More Choices for Binding

So, I am at home instead of at the guild meeting, because I woke up with the beginnings of a cold. I have to be well. I have a lot of work and family obligations this week. Being in bed or coughing my lungs out are not on the agenda.

The bad side is that I don’t get to go and take friend, Julie‘s, class. She is teaching Freeform Fabric Collage. I am sure she will post photos on her blog, which I can’t wait to see.

The other bad thing is that going south was, probably, my only chance to see the sun today. While the rest of the universe are seeing over 100 degrees, we are fogged in. It is grey. I don’t know if it is cold, since I haven’t been outside yet, but I am sure it is not hot. However, it is not drippy like it was last night nor is the fog pea soup thick.

The other bad thing is that I don’t get to see my quiltmaking friends or all of their great works. Again, I’ll look forward to seeing them on the site. I even had something to show this time! Bleah.

The good thing, aside from trying to ward off the cold, is that I get to stay home. I have to admit that I have not had enough time to commune with my house lately. I will work on the Pineapples and the binding for Thoughts on Dots. Perhaps I will go with the husband to see a movie, especially since the child is gone.

I did finish another Flowering Snowball block (Cross Block) this week at Craft Night.
I like that I am making more an effort to make the background fabrics all different. I think it makes the blocks more interesting. I am really pleased to say that I have gotten a lot of compliments on this pattern. I am pleased that people have noticed and pleased that people are interested in blocks that have nothing to do with ‘quick piecing.’

In my last post (much too long ago!), I talked about possibilities for binding Thoughts on Dots. I also asked for feedback. Deirdre, Sherry, Sage and Cami all commented. Sherry and Sage thought a bright red or yellow, so I tried those. The red is really good.

Deirdre suggested a black/white stripe or a zigzag pattern. The above is what I pulled out first and it frames the piece nicely, but kind of ruins the whole cheerful energy that I have been working on. In all fairness, Deirdre did suggest a stripe or a zigzag pattern. The above is not a stripe or a zigzag.

So I hauled out a stripe. I couldn’t find a black and white zigzag, even though I think I have one. Even with the addition of the white, I don’t like the black. Sorry Deirdre!

Sherry suggested a solid red or a solid yellow. I really like the red (see above), but I also like the yellow. Neither the red or the yellow are solid, but they are tone-on-tones and are close to solids. I think the yellow is a top contender.
As I was pawing through fabrics, I also came up with this blue swirl, which I couldn’t not pull it out. I like it, but I think the yellow or the red is better. What do you think?

Stars in Alignment

For once, the stars were in alignment which made my technology work and me able to solve my template problem. As I mentioned, I was unable to locate my original EQ file. It has disappeared from my computer or was saved to such a weird location that I will only be able to find it by stumbling across it when I am looking for something else.

Since I had been researching the Cross Block’s real name, Flowering Snowball, I had found EQ’s version of the block in their database and had saved it to EQ6. I decided to try and print templates from their block to see if it would work with the piecing I have already done.

There were a lot of ifs in this litle escapade. Since my printer was moved down to the laundry room, I haven’t been able to print from my computer. I thought I would need to get some boosters for my wireless network before printing would work again. In the meantime I have been saving to a flash drive, running downstairs and printing that way.

I forgot to change the printer to PDF and printed out templates in the correct size. I didn’t get an error message and that surprised me, so I went to the printer and, lo and behold, there was a template printout waiting there! What luck.

Daring not to hope that this could work, I went back to my work table, hauled out the other templates I have been using and measured the corner template against the printout. Yippee! The size was perfect! I was in business.

I made the template and cut out a couple of the middle squares and sewed them to a couple of the corner pieces as a test. All worked perfectly!

A Variety of Quiltmaking

Here are some Flowering Snowball blocks (Cross Block) in progress. Some of them you have seen before (many times?), but I put the new fragments with them to see how the piece can get away from the murky look. I felt it was a bit murky with the chocolate in the striped fabric and that particular orange.

I have lost the middle template for this block, which is holding up progress a bit. I looked at my EQ6 files and can’t find the project file, which means I have to recreate it somehow. I can cut most of the pieces and sew the corners to the middles, but at some point I have to deal with the loss of that template.

These are the fabrics from BatkisPlus and I think that the batik on the right is the same one I used on Sharon’s quilt.

Here are Pineapple blocks 9 & 10. They are the first one using my new system of organzing the strips. I can’t really see much difference, except, perhaps, that these blocks are a bit darker. I think it was the way the strips fell. In the last rows I skipped over the dark blues and stuck with turquoise.

