Sunday 31 January 2021

What was that I said?

Did I say less fiddling than usual?  Ha! That'll teach me.  It's taken me several false starts and a whole week to do one little strip across the top of this that I am satisfied with.  

The first part - the mucky green with yellow inserts - came together in a pleasing, straightforward way but then I hit a bump in the quilty road.  My logical brain wanted to use a particular fabric.  It made sense.  I hadn't used it up at the top, it should have provided a neat contract with what went before.  Only it didn't.  In fact it didn't work at all.

Undeterred I made another strip using the same pale fabric but with a different partner.  That was no better.  So I had to admit I was wrong and go back to the drawing board.  

Eventually I came up with something better.

And yes, I know it's upside down here. Sometimes I find it helps me to look at something from a different angle.  

Here, for the sake of thoroughness, is what it looks like the other way round.
The foreshortening that I get from photographing work on the floor means this looks longer and skinnier than in real life, though it is emphatically a rectangle.  I think maybe one more round and it may be done. If I keep up the same pace that will take me to the end of February!

Sunday 24 January 2021

Less fiddling than usual

I have realised that working in a medallion is a a slightly slower way of working than my usual approach, because you can't make a nice stack of bits and then fiddle about with them until they look pleasing.  Instead, it's much more one step at a time.  I'm not complaining, just making the observation.  

In this instance, I got all the way to the top of the right-hand side with literally no idea what I thought was going to work next across the top.  I stick bits of fabrics up there while I'm sewing and try to get a feel for which ones might look good, but that's an inexact approach, I can tell you! 

I think I will only need to go round a couple more times to get this to a good size, so I'm feeling pretty good at this point and definitely back in the swing of it.  Oh yes, and this quilt is now officially called Circling the Block - thanks for the suggestion, Paulette.

Wednesday 20 January 2021

Circling the block

In the end I didn't add the strip of triangles I was considering last time at the bottom.  Instead I used the yellow/cream strip.  For some reason that I can't quite fathom, it is not pleasing my eye when I let too many of the Coins strips build up next to each other.  In previous, much more Coin-y quilts, this sort of juxtaposition has pleased me considerably, but now, not so much.  So I go with the flow and use a little bit of something plainer to break thinks up.
After that, I went all the way up the right hand side with just that little spotty brown strip.

Then across the top, where Coins looked okay...

and then another skinny strip down the left.  These very thin strips are my way of keeping to the spirit of the medallion without ending up with a square quilt.

I also considered going square until I achieved a good width and then adding an extra section across the bottom.  Maybe that's a plan for another time.

And then those triangles came back in. I like them much better now.

Around the edges you can see some of the options I am considering for the next columns/rows.  I'm not thinking very far ahead, because if I cut things I don't use it's a waste of fabric, though I'm not likely to run out on this one.  But working one step ahead of myself doesn't feel too much of a stretch most of the time.  The thing I am spending most of my time puzzling over is whether I want any more of the chunks with the birds and that sharp yellow-green colour.  In theory, I think I do, but so far it hasn't looked right when I've tried it.  This is definitely a case of trying to listen to the quilt and hoping it knows better than me.

Friday 15 January 2021

Let's go round again

 I'm still ticking over.  The sewing, for various practical reasons, isn't proving too hard to fit in, though my laptop is in use for school almost all day, so the blogging is more of a challenge.  But look, I'm here and blogging so it's all good.

Actually I have spent more of my time in the last week reading the New York Times and the Washington Post than sewing, but that's another kettle of fish entirely.  Back here in the rural backwaters of the UK, I have indulged in a couple of partial seams, and added one vertical column on the left, one horizontal strip across the bottom.

Since I want this to be rectangular rather than square I am going to go again across the bottom before I head up the right-hand side.  Probably these triangles, though I'm not firmly decided yet. 

As an aside, I have also pieced a back and dug out enough wadding to start quilting the next top.  I'm just waiting for some threads.  Usually I work with what I have, but since I don't have any pastel shades I have had to order. Once they're there, I'm good to go.

Wednesday 6 January 2021

Oops, we're locked down again...

No sooner do I get started than life conspires to make things tricky again. We are locked down and home schooling again.  I shall try very hard not to get derailed this time, though I guess, realistically, this will slow me down somewhat.  On the bright side, today I concentrated on quilting, since it is easy to pick up and put down repeatedly.  Also, I can talk/help with lessons and quilt at the same time.  Maybe this will be the year I finish all my WIPS.  Or even just a couple. That would be a pretty good outcome, I think.

I'm not giving up on the piecing just yet though.  On Monday, when it was still considered 'absolutely safe' for my kids to be at school, I added one column on the right hand side.

I have a pile of little houses, which I thought might go across the top, but I don't like them as much next to each other as I do in vertical strips, so now I'm playing with other options.

If I still like this next time, I'll sew the bits together.  

I'm also starting to ponder my scraps, in preparation for Ann's AHIQ QAL.  I have never (no, never) participated in one of these before, since doing what I am told isn't really my quilty thing. But I do love a nice string block and I know it will be okay to veer off piste if that's what I want, so I'm looking forward to it.

Even if I can't find opportunities to piece, I can definitely sneak in a moment or two to root around in the scrap boxes.

Friday 1 January 2021

Starting as I mean to go on

I sneaked this out of the box for just a couple of hours, but long enough to add a column down the left-hand side and a wee strip across the bottom.