cut -- just have to sort and finish them.  Thank goodness I have that set of instructions.  The rest is being done by "feel" since I must have thrown them out!  Good grief!

I hope you are inspired and creative this week -- and a bit more focused than I am!

Jan

20 comments:

Pattilou said...

You are braver than me starting that Roll Roll Cotton Boll! Yours is looking great to me! I use foundations for my string piecing all the time. I even used to press the seams to one side and I never had a problem quilting them and I asked my quilter if she did and her answer was "no". However, I now use my walking foot to sew them together and make a tiny bit bigger seam, so that I can press them open--but that wouldn't work if putting with other blocks that need an exact measurement.

Your creative genes are really flowing, gal! Have a great day!

Nancy said...

My eye loves the polka dot fabric in the HSTs. Nice job!

I need to start making prototype blocks before plunging in on a project. Good idea.

While I love Bonnie Hunter's quilts, they have far too many pieces for me to tackle. Your Roll Roll Cotton Boll looks great.

Quiet Quilter said...

I have had that type of week,also...I have several things on my agenda and still want to wander over to my flannels..They have been calling me...

Laura said...

Looks like u have a lot on the go! The d9p will be great finished :)

KatieQ said...

I love your HST quilt. The fabrics look wonderful together. You are definitely a better woman than I am. I religiously save all of the steps from each of Bonnie's mysteries, but have never been able to work up the energy to make one.

Ruth said...

Have you ever kept a quilt/project journal? Where you make notes of what you've done, steps you've taken on various projects. It helps keep things in order so you can see where you had gotten to.
I had to start one for the photo project I'm working on. It's been a great help, and fun to read back through.
I enjoy reading about your quilts! I love making strings on foundation pieces, it's like mindless color therapy.

LynCC said...

I like your Roll, Roll! The blues are neat and create a classic scrappy appearance - they come together better than you're thinking. :) Whoop, Whoop!

Foolish Feathers said...

How in the world did you make those string block? I have been trying to make a block that looks like those light colored blocks but I just can't wrap my mind around it! I actually think the blocks work great together! Keep working on, you will get through a week like this!

Jill said...

Your quilts are constantly amazing me! Such detail and small pieces! I take my hat off to you!



Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success
http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

Susan Being Snippy said...

Came to visit from the linky party at Sew Happy Geek. I too try to do test blocks for my quilts and it usually works out quite well. I know I would throw up my hands at 600 hst's! A few years back, I put all my test blocks together in one quilt, quite the project and definately a unique quilt.

Vicki said...

Love the quilt! I make prototype blocks too and I get some big surprises when I see the reality vs my mind's eye. I have to say I commit quilting heresey all the time and I have some great finished projects and I haven't been kicked out of the "club" :) your projects look great.

shopannies said...

great work very pretty love it my grandmother was a quilter and I have always admired this talent

come over say hi at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

Carolyn said...

That HST quilt is beautiful. Such a fun and happy quilt. If I see a block I like I tend to just go for it. Maybe sometimes that is not the best, but it has works for me so far.

Sarah Craig said...

You may have been scattered this week, but you worked on a lot of pretty stuff! I love the HST quilt; your RRCB is coming along very well, too. I like your color mix on that! And it's a great idea to use a D9P for your florals - you might want to try an idea I saw in a magazine recently - a D9P made using 10" squares - with the same solid in the center of each block. You can see how it turned out - it's the 5th quilt down on this week's Whoop Whoop post. Fast and easy, and shows off the fabrics nicely!!

So for all your beautiful work this week, whoop whoop!!

Sue Daurio said...

wow what great projects you work on when you're all over the place. Love your RRCB!!

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds said...

Very pretty! Thanks for sharing at our Handmade Tuesdays party.

Little House on the Hill said...

WOW your HSTs are awsome and beyond me. Your fabrics colours are great looks to me like there is plenty of groove awsome!!
Cheers Pauline

Connie said...

Sometimes.....most times I work like that too.....all over the place! Love your RRCB! I have mine all pieced except the border. Orca Bay is ready to be quilted but I keep jumping to other projects.

ANudge said...

Love your projects! Sometimes we have to jump all over the place to finally see what we want to do - and you are doing it beautifully. Thanks for sharing your work on Applique Thursday!

Becolorful said...

I am always so impressed by what you do and your workmanship. Thanks for sharing.
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