Sunday, June 28, 2020

Meanwhile ...

Back at the Alphabet

The plus side of my working my way through the alphabet is that I have been very productive.  The downside is I've been easily distracted -- not by shiny things, but by beautiful fabrics that have been hiding away in project boxes.  

If I remember correctly, I had made it through F - Flying Geese.  I despised that fabric so much I totally ditched that project.

Oh, wait, I made it through G by finishing Gypsy Wife a/k/a Corona Wife.

But the curves in Glorified/Improved 9-Patch are still staring at me from the side table.

All of the Hs remain in the box ...

... though I do use Happy Surprise as L/Es some days.  Jo Kramer/Jo's Country Junction  coincidentally showed a completed Harriet's Legacy quilt today and I am struggling with the temptation to get back to that one.  It's a medallion style with rounds of different blocks so it would be easy to work on one round at a time and to stop when I have had enough ... Can you tell I'm wavering?

That brings me up to J.

Jack's Chain has intrigued me for years.  I got as far as constructing one block.

All the bright triangles are cut and stripsets are waiting to make more 9-patches.

My dilemma is figuring out the best way to put the blocks together.  I have accumulated several patterns and magazine articles on the subject, but it doesn't look easy.  Nevertheless, I am barging ahead with the 9-patches, using them as leader/enders.

Jenn's Journey is close to the assembly point. 

You can see on the picture that I plan to do just one quadrant of the quilt.  I "cheated" a bit in the class by using some finished snail's trail blocks purloined from another ill-fated project.

They aren't the exact size of the pattern so I was having to make some adjustments in the sizes of the SiS and diamonds.  If I remember correctly, I was not happy with my fabric selection for the diamonds.  I really should move this one to completion as a table topper.  That will be my goal for this week!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Patience and Persistence

A Tale of Three Machines

If you are like me, there are some projects you put away and when you get back to them you don't remember where you were or why you stopped.  (Note to Self:  make notes to self.)  Such is Weaver Fever a design by Jackie Robinson.

This one goes back to my early days in quilting--around 2004.  I remember the retreat where we were all working on it.  The teacher (my friend Nancy) had the process very organized.  (I also remember Doris (no longer with us) whose quilt ended up in reverse because she turned her table around!)

When I was looking for "easy" projects to take to last week's retreat I looked in the project box and it looked like all I needed to do was sew the blocks together.  Easy-peasy.  NOT!  Here's what I think happened ... 

Initially one of my fabric selections was blah and needed to be replaced.  

That yellowy blue in the middle just wasn't singing the same song!  Thankfully, I had only subcut the stripsets for a couple of test blocks at that earlier retreat.  So the project stalled while I disassembled six of the ten strips sets and inserted the new fabric.  

By the time I got back to assembling blocks a few years later, I was using a new "traveling" machine.  Both my original Pfaff and the new Janome required moving the needle to get a good quarter inch and neither was the same -- nor did I always remember to reset the needle position (my bad!). With four to five vertical seams and nine horizontal seams in each block, it was inevitable that every block was a different size.  And now I'm using a third machine.   It's no wonder the project went into Timeout ... for years!

To make a long story short, I realized that this is basically a variation of bargello which normally requires consistent seams.  The advantage of the block technique in this pattern is the only critical measurement is the width of a block so I could trim wider blocks to a consistent measurement.  

But I also had blocks that were longer than others!

But as long as the blocks in any given row were the same length, it wasn't a problem!  In the end I had to disassemble only one row of 5 blocks to trim them to a consistent width. The rest I trimmed before putting them together.  I'm still contemplating borders, but here is my current status.

At 50" x 70" before borders, it will be a nice throw.  I think this one is staying with me.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Rainbow Baby

When I was putting away projects and such from last week's retreat, I spied a stack of 5-inch 9-patches on the work table.

Some had the rainbow stripes on the outside corners and some had the pink on the corners. Not much I could do with just a dozen that would finish at 4.5".  You know my go-to trick to make things bigger is to put blocks on point.  But even alternating with a background fabric it would not be big enough for anything but a table topper.  

