40 Shades of Grey Finished!

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So I received the last package for my block of the month.  It was the fabric for the setting triangles and the pieces in between all the blocks.

I really did not like the fabrics they sent for this (as I suspected).  One didn’t even have stripes!  So… I pulled out the fabric that I had ordered for this possibility.  The pattern called for 2 different striped fabrics (although from the picture, I couldn’t tell the difference).

I just used the one fabric.

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Let me just say also that the directions on this section were not good.  The directions for the setting triangles was helpful but the different pieces to fill in between the blocks – not so much.  I was wondering if this quilt pattern had been tested.

The cutting out is important because you need to know which way the stripes go.  Some blocks said and others didn’t.  I couldn’t figure out where some of the pieces went on the quilt – in fact, one I tossed since there was no place to put it.  And I had to cut another that wasn’t on the pattern.

The whole assembly was – interesting.

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First I laid out the pieces where they looked like they belonged.

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Then I added the setting triangles and the filler blocks.

Next, I started in the top left corner and sewed the blocks together in rows. Actually, I started there and then just went around the quilt and added blocks together where they went together and then I was left with blocks or sections that had inset seams.

This took me all day.

Then there was lots of trimming – as you can see, most of the setting triangles are bigger than needed.

After that, I added the 2 borders.

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I really love this bright, fun quilt!  My next step is to find some backing and get it ready to hand quilt over the winter.

I’m planning to use the “big stitch” method again although I’m not sure exactly what design I’ll use.  I’m looking forward to having a project to cozy up with in front of a fire and my favorite movies during the cold winter months and this bright one will be a joy to work on.

Some 1930’s Blocks

It’s always amazing to me what I can accomplish when I don’t want to do something else!  I finished the last flying geese blocks of the “On Ringo Lake” mystery quilt last week and I felt like I couldn’t look at anything from that quilt for a while.

About the same time, I had to get something off the shelf where my Farmer’s Wife quilt was and knocked it off so I had to pull it out and re-fold it and I forgot how much I love that quilt!  I had pulled my 1930’s Farmer’s Wife blocks out of the bin while I was digging around and this got me to thinking – maybe I should finish these blocks.

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I didn’t realize I had 17 blocks finished and there are 99 in the book.  So… I started working on them again and putting my flying geese blocks (from “On Ringo Lake” quilt) in between like leaders and enders.  Now I have 26 1930’s Farmer’s Wife blocks finished!

I forgot how quick and addictive they are.  My only problem is having enough 1930’s fabric on hand.  (I’ve ordered more.)

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This book is a little different from the last one because there are many different directions for the blocks on the disk.  They give rotary cutting directions for some parts of some blocks – some blocks you can cut out completely with just a ruler and rotary cutter.  There are paper piecing patterns for almost every block.  I tried one block that way.

Most blocks still seem to work best by using the templates.  I use the templates and my ruler on top of them & my smallest rotary cutter (which is not shown here in the picture.)  I have to do a lot of moving around the cutting board.  It’s a little awkward but it works for me.

Some blocks are easy.

Some are a little harder.

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This is the one I paper-pieced.  There were lots of little pieces.

So the thing about this quilt that I didn’t like was the finished layout.  The blocks are set on point but with a zig-zag type of sashing in between and then 4 of the blocks are cut in half and half of the block is at the top of the quilt and the other half is at the bottom of the quilt.

I just really hate when quilt blocks are cut in half but that’s just me.

I’ve been working on sketching an alternate layout for this quilt.  Unfortunately, I think there’s only so many ways to make a quilt with blocks on point so it will probably look a IMG_1824lot like the original Farmer’s Wife quilt.  I think I’ll use white sashing strips since these quilt blocks are very light in color.  I’m wondering how it would look if I use different colored center blocks between the sashing and then maybe I’ll use that 1930’s green for the setting triangles.

Depending on how many rows I use, I may only need 84 blocks or if I make it more of a square quilt, I could use 98 which would be almost all the blocks from the book.  I may do that if it’s too hard to choose which ones not to make.

 

I’m sure the layout of this quilt will evolve depending on how things work out.  I really love adding to the blocks on my design wall and then being able to look at them and move them around.

On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt Update

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My “On Ringo Lake” Mystery quilt is coming along.  You might remember that Bonnie Hunter introduced this mystery quilt last November and finished it up in January.  I didn’t have time to do it then but I printed out the steps and I finally got started on it this summer.

Of course it’s no mystery now but that’s OK.

There are 9 steps for this quilt and I have 4 done already!

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OK, they’re not consecutive steps but I’ll get there.  I’ve got steps 1, 2, 4 and 6 done AND everything else is cut out!  I’m really loving the fabric colors and how they go together.

These Bonnie Hunter mysteries are not for the faint of heart though.  200 of these blocks and 240 of these blocks and 218 of those blocks.  There’s a lot of cutting and chain piecing and a just a tiny bit of monotony.  There’s a lot of counting too, which I’m not the best at.  I keep coming up with extras of this piece but not enough of that piece – ugh.

This is the farthest I’ve ever gotten on one of her mystery quilts so that’s something.

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I have to mention also that we’re into our second week of 90+ degree F/32+ degree C  weather here in Germany and with no air conditioning, my sewing room is very toasty.  I have the fan right in front of my sewing machine but I’m still sweating!

Chain piecing hundreds of these blocks is a bit of an endurance sport right now – and don’t even get me started on the ironing.  I can’t even remember what it feels like to need a quilt but someday, when I finish this one and go to use it, I’m sure I’ll remember this heat wave.

Anyway, I’m really happy with my progress so far.  Now it’s back to work and I’m sure you can imagine how great I look with the fan(s) blowing my hair around like a super model in a shampoo commercial!  It’s great.