Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nose To The Grindstone Finally Paying Off

Good news!  The Merrimac Dresden blocks are almost finished!

After working on the Crumb Houses last week, I went back to these Dresden blocks figuring I'd have the top done by the time this week's Tuesday Crumb Along rolled around and could return the focus to the houses.  But for some reason I was dragging, not speeding along on these.  Sunday my husband and sons went to the NY Comic Con and I thought I'd have a Quilt-A-Thon day to myself.

 Instead I only got a few blocks done to finish the third row (but did get a lot of rest otherwise).  I really want to get this top done now because in addition to the new Crumb project (and finishing the quilting on the old one), I have a Halloween quilt project that was supposed to have been started already!  Not wanting to add even more flip flopping between projects, I decided to focus on getting this one done before moving on (or back) to other projects.

The opening picture showed the four rows I have of the five to be done.  On the machine is one block towards the fifth row.  Funny thing about that:  After completing three rows on Sunday, I went to set up the last two rows of blocks.  I was running low on Dresden blades and needed to know if I needed to cut more.  For some reason at that point, I thought I was short one background.  And of course, I didn't have enough of that particular background fabric left to make a block.  I did have enough of another background but it had to be pieced together.  Then to have enough blades to fill all the blocks, I had to do some "Poverty Patching" of what was left of my blade fabrics.  When I was done I had this:

I worked on the blocks again and when I finished the fourth row yesterday and put the blocks up on the design wall, I found that I had an extra block!  I don't know how that happened and now the pieced block and blades may be going on the back as a label.

There is still a lot to do:  finish the last row of blocks, blanket stitch them to their backgrounds, sew circles over the centers of the plates, border each of the blocks, put the center of the top together and then piece the outer border.  O.k. just listing all that tells me this top is not so close to being finished after all.  But as Michele of the "Distracted Quilter" blog so perfectly expressed in a recent post (in both text and video), you have to keep taking steps (no matter how small) toward your goal if you want to reach it.  So I will put my focus on the process and not the end because I already know the answer to the question "Are We There Yet?"!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Continuing To Catch Up

The other week I was so pleased to get  the "Chronicles" Month Four blocks done and I am glad to report that Month Five is done too.  Once again, triangle sheets became HSTs....


 Then additional triangles had to be cut to finish the blocks.  I was little short on one of the fabrics so needed to make a few "poverty patches" to have enough of them.

And with those, I finished all sixteen corner blocks!

I finished them two Saturdays ago and just in time:  Month 9 arrived in the mail the same day.  Yes, I am still way behind but at least I'm also still moving up the ladder!

When they were finished, my plan was to take a short break from "Chronicles" to work on two other projects (like many I suffer from Quilter's ADD).  The first was that I started piecing some house blocks for Jo's Crumb Quilt Along.  What's been done to date was reported on here

The second was to clear the last "new start" on the table: I've gone back to work on my "Merrimac Dresdens" blocks.  This one is important to me for two reasons:  it is the third in the series of Civil War fabric quilts I've worked on this year and a Dresden Plate quilt is one of my "Bucket List" quilts.

Right now I've got one row done and hope to finish the remaining three rows by the end of the week and add the borders for a completed top this weekend.   Yes, I know the usual ambitions, but will it get done?  We'll see!  One things for sure:  as always there's alot going on in the city that never sleeps!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crumbling More Houses!

Having finally got on board the Crumb Along, I was able to add another house block today to the ones I started making this weekend:

You can read about my plans for these and how I got them started in my last post

When Jo announced the Crumb along I hadn't realized was that she was planning to do tutorials for specific (liberated) block units made of crumbs (like flying geese and stars). Today's log cabin blocks go right along with what I am doing with my houses so I hope in the coming days to make a few of those as well as some of the other units too.  While these were not originally in my house quilt plans, I am now thinking about how I can use them as border or sashing blocks or fodder for the back or label.  If all else fails, they can become orphan units for another quilt.  We'll see what develops!