Now I have to spend some time looking at the blocks and their position in the array! There are three variables in play – the fabrics of the inner square, the fabrics of the first triangle, the fabrics of the second triangle. I’m trying to keep them all different so there are no two centre fabrics in a row or column; then I’m trying to have not two same fabrics touching. I’ve almost got it – I see three spots where the inner and outer triangles are the same fabric and I may not be able to move anything more to alleviate that. There are also some adjacent diagonals (which I’ve decided to ignore). More important is whether I have the colour distributed broadly around the array – it’s not bad – I will have to look at the blocks tomorrow to see if I still feel that way.
The issue is at this point I have almost no degrees of freedom – the only way I can gain more is the make the seven blocks for the quilt back and see if those combination accommodate some swaps. It’s probably a good idea to do that before I attach the sashing because once the sashing is attached I’m not going to be able to do any moving around!
The quilt is going to be colourful, for sure.
PS: I’ve been asked about measurements for the block. If you’re interested in constructing a quilt top like this, click here for information/measurements for creating/setting up the blocks. If you decide to try it, be sure to make a couple of test blocks using scrap fabric.
I finished this pair of socks last evening, finally. I knit on them most evenings (since the last pair was finished) but I didn’t knit as much as usual so these socks have taken the better part of three weeks (I normally can manage a pair in two weeks.
I was drawn to the colours in the ball of yarn although I couldn’t tell that the pattern would evolve as it did with maroon strips and a repeating pattern embedded in in ombre with greys and golds.
This is where I got to yesterday – all 35 blocks partially assembled with a triangle border on each. Today I began adding the second triangles to each block – I have 14 blocks done.
Then I was up early this morning going through my stash looking for something to use as sashing. I found a white fabric with black dots I thought would work but I didn’t have enough to do all the sashing, so after aquafit I went shopping for sashing fabric. I found one very close to the one I’d dug out of the stash. I also had a very small amount of a complementary white with larger black dots and had my fingers crossed there’d be enough in that piece to cut the 48 small squares I needed (I was lucky and there was!).
So here is what the setup is starting to look like:
I’m planning to alternate blocks with dark triangles with blocks with light triangles. That gives me alternating rotation as well since I cut all the light blocks in the same direction, all the dark on the second diagonal.
The sashing will be a wee bit narrower than the placement in the photo and will look fine once I have all the blocks completed and laid out.
So enough for today – back at it tomorrow. I expect the quilt top will be finished sometime on the weekend.
And then I have to start planning for a course I’m teaching in a couple of weeks – Industrial Techniques for the Home Sewer. My plan is to help people work their way through a relatively simple garment of their choosing while showing them some of the technique I’ve acquired over the years from various people I’ve taken classes with as well as other short-cuts I’ve figured out for myself.
I’m going to make myself a jacket from some kantha fabric I bought from Marcie Tilton a couple of years ago.
I drafted a pattern from a jacket I bought at Gumps in San Francisco (looks like they’ve dropped the interesting clothing they had in the store) and made it from a kantha bedspread I bought online. I’m not sure whether I will line the jacket or not – quite likely not, but in that case I do need to bind all seams (I did pick up some faux suede to do just that). It’ll be a good example to illustrate details not in a pattern that make a garment more interesting and professional looking.
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.