Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Progress Report

It's hard to blog about sewing together the same hourglass blocks. But, I do want to say of all the quilts I have made, this one is taking a lot longer to assemble into a top.  But the process has been going along smoothly and I am still enjoying watching each row come together. 

I have five of the eight sections completed so there is still a lot of stitching that needs to take place.  As I piece, I am thinking about the six-inch border that I need to attach to make this a king size quilt.  I have some ideas rolling around in my head and I am sure I will come up with something that will make me happy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Smooth sailing for the most part!

Well, sewing this top together is going better than I imagined that it would.  I guess all the careful trimming and pressing has paid off.  I have really had to be careful with the layout however as it is easy to get one turned wrong and before you know it the whole row is wrong.  I am laying out each section on my kitchen island and then stacking each row on a cookie sheet pan.  So, as I stitch the rows I am constantly checking that the orientation of the little unit is right.    I had to unsew a couple of time because a seam flipped but for the most part, they are staying in the right direction as I feed them into the machine.

Section 1
I got a good start on Section 2 and I woke early this am to sew the last two single rows together.  When I opened them to press much to my surprise I found the lights together.  How did that happen?  It is early, and I did only have one cup of coffee.  LOL!  Well, I unstitched and carefully resewed so now I can move forward.  So here is what is completed so far.

The pic at the top is a more accurate interpretation of the true color. Taking pics before the sun comes up is never a good idea.  I think I will continue to sew this top together before basting my star quilt.  I don't want to lose my train of thought and I really need to clear the sewing table so I can press the top and backing before basting.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The assembly plan!

It's time to sew this king size medallion top together!  It's always a bit scary when we get to the next step. But, I have worked out a plan.  When I first started cutting hourglass blocks for this quilt I was using small scraps so I would only get 2-3 units that were made out of the same two fabrics. But towards the end, I started to use some fat quarters so I think there are a few units that may have six identical partners. To get them ready to be laid out I treated them like playing cards and dealt one unit into 8 piles till they were gone. The 8 comes from the number of subunits I need to make. Then I randomly cut each deck (pile).

876 hourglass blocks divided into eight piles

 I am treating this quilt like a giant 9 patch. The center square of the nine patch is the medallion block.  So I will start laying out everything above the medallion first. Section 1 will be 10 units X 9 units. The two sections on each side of it will be 10 units X 12  units.  I won't worry about each unit until I get to the row that will butt up to the next unit.  The only rule I have is I don't want two identical fabrics next to each other.
The next two units will be on each side of the medallion and be 12x9 units and so on.  I will then continue with the three units that will go under the medallion.  I won't sew the larger units together till all of them are made.  Anyway, that's the plan!  Since I used so many different fabrics and there are only one or two that have six identical units and there are eight sections, this should work!

I think a bigger concern I have is whether I can keep everything square. So, my plan is to press carefully, pin carefully, and stitch slowly using my stiletto to help with sewing over all those seams.  I have never worked with blocks that finish at 3 inches so I am looking forward to a new adventure. I don't think it will be as scary as white water river rafting but it could get scary.  I must say breaking the piecing into sections and thinking about the issues I will face does make this seem doable. I have no deadlines and will probably stitch on this project early in the am when I do my best sewing.  I will also be heading back my Viking Husqvarna that has speed control and needle down so that I sew as accurately as possible. Hopefully, it will be smooth sailing!

 Photo by Keval Parekh 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Medallion quilt progress

Well, 852 hourglass blocks have been completed!  I am so glad that I pressed and trimmed them as I made them.  I can't imagine facing that task at this point.  However, I did the math again last night making sure I have enough made before I start assembly.  Well, I figured that 33 units wide by 29 units long should give me a king size quilt that measures 111X99 after I add a six-inch border around it.  I can deduct 81 units as the center medallion will fill that area. So, 33X29= 957 -81= 876.  So I am 24 short,  so this am I spent some time getting them cut!  There was a time that this would have frustrated me.  But at this point in my journey, I find as much joy in making another 24 units as I would moving to the next step on this quilt.  I guess I can say I am very content in my quilt making journey, even with  all the bumps in the road!

As I have said before, I started to blog to document my quiltmaking journey. When I first started blogging it seemed there were so many things to learn.  Then, I got to the point I felt less tied to patterns and confident that I would produce a quilt that made me happy!  But to this day, I am still learning from each quilt.  While making these hourglass blocks I realized it is much better to not press the two halves of the blocks before stitching them together.  I will admit I struggle with piecing.  I think it's because I was always in a hurry to get to the point that I could quilt the quilt.  But as the years went on, I learned that good piecing makes for easier quilting.    There are so many variables that we contend with as we learn a skill.  Each quilt has brought me closer to making the of quilts I always wanted to make.  In this fast-paced world, it's a wonderful place to be!