In the responses I got yesterday there was some confusion about how I cut the triangles for the second Delft quilt. For the inner triangles the rectangles are 8 1/4″ x 2 1/4″ – half cut on the diagonal in one direction, half cut on the opposite.
When you lay the two sets of triangles from the same fabric on top of one another they have the 90° angle in the same place. However, as you can see, were you to lay the dark set on the light set the 90° angle is on the opposite corner.
Here is the first set of triangles cut and placed upon the centre square (5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″) – they’re ready to be sewn. I’ve tentatively laid out the squares as they will appear in the quilt top – once the first triangles are attached I won’t have a lot of freedom to move these blocks around because I want adjacent blocks to be offset 90° from each other – the triangles determine that arrangement. In this array, I’ve cut all the light triangles to go in one direction, all the dark in the other.
When I have these assembled and trimmed to 7″ I will add the second triangle to each block – using a dark triangle against a light one, and a light triangle against a dark one.
Here are the rectangles cut for the second set of triangles – 9 1/2″ x 2 1/4″ – I haven’t cut them yet because I figured I’d mix up the inner and outer triangles which are very similar in size; they won’t be cut until the inner triangles are all attached. I’ve laid the rectangles out with the light fabrics face down – both sets of fabrics will be cut the same on the cutting board but because the light rectangles are face down, the diagonal cut will be 90° offset from the diagonal on the darks.
I have to think about this carefully before making these cuts because the light/dark cuts have to be opposite to the light/dark cuts for the first triangles! I think this presentation is correct for making that cut.
Now it’s time to begin sewing. If I’m organized about it, I should be able to chain piece the rows by adding one triangle to each square, then the second, etc.
I was walking the Bedford Pier last evening with a friend and stopped to chat with this fisherman – he was having no luck, hadn’t yet caught anything. Apparently there were mackerel schooling in the Basin, some of the other folks along the pier had caught some. After we chatted we walked to the end of the pier. On our way back, as we were walking past, I stepped back to capture him just as he was recasting. I cropped the photo a bit but didn’t do much else.
I finished hand stitching the binding to the back of the quilt last evening. Usually, I would stitch the binding to the back, fold it to the front, pin, then use a decorative stitch to attach it to the front. But this time I wanted a 5/8″ binding but to use just 1/4″ of the sashing so it would balance on the outside with the rest of the quilt which meant when I trimmed the batting/backing, I left 3/8″ beyond the quilt top. To make sure I captured 1/4″ of the top under the binding, I had to align the sashing on the front, stitch 1/4″ from the top edge, then fold the binding to the back over the extended batting/backing. Even though I was careful pinning it in place, I knew top stitching on the back wasn’t going to give me a perfect stitching on the front, so I hand stitched the binding in place (not my favourite job).
With this quilt now finished, I started playing with the leftover fabric:
I used scraps to construct two offset squares by attaching a double set of triangles to each side – the triangles in two sets – cut from rectangles on opposite diagonals. When attached this rotates the square to the left or to the right.
In these test blocks I was trying to sort out a couple of things – I wanted to see what placing the shark’s teeth as both the inside and the outside triangle would look like (I don’t like either and may not use that fabric in the block construction, maybe instead as a narrow sashing); I was also playing with the dimensions of the triangles which I haven’t quite worked out yet (I need the triangle to be cropped leaving 1/4″ in the finished square so the next seam brings it to a point. Mine aren’t yet quite long enough – I have to redraft the triangles and try another pair of test blocks.
I have laid out my fabric leftovers in three piles – light/medium/dark. I intend making a 5 x 7 block array which means I will need 35 centre squares. Gathering No Moss used the medium fabrics for the centres and I may do the same here which will free up the lights/darks for the inner and outer triangles (17 blocks rotating to the right, 18 blocks rotating to the left). I still have to decide whether all left rotating blocks will be dark inner/light outer triangles, all right rotating light inner/dark outer, or if I will distribute lights and darks more or less randomly!
