Monday, December 30, 2013

Honeycomb prep

This Sunday in the Modern Minis class that I've been teaching all year, we're finally getting to the hexagon honeycomb project that's on the book cover. This pattern uses six solids and six prints, so I'm using a length of a fruity-bright P&B Nuances fabric that I bought just for this project:
This fabric is printed with six strips of color running lengthwise, so it's absolutely perfect for this pattern. Instead of buying six separate one-yard cuts, I cut the four yards of my single fabric into six separate 5-1/2" strips. For the skinny background sashing strips, I'm using the rest of my orange squiggly Architextures fabric:
The pattern for the quilt calls for sixty one-inch strips, but I have found that Hartman's patterns tend to be a little on the wasteful side and, since I will have no use for a bunch of leftover one-inch strips, I have decided to cut just 32 strips to get started. I'm sure I'll need a few more, but not 28 more.

After I finished the Week 5 mystery units, I got a nice start on sewing the sashing strips onto the solids and cutting triangles:
The second-darkest segments are all cut (center), and the sashing strips are added to the other four colors. Time to cut triangles!
I worked through the entire set of the darkest shade, along with the coordinating print, and even assembled those half hexagons:
The violet half-hex units are pieced and ready for final assembly.
By the time Sunday rolls around, I should have most of this finished up and ready to assemble. I'm planning to leave just enough of the work unfinished so I can use it as class samples. Still loving all these 60-degree angles!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Celtic Solstice: Week 5 units

Finished these Week 5 units in the nick of time for the Patriots game (go Pats!), and there's still another seven hours of football/sewing time! Woohoo!

I pieced these the regular rotary way, but I may consider using the special ruler if I ever find myself doing zillions of little triangles again...lots of the other mystery solvers seemed to find it very useful.
Cute little split-triangle units
Running total: 458 + 75 = 533. Maybe one more week of piecing before we start assembling the pieces? The homestretch is so exciting...

Check out the other posts at Bonnie's weekly link-up!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mommy's new toy

My boys surprised me on Christmas morning with a whomping big triangle ruler, cleverly wrapped so I had no idea what was inside:
"3PO, what can it BE?"
More 60-degree angles!!! I whisked all the Christmas guests out of the house as soon as possible (just kidding, guests, it was a great day!); with the children all nestled snug in their newly restocked Lego and book supplies, and a kitchen full of leftovers, I immediately set to slicing. I took a hiatus for a wedding rehearsal on Thursday evening, and finished piecing these huge simple blocks with only minutes to spare before leaving for the wedding on Friday afternoon. (If you're feeling like hating on me for this insanely fast turnaround time, maybe it will help to know that the blocks aren't sewn together yet -- I'll do that as soon as I can stick them up on a wall for easy rearrangement.)
Chopsticks pattern by Jaybird Quilts.
I plan to use tomorrow, the last football marathon of the season, to whip together this week's mystery quilt units.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Celtic Solstice: Weeks Two, Three, and Four

Having now completed my Buddy-the-Elf I-got-a-full-forty-minutes-of-sleep! phase of the year, which included an unscheduled 500-mile drive to Pennsylvania for a really terrific family holiday and a football game (of all things), I actually have a few moments to try to catch back up with the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. It feels like the pieces are absolutely microscopic, but I think it's going to be a pretty neat quilt once it's all together.

The Week Two chevron units were devilishly grueling. Most of the time that it takes to cut 600 pieces involves ironing the heap of jumbled bits that are tossed into my color-sorted scrap bins. This is what the bins look like when I start:
It took forever to tame the scraps into these little bits.
The directions for piecing these chevrons were very easy to follow, but the season being what it is, I only finished piecing and pressing the seams just this morning. I suppose they do look different than flying geese, but it bothered me that there was so much fabric waste. I will be interested to see the finished pattern so I can think about why they were pieced thusly instead of as twin sets of flying geese, which I can make with no waste.
Does it really matter??
Anyone want a pile of tiny triangles?

Finished chevron units. They're pretty, but time-consuming.
The Week Three diamonds didn't take nearly as long, although the Pittsburgh trip kept me from doing them right away.
Finished pinwheel units.
The fourth set of directions came out just before the final gift-stitchery weekend, so she made it pretty easy. Four patches? No problemo! These went together so quickly that I had time to catch up on the chevrons and finally take photos to get this post up for the Link-Up before the next set of directions is posted tomorrow.
120 four-patch units.
I love how all the colors of all these tiny pieces look stacked in their UFO box:
The collection of all the bits so far looks like a box of candy!

Math geekery: We need 625 3" units to make a 75 x 75" quilt. So far we have 96+92+100+50+120=458, which leaves 167 more units (although some of that area could be borders, which would throw off my calculations). What will tomorrow bring??

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Celtic Solstice: Week One units

Cutting and stitching and pressing and trimming...these are a few of my favorite things... Actually, the trimming isn't that fun -- I can't trim 188 units in one evening, but I got the first 50 or so done tonight. That pace should have me ready for the next clue on Friday.

Here's what I've got so far (trimmed units on the board, scraggly units-in-waiting piled up in front):

Week 1 triangle-in-a-square units
This photo also gives a pretty true representation of the new color on the walls in the family room (which I, of course, think of as my "studio"). This is a really cheerful and well-lit place for making things! The color is called "Luscious Lips" which really cracks me up; it makes me think of this:

Now I really need to dive into Anna's "country music" journal page, which is hanging me up a little because I don't really like ANY modern country music, and I'm torn between kind of funny choices or more serious/artistic ones drawn from a previous generation of songs...