Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Heart of Ringo

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's been over a month since my last blog post, but there's still been plenty of sewing, and plenty of thinking, happening here. I've done a lot of work on Bonnie Hunter's most recent mystery, On Ringo Lake, and it's going well. But, I've changed mine so much that it doesn't look much like Ringo Lake any more, and I've been quite perplexed by how to describe that process. My first Ringo Lake post was in November, and after that it's just been Instagram. I always call myself a "process blogger," but I'm not sure that is serving me well any more. For the next while, I'm going to focus more on milestones and finishes, and see how that goes.

So anyway, I think On Ringo Lake is a gorgeous block, and I've been a little jealous of all the great versions that are being shared on the link ups, since mine will be so different. In the January 8 link up, Wooly Quilter had three blocks on her design wall in the shape of a heart, and I thought that would be a great quilt right there. I always like hearts, and it gave me an excuse to make the block as written, so I went for it!

Three blocks, the sashing, a range of setting triangles...

...some really wide borders, done! Three days, so that is my fastest make yet. Right now it is 56" x 72" (142 x 183 cm). 

I'm so glad I went ahead. I love the crystalline look it has. All the fabric was in my stash. The solids are Kona, the pink is COTY 2017, pink flamingo. I don't know when or why I bought the white, but it was a little worse for wear so I was glad to finally use it well.

I know a professional quilter would have a field day with those wide open spaces, but, I think I have a simple idea that I can do myself. Into the quilting queue it goes!

My first Ringo Lake project, which I'm now calling Ontario Shores, is at the "just a nine patch" stage. These are the first 25 blocks, lined up and ready to sew.

I hope I can stay focused, because an exciting new toy was just delivered! It's an Eversewn Sparrow 30, and I think it will result in some big changes to my project line up. I am pretty sure I should sew these before I open the box...

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Patchwork Barn Neutrals

My first new project for 2018 is The Patchwork Barn, a BOM designed by Edyta Sitar for The Quilt Show. My plan was for a refined and restrained, mostly neutral colour scheme, with hints of soft green and gold. Traditional prints.

Then one day this week my eye happened to land on the project box for El Camino SoCal, with all the Eclectic Elements fabrics by Tim Holtz that I've been using for the background in that project. They were exactly the golden taupes and warm greys that I had in mind!

Even though they are not traditional at all, they still have the pale "rows of wheat" feeling that I want for the quilt, especially when paired with solid white.

And I like the extra texture from the blocky print, too.

I had to laugh, because my "neutral fabric" actually has 15 or 16 different colours in it!

In fact, I realized that beautiful selvedge had to be included in the quilt. Fortunately, Edyta has started us out with very easy blocks. A slight change to the proportions of one the blocks, and my selvedges became part of the design:

The selvedge side is topstitched onto the grey, and the other side is pieced normally with the solid white fabric.

A few of Tim Holtz's butterflies rounded out the last set of blocks:

Even the little four patches looked like butterflies at one point:

There was also a bump in the road...

...which I didn't notice until taking the final photos at the end of the day...

...but which was easily sorted.

Other BOM participants may notice that I switched the darks and lights in the four patches. I think I will like this layout better in the final assembly.

So that is the first month done in one day! If only the rest were as easy...

I don't plan to use the Eclectic Elements exclusively, or even predominantly, but I do love how they worked this month. We'll see what happens next month!

Right now I am literally surrounded by piles of fabric for On Ringo Lake, which has deviated considerably from Bonnie's design. One more day and I hope the whole quilt will be cut. And then, hopefully, a few blocks made for the link up next week!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

18 in 2018

Ok, so yes, just a couple of days ago I remarked that resolutions about UFOs have not historically been successful for me. But, I know several people had great success with 17 in 2017 last year. And, having now read the "rules," I see that 18 doesn't mean 18 different projects, it could be 18 milestones in one project. So that sounds reasonable! And since I'm sewing anyway, I may as well join in. Click here to read all about it!

It's been quite difficult to whittle down the list, actually. I did have to add some "bonus" goals. In any case, these are the projects I will be happiest to get finished. The biggest challenge will be the projects that need quilting. There are also a few easy wins and old stinkers that I'm ready to see the back of! So, in no particular order as far as scheduling goes...

1. Bind Homegrown placemats. Yes, I still haven't bound these dratted things, and I think they qualify as both an easy win and a very old stinker.

2. Finish quilting and bind Picnic. This quilt has been occupying the "chair of shame" beside my sewing table for at least six months. I'm keen to start looking at something else!

3. Under Picnic on the chair of shame is my old yoyo project, Spring Planting. It's half sewn, and getting it to the flimsy stage is its first milestone.

4. Quilting and binding Spring Planting will be the second milestone on that project!

5. Quilt and bind Sunshine.

6. Quilt and bind Nettie.

7. Quilt and bind Daydream Baskets.

8. Quilt and bind Circa 1998.

9. Sew borders on Allietare to finish the flimsy.

10. Finish sewing together my Technicolor Turkey flimsy

Bonus -- Quilt and bind Technicolor Turkey. (That's definitely a "stretch" goal!)

11. Finish the Aunt Millie fused applique, piece the alternate blocks, and assemble the centre.

12. Piece, applique and attach the Aunt Millie border to finish the flimsy.

13. Finish the Moth in the Window blocks.

Bonus 1 -- Cut the sashing, lay out, and assemble the centre
Bonus 2 -- Design, make and attach an applique border

14. Make a final decision on the border, then piece and attach it to finish the Hanami flimsy.

15. Finish the 49 Cheddar Broken Dishes blocks.

16. Cut the sashing, lay out, and assemble the flimsy.

17. Finish the Rose Boll sawtooth blocks

18. Finish the alternate string blocks for Rose Boll and assemble the centre.

Bonus -- Piece and attach the Rose Boll border to finish the flimsy!

I didn't put links in for all the projects, you can click the labels at the bottom of this post to find more information on any of them. My New Year's resolution to make four new, small wall quilts is still the top priority. But, I would certainly like to make progress on all of these. And also a few that didn't make the list!

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