Saturday, November 17, 2018

Getting things done

I am usually a block by block chain piecing quilter... not a deconstructed unit chain piecing quilter (as in sew together 376 four patch units).  Of course there is nothing wrong with either approach... I've just found that cutting and sewing quilts in a block by block format works better for me, with my visual understanding of how blocks go together as well as my mental motivation.

So, sewing the North Star quilt by Emily Dennis (Quilty Love)
which I have purposely changed from being a block based quilt to a unit based quilt has been a mind bending experience.

Basically I now have Unit 1

And Unit 2

Which when combined in the right order and with some plain squares create these great star blocks.

My usual To Do List method of getting things done would usually be like.... make 3 blocks this week.... but I'm not sewing blocks and that motivation just isn't going to work for me this time!

Funnily enough I have had to create random stopping points... because otherwise I just keep on sewing!

Last weekend after spending way too much time and brainpower laying out most of the pieces, I decided to FOCUS and get the first two columns sewn together.

This weekend I am working on the third and fourth columns.  It is looking so good!

My secret for sewing lots of things is that I just about always sew more than one thing at a time.  If not three or four.

As I need a new item to leave under the needle, at the moment I am slowly increasing the finished components of the Timeless Traditions BOM adding the blue star points.  All applique elements are now on hold due to running out of fusible web!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

North Star Progress

It took three days of colour coding my colouring page before I really felt ready to sew anything.

This colour bundle consists of 4 fabrics, a light tree print, a mid denim blue bird print, a dark grey leaf print and a fabric printed with wide stripes of 5 different fabrics: green, orange, navy dots, light grey dashes and dark grey triangles.  The big dilemma was how to distribute the colours around the quilt.

I decided to feature the light trees in three star blocks.  The tree print is particularly stunning - light and modern... just how I like them.

I originally thought I'd use a dark grey as the background, a black Essex linen as the contrast squares and white solid as the star surrounds.

But... it looked super duper harsh... and boring - these are 18" blocks so that is a LOT of white and grey.   Back to the drawing board.

I altered my plan of attack so that the three tree star blocks would have the green, orange and navy fabrics as the surround, with most of the other blocks having white, but a couple of other fabrics  thrown in randomly.  I also pulled the Essex linen and changed it for this jumbo white and black cross hatch that was in my stash.

Right, I was now starting to feel like this was going somewhere good!

I decided early on to change the cutting instructions from the block in the pattern to one that used a square in a square block for the background squares and the contrast squares.  I highlighted below how these new units would fit together. The original pattern is all half square triangles and I just wasn't going to go there without sashing!  Those block intersections were just a pressing and matching nightmare.

This also meant that I needed to decide ahead of time what fabrics were going to be in the adjoining blocks - hence the colouring sheets.  This is called Planning... and is really not how I approach quilt making normally.

Anyhow, I got most of the first block sewn to see how the measurements and pressing stood up, and happily the pieces all fit together, and I'm just going to try one adjustment to my initial pressing plans, to see if I can get this seam easier to line up.

Although it looks pretty good in these pictures! and this was the first attempt!

And if anyone is interested, I still haven't filled in all my colouring sheet... but I have got far enough to keep making blocks for a few days before I need to reassess!