I finished quilting the 30 blocks; next the sashing. I figured I had two options: edge stitching or stitching-in-the-ditch. I did a bit of both knowing I was going to have to take out whichever one I didn’t like.
On the left is the edge stitching (on the vertical sashing), on the right stitching-in-the ditch. The difference is subtle but I prefer the stitching-in-the-ditch. So I started taking out the edge stitching. Thank goodness I only did one horizontal row and a bit of the end sashing. That’s a job for working in front of the TV tonight.
I’m quitting for now but I will carry on quilting the sashing tomorrow.
I started quilting yesterday – did 6 blocks; another 19 blocks today – 25 blocks done – 5 remain.
I’d set up a single-run embroidery (single-run = the design is stitched once) to fit the block within the sashing, coming close to the edges but leaving a small amount of space so when I do something with the sashing (either stitching-in-the-ditch or edge stitching beside the seams) I don’t run into the embroidery.
Tomorrow’s decision will be what to do with the sashing. I’ve thought of other options besides the two I’ve mentioned above like under stitching all the rows of shark’s teeth but I think that would push me past my boredom threshold! And I can’t see a decorative stitch down the middle of the sashing strips – would just clash with the fabric detail. So it’s either stitching-in-the-ditch or edge stitching. I might just try a bit of edge stitching to see what it looks like, being prepared to take it out if I don’t like it! That’s for tomorrow.
I finished piecing the quilt backing this morning. It needed a good pressing with some Best Press (a clear spray starch.
Would you believe it – I see a mistake! I’ll have to take the pinning partly apart so I can get to the spot where I have to rotate one of the rectangle blocks 180°! I didn’t pick up on that – not until just now as I’m looking at the photo.
The quilt sandwich is pinned. I’ve been setting up embroidery designs for quilting the blocks – testing them out on scrap fabric to make sure they stitch out correctly. Still haven’t decided which to use. Guess I need to sleep on it a bit. I hope to have made up my mind by tomorrow!
There! The block is fixed – the joins not quite so perfect but nobody, except me, is going to notice.
Saturday, a lovely day in town, my friend Deb and I decided to head to Martinique Beach to fly kites. An hour away Martinique is a great location, usually with steady wind for flying large kites. I’d packed kites and reels and gloves and we set off only to encounter dense fog as we approached the beach and the beach road clogged with vehicles belonging to the throngs on the beach. We managed to find a spot to leave our car for a few minutes to take the boardwalk over the dune to the ocean but you couldn’t see much – dense fog and hordes of people. We stood for a few minutes then headed toward home.
Yesterday, I decided to fly closer to home. I drove to the Bedford waterfront and walked down the pier – another good flying spot with wind from a wide range of directions and open space to fly over the basin.
I have no pictures from yesterday because I was flying on my own. I had no trouble getting the kite up – but was the wind ever tricky – coming from different directions depending on altitude so the kite behaved erratically. I was glad I wasn’t trying to help a beginner keep their kite aloft. I flew for perhaps a half hour, controlling the kite was relatively easy as long as I was letting out line but although I reached 250′ in altitude I wasn’t finding steady air so I decided to reel the kite in – that’s when it decided it wanted to dive – let the line out a bit, steady the kite, then slowly pull in some slack. Took me a good 20 minutes to bring the kite back in – with more than 250′ of line now laid out all over the pier. It took another 15 minutes to wind up my line, roll up the kite, before I was ready to return to the car.
The last time I flew was on July 29 2019 with Mattie, my grandnephew at the Bedford waterfront. The day Mattie and I were flying we had a steady 20kph wind coming from the land behind us and Mattie had an easy time controlling the kite.
One time before that I was again flying at the Bedford waterfront with my large snowflake – don’t remember who took the picture.
Why heavy gloves you ask? Because if the line goes through your fingers at any speed – it burns! And there are times you just need to let the kite have control.
I must get out again soon. I understand why people love to go fishing – kite flying is very much the same – it takes some close attention but is very relaxing – can’t be thinking of much else when you’re flying a kite.
