Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Link-Ups; 05 December 2016

Looking back in time, today was the due date for my daughter's birth, but she made her appearance five weeks earlier.  That was 35 years ago.  So hard to believe how quickly those years have flown by!  And speaking of flying by, the En Provence mystery quilt time is flying by.  

I'm in no hurry to finish each step, I'm already ahead of where I was last year with Allietare, so I can't complain (no whining, remember?).  I've been working on it while catching up on some of the Hallmark Christmas movies I've been recording.  Love being able to breeze through the commercials...perhaps I should record ALL the shows I watch just for that reason.

Four Patches, and Peaky & Spike components
Do you remember Darlene Zimmerman?  I believe she coined the term "peaky & spike" for the units Bonnie has us cutting and sewing using our magenta constant and neutrals.  For me, it's easier to refer to them by that term.  The "peak" would be the central neutral piece, and the "spike" are the side, magenta units.  I wasn't initially crazy about my magenta, but I think I'm beginning to like it even if it does seem like it's more of a hot pink than magenta.
4Ps (Four Patches)
My four patch units are very scrappy.  I think one of my favorites is the square with the Scottie dogs.  I'm not sure why, but they do remind me of my mom.  She never had a Scottie, but she did give me a plastic Scottie dog pin that had been hers as a child.
Peaky & Spike
I haven't sewn any of the Peaky & Spike units.  I cut them out just last night, being very careful to cut accurately.  Pinned on the design wall they at least look like they should fit together, if I can sew them accurately, I'll have it made!
Close-up of Peaky & Spike
While I was cutting these, I couldn't help but think how nice it would have been to have yardage of this particular neutral.  It's background color is the yummiest looking sweet cream shade, and then those soft pink (magenta?) roses with green stems and leaves, oh, I just love that fabric!  It would be so perfect to have had this as a constant fabric for these units.  

Linking to both Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday, and to Quiltville's Mystery Monday Link-up. 

I need to get to the grocer, and then get some bookkeeping done today, and it's my day to spend a couple hours with my friend Panda, so I won't be getting much sewn until evening.  We won't even discuss how much housework needs to be done!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

En Provence Part I: in the works

Late yesterday I finally put needle and thread to fabric and now have my first round of sewing done.  They will become four-patches once I cut them apart, press and sew, trimming as I go where needed.

Having pulled from my own pre-cut fabrics, starting with the smallest sized square, then strips before hacking into chunks, FQs or yardage, I knew that most of those old cuts may not have been cut accurately.
I determined the best way around that was to draw a line, having placed the correct measurement, minus 1/4" for seam allowance, of the ruler at the left of the square/strip.  I then drew a line to be my sewing guide.  This adds time, but it will give greater accuracy.
I then placed the two pieces to be sewn right sides together.  While the corner of that top piece is just a bit raised, it shows how the piece on the bottom is just a thread or two narrower than the piece on the top.  If I'd put both pieces aligned on the right, that small amount would change the size of my block by that amount...too small!  As I see it, when properly aligned on the left, then sewing just to the right of the pencil line, recognizing that pressing open also decreases the opened width by a thread or more, it doesn't matter what width the fabric is to the right of the line.  It doesn't matter if it's a fat quarter-inch, a quarter-inch, or a scant quarter-inch.  The goal is to have an accurate finished block in the size Bonnie gave us.  You can check out her instructions here:  Quiltville En Provence Part I.
Additionally, I have blue painter's tape that I place "1/4" from my needle quite some time ago.  I had placed a ruler under the presser foot, lowered the needle on the 1/4" mark and placed the tape (I have one of Bonnie's tools for this purpose, but darned if I could find it).  You will note though, that the amount of fabric between the line, where I have the needle lowered just at the right edge, the seam allowance does not line up with the edge of that tape!  That's also a 1/4" foot I'm using and the seam allowance doesn't reach the edge of it either.  When the piece is pressed open, it will give me either the exactly accurate size needed, or a smidgen more.  And if a smidgen more, it can then be trimmed to the exact size needed.  If it were too small (had I not drawn the line) I would not be able to get the correct sized blocks.
two-patch units
I started with the smallest and sewed them with little thought as to what was matched with's scrappy and doesn't matter.
strips and pieces
I used longer strips, drew lines on some shorter strips and sewed them on too.
more pieced strips
These pieced strips will be cut to the correct size as well.  I'm making a concerted effort to get as much accuracy as possible, even with straight edges and squares.  I'm sure there will be triangles of some sort since she's told us what rulers we'll be using, so that means bias edges...they get me every time!

