Friday, December 8, 2017

Such a Day

Overall, the last few days have been really low energy days.  I think the vertigo that returned a week ago after a five or six month absence is zapping my energy...it takes effort to focus you know, so that you don't swirl right onto the floor. 

A large portion of SoCal has been burning up, and it's taken energy to watch the wall-to-wall coverage.  One of the fires was in our general area, but the wind took it away from us so we didn't get even the smoke from it.  Still, with the high winds that were relentless, and can be unpredictable, tensions have been high all week.  Humidity drops into the single digits and all of this combined just grates on me.

For the last couple days, I've been feeling an inner nudge to get back to work on En Provence.  I last worked on it on April 10th.

Well, this evening I received a message from an old friend in another state clear across the country, and she deeply explained some very sad and disturbing situations going on in her family, and it breaks my heart.  It's the kind of situation that just drops you to your knees to plead with the Lord to bring change, peace, comfort and support on their behalf.

With this on my heart and mind, I felt the need to focus on something else while I could pray, and process the trials she's going through, and there was En Provence, waiting patiently. 
First of the blocks to get back under the needle.
When I left off back in April, I had been working on putting the blocks together.  The blocks are a set of smaller blocks sewn into rows, and those rows sewn into one large block.  I knew I had pinned together many, if not most, of the final two sections of those blocks, but really could not remember where I was within the directions.  I began by going ahead and sewing the seam of those that were pinned, then I pressed those seams before looking at the instructions.  All was good, but I'm sure I probably pressed some in the wrong direction.
The stack of pinned block components.
Once those were done, I had all but four finished; for some reason they weren't with the ones I finished, though I found them and they are pinned.


The required number of a border blocks are done, but then there's another border block for the outside of that which is only in the primary block sections.  I'm thinking I have a whole lot of time yet to spend on this project....it may get set aside again.

On Monday, I'm planning to go with my friend Panda, to the nearest quilt shop to see if I can find a satisfactory black for the Bow Ties quilt borders.  I might check Joann's, it's across from our Walmart and I need to do some shopping there too...should have done it today as I don't generally like to go there on the weekend.

Friday, December 1, 2017

More Progress

There were several days this week that I thought I wouldn't be getting back to my bow ties quilt work, but today, I decided to just set everything else aside, and worked on it for just under 3.5 hours.

The duplicate was re-done with a unique fabric...I didn't take any pics of that process, nor of putting together the six that seemed to vanish, get stolen, or that I incorrectly counted.

Today's work also got these blocks and rows put together.  

Approximately 1/3 of the uniques in that lower section.
A 4 x 12 section completely sewn together.  I got to thinking too, for my plan to use black as a border between the 13 x 12 unique sets unit (once they're all sewn together) and an outer single (maybe double) row of duplicate bow ties all the way around, that I will have to shop for a black that works.  Well, I'll cross that bridge eventually.
What? Well, who are you?  Little scalawags! They're the missing six bow ties! 
Original six uniques that went missing!
It would appear they jumped out of the bin and landed in a little pocket on that shelf.  So now, instead of being in the center unique section, they may get to play in the border rows.  I am relieved that I truly didn't mis-count the original number of pieces that had been on my design wall!  I second guess myself a lot lately though.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Then There Was This

Hmmm, even though I was very careful in separating duplicates from each unique fabric, it would appear I missed one.  This one:

is the same as this one:
so that one is going to be replaced.  And then, it would appear once again, that I mis-counted the number of unique blocks I had, as now laying them out again on the design wall sewn into bigger blocks of four bow ties, I'm six individual bow tie blocks short, for my planned 12 x 13 bow ties center.  That or my pesky kitty ran off with them or I put them in the wrong pile while taking them off the design wall. Probably the latter. 
Empty space for "missing" six bow ties.
I have a bunch of pre-cut sets I can search through for six more uniques, but will have to find a black that's close enough in tone and texture.  I have a Kona, but Kona tends to be heavier textured than what I used.  I have a piece of a black, but it seems to be a looser weave than I used too.

For six addition, and one replacement.
Good, I do have seven more unique sets, one for the duplicate replacement and six for the bad count.  Now, to see if I have any black scraps that will work, I would only need enough to make 14, 2" squares - 2 squares per block.

Resting on black.
After carefully looking at texture and "color" of black, using a previously sewn block, I chose this one.  It's not exact, but closest of the few choices I had at hand.  Looking at them under my OttLite help in the choosing.

I may tackle that this afternoon after church (online as we decided we didn't want to battle the holiday 'return' traffic on the freeways), or I may figure out where I left off on En Provence...and remove the cat hair since the cat decided to use that bin as a sleeping spot a few times!  Thank God for lint rollers :)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Making an Effort

This year I'm only following along with, and printing out the steps, of Bonnie Hunter's 2017 Mystery Quilt, On Ringo Lake...at least so far.  But something kicked in finally yesterday as I was reviewing the instructions, and seeing the pictures others were posting of their already completed units. I wanted to sew.

