Monday, February 26, 2018

En Provence and Ringo Lake Update and Moving On To the Wholecloth

Joining in again for another edition of "Moving It Forward Monday" over at Em's Scrapbag:

In my last post, I thought I was done with the updates on my En Provence project since I had finished the top.  However, I had plans for one more touch to add to it and wound up getting it done a lot faster than I thought I would.

One of the quirks of this particular project is that when I started pulling fabrics for it, I found that I had at least one polka dot fabric for each of the colors called for in the quilt.  When I went shopping for additional project fabrics, I found even more so using polka dots became a sub-theme of the project.  Ironically when it came time to choose the magenta "focus fabric" I once again found a polka dot fabric for that too!  So needless to say polka dots abound in this top!

As I got to the part of the mystery where we had to piece the neutral borders for the top, I thought it might be cute to add "polka dots" to it as well.  My original plan was to do that by swapping in a dark square in some of the four patches that make up the last border but that didn't balance out visually.  So instead I decided to applique circles on the border as my "polka dots" instead.

As I found out in a previous project, an Accuquilt  GO! cutter makes short work of prepping circles for applique since you can cut both the fabric:

...and either fusible or (since I planned to do this by hand) templates (out of doubled freezer paper) for turning the circles.  Just cut a smaller circle for the templates than you do for the fabric.

As seen in the picture, I also used the templates from the set of  Karen Buckley Perfect Circles I have to turn the circles.  Since there were only five templates of the size I needed in her set, I cut the extra freezer paper templates so I could prep more circles at a time.

So now the neutral border has polka dots too!

Also this week, I finally finished up the last of the blocks needed for the "On Ringo Lake" mystery -- Woo hoo! 

Next step for this one will be to put these blocks up on the design wall with the units we had to piece for sashing and play around with the layout.  If you check out some of the linkups for this mystery, you will see that people have employed some creative placements of the sashing units --- and not always as sashing!

However before I get to that, I'll be focusing this week on setting up my wholecloth project.  I've finally decided on the additional stitch elements I want to add and have made templates (in freezer paper again) for those so have to trace them out onto the top.

Since the whole cloth is one of the big "Bucket List" projects for this year and I'm way behind on getting start on it, I'll be taking this week to focus on that.

There's so much more to see over at Em's Scrapbag so why not go and check out what everyone has been up to?

Monday, February 19, 2018

En Provence and Ringo Lake Update: One Down, One To Go!

This will be the last time "En Provence" will be part of the Moving It Forward Monday link up for a while because....'s a top!  Finally got it done on Friday and it's a big'un!!  Right now it's topping out at 123" square so even with shrinkage when I quilt it, this one will be generous on my queen-size bed.  Well, it's done in terms of the mystery --- I still plan to "add a little something" to that second neutral border.  I've also got ideas (and leftover fabric) to start on the backing but that too will probably wait.

I also added to the "Ringo Lake" block stack during the week but didn't sew anything this weekend so have some catching up to do.

 I was also supposed to make decisions on the wholecloth this weekend but I think I was in "flimsy focus withdrawal" so took the weekend off from doing anything quilting related.  I've got a few shows on the DVR to watch so once I post this, I'll be heading back to the machine!

You can find out what other projects where nudged a little further along last week over at Em's Scrapbag blog for Moving It Forward Monday!

Monday, February 12, 2018

En Provence and Ringo Lake Update: More Progress!

Once again, I am joining the crew over at Em's Moving It Forward Monday!
 As before, it's been "all Bonnie Hunter, all the time" around here in terms of the projects I've been working on.  While the stitching lately hasn't been as consistent as in previous weeks, what was accomplished on the days I did sew helped me hit two milestones.  For the "En Provence" mystery, I've got the center of the top all sewn together:
Now there's only a few rows of border units to be sewn and this top will be finished! 
For "Ringo Lake", I've got half of the total number of blocks needed sewn up:
It's gratifying to see the block stack growing, this one could also be a top by the start of Spring. 
At one point I needed something else to leader/ender to push those other two through so I pulled out some strips and was able to finish another Scrappy Trips block!
These have been fun to make and I look forward to the day when this one can become the main project.
I had planned to only sew a few of the mystery blocks a day but once the "En Provence" rows started coming together, I was anxious to see the center get done so pushed forward to getting a whole row done on those days when I did get to sew.  I have an idea for slightly altering the borders for it so finishing the borders may move a little slower than the rows did.  So once again, I'm hoping to try to finally start on my big 2018 goals.  
Up to now I've been stalled on moving forward with my wholecloth project but have found a resource that seems to have the inspiration I was looking for to help me take it in the direction I want to go.  With any luck, that project will be the subject of next week's "Move It Forward" post.  Fingers crossed! 
Now, I'm going to go check out what other people have been working on all week.  Join me over at Em's Scrapbag and see who's sharing something on today's "Moving It Forward Monday"! 