I chain-pieced all of this and have no idea if it comes close to even half of the required element.  I'll be stitching more today, but need to tend to some things in the kitchen first.  Today was my Costco run, and there's a sink full of dirty dishes from last night (yeah, that happens).  I'd made a big pot of baked beans and ham, having soaked the beans the night before, and my were they good.  I just had another bowl for lunch, and I have turkey bones in a pan on the stove for turkey noodle soup tonight.  Such a great time of year for these foods. Yum.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Cat in the Bin

Someone has invaded my work-bin for En Provence:

Notice how she has even rearranged the once neatly stacked fabrics.  Good thing I'm not working on those colors yet!  My neutrals are starched and pressed laying flat under the bin.  I put the bin atop them last night thinking ahead that I'd probably wake in the morning finding them all rumpled from the kitties.

Maybe she'll follow me to the bed where I plan on taking my daily nap in I go!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Design Wall Monday - 28 November 2016

My design wall is empty today as I finished Allietare yesterday.  But soon you will see the beginnings of En Provence.  
A portion of Allietare.
While I had Allietare folded laying on the bed, I flipped one corner back (you can see the fold line diagonally from top left to bottom right) and got this different look.  It made me think it could make a nice wall-hanging even if it looks different.
neutral selection
For En Provence, these are just some of the neutrals I can choose from.  Notice that I'm including a few more that are not just solids nor tone-on-tone.  I may have to do another pass through my scrap bins.  

Linking at Patchwork Times.  I'm off to a dental appointment.

Almost forgot...I can link up at Quiltville as well since I have neutrals pulled.

Stash Report Sunday - 27 November 2017 - Week 48

Hooray for me!  I have Allietare finished as a flimsy.  The borders are on and its folded up ready to go into it's hibernation box.  

I could really improve my camera skills, but with an old digital point-and-shoot, that probably won't happen any time soon.  I might be able to get a better shot tomorrow, if I want to open it up again, when I can get daylight shining on it.  It would have to be window light only as it rained here and the ground is wet...and it's really, really windy.
I stood on the stairs and looked down upon the quilt.
I had put the skinny inner border on yesterday.
Looking at it from the end.  Not enough room to get the whole thing.
The wider black border went on just this evening having finished around 6:15 p.m.  I'm happy it's done to this stage, and am really pleased with it.  I think it's a bit wonky in a few places, but not so badly that anyone would care...except maybe a top-notch quilt show, which isn't in its future.
Hanging over the upstairs railing.
My neutrals leaned far more on the white end of the spectrum.  I'm still trying to break away from neutrals being only light solids or tone-on-tones rather than as Bonnie says with the 'ground' of a fabric being anything lighter than a paper bag with any blend of colors/designs on it.  Old ways of thinking die hard, but I'm trying.  I also think I've had enough of large, bed-size quilts for quite awhile.  For this year's mystery, I'm thinking I'll only do about half, or maybe I'll make all the components and just make two smaller quilts from them even if I have to add a few extra to reach whatever dimensions look best with a smaller quilt.

With this being done to flimsy, I can now count fabric OUT of my stash, whooohooo! This will definitely help offset my purchases of the year.

Used This Week: 11.79 yards
Added This Week:  0 yards
Used 2016: 11.79 yards
Net 2016: 8.06 yards increased

Linking at Patchwork Times

Friday, November 25, 2016

Getting Ready

I know a whole LOT of ladies (and probably a few guys too) are already knee deep into the first clue of Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery quilt, En Provence.  Me? I'm taking my time.  Only minutes ago I made the effort to loosely store away all the genealogy/file stuff that had found a new home atop my cutting mat on my file-cabinet cutting table.  Oh how quickly flat surfaces become overtaken.
All clear.

After spending most of yesterday in the kitchen, my body was pretty achy.  I slept well last night [excepting the nightmarish dream that had the presidential election result switching to the other party - don't shoot me...I wasn't thrilled with either choice, nor did I vote for either...and that's all I'm saying!] and didn't get up until 8:30 this morning. Once I gathered myself from the dream, I got a cup of coffee, read today's Scripture, and then headed to my laptop.  I knew today was the expected release of part 1 of the mystery quilt. 

Along with general dilly-dallying, I've spent the majority of the day browsing through all the comments everyone's been posting on Bonnie's Quiltville's Open Studio Facebook page.  Seeing the fabrics and even alternate color-ways has been a delight.  From reading the comments, there are a lot of newbies, both to quilting and to the mystery quilt.  The excitement is amazing to see.  I love the mystery quilts.  

I remember back in the late 1990s watching Alex Anderson's quilting show on HGTV and having seen Billie Lauder as a guest explaining mystery quilts.  She presented them as "The Case of (whatever)".  I took an all-day class from her once for one called The Case of The Mysterious Voter.  I enjoyed the process, and really liked the resulting's still waiting to be quilted.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Design Wall Monday - 21 November 2016 - Week 47

There's no change on my design wall, or at my sewing machine, from my post on the 19th showing my borders temporarily pinned next to Allietare.  
Border review
I keep thinking I need to just stand up, grab my tape measure and use it, and at least get the inner border's strips sewn together and cut to length...but have I?  NO.  I still need to clear all the genealogy piles of my cutting table!

Linking up at Patchwork Times.

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