Monday, May 7, 2012

Designs on Monday

Wow, the spring is really moving right along isn't it? I have only a few more weeks to go before we pack it all up and 'migrate' for the summer. I taught a science club class about migration earlier this year and one of the things that inspires animals' yearly migration is the search for more hospitable weather. My son piped up at this point and said "So you migrate in the summer to get away from the heat?" The answer to that would be a resounding YES. I am NOT a hot weather person and if I stay in the south for the furnace-like months of midsummer I am not a person that anyone would want to be around. My husband understands this from experience and does not grumble too much when I pack up the kids and head for higher altitudes and a cooler, drier climate. Missing the 'me' that would be here in the summer would be like pining away for a half-crazed wolverine.
That being said, I am also away from all sorts of media... we have no TV, internet only at the library in town and, while we have a phone, I try my best to ignore the fact - we never had one when I was a kid and I keep it on a high shelf so it is easy to ignore unless it rings (and when there is a thunderstorm since the electrical activity in the air makes it sort of half-ring. We usually call out "storm calling!", it is sort of a standing joke.) We also have very little room in our cozy cabin and what room we have is shared and multipurpose. That all adds up to 'no sewing machine, no room to sew' and 'no posting on ones blog'. So sad, but true and worth all that I gain like lots of screen-less time with my children, lots of time for imagination and hiking and relaxing and nature.
So, I will spend the next few weeks preparing a few hand projects to work on while we are out there. The modern quilt I am appliqueing a border for should be high on the list - I did two of the three borders last summer and have only managed half of the third during the rest of the year. I hope to have it finished when we return. I also want to take the materials required to make the last My Tweets block so I can sew those into a top. Perhaps I will be ambitious and take what may be needed to make, er, begin and applique border for that as well. We shall see. So this is what is on my wall today.

In the mean time I would like to finish putting this top together because I doubt that all the blocks would still be clinging to the wall after a summer's worth of air blowing on it from the nearby vent. I believe I fixed all the placement issues for the blocks and sewed them all into rows together last night. Now I need to press and sew the rows together. I love this method of sewing a place sensitive top together... everything is connected by the threads that go between rows at each seam and there is no chance of getting things backwards back up on the wall.  I think I will keep this one square... maybe make a few rows of something around it to make it bigger... maybe I should pack some graph paper as well. These blocks are only 6" finished so this center will only be 36" square finished. 
I also finished amending a set of blocks for the NYB project I have been working on. They are still not my favorite blocks but that is as much re-doing as I am willing to do on them and I will live with the result.  Now I need to make some decisions about final placement. I thought I had my scheme all worked out, but figured I should at least give other layouts a chance. The top one is my original, the second is another possibility. I kind of like that one... which is your favorite? And am I crazy enough to make a pieced border? What about just NYB block corners and a striped border? I may leave those decisions for the fall unless I am inspired. No use rushing things (I have to chuckle at this... the thought of me rushing and actually getting something finished in one push is almost unheard of!) Ugh, the color is really washed out on these. My flash does this and I usually avoid that my taking pictures in natural light. The wall does not get much natural light and today it is dark and stormy so I have even less to work with. Forgive the washed out look and imagine instead vibrant intense jewel tones.

Do you see those two pink and orange blocks that have 8 rays, 4 pink and 4 orange? Those are the ones that were amended... the inner ray band is different in the second layout. That is the final form... I wish I had done the light pink rays in the darker pink originally, but it did't seem to have enough contrast. Unfortunately the light pink has TOO much and I don't have any of the background fabric left to redo them (and I am NOT picking out the tiny paper piecing stitches!) I may play around with which sets of blocks to use in the center together, but I like the 'order' of the configuration.

Finally, on the wall today are the first 5 blocks of a one block wonder wall hanging that I want to take with me this summer so I can play with the placement... we like to do puzzles on a rainy day and a one block wonder is certainly a kind of puzzle! I have done the cutting and was leader-endering these together while I sewed blocks together for that HST quilt above. 

To check out what is on other quilters' wall today hop over to Design Wall Monday. Have a great week!


  1. I'm glad I found someone who becomes a witch (replace the "w") in hot weather. Your solution sounds great. Ahh, Peace

  2. I love the colors in your NYBs. I've been making some but I've stalled lately.

  3. I LOVE your NYB's. They are gorgeous. I think I like the first layout better. The second one is too symetrical for my tastes. I like the semi planned randomness, and the back and forth curves of the first one.

  4. NYB are always stunning. I love your color choice. The kaleidoscope blocks are looking good,too.

  5. Well, I like the winding idea better than the medallion style deal on those NYB blocks (which are gorgeous!!)
    I really like that top with all the triangles and those kaliedescope blocks too!
    You are going to have so much fun working on all of these! I would!! Have a great trip. : )

  6. Your NYB blocks are very well done and I like the changes you made to the blocks as you described. They are so versatile there is no wrong answer for the layout. It 's simply a matter of what you like best.
    Enjoy your summer at the cabin.

  7. I love your scrappy quilt. Now on the NYB i like the second layout and I would keep the border simple so your piecing those blocks are the center of attention. It looks great. Enjoy your migration!! I am not a heat person either.

  8. I prefer the first one. It is so beautiful and the colors are amazing. Lucky you to be able to migrate.......have a great time with the kids!

  9. I love your NYB! I believe the top one is my favorite arrangement of the two, reminding me of "Time Interrupted". Sort of like your summer vacation. What a wonderful life!