Wednesday, July 24, 2019

New Additions to the Wall and on the Wall

After sewing 9 blocks last Thursday, I could see that I was going to run out of space on my design wall. There was a 9 inch space between the top of the design wall and the ceiling. I had 2 foam panels left from the bundle of 6 and enough white flannel left. It didn't take me long to cut the panels to fit and cover them with flannel.  I was able to "press fit" the 9 inch panels without the need to attach them with drywall screws. I did put one finishing nail in each.  The reason I left that 9 inch gap at the top  in the first place is because that was as high as I could reach to screw the panels to the wall while standing on the lowest step of my ladder. I knew that was as high as I could reach anyway to put blocks on the wall.

There will be no explanation or discussion about how I got those panels up there or how I put the top row of blocks up there.

Here are the 67 blocks I've finished, only 32 more to go.  When I put the top 2 rows up on the wall, I tried to lay them out in the way I will sew them together. From the third row down I used a little judgment about placement but I know that with 32 more blocks to make there will be some shuffling  around.

My plan is to take the top rows down with my long grasping gadget. After the top five rows are sewed together I won't have to reach so high to put them back on the wall.

I didn't do any more sewing since last Thursday until today. I did some cutting instead. I searched through my scraps and bins again and pulled out some things I overlooked when I started these blocks. I wasn't in the "almost anything goes" mindset. After making over 60 blocks I am not so fussy about everything looking good together because it just does. Some of the scraps were not quite big enough but I found more of them stashed in other bins. That is a good indication that my organizing system for scraps is really more disorganized.
 This is the one block I made today.  The quilt was asking for something pink and pretty. I wanted to see if there was enough to make the block and there was just enough without a fraction of an inch to spare.

This is my stack of paper plates with 26 more blocks with strips all cut to the right size and paired up and ready to sew.  I am adopting an idea from  Quiltdivajulie , organizing all the pieces for blocks on paper plates,  What a great idea, it doesn't take up a lot of space and pieces are not so likely to get lost.

I almost went to the quilt shop today to buy more fabric for this quilt but I'm happy that I didn't. I have enough! I went to Holden Arboretum instead and walked. There wasn't time after that to shop for fabric.

Friday, July 19, 2019

New Blocks

I finished 9 more blocks yesterday. I am working a little faster since I got things organized better. I started out making one or two blocks at a time. I usually work that way and then decide how to be efficient. I cut all the strips in the lengths I would  stitch together and paired everything up so now I don't have decisions to make for every block.   That seems elementary, and it is, but I don't have many big blocks of time anymore. It just takes me longer to get to the efficiency mode.

These are all nine new blocks.

 I was looking for something in 3 baskets I have on the top shelf of the bookcase and found the prints that I used here. They were bundled up as projects that I started as something to work on when I met with friends. I had no specific plans for them and there was almost no progress made on any of them (I was always too busy talking to get anything done.) so they just got set aside. 
While I was taking the bundles apart and cutting for these blocks, I also cut for Donna Poster blocks and double or triple 4 patch blocks. I put a few blocks from those bundles in my "odd blocks box"

I found enough fabric in those bundles to make more blocks of  these prints I had already used.

I have 65 blocks now and 34 to go for a full size quilt. I found working on 9 blocks at a time was tedious, Maybe I like the diversion of making fabric choices. I think I will cut that down to 4 or 5 blocks at a time. As a diversion, I might start sewing some of  the strips together for the borders. Or, I might get out one of my portable design boards and lay out some Donna Poster blocks. There are a lot of decisions and agonizing of fabric choices to be made for those projects.
Efficiency serves a purpose but sometimes it gets boring.    

Monday, July 15, 2019

Five More

These are the 5 blocks I sewed this morning.

The solid fabric in the green block is really much more purple or fuchsia than it shows here.
I had only enough of the 2 for one block each of the 2 print fabrics on the top right. Of course they are now my 2 favorite blocks. I think I like the combination of the light blue green with the light floral print better than the other 2 solids (pink and green)  I used with that print.

I am probably never going to really like the small scale brown print no matter what solid color I pair it with. It doesn't look terrible among all the other blocks because it doesn't call attention to itself so it will stay.
The purple fabric, along with 2 other purple monochromatic fabrics were left over from juvenile quilts. They were just right for the juvenile quilts but I am not enchanted with the  combinations or purple with pink and yellow, they will also stay.

