Monday, March 20, 2017

365 Challenge, Feb 27 - Mar 12

Trying to keep track of what week I'm on in the 365 Challenge was just too darn much trouble, so I'm going by the dates. These six blocks were from the week of February 27. I'm not sure if the theme that week was quarter square triangles or if it was those triangle in a triangle corner units, which I am not fond of.

The block for February 28 was the Centre Medallion, which finishes to 18". Although the center portion of the block was a little tricky to put together, it was a nice change from dark 3" blocks. I have to say that Kathryn's cutting measurements and piecing directions were spot on. Very pleased with how this block turned out.

There is another 6" wide border that goes around this block to enlarge the center medallion. I think that is slated for April, and then maybe I can sew all the blocks together that I've made so far. Progress!
This was the following week, Mar 6-Mar 12, with more of those triangle in a triangle corner units. Also more of the half square triangles that finished to 1/2", in the basket block. There was supposed to be a four patch unit in the basket base, but I eliminated it to simplify.

This was also the first introduction of a 6" block for the outer dark border. I was horrified when I first looked at that block, thinking those little triangles in the middle were going to finish smaller than a half inch. Finally realized it was a 6" block, not a 3" block, lol.

Haven't started on last week's blocks yet, so now a week behind. I do plan on sewing today, but maybe not the challenge blocks. I'd really like to make some headway on the Neptune quilt--would like for that to be my March finish.

Farm Girl Vintage Friday, Weeks 13 to 15

We left Friday morning to go to my son's to spend the weekend caring for my little granddaughter. My son worked, and my daughter-in-law wanted to see a friend off down in Connecticut, so we had Baby Girl all to ourselves during the days. She stayed with us last weekend, so we were pleased to have her two weekends in a row this month.

I think I got a week out of sequence somewhere with the Farm Girl Vintage blocks; but no matter, I finished these four blocks the week before last...there's the Milking Day block that goes with the Cow block I made earlier...

...and these are the blocks for Week 15, which was last week. No way did I have 30 different 30s repros for the pumpkin block, so I repeated a few fabrics and threw in some other orange fabrics I had--to include one with a pair of scissors, and one with Mr. Potato Head, lol. I like the idea of a little surprise here and there.

Well over halfway through the blocks and border flying geese units now. I'm toying with the idea of making this quilt large enough to fit on a double bed, but I'll figure that out later.

February Finish

A small finish, 12" x 14", but a finish nonetheless. Finally got it quilted, with a diamond pattern in the center and a double curve in the border. I don't do much free motion quilting, so I drew the border pattern on Golden Threads paper, pinned it in place in the borders, and stitched through the paper. Easy peasy, and no markings to worry about removing.

Credit where credit is due: design and fabrics by Kim Diehl

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Neptune

Despite being busy enough with 365 Challenge blocks and Farm Girl Vintage blocks, I still want to work on some other projects. One of the quilters in my chapter asked for donations of twin size quilts for a local shelter, and I remembered I had this project in the ufo pile. One of my kids claimed it before I could even think of donating it, so I'll have to plan something else for the shelter.

I must have bought the fabric for this as a kit, like a jelly roll and extra yardage; but I don't think I ever had the pattern, just a cover picture of the pattern that I printed out. I can't even remember how I knew how to cut and piece these blocks, but it doesn't matter now because they're all made, and I've just started sewing the blocks into rows. I wish I could get more time to work on it.

The pattern is called "Jelly Girl" by Joanna Figueroa from Fig Tree & Co. Coincidentally I just discovered the other day that Joanna has a class on Craftsy called Smarter Strip Quilting featuring this same pattern, plus a diamond pattern.

365 Challenge Weeks 7 and 8

Despite being away from the machine for a little while, I did get caught up with the 365 Challenge blocks. Most of the blocks for week 7 were pretty easy, and I made a few extras to fill in holes from previous weeks. One of those had 42 pieces--eek!--so I simplified it. I see more simplification and substitution in my future.

A few of the week 8 blocks were more complicated, but in the latter half of the week Lori introduced squares on point. Those were easy, but they will get harder too. The little T's block this week had 39 pieces to it, with half square triangle units that finish to 1/2", but it was too cute not to make. Seems like it took hours.

Anyone who is familiar with the Dear Jane movement might recall that diehard Dear Janers tracked the piece count for their individual quilts. I thought that would be interesting to do for the 365 Challenge too. So far, I've made 58/365 blocks, with a piece count of 780. I've made a few changes in the blocks as I've gone along, so my piece count won't be the same as everyone else's, but I suppose it would be close. It'll be interesting to see if it surpasses the Dear Jane piece count of 5,602.


FGV Friday, Weeks 12 and 13

I was gone from the house five days in a row a week and a half ago, so lots of things didn't get done. These blocks are from week 12 of the 2015 Farm Girl Vintage quiltalong on Lori's website. Haven't done the blocks from last week yet, nor this week's, so I'll have to try and finish four blocks before this coming Friday.

We had a nice little warm up in central Maine this week, so much of the three feet of snow we had on the ground has melted. Happy to see some grass, but hate seeing the dirty snow all along the sides of the road from the salt and sand. Spring is coming!

Monday, February 13, 2017

365 Challenge -- Weeks 4, 5 and 6

Maine has been getting hammered for the last 24 hours by a huge storm system, a nor'easter, that moved in yesterday afternoon. The first prediction I saw was for 20"-26", but they walked that back as time went on. I think we've probably gotten 12"-14" of snow. It is brighter now outside, so the storm is winding down, but it is still very windy. Even the plows had to stop because of blizzard-like conditions.

Between the Farm Girl Vintage blocks, which are not quick blocks to make, and the 365 Challenge blocks, which are getting more complicated, I'm beginning to find that I don't have time to work on much else. That's a little frustrating. Maybe I need to do less housework.

Nevertheless, here are my 365 Challenge blocks for weeks 4, 5 and 6. There is a block missing from each week--blocks that have lots of very small pieces. The block in week 6 with the pale blue star has 36 pieces in a 3" block. One of the three I haven't made yet has 42 pieces. Can't help but think that anyone who tackles this quilt is a little bit nuts.

So now, we've covered half square triangle units and quarter square triangles. Today begins a series of blocks with diagonals. We're getting the full workout.



Knitting continues. The Imagine When shawlette was finished and blocked.

Next up, another ufo called Harlequin Baby, an entrelac project. Entrelac is fun, but it can be a little tricky to get started if you haven't done it before. I learned it a while ago, but Gwen Bortner has a good class on entrelac on Craftsy. I absolutely love Craftsy; and if you wait for one of their frequent sales, you can buy classes very reasonably. Way less than some of the other online universities.

Not crazy about this yarn though. It's a bulky weight (so my blanket will knit up faster) called Maypole by Euro Baby. The long colorway is fun for entrelac, but I don't care for the crinkly texture so much, and it seems to fuzz while I'm working with it. My other issue is that the pile of yarn on the left was wound around the main ball and not attached. There are a number of places where yarn ends are tied together in a knot, which I hate. The yarn shop where I bought it has since gone out of business. What's worse, I bought several other balls in a different colorway. I think this is a make-it-work moment.

My happy picture today!