Thursday, August 15, 2013

More Progress on Vines and Stars Quilts

Surprise, I'm back sooner than you may have expected.  Between job and family and working on two quilts simultaneously, there never seems to be time to tell you, dear friends, what is happening in my studio and life.  I'm trying to do better, honestly, I am!  You have no idea how much I miss you when I am unable to connect with you through this blog!

Autumn Chains is being quilted on my Bernina during the daylight hours when I can see to quilt better.  So during the evening hours when it is too dark up here in the studio to quilt confidently, I spend time on Vines and Stars. I'm really trying to maximize the hours I have when I'm not at work.

Last week, I showed just the applique strips and the stars completed at that time.  You can see photos in my last post  here.  Here is a look at what has happened since then.

There are two more blocks than there were in the last post.  That doesn't seem like much progress, but all of the remaining 16 blocks have now been cut.  All of the background triangles have been added to the design wall as well.  If things seem a bit off, remember that all of these pieces are separate pieces placed on the design wall. The quilt looks a bit "wonky" at this point, but it will be fine when everything is stitched together.
See all of those white spares?  Yep, 16 of them to be filled in yet.  Do you notice what is missing?  I mean besides those 16 blocks?  There is very little blue and yellow !  How did I miss that?  That is why a design wall is essential -- you get to see the big picture before the blocks are sewn together.  I've actually added very little more blue, but there are several yellow blocks waiting to be stitched together.
You may remember that there was some doubt that there would be a sufficient amount of the black background fabric.  It was purchased when we lived in a different state several years ago, so purchasing additional fabric was not an option.  Here is what was left once the background pieces and remaining blocks were cut out.

Yikes!  The largest leftover chunk is 9" x 12-1/2".  Enough to go back and re cut the block in the lower left corner.  Did you notice it?  Nope, you can't see it.  There is NO contrast in the photo.  In person, I can see it is a block made with a dark rust star, but it disappears in the photo.  Maybe there will have to be a blue block to replace that one.

Design walls and taking photos in progress are a good thing in quilt making!  It is far better to see a problem before all the pieces are stitched together.

Hope you are having an absolutely awesome week!

Until next time


Friday, August 9, 2013

Vines and Stars Progress

Since my machine is busy with a machine quilting project, I've been needing to stitch something.  My friend, Julie, over at Julie K Quilts has been taking older UFO's and focusing on them which has been an inspiration as she gets those done.  She inspired me to bring out this ongoing project and spend more time on it again.

Yep, it has a ways to go to be pieced.  The applique strips have been done a very long time. These strips  began as a carry along project when I was doing a lot of teaching and traveling. They served as a demonstration sample on how to applique leaves and stems. They were worked on in quite a few states! This is my first strip quilt and I am liking it a lot!
Once the applique strips were done, I started working on the hand pieced 8-pointed star block.  The pieced bocks finish to 6 inches. I've gone back and forth on how to set them, but this is my preferred way to put the blocks and strips together.  I  need to make 17 more blocks for this setting of the quilt.
There may not be enough of the black, so I'm thinking of other ways to fill in the triangles.  Once all the blocks are done, I'll measure what is left to see if I can cut the quarter-square triangles or if I need to be creative by string piecing or something along those lines.
This quilt is using up a lot of bits and pieces left from other projects.  A true scrap quilt, except for the black which was bought as yardage too many years ago to think there might be some in a quilt shop somewhere!  I do love the multi-color leaves and stars.
Any suggestions for a different way to set the stars or a creative way to extend the black?
Do you ever have projects that get put away for months at a time?  What motivates you to get them back out and start working on them again?
Inquiring quilters want to know so leave a message about your experiences with UFO's.
Hope to be more regular in blogging than the last couple of months.  I miss you!