Here it is – the quilt top is finally assembled. All the shark’s teeth sashing is going in the same direction vertically and horizontally (that took a bit of correcting in the first couple of rows until I realized the top would look better with that fabric unidirectional rather than helterskelter. The four substituted square centres bring some life to the quilt and bring out the colour in the others.
Final quilt size is 52 1/2″ x 62 3/4″.
Next step is to create six more blocks for the back of the quilt. Past Friday I went to Mahone Bay to Woolworks and picked up one of the fabrics to use for backing the quilt. One length isn’t wide enough for a backing – I will splice it and insert a column of blocks with sashing.
It’s a lovely colourful quilt top – I like Kaffe Fassett’s sharks’ teeth fabric selection for the sashing – quite unlike the other fabrics, yet the right colour – it creates a very modern feel to what is a traditional block.
And I was right – the many imperfections in the blocks were amended when I added the sashing. I didn’t trim the blocks to a precise 9 1/2″ because I needed to keep the 1/4″ at each corner block point so I fudged the placement while adding sashing and the blocks have ended up as I wanted them.
I have just finished the 15th block for the Gathering No Moss (Kaffe Fassett) quilt. That’s half way. The block, by the way, is called a “rolling stone” – hence Fassett’s choice of name for the quilt.
Once people figured out the “quilt along” on Facebook (a “private” group for those who purchased the quilt kit) was mostly about us commenting on (and sharing photos of) our progress, the traffic has died down. I had decided to purchase the kit and join the quilt-along because I thought Fassett would discuss his decision-making regarding fabric design and choices for the quilt in some depth. Doesn’t appear to be the case. Had I realized that, I likely would have just deconstructed the quilt from the photo and done it in some colour set from fabrics I had in my stash and could pick up from The Woolworks in Mahone Bay. I wouldn’t have bought the kit.
Oh, well, I won’t do this another time. I have a greater sense of satisfaction when I’ve worked out how to construct a quilt from a photo and chosen my own fabrics, as I did with the Escher quilt. That was a real challenge and I was very pleased with the outcome. Here, although the quilt block is an easy one, it is fiddly – the four corners take time to construct – add one triangle, press, add the opposite triangle, press, add a side triangle, press, add final triangle, press – and hope you’re close enough to square that they will assemble with the rest of the block without too much distortion. But overall, there isn’t much challenge to the quilt once you figure out how to construct the block. In this case, I chose to change the block size, which required some testing out to make sure my pieces would match up, and I’ve changed some of the colour selections, but it’s still the “Gathering No Moss” quilt. Far less challenging than most of the quilting I’m used to doing.
Here is the panel at noon – with four rows now completed.
This time I worked on an entire row at the same time doing what’s called “chain piecing” – taking great pains to keep the elements in the order I’d planned on them having! At the bottom, second block from the right – not sure about this one. I want that centre where it is but the large blue and white dotted fabrics together are rather loud. Given the symmetry I set up, that pairing was bound to happen since I had five light and five dark fabrics.
This was a ball of yarn I bought from Hobbii in Denmark during the early summer. I couldn’t tell from the image of the ball of yarn what it would turn out like – what caught my eye was the glint of a “metallic” fibre – which I know from experience is some kind of “mylar” strip. You can’t see it in this photo, but if you click on the image, you can see in the enlargement a slight bronze glint which adds an interesting element to the sock.
The only problem is that there were constant breaks in the mylar which meant there were metallic thread ends sticking out both inside and out. I kept trimming them as I went along.
And then on the first sock I encountered a knot – always a sign to watch out for a pattern disruption! Turns out the second yellow stripe beyond the heel was missing – that’s on the first sock on the bottom. I made a mental note to remove the second yellow stripe when I knit the second sock but forgot about it until I was knitting the turquoise stripes and at that point I wasn’t going to unravel what I’d done, I was too far along, so I just kept knitting.
At a cursory glance the socks look like a pair – but just not quite. Fortunately, the mismatch is in the foot and therefore not visible when wearing the socks.