Archives for category: Piecing

While I haven’t done a lot on Serendipity Puzzle, I have made a little progress. I cut a bunch of patches and then started creating the Flying Geese elements. I wanted to have enough to be able to move the elements around and have some choices for color.

The other day, I rearranged some of the elements to start some of the other blocks that I need.

I happened to slap the above patches up on the design wall and found that I really liked the color combination. Something about the progression from red to the green stripe appeals to me. I want to figure out a way to keep them near each other in a block

The good news is that I found out why the yellow pieces were causing me some problems. In the above photo, you can see (on the left) that the yellow point is really sticking out. It was quite a puzzle (no pun intended), but St. JCN helped me figure out that I had cut the squares too large. I switched rulers mid stream and was stuck on the cutting that I did for Thoughts on Dots and cut the same size (6.50″) for the yellow patch rather than the 6.25″ it should have been.

The offensive patch is still in the piece, but not for long. I will unsew it soon. I tossed the other too large triangles into the scrap basket, I can’t accidentally grab them. They will become something else someday.

Serendipity Puzzle is my new project. It uses the latest group of Piece O’ Cake fabrics, called Serendipity, plus some of the woven plaids from their 4th plaids collection. The plaids I am using are POCP 437G, POCP 437O, POCP 437R, POCP 437T, and POCP 437Z. I bought these fabrics in June at Quilting Adventures during my trip to Maryland and Virginia.

This project is a follow-up to Thoughts on Dots as I am still using color and giving myself some limits (using, basically, one line of fabric). This time however, I am doing more piecing. Initially I am finding that piecing blocks allows me to sew a few seams, even if I have only a few minutes, thus making progress. Thoughts on Dots required larger blocks of time for the staring and arranging part as well as once I started sewing. Neither is bad, just different. It is satisfying to be mindful of the process.

P&B offered a free pattern for this line of fabric, which I liked and provided inspiration. Ultimately, however, I decided not to use it. I am doing a variation on the triangles theme from the free pattern but using the Dutchman’s Puzzle design. I think the Dutchman’s Puzzle pattern is more organized than the pattern they offer. The free pattern has a nice look, just not for me at this time. I guess I need order in my life!

I plan to use the turquoise for the sashing and borders like P&B/Piece O’ Cake does, but am thinking of slight variation. Stay tuned for more info as that part of the project develops.

In the above photo you can see that I have cut and selected some of the fabrics in preparation for piecing.

Above is a detail of the center block.

Several days pass….

On and off since the second week of November, I sewed a few seams as time permitted, steadily making progress. I don’t plan on setting the blocks this way, but wanted to see how they would look together. This also allows me to review the use of fabric and identify any problems that may be developing. As you can see, I have several blocks and have still not used all of the fabrics from the line. I flipped over the stack of fat quarters so I would cut some new ones the next time I cut the larger triangles.

Some issues I want to work through with this piece:

1. Distribution of the red: I think that the red is necessary, at least at this point in the piece, but it seems to be a bit dominant, so I need to take care where I place it. I also want to use different reds. There are 3 or 4 in this group.

2. Mixing up the various prints: I need to think about whether to place duplicates of fabrics in one block or to ensure that all the blocks have different fabrics. This depends on the number of different fabrics that I cut as well as similar colorways in different patterns.

3. Brown: I am afraid that the brown will be a dark hole, but like the chocolately feel of it. I may, in the end, take it out (yes, that means unsewing), but I want to wait to see how it looks when I have more blocks.

4. Number of blocks: I am not sure. I think I will make at least 9 and possibly 16. I am thinking that this will be a baby quilt for a friend. We will see.

5. Variation in blocks? : I am thinking about mixing 1-3 regular pinwheels in with the Dutchman’s Puzzle blocks to add interest. I may make a couple just to see how they look. As Lorraine Torrence says in her design classes “Make visual decisions visually.”

I experimented with pressing on two of the blocks. One I pressed towards the white (example: top) and one I pressed towards the color (example: bottom). I think it is hard to tell the difference online, but in person, if you look, you can tell that the color pops forward more on the bottom one. Ruth McDowell talks about this in her classes and her Piecing book. I don’t think it is relevant for this piece, but it is an interesting exercise.

Below is the last iteration of the corner I was working on. It was amazing that when I woke up and looked at it on Sunday morning I REALLY liked the piece. I was lukewarm (and somewhat worried) about it on Saturday, but kept working through it and feel like the work paid off.

I realize that the changes are subtle and those of you in blogland will have to study them to see the differences, but here IRL, there were differences that mattered.

The piece is a monster, so, without help, this is the best photo I could take. I’ll get a better one up.

The two photos above are how I left Thoughts on Dots before Halloween and my trip to Arizona. One fabric (Top photo: 4th from the bottom and 3rd from the right) looked like a plaid and had to be removed. Fabrics that were too beige had to go as well. I did leave a couple that were beige-ish, but still very “dotty.”

The problem with the above layout is that the white background fabrics I added are too active. In this entire piece the white, IMO, is acting like a resting point for the viewer’s eyes. In this section the whites are not doing their job. I separated some of them before I took this photo, but it still wasn’t working quite right.

I think the other problem was the differences in sizes of the dots. I didn’t have them mixed up enough.

This photo is a bit wonky. I am really having some problems taking photos of this large piece, because of the construction and all the stuff being where it is not supposed to be. In any case, I think that this is nearly the end of the design phase. The piece is really coming together, which is great, because I was really unhappy with the layout when I got back to it last night.

Here it is right before I sewed the bottom right hand side together:

Here is the bottom right hand side sewed together:

Here is the top of the left hand side (the side I have completed) with the joining rows laid out next to it:

Below are the rectangles that I cut for my aunt’s quilt:

After taking this photo, I sewed them together by putting two rectangles together relatively randomly and sewing them. I did try to put a warm color with a cool color most of the time to try and get some contrast going. I didn’t, however, put them up on the design and arrange them. I thought it would be a different kind of challenge to sew two together and then put them up on the design wall and try to arrange them. I also did this in the interests of speed. She is very ill and I want to get the quilt done.

Also, Thoughts on Dots is still hogging up the design wall space. The portable design wall we saw at PIQF is looking pretty good right now!