Friday, October 5, 2018

Trimming and curves

I'm usually not very good about taking in-process photos, so I know it often looks like my finished quilts appear out of thin air. But I really do actually make blocks first!

In the last few weeks I've been plugging away on a couple of projects and remembered to snap a few pics.

These blocks have been waiting patiently in the WIP box for a while. I had to check my archives to see how long...two years! I made a fairly large chunk of fabric out of science and math themed fabric, then cut it into 10" circles. I set two of them into purple fabric, but decided I really wanted a gray background. The curved piecing was challenging and I didn't feel up to ripping out the purple, so I set the whole shebang aside.

I'm feeling more confident of my piecing now, so I cut the gray Essex linen fabric and set in 12 of these circle pieces. I used pins every 45 degrees around the whole circle. There are a few tiny tucks, you can see one near the bottom in this photo. But I know that linen will shrink and wrinkle, so that size tuck will magically disappear. 

This baggie is full of the "bonus triangles" trimmed from a baby quilt I made for my cousins Nate and Greer. There are 160 of them so I didn't want to waste them. But they are pretty small! After trimming, they are 1 7/8" and will finish at 1 3/8". If I just sewed them together, that's about enough for a doll quilt. I do have more of the yellow background used in every HST, so I can fatten them up a little bigger. But sheesh, that was HOURS of trimming for not much fabric. I'd rather spend those hours stitching together 10 times as many crumb scraps.

But I'm glad I did it, for several reasons. One, I now know that it isn't worth it to me to save that many small bonus triangles. I know someone who will take those scraps, so I'll save them for her. I'll keep larger scraps and do my HST scrap trimming as I go along, rather than save up hundreds to do at once.  Secondly, this batch motivated me to purchase and try the BlocLoc ruler, which is great! There's been a lot of hype about it, and I'll add to the kudos. It really does make HST trimming go much faster and more accurately.

Buying and liking the ruler motivated me to start another HST project. I had a nice selection of camping themed fabrics, all from the same line. I think they were sales samples because they were each 13" wide and various lengths. So I cut 6.5" squares to get as many from each fabric as possible, and used the "two at a time" HST method.

The fabrics included tents and campfires and bears and maps and trailers. Pretty cute line! I fattened up the pile of blocks with some blenders, and a novelty with s'mores, hot dogs, and those classic blue metal coffee pots. 

I have a young man who loves camping in mind as the eventual recipient of this quilt, but haven't chosen a layout for the blocks yet.

And finally, I've been making "Mendota" blocks for Sunshine Online Quilt Guild. These will eventually be made into tops at their retreat in June. Or, I'll get impatient and finish a quilt or two with them first. It's all good, because Sunshine's charities will benefit one way or another. This block is quite easy and fun. A 4" x WOF strip is plenty for the outer ring, and the centers are charm squares. So now when I have scraps that size, I cut a little "Mendota kit" and put them in a bin to be stitched when the mood strikes or as a leader/ender.

I am actually in California right now, helping a family member who had knee surgery. The healing is going more slowly than anticipated, so some friendly extra hands are needed, especially at night. I'm glad to be here, but too busy to do much more than scan a few blogs now and then. It's a nice mental break to see your quilty work, but please forgive me if I don't comment much for a week or so.