Monday, January 29, 2018

En Provence and Ringo Lake Update: Blocks on the Wall and the Table

It's another Moving It Forward Monday moment!
I'm linking up once again with everyone over at Em's Scrapbag with the progress from last week.  Fortunately for me, the momentum from the previous weeks held.  This time the work on the 2016-17 Bonnie Hunter mystery "En Provence" took precedence because I really wanted to get the last of the blocks and all vertical sashing units pieced.
 I now have a wall full of wonderfulness!  Now it's on to getting the pieces in the horizontal sashing rows pieced together - that's why they look so off line in the photo. 
As I have throughout the mystery quilt season, I used the block piecing for one mystery quilt as a leader/ender for the other one I'm working on.  Here's the progress on this year's "On Ringo Lake" blocks:
So the good news there is I got a bunch of those blocks done too.  I'm hoping to keep piecing a little of both each day but the work may slow a bit while I squeeze in some other things. 
Now that the block piecing is under control, I'd like to try to also get a start on my big 2018 goals.  My plan for the year was to work on big "Bucket List" projects and I had two I wanted to get started for this quarter but with focusing on the mysteries, I've already used up a month of that time!   Fortunately the first one is a hand work project so I can continue to piece the mystery quilts as I set the hand work project up.
I've  shown you mine, now you can show me yours!  Link up what's been making your machine hum all week over at Em's Scrapbag for some "Moving It Forward Monday" fun! 

Monday, January 22, 2018

On Ringo Lake Update: Moving On To the Blocks!

Whew!  It took all weekend (and a few stragglers finished this morning) to finally finish piecing the last of the parts for Bonnie Hunter's "Ringo Lake" mystery:

It got a little dicey as I had miscounted how many neutral triangles I had already cut for all of those Part 3 and 5 corners and had to cut more.  I've used up all the neutral stash I had for this project so it meant digging in the Scrap Users bin for a few more strips to cut from.  I also dug into the Scrap Triangles bin I keep for all of those cut off triangles from projects to see if I could find some that could be cut down for use here.

I try to keep the triangles in that bin sorted into baggies by approximate sizes (Micro, small, medium, large and deluxe/setting sizes).  I've used some before to make a journal cover and have a number of patterns already picked out for a "one day" All-Or-Mostly-Triangles project.  So now all the "Ringo" Parts 1 - 6 units are all snug together in its project box.

But not for long -- now I can focus on piecing the blocks together!  Part 7 of the mystery is to piece together the coral and brown flying geese into one unit.  I've decided to just do that as part of the overall block piecing.

What's great is that can be done leader/ender style along with the rest of the "En Provence" blocks and sashing (from last year's mystery) that I also have to finish piecing.  I figure a block a day each should be doable.  I guess I can honestly say Monday IS so good to me!

Linking up with other Monday Movers for Moving it Forward Monday over at Em's Scrapbag.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ringo Lake and En Provence Update: A Leader/Ender Spree

Up First: Ringo Lake

It's been a real challenge to try to keep up the steady work to get the "Ringo Lake"  parts finished.  I failed over the weekend --- didn't sew a thing!  I went to a guild meeting on Saturday and picked up waayy too much eye candy in the form of old magazines so spent most of the weekend oohing and ahhing and placing bookmarks. 

So I made up for that on the holiday Monday, making up more Part 4/6 combo units, the pieced triangles needed for the setting triangles in Part 9 and more Flying Geese for Part 5. 

About those combo units:  I've been piecing mine using the shortcut from Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Shaded Four Patch Technique Sheet which I talked about in my last post.  Even though I had written notes on both Bonnie's instructions and the Technique Sheet telling me exactly what size strips to cut out of which fabric to make the blocks in the format needed, what did I do?  When I started this round of piecing, I thought I knew exactly what to cut and sew.  Yeah, about that....

Needless to say these are wrong....

Really wrong.....

Oh so much wrong!   Note to self:  If you are using a shortcut but haven't sewn with it in a few days, it's a good idea to review your notes before starting!

Fortunately, these were cut from only one strip of each fabric and I had more than enough of the turquoise and brown fabrics left to cut more to make the corrected set.  However, I had to remove and salvage the coral triangles from the blocks I had completed (the ones in the upper right in the picture) because I only have some yardage left of one of the coral fabrics --- I've used up everything else to cut what was needed for all the other parts of the mystery. 

When I had cut the turquoise strips for that first errant set, I also cut all the triangles and squares needed for the setting triangles in Part 9.

I did some more stitching Tuesday and finished up all of the rest of the Part 4/6 combo units.  I also got some more Part 5 Flying Geese and Part 3 units done but there's still a lot more of those to make. 

I want to start on my 2018 goal projects but want to get these parts finished first.  Once I'm able to move "Ringo" onto the block piecing stage, then I'll be in a good position  to break off to work on something non-mystery related.

