Friday, March 21, 2014

A Change of Pace

 I've been thinking about the pinwheels a lot lately, so I made a trip to the storage unit and was able to find the box that had the last 150 blocks in it.

The top picture is the original 150 with the first sashing attached to each one.

I need to keep these guys separated. For one thing, I don't want any unauthorized "breeding" which might lead to more squares!

Besides, they are incompatible as they spin in different directions.

So here's the first 50 of the new batch, ready for their first sashings. Thanks to a quiet evening, and watching Saving Mr. Banks on my little DVD player, I have 100 of these done.

I was feeling the need for some slightly more mindless sewing while preparing to sew all the parts of the Jumping Jax Flash quilt together.

Yes, I did complete all the piecing onto paper. All the blocks are done, trimmed, and ready to assemble. 

These won't actually be sewn together, as they fit into other blocks that are part of the 12 main blocks in the quilt.

But I had to see how they look together!

I'm really liking the background fabric. I think it will look really good when it's all done. At least, assuming the streaks and splotches line up in some sort of coherent order.

These are the four corners of the quilt.  I had some serious doubts about these pieces when I had sewn the first couple of sections, but they're going to work.

The dark points will blend into the border, which will be that same dark fabric.  I had a few adventures with these pieces--apparently I was really really tired of cutting when I got to them, because there weren't nearly enough of any of them cut! I had to get out some scraps and cut a couple of new strips to get enough. I just hope that there's enough for the border!

 Here's yet another set of star points, laid out to see how they look. Some of the dark contrast points could have been darker--I hope they will look all right when they're pieced together.

Anyway, I've been having allergy problems especially with my eyes, itchy and red and irritated (not helped I'm sure by a couple of aggressively friendly cats) and I wanted a break before the fiddly piecing involved in assembling the quilt top.
 Speaking of aggressive cats... here's Ethel trying to sew her binding under the watchful eye of The Supervisor.  I think he decided she was doing it correctly.

He did try to snatch her lunch, though, got into a real face-off and bought himself some time in Kitty Jail. Which is a suite of rooms, one of which is Shyla's cubby of choice. She's got a rug in there now and seems to really enjoy her den.

 Monday was not only St. Patrick's Day, it was our designated Dear Jane Monday, which seems to have devolved into a "let's do hand work, talk, and eat" kind of thing.  Ethel did bindings; I took advantage of the time to  trim all my paper pieces, then wove in all the ends on this afghan.

Finally, it is done done done. Chalk up a finish, although I think I had already marked it off on the sidebar when I finished the knitting. I was unsure about whether to run the ends in or add more pieces and call it fringe.

It's got a lot of mohair. No mohair fringe. Words to live by!
Anne finished binding her kitty quilt. You can see how large it is! 

The closeup will show you the cute fabric. Plus, she made the extra effort so that all her cats are facing in the same direction! Even the cats on the back (same fabric) are all going the same way.

 Dinner was the traditional corned beef and cabbage. It was really delicious! We all had the same reaction--why don't we cook meals like this more often? I used the crockpot and it was super easy!
 My last project for the day was the binding on the Chicopee quilt, which is now completed. Yay for finishing!! Of course I immediately picked up another quilt and started working on the binding for it.

Idle hands and all that.

I don't normally have a bed in my lving room, but a friend is staying with me for a week and that's an airbed. Less "traffic' in the living room makes it a little more pleasant place to sleep!
I'll leave you with a picture of my work area, awash in pastels. Very springy! We'll see how far I get with these--can't really assemble them until I find the white fabric for the setting triangles, and decide what to do about the borders.

Oh well. I'm thinking of this as a "palate cleanser" before tackling the assembly of the Jumping Jax!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How Many Pictures of Star Points in Progress Are Too Many?

 Jumping Jax Flash is coming right along, more or less.

This is my Asilomar 2014 project, from a class with Judy Niemeyer, one of her discontinued patterns and also one of her earlier ones.

It uses an "older" method of making and utilizing templates, which is why I found myself in a bit of a pickle earlier today.

These first pictures are of the pieces that match up with the center stars. The dark points will radiate out from the dark background of the stars.
 I did a layup of it but of course didn't think to take a picture. Sigh.

There were 48 of these. Lots and lots of sewing. Luckily I have a machine with bobbins that hold a ton of thread, or I'd be changing bobbins every few minutes.

Once these were done, I pressed and trimmed them and set them together for a bit of a preview.

I am liking the way the turquoise background fabric works against the dark points.

 Next step. There were 30  of these pieces.

I had a lot of help with this one.

(In fact, he's currently curled up with his head on the edge of the laptop. He's in a bit of a food coma cause he's just had his nightly can of wet food.)

(He has to eat up every scrap, or his sister comes along after him and cleans the dish. This is the same Shyla who turned her nose up at wet food just a few months ago.)

Help with pressing the pieces flat. 
 Snuggling with my arm. If only I didn't keep moving it around!

The quintessential "cute cat" pose.  Also known as, pet me please, I'm nicer than those old paper and fabric things!
 This set has some star colors on it. A change from blue and turquoise!

I'm experimenting a bit with the star fabrics. They are all small amounts from Deep Stash, so I couldn't have been consistent with them even if I had wanted to be.

Well, not without making a lot more effort than I was up to when getting ready for the class! So there are oranges and a greeny-pinky-orange and a deep rust and lots of brights.
These remind me of origami cranes!  This was before the last press and the final trimming.

Once they were trimmed, they were not only neater, but it was possible to lay them out to see how they'd look. 
 There. Nice and tidy and ready for the next step.
I should note that this is not one of the units for the finished quilt, at least I don't think so. These are parts of the interlocking stars that will occur where the blocks meet.

So onward to the next bag o' goodies, which involved more piecing of blue back ground and star points. 
 My friend got very bored. He watched the birds outside for a little while, but then decided he'd sit next to me and soon fell asleep.
 Thirty more pieces. These aren't trimmed yet.

Tomorrow is our monthly Dear Jane or assorted hand work session, so I saved the trimming for a good "table project."

The alternative is sewing binding.

Which I'm sure I will get to. The Chicopee quilt is halfway bound already. Would be nice to be able to call it a finish!
 Testing the layout to be sure the darks and lights are in the right places.

This set uses all the same rusty brown fabric for the dark points--I did that with one of the other sets, too. It will be interesting to see how that plays out once I start assembling the quilt.

What could possibly go wrong?
 Moved on to Bag #6 after finishing the last set of star points. These pieces were looking definitely odd.

I mean, really?

But once all the points were added, and I set them in position, the design begins to show.

They're the four corners of the quilt. Yay for only 8 pieces, since each one had 10 fabric cuts!
This was the bag that gave me pause today. I had been supposed to cut 8 of everything, 4 lefts and 4 rights.

I had only cut 4. Of everything, including the template that makes all 4 of those large spikes.
So, had to rootle around in the scraps and find enough fabric to cut the missing pieces.

Mission accomplished. I've started Bag #7 but it's highly unphotogenic at this point, since it's just two pieces of blue stitched together. There will be star points, however, so not too boring.  I'm kind of hoping to have them pieced by the time the quilters get here. Then I can do all my trimming and be ready for the next step. The scary one--putting it all together!