I'd also been looking at my Black Tie Party project on my design wall, and while nice to look at, it kept reminding me of all the projects that lay unfinished, so I cleared off the area around my sewing machine, or at least enough room, and took down all the unique blocks, placing them in a bin.  I realized I was off by one of the 156 I had calculated (there was a duplicate I missed) so I had to make another from a fabric that was not already in the mix.  Once that was done, I started putting two blocks together, while watching the Star Wars where Han Solo was killed off as the premium channels are free for the weekend, randomly matching by grabbing without looking, though I admit I'd occasionally say no to a match and grab another.  
When those were all sewn, I placed them all back into the bin (except for the ones I held back for the odd-numbered row) and randomly grabbed and matched two sets and pinned them, and that's what's in the picture, waiting to be sewn.  During this process I found I had one block rotated wrong, so had to fix that.  

It was hot yesterday, 87ยบ and my little room warmed up enough to have to turn on a fan.  It'll be a little cooler today, but still in the 80s; tomorrow too, though Monday will only be in the 60s with a 40% chance of rain.  I hope the rain happens, I miss rain and clouds.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Another Month Has Passed

The quilting mojo just has not yet returned.  I tried, by putting my bowties up on the design wall, and while they are nice to look at, I'm just not yet of a mind to start sewing.  I've been close a couple of times.

I picked up the paint chips for Bonnie Hunter's 2017 Mystery Quilt, but I lack many of the chosen colors in my stash.  I'll follow along but it's not likely I'll do it this year.  I ordered the special rulers...just in case, though she stated it isn't necessary to have them, but what the heck, I'll have them for next time. Right? 

My friend Panda is planning to do it so she went fabric shopping and I tagged along.  While I didn't get any fabric, I did pick up some Insul-Bright.  I've had it on my shopping list forever as I thought maybe I'd make some new potholders.  I've been using ones that are pretty worn out and stained; most are 21 years old or older...time for some new ones!
Panda saves her scraps for me, and had given me a bag or two that night, so I have culled through them and sorted them by color.  She tends to use brighter colors and different prints than I would, so it's nice to have some new variety in my scraps...
Bag of scraps
....now, to get back to a sewing mood.



Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bow Tie Calculating

In July of 2013, I began my Bow Tie leaders & enders project ala Bonnie Hunter - Quiltville.  I last wrote about it January 2016, you can catch up (as I did) with this post.   I still have at most a couple dozen sets to sew into blocks.  I have 156 unique fabric blocks.  I have, if I counted correctly, an additional 203 blocks.  Of those repeat blocks, quantities are mostly 1 to 5 of each, but one of them has 18 more just like it!  
Black Tie Party, Project #043

I've calculated that the 156 uniques can be laid out, in the above pattern, at 13 rows by 12 columns, which finished will give a 39" x 36" unit.  I'm thinking I will add a 3" black border all around it.  That would bring it to 45" x 42".  Still just a bit small in my thinking, so perhaps another round of bow tie units (I obviously have no shortage of blocks), which then would bring it up to 51" x 48".  I could leave it at that, or add yet another two rows all around, maybe alternating the direction of the blocks.  I would have to cut and construct 3 additional blocks though...again, all depending on if my initial count, and calculations are accurate.  I'm not known for counting accurately!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Contemplating

I last worked on Quiltville's 2016 Mystery Quilt, En Provence, all the way back in April, nearly six months ago to the day.  I haven't worked on any other quilting projects during that time either.  I need to review the process to mentally catch up on where I left off.
I unearthed the components shown above, and my project sheet where I keep track of fabrics, and time spent sewing.
I also unearthed this bin with part of the components, and those brown bags have other components...now to just remember where I left off.  I'm contemplating diving back in and working on it some more.  I know the 2017 Mystery Quilt will kick off with colors and fabric requirements in just a few weeks, though I will have to decide if I want to participate this year or just save and print the instructions and vicariously follow along.  

When I say I "unearthed" these, you would have to see this room to understand.  I've been spending more time on genealogy, and I have papers everywhere and beyond.  Additionally, with the passing of Marty's father, I've been scanning photos to send to his brother who is planning to put together a picture-video memorial.  I need a bigger house (said tongue-in-cheek) where I can have dedicated rooms for my individual hobbies.  Regardless of which I'm doing, I have to pick/clean it up in order to work on the other.  

And I still have that grandson's quilt to quilt and bind, and then get started on the granddaughter's!  I really need to get my head back in the game.


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