The weather has been bone chilling this month, especially at night; but we don't have much snow on the ground. When we first moved to Maine nearly 20 years ago, the snow might be up to my waist some winters, but not anymore. Snowmobilers and skiers aren't happy about it, but I'm fine with it. Pandemic or not, I've stayed in because it's just too darn cold to go out.
The holidays passed uneventfully. My sister-in-law was here for two weeks, and it was nice to have the company. We worked on a puzzle together, something I hadn't done in years; and I enjoyed it so much that I hauled out a few more and built those too. The last one was 2000 pieces, and I have one left I haven't built yet that is 3000 pieces. That might be big enough, lol. Ravensburger, whom I heard from my SIL is a premiere puzzle maker, has one that is over 40,000 pieces. Can't imagine.
I'm not in the mood for One Monthly Goal anymore, preferring to start new projects and skip around between the new ones and the old ones. I updated it and left it in the sidebar simply as a space holder so I could remember how to do the html if I go back to it at some point. There seem to be a bunch of sew alongs that started in January, and I decided to follow along with a couple of them.
There are three of each block so far, and I'm wondering if the entire quilt will be pieced blocks or if there will be any plain filler blocks.
I've had a couple sizes of Strip Sticks for quite a while, and they're working especially well to press open all the seams in these blocks. Batiks press up well anyway, but the strip stick helps my blocks stay nice and flat.
For those who might not know, strip sticks are wood sticks covered with a thin layer of padding and some muslin. They are flat on one side and rounded on the other, making them especially handy for ironing strip sets. In blocks like these triangular blocks where there are a lot of seams close together, the strip stick is superb at isolating one seam so you don't accidentally mess up any surrounding seams with the iron.
I have never like working with solids, and this kit is all solids. Some of the fabrics in my Holiday Solstice were solids, hand dyed fabrics with a little texture actually, which I liked. So I decided I would give this a try. So far I'm bored, lol, but I think it will get better.
The blocks in the sampler are variously sized, and block 1 is the largest at 36" square, big enough for a one-block baby quilt. I didn't imagine this block was so big in the picture above, but it's a pretty big quilt.
I've always been a slow sewist, slow at everything really; and these blocks take a long time for me to make. I'm about halfway there, and if I can make two a day or every other day, I can finish the rest by the end of the month. Then there is another pieced border and some plain borders, so there's still a lot of work left to do. My goal is to have the quilt completely finished by mid May in time to register it for Maine Quilts 2021. It's virtual again this year, so the quilt has to be finished to take the photo.
The pattern for this block linked from Pinterest to happyturtlequilts.blogspot.ca. If you search on Eastern Sunrise, you'll find it. It's 7-1/2" finished, and it's paper pieced, but that's not a hard and fast rule for me. If my strings are too narrow, I'll add more until the paper is filled. Plus they're pretty fast for me to make, a lot faster than pineapples anyway. A size 90 needle and a 1.5 stitch length makes quick work of removing the paper. Put together in rows, these blocks kind of remind me of barbed wire. I love this!
I plan to go through the stash and cull all my blue fabrics that are ugly, unappealing, old as the hills, or problematic in some way, and cut them up for this quilt. I could probably use the ones that are fat-quarter size or larger and piece them together for the back. Probably won't put a dent in it, lol. I also have a stack of muslin I've been trying to figure out what to do with, and these blocks will be perfect for that too.