Cutting Up

Good morning, my friends. It's a wet Sunday here. We're expecting rain and some snow in the coming week. We may not see the sun again before April. Actually, it only feels that way sometimes. Ordinarily, we go south after Christmas, but we're staying home this year. We only just took a two-month trip this fall, and with fuel prices so high, it seems like a good winter to stay home. That's fine with me. I'm looking forward to lots and lots of sewing this winter.

There was yet another open slot on my list of WIPs, and so yesterday I started a new project. I was able to pull the fabrics I need from my stash. Smitty helped with that.

This pattern has been in my "library" so long that I can't even remember when I bought it...or why. I must have seen the quilt made up at some point and decided it had to be mine. Smitty likes gardens. They have birds. And grass.

With a gray and cold winter ahead, I wanted to start something bright and cheerful, and it will help winnow down some of my scraps. Only, have you noticed how your scraps never appear to have been winnowed, no matter how many times you try to make a dent? The blocks for this quilt can be made as individual mini quilts, or you can make a smaller quilt of however many blocks you want. I'm going to make all 20 blocks. I've learned that it takes a long time if I make them just one block at a time, and so I'll start with two blocks at a time from the outset. Here's how the finished quilt might look.

I'll start with the two blocks at the upper left.

I pulled some fabric candidates for the outer border. It will depend on how much fabric I need when I decide which to use. For now, they are included in the project box.

I'll use these two greens for the inner sashing on each block. 

These are the two reds for the outer sashing.

If you'll notice in the quilt picture above, they've used scraps for their sashings. I don't have enough fabrics in large enough hunks for that, and so I'll just alternate mine on the tops, bottoms, and sides for visual interest. It'll make more sense when I start sewing them together. And since I'm alternating them, I cut half and half of each length and each fabric. This took far longer than you might think. Regarding the background fabrics...I didn't have enough of any one white to do all of them, but I have two fabrics that are nearly identical. If I didn't point out the differences to you, I doubt you'd notice. Nevertheless, I'll do all the odd block backgrounds with one fabric and the even block backgrounds with the other.

As you can see, helper cat was by my side the whole time.

Okay, and so this is one of those annoying applique patterns where the printing is on both sides of the sheet, making it impossible to trace the pieces with a light box. I understand why it's like this. The templates are not reversed for fusible applique, and the pattern designers clearly were intent on needle-turn applique. 

So reversing them isn't a problem. I just turn the pattern face down on my lightbox. But with printing on both sides, I'm forced to copy each one. And since they're larger than a standard 8-1/2 x 11 sheet, I have to make two copies, and then cut and tape them together. 

With so many pieces, it seems advisable to have a placement template, and so I created one using wax paper and a fine point Sharpie.

Also, the tail of the bird extends out into the sashing, and so I needed to sash the first background before I can begin to add the applique pieces. 

Everything I've shown you so far took much longer than I would have expected. It was late in the day by then, and it seemed like a good place to stop. I left it sitting on my ironing board with its wax paper template, and I'll get started on the applique today.

I'm hoping to finish the first block, and at least get a start on the second. We'll see.

That's pretty much all that's on tap for the day. I'll be staying inside with the kitties where it's warm and dry, and these brightly colored blocks might be just what's needed to brighten up an otherwise gloomy day.


Barbara said...

A person looked at me and said "I can't believe you eat ice cream when it's cold out." I replied, "Oh that's nothing. I drink water also when it rains." ~ Stanley Victor Paskavich

dgs said...

I'm sorry to hear you won't be coming South this winter, but I fully understand. Hopefully next time we can all get together for breakfast, or lunch with no worries of Covid (or other scary diseases) Enjoy more sewing time at home. I love Becky's designs and your new project is going to be fun to watch it being created.

Quilter Kathy said...

Oh my goodness... as an inexperienced appliquér I did not know any of this. It was really interesting to follow your ideas of how to deal with this pattern. It will be a wonderful project to work on!

SJSM said...

Oooh…..I like your new project!

Julierose said...

Really neat blocks in that quilt--but, you sure do have a lot more patience than i do for having to trace and re-copy like that!! ;000
I sewed strips this afternoon that I have collected through the years...it feels so good to be able to sew again...
I also managed to clean out 3 drawers of "stuff" and failed blocks --now that felt really good...hugs in the misty, rain on a gray Sunday Julierose

Joni said...

I am so excited that you are doing this project! My Mom and her friends have all done it needle turned applique and I am a fuser! Your tutorial and processes are fantastic and makes me believe that I too can make a "Whimsy Quilt", too!
Oh dear, I might have to start pulling stripes and polka dots...what else is there to do on a rainy Oregon Sunday. Question: Is the background fabric staying consistent or scrappy? Just curious. Stay warm!

Christine said...

Love your thought processes when starting a quilt.... This one is really bright and cheerful.
Looks like we've had all our rain and now the temps are starting to drop..... Not looking forward to that!

Karen said...

A bright cheerful project is perfect for this time of year.. I can't wait to see all the scraps disappear!