What could I put with it to extend their usefulness?  Why, pink paisley, of course!

One Sunday and a bit of Monday and I had a 38" baby quilt.

Back and binding are ready.  Finish #18 of 20 in '20.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Retreat Wrap-up Photos

First, a tour of Febuary Hill Retreat House.  
(One of the owners was a Frenchman named Fevrier but it was misspelled when translated.)

Original 1832 front door

Back of side "L"

Beautiful gardens

Renovated kitchen

Front parlor/library

Quilts all around (at least a hundred!)

Now to what we created in four days (and this is only a partial showing)

Ruth added borders to this pink beauty

Becky whipped this carpenter's star together in a little over one day!

And Becky added borders to Hot Mess (it's a long story)

One of many stars by Nancy

Ruth was challenged by Cactus Flower

Donna finished Frolic

WOWE quilts

WOWE is an organization that supports a local cancer center.
Since they have not been able to have group sewing sessions,
they sent some already-cut kits for us to work on.

There was a lot more going on but I didn't take progress photos.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Retreat Day Four

Today was much the same as yesterday, except the mess on my table was neutral instead of brown and blue.

I was trying to create some order in a mess of leftovers, practice blocks, rejects, and other bits of neutral detritus.  

The most I got accomplished was framing a few blocks to bring them up to a standard size.

After sorting the bits into piles of strips, squares, and triangles I packed it all away and turned my attention to a couple of moldie-oldie projects since the person who taught those classes at guild was sitting at the next table.😊

Remembering Marie is an 8-pointed star by Civil War Legacies.  I have had all the strip sets together since the class many years ago.  Also, one set of star units cut.  I stitched that one star point together to have as my sample for the future.

Then I pulled out Weaver Fever by Jackie Robinson.  I had made a fabric change several years ago that required disassembling some strip sets.  I felt certain that I had made all the replacements but was pleasantly surprised at how many blocks I had finished!  I trimmed and assembled two more rows this evening.

And I discovered even more finished blocks in the bottom of the box that I still need to square up.  Looking at this picture I see some apparent errors which may be why those few blocks were separated from the rest in the bottom of the box.

Heading home in the morning.  All-in-all, one of the best gatherings -- of course, the fact that we haven't all been together since February could have something to do with it.

Retreat Day Three

I didn't accomplish a whole lot.  I had a big box of orphans and bits of brown and blue that I was hoping to work into some semblance of unity but the pieces were so disparate that no vision came to mind.  It couldn't possibly been caused by the chaos on my table ...

... or under my feet ...

So I referred to Medallion Quilts: Inspiration & Patterns and was suitably inspired.  I began the process with a large leftover block from one of my Wink & a Smile quilts.  First, I had to replace the four corners that somehow, some way, for some reason had been removed.

Again I had trouble with quilty math and had to manipulate frames to get things to fit so this is as far as I got with the project.

The others have been hard at work so I'll show some pics.

Donna's Frolic

Donna's Magical Mystery

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Retreat Day Two

It was a cool day and sunny until late afternoon when we had a little shower.  We made our way over to Tennessee Quilts in the morning and I confined my purchases to border for the the floral churn dash quilts and a half yard for a project I'm about to start tonight.

I was able to resurrect the final border on Everlasting.

I discovered it helps to cut the two sides the same length!

I also got inner and final borders on Starry Night.

Once I get home I'll cut/make backs and bindings for these two and I will be a lot closer to my 20 in '20 goal!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Retreat Day One

February Hill

We are at a new-to-us 1830s retreat house in Jonesborough, TN.

What should have been a 3-hour drive was extended by nearly an hour due to a semi fire on the interstate.  But we arrived safely.  Nine of us spread out in a converted 3-car garage.

My first day has been devoted to putting borders on some larger quilts.  I like to take advantage of  the bigger tables to properly lay out and measure.

Double shot (above) and Buckeye Stars (below) were both Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts from 2018-19 that I  put together near the end of last year.

I'll fill in with more details another day.