|Maple Star Block|
I had Milky Way in March's blocks, but this month's was a little different—the three Milky Way blocks overlap. I am still not quite sure if the object of the exercise was to blend or differentiate the pattern. The three colors are distinct enough but when butted next to each other, some distinction fades.
In March, I showed you a photo of a completed quilt—objective in 8-10 months. (I'm still not sure if this is a 10- or 12-month program. I've seen conflicting information.) This time I wanted to give you a slight glimpse of March's finished panel, along with April's panel in the foreground.
|Basic Block Layout|
The manner in which the instructions are written and fabrics are supplied provides specific directions/fabric for the pattern blocks, but the backgrounds are completely free form. I do very little spontaneously, so it's not surprising that I started filling the backgrounds with carefully arranged, rotated, and repeated strips of four different combinations of six different fabrics each. When I needed to fill larger, smaller, shorter, or longer areas, I added or removed individual 2.5 x 2.5-inch squares to fit. The instructions provide basic graphic explanations, but I like expanding on them. I use Adobe Photoshop to plan out the whole project—in color, with grids, and cutting information. It helps me walk through the project and anticipate most possible concerns/challenges.
|Bali Pops batiks framed in orange and blue|
|Strip away the color and you're left with value|
Now that I've got all this piecing out of the way, need to move on to some other projects. Stay tuned! I'll be posting illustrated instructions for making the pet food bags soon!
PS—Speaking of tools, I welcomed the arrival of a new sewing machine into my home last week! I've been perfectly content with my c.1975 Lady Kenmore free-arm machine for the past few decades. My mother had bought it new for herself in hopes of updating from a decades-old Singer Featherweight. She never really liked the new machine and never got the knack of threading it. My first sewing machine was also a Kenmore, but a bit farther down the line, features-wise. I think I got it in early high school. When she gave me hers (late 1980's?), mine retired and went off to a friend. So, welcome Bernina Aurora 440 QE. I'll have more about this a little later. I plan on naming her (another Gwen-inspired notion) but think the name 'Bernice' has already been taken.