Clearing the Decks, Starting Anew...

I had a sort of "clearing of the decks" this weekend. I had both my mystery quilt tops and backings ready to go to the longarmer for awhile, but I was waiting to get the backing put together for another quilt so I could run all three down at once. I realized Saturday morning after I got home from the grocery store that if I worked quick-like-a-bunny I had a shot at getting that backing complete, and the rest of the paper pulled off the pp'd blocks on the quilt, in time to run it 45 mins south to the LQS before they closed. I just barely made it!

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So I treated myself to some new fabric as a reward, of course.

Yum.

It's better for me than buying chocolate. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I posted last week about my progress on the house on the hill project (yet to have it's own name). I'm doing the hand-stitching on that now, which is giving me the chance to do some embroidery.

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Here's a fairly bad picture of my first attempt at french knots, which, as opposed to the picture, weren't too bad.

The thread I was using was a bit too thick for this particular project, and is very rough to the touch, which means tons of friction trying to pull it through fusible and batting. My fingers ached after the first three, and I believe I did 39 altogether. For the next stitches, I switched to a different thread (an actual perle cotton) and it's been going much more smoothly ever since. More pictures later.

Once my quilts were at the longarmer, that freed me up to work on other projects. Something I've been wanting to do for awhile, inspired by yet another Craftsy class, Magical Jelly Roll Quilts with Kimberly Einmo, is a scrap quilt using the Jacob's Ladder block. It's a traditional block that I've always liked because you can lay it out in a hundred different ways. Okay, I've never actually counted. A lot of different ways, in any case. Kimberly's directions are all based on a 2 1/2" strip so she's done the math by looking in my stash. Very convenient and kind of her, I thought.

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I'm doing the larger half square triangles all out of a single red paired with a single white; that will (I hope) create the path for the eye through the quilt. The white looks solid here, but it's tone-on-tone.

I'm trying to once again push myself to make the rest of it as scrappy as possible. I need 390 @ 2 1/2" squares. I have a collection of 2 1/2" squares I've been cutting off project scraps for awhile, so I started there.  However, I have a few fabrics that have dozens of squares, and others with only one or two. In order to avoid having blocks dominated by a particular fabric, I separated out my squares by fabric and then started by pulling a consistent number from each pile so the scraps would at least be fairly evenly distributed. Once I got to the point where I had a lot of the same fabrics left, I put those aside and dug into my strip collection.

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Now I'm going to start cutting more squares from my strips to get even more distribution of fabrics. Strips? I got me plenty o'.

I intentionally chose some strips from my collection that I particularly dislike, under the theory that no fabric is ugly if you cut it small enough.

I'm pushing my comfort envelope here. I don't do random well. Must. Control. Must. Control. Someone pat me on the back and tell me it's all going to be okay.

(Not familiar with the Jacob's Ladder block? Check it out here on About.com.)

Goals for this week:

  • Keep stitching House on the Hill (not sure when I'll decide it's done)
  • Get squares cut from strips for Jacob's Ladder
  • Fuse more fabrics in preparation for next fused art quilt. Maybe my design, maybe the second one in Laura Wasilowski's class--haven't decided.
  • Make two pillowcases from sets of scrap fabric I've had sitting on the edge of my cutting table for awhile now and they're just starting to bug me.