Sunday, October 30, 2016

Save this Space

So, it's been another frustrating and painful week here at Casa Monica. This is the last day to link up with the finale of the Gwennie-Inspired Medallion quilt along. This is where I am:

The theme is "Something Fishy," so it was a great opportunity to repeat the wavy background from the centre block. Fish are also designed and will be appliqued onto the waves. I'm happy with how it's all looking. But, my back is seriously wrecked again, for the third time since the start of the summer, so no progress there. Soon, hopefully!

You can see all the posts on my Gwennie Medallion here, including the finish when it's done.

My One Monthly Goal was to sew the binding on my Cardinal Stars quilt. And, this is where I am:

The hard part is done -- the yellow flange and red binding are both machine sewn to the front, and they are straight too! But, I strained my hand sewing the binding, so I'll have to take it slower. Frustrating! And, when it's done, you'll be able to see the finish here, as well as all the other posts on this quilt.

So, that's it for now. I can't wait to get back on track!

Friday, October 21, 2016

What's Up?

I know I've been MIA for a while, so I've been going through my camera this morning to see what I can share with you all. I've got some "progress" photos on the last round of the Gwennie Medallion, and my new guild challenge fabrics.

First, though, the autumn colours have been particularly good this year:

Outside, everything is looking beautiful. Inside, well...

The final clue for the Gwennie Medallion is "something fishy." My plan for the fishies has been the same since I read the clue. But, I still haven't started them, because I am wrestling with how to handle the corners.

I thought it would be good to carry the diagonal line of the light/dark log cabin layout into the final corners. I've saved this large triangle of background fabric from the basket block in Month 1. Maybe it could be the start of my corner blocks?

I made some strategic cuts.

The all-blue corner was not too bad. Don't ask me why it's so wide. I'm sure I had a reason.

I paired the blue triangles with some solid red to carry out that diagonal line, and built the block out log cabin style, as I did with the bear claws.

Since the project started my plan has been to have a wide solid red border after the final round. The idea with this corner was to transition the diagonal line out into the solid red.

"If I keep adding strips, eventually it will look right," I thought.

"I have to actually put it up on the wall and see how it all looks together," I thought.

Well, yes, those bloody red triangles were horrible, and no amount of building out would fix them.

Then I thought I would put my initials and the date in the corners instead. I unpicked all the blocks so I could re-use the strips for the letters.

I was happy with that plan, but yesterday I realized that another week had passed, and I still hadn't started. Back to the drawing board!

What I've been doing instead is my new guild challenge project. These three fabrics, from the "Charlotte" collection by Deborah Edwards of Northcott, have to be 50% of the quilt top. It's a small project, with a maximum perimeter of 120", (e.g. 30" x 30" (76 x 76 cm)).

The soft, traditional style has felt like a relaxing contrast to all these Gwennie shenanigans, so I've been spending a lot of time on it. Plus, it's due at the end of February, so there isn't a lot of time for deep thought. Unfortunately, I cannot share any progress photos at all, because it will be blind judging.

So, that's what's up with me, Next week may be a busy one, with a little playing around for AHIQ, the Cardinal Stars finish, and maybe the fishies too!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Brinton and Butterflies

Turquoise, green and hot pink butterflies!

It's time for the October Kaleidoscope of Butterflies link up, and I've done nothing at all on my "official" butterfly project, Down in the Garden. I can't believe it will soon be two years since Ink Week (really Ink Fortnight), and I still haven't finished embroidering the blocks. Oh, the shame!

Yes, well, maybe I would have more finishes if I actually did feel shame.

This project, however, Brinton Hall, is steamrolling over everything else. Today I made the 60 3" hsts that I'll need for the second border. The fabrics were all chosen and rough cut over the summer. Today I just had to pair them, sew, and trim.

And a few of them even have butterflies! Out in the real world, I'm also seeing the Monarch butterflies steadily heading southwest along the lake shore again.

I was careful to make sure every hst was a unique combination of fabrics. It was a fun day!

They will finish at 3", and I will set them with 1" warm beige sashings. Leigh Latimore's design uses 1/2" sashings, but I feel like these strong prints need more room to breathe. Plus, the math worked out perfectly! That is always my sign to stop tweaking the design. :D

In fact, I have been redesigning, and tweaking, and redesigning again, this project since the beginning of the summer. I've changed it so many times that I lost track of the different counts. So I had more hst fabric cut than I needed. And, apparently my final design will only need 16 of the hexagon rosettes, even though I made 20!

But, the end is in sight, because I have simplified the final border by removing all the handwork. None of the handwork in Latimore's outer border is in the original Anna Brereton quilt, so that was an easy decision to make.

I will make the pieced "square in a square" block, because that was in the original, and I think it is a good looking block! I am keen to get started on that, it should be a good challenge. Lots of quarter square triangles!

So, this has been 54 of the 60 hsts. I made them in sets of 10, but 9 fit so nicely on my rotating mat there.

Now, I really have to crack on with Something Fishy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

OMG for October

Just a short post for today. One Monthly Goal (OMG) has been going since January, but this is my first time participating. This month I really want to get the binding sewn onto my Cardinal Stars quilt. I quilted it six months ago, and it has been languishing because a) summer is too hot to sit with a big quilt in my lap, and b) I want to make a fancy two-colour binding, and I haven't been 100% sure of how I want to do it.

But, now the weather has cooled off, and I think I have a reasonable plan. The binding strips were cut long ago, and when I opened the box, I was surprised to see that I even ironed the red ones in half already! So I am primed for success. :D

Here's the before photo:

Check out all the other goal-setters at the October link up, right here.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Log Cabins and Stars

For the Gwennie-Inspired Medallion quilt along, the theme for Month 3 is log cabins, and the Month 4 theme is stars. I hoped that my bear claw blocks, that I rejected in Month 2, would still be useful. This is their chance! Mama bear and baby bear are now Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, the two most familiar constellations in the northern sky.

In North America we know the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper, which are the brightest parts of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. In Europe they see it when it is rotated around, and call the Big Dipper the Plough.

The Big Dipper has seven stars, and the Little Dipper has six, so I chose seven big bear claws and six small ones, and filled them out with some log cabin piecing. Two for one!

But really, it was the "log cabin" theme that unlocked the entire design for me. I thought it would be different to wrap strips around the whole medallion, log cabin style. A few others had the same idea! From there it was a short hop to the idea to continue the light/dark layout through all the borders.

I also sewed together all the small "crumbs" that were left over from the log cabin strips, and used them to fill in a few of the gaps.

And I used the brown and grey printed plaids from the centre block to make two 1/4" (6 mm) key line borders. I've been keen to try this tutorial by Barbara Robson for a skinny border, and I'm happy to say that it is easy and it works!

Those are the same plaids, by the way, that I've been using to make rosettes for Brinton Hall.

The last theme, for Month 5, is "Something Fishy." That will fit perfectly on the remaining two blue sides of the medallion! It's all coming together now. :D

Fortunately for me, Lori says the final link up will be open all month. I'm going to take a week or so to finish it up before my next post. Might as well do it right!
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