Friday, November 6, 2015

figuring it out

 the wonky orange and blue invasion is still going on around here. however, i am happy to report some progress! after considering what went so blah with the first block (upper left), i decided i needed to add some solid blue strips and create a few more angles, get more wonk in. also, many of my strips were roughly the same size, so i went for more variation in strip width, too.

i got right to work the next afternoon and am really pleased with the new results. after making a few blocks, i knew that original block wasn't going to fit with the rest, so i unpicked it whilst watching some edwardian farm with the girls. i reassembled with many of the original pieces and the block on the right above is the result. i like the depth of color and contrast much better now. and i got rid of that mini stripe that i wasn't loving. i've learned over the years and quilts to not use a fabric i don't like. some people can look at a fabric for it's color value and effect alone - i just can't. it's not worth being bothered by the offending fabric every time i look at the quilt. so out it goes.

 now i have 6 of the 14 blocks i need after just a few hours sewing. i'm amazed how quickly this block works up. today when i sat down to sew another block, i thought i'd time myself to see how long it was taking.

 but then i got interrupted by a dozen things - like a son working on math puzzles, a daughter who wanted to photograph all the bits she's sewn the last few days, a husband who brought soup, another little one who pinched her finger during a paper cutting spree. honestly, it was endless! my "quick" block took over an hour itself.

so this is where i am with t- 11 days til i wanted this quilt complete. that's nearly 3 of the 5 rows of blocks done. just 8 more wonky log cabins, a pieced word, some strips and we're done. for now, i'm just throwing them up on the board as i complete them. order and organization into the final layout will need to come soon.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

now what?

 so that photo looks really blue and cold. yuck. anyway, that's not my main problem at the moment. first, i have all the wonky stacked coin blocks completed. yay! and i've moved on to the wonky log cabin blocks portion of the quilt now, having finished the first of those. also good. except i'm not liking the look of this first block. not at all.

do i just need to make a few more and see how it goes? try something different with color or value placement? redesign the whole quilt yet again?

i'm not even sure what it is exactly that i don't like here.
maybe it's because of the missing contrast between the pattern fabrics and the solid Kona Windsor blue. i just don't know.

in the actual quilt, these blocks are scheduled to be in a row over and under the rows of stacked coin blocks. (see my sketch here.) maybe the way i had them placed in the first photo doesn't help me get a good idea of what the quilt will look like. but even if that's true, i didn't like the block itself when it was complete.

 the inspiration from this block also came from the same book the wonky stacked coin block came from - block party: the modern quilting bee. see, the quilt and the block are right there on the cover.

 i'm looking at this and trying to figure out what's different from the book blocks and mine; why they work and mine doesn't.

for one, they seem to use some coordinating solids mixed in and i have none. perhaps i should add in strips of the Windsor blue and see how i like that?

my blocks aren't as wonky as the book blocks, but that isn't what's got me. that can be easily adjusted. i think i'm going to have to sit down and study the photos in the book a bit and see what i come up with.

or maybe just walk away for the evening and see what it looks like tomorrow.

any ideas out there, brilliant quilty peeps?

linking up with lee's wip wednesday at freshly pieced.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


 no one tell his dad that he was taking a break from his algebra and chemistry and laying out a block for his quilt instead of sitting at a computer working on calculations or studying for his midterm.

i was taking a minute to make that peace-offering of an apron and the boy wandered in to my sewing area, looking for a momentary brain reprieve. he saw his quilt pieces and started laying strips out into a block.

i can't tell you how pleased having him involved in this process made me, but perhaps the look on my face says enough. just take that smile and multiply it by infinity. (or a google, a number he was obsessed with as a littler tyke.) i wish i'd let him lay out all of the blocks for me. watching his mind work on it's creative side, which is considerable, makes me pretty proud as a parent. talking about the process with him is so fun and i love that he's had a part in designing his own quilt now.

he would have stayed and worked up many more for me, i'm sure, but i had to be responsible and send him back to his studies when this block was completed. i hope i assembled it to his high standards. i wonder if he'll be able to pick it out of the quilt someday down the road.