Thursday, January 12, 2017

Journey to Provence

Have you ever done this?

Mountains en Provence?

You have to be very organized to screw up in this particular way! Yesterday morning I slowly and carefully started to put together my new hourglasses for Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery quilt, En Provence:

I slowly and carefully picked up two pieces with my left hand and one piece with my right, pinned them, butted the seams, and sewed almost all the way across before I realized! Not a good start, but after that things went smoothly. And I think everyone will agree that the black is a lot better in these units than the light aqua I tried first, here.

But, to back it up, I have been sewing like a maniac for over a week now. When Bonnie revealed the mystery on January 1, which you can see here for a few more weeks, I was way behind. I had finished Clue #2, the Tri-Recs units in our constant fabric, and Clue #3, the green four patches. After the reveal I decided to go back to Clue #1 and make over 100 white four patches, about a zillion more Tri-Recs units (that's certainly how it felt) for Clue #4, and the big HSTs for Clue #5:

This is NOT all of them

For the low-volume, all white units, I pulled some fairly high volume fabrics from my stash:

I am actually sick to death of all my low volume text fabrics, and fortunately they are nearly gone anyway. I will not be buying more! But I do like how these new fabrics worked. And they've already given me a new idea for another quilt!

Don't worry, I will finish this one first! To avoid distractions, I forced myself to get all the units done before I made a block. And, I also sewed as much of the block background as possible before I put in the pinks. The selection of pinks is a little different now than last time:

And tonight, finally, one block is done:

It is pretty sparky, I think, with the high volume blacks and whites, as well as the contrast between my very dark and very light greens. But I like it, and the sashing will tame it a little. The white fabric in the corners will be a constant in the sashing, so that will tie it all together more. I have a fancy border planned for the flamingo fabric, and I have high hopes for how that will turn out.

One block done, eight to go, plus pieced sashing and pieced border. My One Monthly Goal is to finish the flimsy by the end of January, and I think I am on track. In the meantime, check out all the other En Provence quilts in the link up here, including a few finished quilts. The key to finishing fast is to stick to the pattern, but I am happy with my progress too. :D

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

OMG, Butterflies en Provence!

It's time for the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies link up this month. Last month I was on the lookout for some butterflies, and I captured this one "in the wild."

You can see by the lint that this fabric spent a long time in my scrap bin! This stack of triangles is for foundation piecing in Wild & Goosey. The scrap bin is now almost empty! But the stack of triangles keeps growing as I add the leftovers from other projects.

Also this week, Bonnie Hunter revealed the final layout for her 2016 mystery quilt, En Provence. You can see it here, for the next few weeks. I love it! I especially like the circular effect with the purple in the big blocks. And I have to say, I was genuinely mystified. I thought I knew where it was going, and I was wrong!

But anyway, let me remind you of my flamingo-inspired colourway:

Bonnie's quilt has sixteen of those circle blocks, so for my simplified version I thought nine would work well. I am using pink where Bonnie used yellow, and I noticed that her yellow fabrics are quite light. I have that light pink flamingo blender, and I thought that would be perfect!

Argh, no, it is horrible! The light aqua adds nothing, and there are just too many flamingos. Does it look better with the green squares added? It does not. So many pretty fabrics, so terrible all together. Right from the start I had a feeling that it would be risky to change the values in the quilt. But, I ignored the doubts and forged ahead! I should know by now to listen to those niggling doubts.

So now I have quite a few pink flamingos to add to the stack of triangles for Wild & Goosey! What a useful project.

Looking closely at Bonnie's finished quilt, some of her greens (where I used aqua) are almost black. And they are extremely scrappy with a wide range of values, which gives a lot of interest. I needed something very grounding too. I considered dark pinks or reds, but then I thought, why not black? I have some bold black prints in my stash that could give that same range of interest that Bonnie has:

And look, there's that same butterfly fabric again! I haven't cut them yet, but I'm keen to see how they will work.

I also like that the larger pieces in this project will show off some of my larger scale, modern fabrics. Here are pinks I settled on:

They looked good in the sunlight there, didn't they?

By Monday I hope to have at least a block or two to share, and by the last link up in February I am determined to have the flimsy done. So that is my One Monthly Goal for January as well -- En Provence flimsy by the end of the month. Only nine blocks! Plus, pieced sashing and pieced border...

Right now I am still catching up on the clues I skipped. Here are my green hsts from clue #5:

And today I was cutting these fabrics for more Tri-Recs units from clue #4:

After considerable thought, I've also decided to go back and piece some of the all-white four patch units from clue #1. Those are next!
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