Saturday, June 15, 2019

Scrappy Trip Around the World

Well, it has once again rolled around to a new month, and I have been lackluster in my blogging again. But I have been sewing a fair bit. Last time I blogged, I had resurrected some 6-year-old trial blocks for the "Scrappy Trip Around the World." And I kept making them, using my 2.5" strips, until I had a total of the 48 I need for a 72"x96" top.
48! It went very fast, all things considered. That's what I love about quilting. It's a high-energy, quick gratification thing. Unlike knitting, which I probably need to do to recover my zen after all the blocks I made. Also, I need to clean up my scraps again, but that's a never-ending thing.
 I experimented with a few different layouts; above is more or less an attempt at true randomness, and below is trying to keep adjacent blocks with diagonal paths in the same color/value groups.
 I ended up liking the more random approach of the first time but of course the final layout is different, and I didn't bother to take a picture of it. I did stack the blocks and pin the row numbers on the top in each stack so I can sew them together. That is going to go more slowly, because the long seams of putting a big quilt together are not what I like best, so I tend to put it off or only work in concentrated spurts.
Speaking of putting things off, I put the Celtic Solstice on the frame at the end of 2017, and I am finally getting back to it just today. I'm a little unhappy with how the tension is not quite right... maybe it's subpar thread that is the problem, maybe the machine needs a tuneup. But even with occasional broken threads or tension issues on the bottom, I finished about half of the overall center of the quilt just this morning. I will need to repin the quilt to do the side border quilting. I'm definitely trying to remind myself that "finished is better than perfect."

I don't think I shared this on the blog yet, just on Instagram. This is a test block of "Sand Castles" from Bonnie K. Hunter's newest book String Frenzy. It has a lot of 4-patches I pieced as leaders and enders between the scrappy trip blocks, and some string blocks, and is just going to be really fun.

Also, reporting on the UFO challenge... I haven't really finished any of my quilting or fiber UFO's except for January, when I spun up my autumnal colors batt. I was supposed to do Celtic Solstice, the 1996 Piecemaker's Quilt, and at least 2 other machine quilting finishes so far this year, and for fiber arts, Rosalind, Manu, and more spinning which haven't been touched. The number for June is 10, which translates to the Rainbow Star quilt top, and the On Your Toes sweater which has languished for many years. I may have a good shot at finishing the Celtic Solstice quilting, though. These challenges are more like REALLY broad guidelines, anyway. I have a pair of lacy Sara Elin socks I really want to finish knitting, and I am also continuing cleaning and organizing my sewing area while I work on scrappy quilts and maybe more baby quilts. Happy with the progress on the quilt front this past month, whether I finish any UFO's or not.

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