Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The plan?

I had it all figured out.  I was absolutely certain how Vintage Sparkle should come together. Last Friday I finished assembling the center and thought the borders would be added by the end of the weekend.  The top was almost done!

At that point I started wavering about my plan for the borders.  I have since come up with many competing plans.  That has proved rather paralyzing.  What If I start on plan B but then decide plan A was the better option after all?  Or maybe plan C?  And if I had thought of plan B in the first place I would have constructed the edges of the quilt differently to make plan B easier and reduce clunky seams.  Maybe I should unpick what I’ve done to allow for that?  But do I have enough fabric to allow for that alternate construction?

Today I draped the quilt top over my bed and mocked up 3 options on a bit of the edge.



The star that bites into the border in B and C repeats the cornerstone stars from the rest of the quilt. I like that extra element, but A is certainly simpler at this point.  If I choose B or C, I’ll then have to decide how to accomplish that as an afterthought.  I know exactly how I would do it if I had planned it from the start!  I suppose I could unsew the rows and sashing and proceed that way but…I hated pinning and sewing those long seams and I suspect I wouldn’t enjoy unpicking and then doing them over!

Okay, I’m done with the whining.  Maybe I’ll just let this one sit awhile while I go work on the tax return.  Not that that is much more fun!

Linking up with Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Monday, February 24, 2014

Squishy in the mail

I won a gift certificate for Merrilee’s shop on her blog a few weeks ago. Last week I finally made up my mind about what to buy and ordered a fat quarter bundle of “Sweet Things”.  It was great fun to find the squishy package in my mailbox today!  Sure beats the usual junk mail!


Despite my best efforts, with and without flash, the camera washed out the colours a bit.  They look great in person.  Thank you Merrilee!

Now these will sit for a little bit while design ideas swirl around in my brain for a bit and I try to get at least one of the two tops currently in progress to the “completed top” stage.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

half-blocks on the wall

Once I had a few pieces of the kaleidoscope quilt up on the wall for inspiration I was able to revert back to methodical sewing.  Over the last three days I pieced all the half blocks, one colour stack at a time.  Sticking with the methodical approach would mean taking pairs of half blocks and sewing them into full blocks according to the colour charts in my design notebook before putting anything up on the wall again.

Where’s the fun in that?  Here they all are up on the wall.


The next step is to sew pairs of units from the center into whole blocks.  Once that is done I will have to figure out exactly to finish the edge blocks.  I know the missing parts will be black with grey corners.  That will give the illusion of a pieced border of detached grey triangles all around the quilt.  I just need to decide what is the most efficient way to add those bits.  I have a couple of ideas.

Now I think I might take a short break from this project and go sew the sashing to my Vintage Sparkle quilt.

Linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Colour shuffle

When I assemble quilt blocks I am usually very methodical, sewing all the similar units of one colour set first, then moving on to the next colour set, then the next kind of unit, and so on.  That just wasn’t working for me today.

IMG_7740Yesterday I finished cutting all the pieces for the center of my kaleidoscope quilt and last night I started adding the square corners to all the red pieces.  Today I started doing the same to the yellow pieces and I have to tell you the stack of yellow pieced just did not seem to get smaller. Looking at the stacks of remaining colours I just felt discouraged and unmotivated.


That just wouldn’t do, so I decided to abandon the one-colour-at-a-time method, shuffle more colours in to the mix and start putting things up on the wall so I could see something taking shape.  My enthusiasm is back!

Here is where things stand tonight.


This is mostly half-blocks at the moment.  The only complete block is the one where the red and yellow triangles meet.  All the blocks in the center will have just 2 colours in the black background, so I am assembling half blocks of each colour and I’ll pair the appropriate halves together later.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Design Wall Monday


My design wall is too small!  I still have 11 blocks and some borders to add to this quilt, and it just is not going to fit.  Since that’s the biggest unencumbered piece of wall I have it will just have to do.  I’ll move some furniture around and clear some floor space if I absolutely must have everything laid out at the same time.

This is a variation on my Jelly Bean Stars pattern.  The blocks and sashing are the same, I just made more, set them on point and planned some pieced setting triangles.  I am also planning a scrappy prairie point border for this one.

I made a test block for this quilt last June, only intending to show that the block could look good in other fabrics besides the bright ones in Jelly Bean Stars. I really liked the block and scurried back to the quilt shop to get enough fabric to recreate the quilt in these reproduction fabrics.  It was mid summer however, my slowest sewing time, so I packed it all away in its own project bin and waited for the right time to start.

By the time I pulled it out again late last fall, the blocks had decided they really wanted to be set on point.  They also suggested that perhaps it was time for me to make another queen size quilt, so I trotted back off to the quilt store again and managed to find extra fabric that would go with what I already had.  I was lucky to find more of the fabric I wanted for the stars, though I had to resort to online shopping for it.

I’m off to finish the last 11 blocks (they are half sewn already) and hopefully I can start assembling the top in the next day or two.


I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.