Cross Block Redux

By the time this quilt is finished, I will probably have named 137 posts Cross Block Redux n.1…..n.137. We’ll see how interesting this quilt stays.

In response to the post Quiltmaking is a Journey Not a Destination, fellow quiltmaker and blogger, Laume wrote:

“There is a third option – make each block scrappy, but not planned so that the colors in each secondary “stretched out square” is matched. You would get rid of the matched “X’s” in the second option you think look unfinished. Whether the background circles would still come to the fore like the second option, or whether they secondary pattern of dark stretched out squares would come to the fore like the first option, I don’t know. You’d have to try it on paper and see.”

I had no idea what Laume was talking about. I knew it couldn’t be terribly complicated, but I am visual person and the words just didn’t translate. I sent Laume a line drawing of the quilt and she was kind enough to color it in.

Basically, she was saying to make the Xes totally scrappy and just match the curved background pieces. I was leaning in the direction as I had just realized that I used a piece of fabric for the back of Serendipity Puzzle that I really wanted to use in this quilt.

Laume’s idea is an excellent one, because the parts of the Xes really do take up quite a bit of fabric, which means I can’t use as many scraps as I would like. However, I will still have to cut into yardage, regardless, so perhaps it doesn’t matter?

Stay tuned!

Cross Block Lives

On February 23 and 24th, I posted about the Cross Block. The original quilt looks like:

Yesterday and this morning I worked on making the blocks a reality. This is a hand piecing project that I can work on as I get the time or when I am on the road with DH driving, but already I am liking what I see.

Neither is a full block yet, but the one on the right will be soon. I have only to finish sewing on one of the curved pieces before I can sew that unit to what I have. It was fun to have a little project to work on, but I think I will review Jinny Beyer’s handpiecing book, Quiltmaking by Hand: Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts to see if there are any tips I can use.

I made the seam allowances on the edge larger so I can trim the blocks to a uniform size more easily.

I am still waiting for Laume to give me more information on her idea for coloring this piece. I can always switch midstream, if I want: My Quilt, My Rules! Laume wrote in a comment:
“There is a third option – make each block scrappy, but not planned so that the colors in each secondary “stretched out square” is matched. You would get rid of the matched “X’s” in the second option you think look unfinished. Whether the background circles would still come to the fore like the second option, or whether they secondary pattern of dark stretched out squares would come to the fore like the first option, I don’t know. You’d have to try it on paper and see.”
I wasn’t sure what she meant so I hope she’ll e-mail back soon.

The Center is Not the Center

It occurred to me this morning that I seem to be working with patterns that create not obvious secondary patterns. Spiky Stars was the first (that I can identify), the Pineapple and now the Cross Block.

In Spiky Stars, the center of the blocks seems to be where the X of color is. Perhaps, in and artistic sense it is. However, in a technical sense (making the block), where the legs of two colors join is the center of the block. See below:

I have made an effort to outline the block in PSP, but Deirdre and DebR are more proficient, but you will get the idea.

The Pineapples are the same way.

It is a little difficult to see the secondary pattern at this point in the process. It is not the black square, which is actually the center of the block. The secondary pattern will become dominant as I make more blocks and as I put the corners on each block.

And now the Cross Block:

I wonder if this phenomenon has some deep subconscious psychological meaning or if it is a message from the depths of my mind? I think I am just trying to create interest. Worth pondering, I suppose.

Quiltmaking is a Journey Not a Destination

I found this quilt somewhere, drafted the block and am now trying to decide if there is a color layout scheme that I prefer. I don’t remember where I saw the quilt, which is a shame because I would like to document it better than “I don’t remember.”

There are two color layouts for the Cross Block quilt that appeal to me:

I like this one because the circles really stand out and you can really see the fabric. I don’t like the way I would have to plan out a bunch of the fabrics in advance (like Spiky Stars, which worked out well in the end). The other thing that bothers me is the half blocks on the edge. On one hand, they look unfinished. On the other hand they could comprise a self bordering technique border, again like Spiky Stars, that is so effective.

In the option above, the blocks would be a lot easier to piece. The crosses really stand out, which is nice, in a way. It looks a lot less interesting than the one above…a lot more regular.

So, does this count as another project or a way to get some more sewing done when I am not at the machine? Quiltmaking is a journey and not a destination, so does it matter?