On to En Provence

This time last year I was getting a late start on piecing the parts for the "En Provence" mystery.  This year, while working on the parts for "Ringo Lake", I was also able to finally start putting together the blocks for that quilt.  This was where I was at the beginning of last week:

The first competed block is on the upper left of the design wall and the second one was down on the table queued up for sewing together.  This is where I am with it now:
With nine blocks pieced, now I'm going to start piecing the sashing units that surround the finished blocks so I can move everything tighter together to be able to add the rest of the un-pieced block parts onto the wall.  During all this leader/ender-ing (I know, not a word), I also finally finished piecing all the sashing Tri-Recs units too.

One of my goals for this year is to get both mysteries at least to tops.  Of course, it would be even more fabulous to finish both quilts completely but baby steps, Padewan, baby steps!  Many people have already finished their tops and a few have even already quilted theirs. Check out the last link-up if you want to see those beauties!

More good news: the first part of my Zazzle order came in on Friday.

Woo hoo!  Is this an incentive to try to make another of the Quiltville mysteries?  Well, to that end I realize I have a lot of the brown fabrics left over so I am thinking about that too..... 

 So many quilts, so little time!  Happy Quilting!

Monday, January 8, 2018

On Ringo Lake Update: From Part 3 to the Reveal -- Still Plugging Along

It's time for the last Ringo Lake Link-up today over at Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog now that the big Reveal is out of the bag!  Bonnie did a series of "Rapid Fire" posts right before and on New Year's Day giving us Parts 7, 8 and 9 in succession.  It's another Bonnie beaut of a quilt with some very interesting setting triangles (see Part 9 for those).  For me, I'm no where near the assembly part yet:

I wish I was further along by now but the holidays definitely threw me for a loop.  I had dutifully picked up Parts 3, 4 and 5 when they were released  during December but was still working on Part 3 when I downloaded Part 6 on the last Friday of 2017. 

Since I had big project plans for the New Year (are there any other kind?), I really wanted to be up to date on this mystery as we entered 2018.  I had already planned in my head that I might just be able to do a big piecing push and be ready for the Part 6 link-up, expecting it to be on Tuesday Jan 2.

Fortunately for me when Bonnie revealed Part 6, it turned out that the new unit was something I was very familiar with!  Back in 2015 I had ordered one of Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Technique Sheets for a block she calls a "Shaded Four Patch".  I've also seen this block called "Cat's Cradle".  It's a unit I've seen in a lot of designs I want to make and the same one used in the blocks I made for Eleanor Burns' Quilt In a Day quilt "Fabric Gal" back in 2014.

The Technique Sheet called for the block to be made with the same strip piecing methods as was done for QIAD but the sheet gave instructions for block sizes from 2" to 12" finished whereas the QIAD instructions were only for one size block.  Bonnie's Part 4 had given instructions for the pieced top half of the block and in Part 6 you added the large bottom half triangle.  Knowing this after the fact meant I could construct the whole block all at once and make a pair of them at a time.

While I worked on these,  I also continued making the Part 3 units as leader/enders and started on the Part 5 flying geese. 


Just like I had with the Part 2 units, I made the Part 5 geese using my favorite QIAD "Triangle -Pieced Rectangle method (what I call the "Two Squares" method).  Also good was that while making all of these up, I was also able to throw my En Provence blocks into the leader/ender queue and start moving them forward as well.

At this point it was one down and four more ready to go. 
So as it stands now, I have about 3/4 of the total combo Part 4/6 units needed so I'll need to do another strip cutting session.  I've only got about half of my Part 3 and 5 units done so far.  For the Part 5 geese, I've had to make adjustments to my piecing methods.  Unfortunately my neutral stash is running low and with some of the fabrics I don't have big enough pieces left to cut the large squares I need to do my quick FG method.  Since I also needed more small HSTs to complete the Part 3 piecing, I've resorted to doing the rest of my Part 5 units the old fashioned way:  I've cut QST triangles with a Companion Angle ruler out of my brown fabrics and by cutting a big batch of the HSTs for both I can piece both units the same way.  So this is what I have left to do:

By doing a little each day, I'll get closer to being able to start putting the top together, hopefully by the end of the week.  When that time comes, it'll be fun to see if any piecing "design decisions" (aka oopsies) will wind up creating "unique" layout adjustments.  We will see!  If you are not coming here from the link-up, do go check out what everyone has gotten up to.  You can see some of the great tops that have already been finished with some people posting tips on the best way to get that done as well.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

If you are here from the link-up, did you see the note on Bonnie's post about all the Quiltville swag available on Zazzle?!?!  There are buttons, magnets, mugs, t-shirts, aprons and bags that commemorate all of the Quiltville mysteries to date.  Proceeds from the sale go to purchase supplies for charity quilt projects.  While the sale is on I just had to get pins for the two mysteries I am working on to add to my bag.  I also splurged on a pair of new mugs which, lucky enough for me, were in the exact same colors I needed to replace two mugs I had recently broken.  Score!