Maybe I am getting a little too critical of each block. I like the way they are all looking up on my wall.  I am looking forward to getting the blocks finished and putting it all together. At the rate I'm going it will not be this week.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

More Blocks

I have seven more blocks finished; that makes 49 locks.  I haven't yet decided what size I will make the quilt; after thinking about making either 23 more blocks or 50 more blocks, I am leaning toward a twin size.

When I put the blocks up on my expanded design wall I got a better sense of what colors I need.  I am using leftover pieces and scraps and I am determined not to buy any fabric for the blocks.  Well, maybe I will buy some solid fabric. I have a lot more that I thought but there are 3 or 4 colors  or shades that I am lacking.  For each block I cut only a 12  X 2 inch strip of solid fabric. I know what ever I add to my stash will be used because I like using solids with prints and I have some other ideas. I am looking forward to using up my scrap stash.

These are the blocks I made right after I finished my design wall.  I am not a lover of brown but I though I needed something that kind of stepped back instead of trying to grab attention. I also wanted to use some blue and green and purple solids.
These are not my favorite blocks but they will be used, maybe!
I finished these this morning. I wanted to use some of the purple prints from my scraps. It was hard to make a decision about the solids with which to pair them.

I am usually drawn to prints that have many colors and shades and mostly steer away from monochromatic prints.  Floral fabrics always call my name from the shelves in the quilt shops. I had a huge stash of florals from the time I made colorwash quilts. I decided to use them all up and I did pare that down to almost nothing and I have missed them every since.

These are not my favorite blocks either but I will also use them. They will probably play nice with the more flamboyant "Divas".

I usually wait until the body of the quilt is sewed together before deciding on the border.  I may use a solid red for a narrow inner border and a scrappy pieced, random strip, piano key border.
That has been in my mind from the beginning. We'll see.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Design Wall Addition

When I put up the panels for my design wall I knew that I really needed to add more flannel covered insulation foam panels.  I never got around to it until I ran out of space for the Framed 9 Patch blocks I've been making. As I finish blocks I put them on the wall and rearrange what has already been put up. I want to keep  an arrangement that requires tweaking but not a complete "start over".  I ran out of design wall width though there was room for 4 more rows in length. It seemed like it was time to add those flannel covered panels. A trip to Lowes for the panels and Joann's for the flannel and I was ready to DO IT.

These are the four new flannel covered panels; I added 2 up  and 2 down. I already have one vertical row of blocks up.
They will be behind the door when the door is open. Here it is closed and you can see the tote bags that I have hanging on Command hooks on the back of the door.  I have to take advantage of every inch of space in my room and they never show when the door is open.

My wall is not very elegant. Some of my earlier panels were left from another room and covered in off white instead of white.  I do not have all of the drywall screws in the new panels. I secured them with enough screws to hold them and the two end panels would have stayed up by themselves anyway because they were pressed tightly in place. I could only reach so high from the first step on the ladder so someone else will have to put in a few more screws. Jack would have done a much neater more professional looking job if he could have done it but there are a lot of things he can't do anymore.  At least he doesn't criticize and he does give good advice.

These are all 42 blocks.
 I think I will add one more vertical row and 3 or 4 more horizontal rows. I am not yet sure what size I will make.
I know that I will be rearranging the blocks; with everything up on the wall I can see what solid colors I need to  use for the remaining blocks.
I am rolling around in my mind the idea of a narrow solid border with a scrappy random strip piano key border. I have been saving strips of piano keys for a long time and I have a lot of strips left from these blocks.  We'll see.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Another Possibility

I have been cutting a few more strips of print fabric and pairing them up with solid strips. Now that I have made a number of blocks I am getting into a routine. I want to get sets of prints and solids paired up so that all I need to do is sew and press.
Getting things ready to just sew seems to me like good progress, even though I have only made these 3 sets in the last few days

This morning I got another idea for the pattern and solid blocks from Mary Huey's blog,  Quilting through Rose Colored Trifocals

This is what I worked out in EQ7.  In Mary's pattern this would have been made by combining the 9 patch blocks  with another block but this is the look that would be achieved.  The quilt would go together faster because there are also solid background squares. Check out Mary's pattern here. You can purchase the pattern on her Etsy shop and it is a bargain.
Sh is a good teacher and has great ideas for simplifying the piecing.

This may be my next solids and prints project. After all, I am still in love with the 9 patch block and I still have a huge amount of leftovers and scraps..