After the muddy results of my first half square triangle project, I decided it may be time to rethink things. I have had this quilt in the back of my mind for quite a while now. I had talked myself out of it because it would take so long and a lot of half square triangles and the birds - how do I make the birds?
But I decided that this was far too inspiring and had honestly been kind what I wanted to do with those bonus half square triangles from the start. So I started doing some research about making the birds. And I found something like a tutorial here. I've been quilting long enough that this was enough to get me rolling.
And I was off and running with my trimmed half square triangles and inspiration. (So far as I know, there is no pattern...)
Bird #1 came out quite nicely!
I have some extra turquoise triangles left from my miscalculation last month, so I'm trying to use up some of those in the birds. But with a whole rainbow to start with, this is probably a good thing. It eliminates one more thing I can't decide about!
I started doing math (which proved to be harder than I wanted it to be since I trimmed all the HSTs to 1.75" unfinished) and sewing and forgot to take many pictures, but here is bird block 1 about half done:
A few more rows and some more math troubles and I had a whole block!
I surprised myself when I went through my stash to find black and white prints. I had a few more than I realized, but not a lot of any of them. But I knew I had enough to make at least a few more blocks, so onward!
Block 2 happened with no photos except for the bird all by itself. (He (she?) has a little lump there in the white, but it is just due to a lot of seams right there and will be just fine.)
This is fun! And the birds are turning out to be a lot easier than I thought. The hardest, most tedious, part is getting all the half square triangles sewn together. But after the first block, I divided them up into stacks per block so I would have a reasonable assortment of each color for each block. No sense in finding out at the end I have 43 red ones left and no green or yellow!
On to block 3!
I think this bird looks like a robin. But maybe I'm being weird?
And then I had four!
At this point I decided to take a break. I have enough half square triangles yet to make a fifth block, but not beyond that point. I could make more of them, but I want to regroup. These blocks will finish 14", so this is not yet large enough for much more than a wall-hanging and I'm pretty sure I want more than just that. So I have set all of this aside while I work on other projects and let it marinate. I may become a long-term project or I may get a week at the end of the month to whip through making a bunch more. Time will tell!
It was also at block 4 that I finally decided to write down my measurements for those solid strips. Because measuring and re-measuring and second guessing myself was getting tedious.
But I had help with the layout, of course...
So next up, now that my cutting table and work surfaces were cleaned up (this got messy really fast!), I could start working on my Molehills quilt. The templates printed from the pattern gave me a bit of trouble (somewhere along the line "actual" size was not actually actual), but the second attempt was good enough (off by a hair, but if they're all off, it's okay). I had to cut and piece them together - holy cow these are big pieces!
Large pieces are okay, though. It means those curves will be even easier, though they're quite gentle to start with. I've done harder, so this should be easy enough.
The designer also has quite a few videos on YouTube to help you become more confident about piecing curves. (Though she does make it look easier than what I've been able to do so far...but I'm getting there!) Also about cutting paper templates with a rotary cutter. (I'm still afraid of that, so used scissors.)
But first, a lot of cutting!
My hand started hurting after about half of the fabrics (cutting 3 layers at a time), so I took a break and did this over a couple of days. I anticipated this going quickly, as the pieces are large and I only need 24 blocks for the whole quilt, so I wasn't in any rush.
Next up was mixing and matching the arcs. I had some help...as usual...
She is actually stretching and yawning here, but boy does she look fierce! It's a wonder her little brother is so aggressive towards her. I sure wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of something that looks like that! I can only imagine what a real snarl would look like!
I pinned each set together and picked them up. Next up sewing some blocks!
Blocks 1 and 2 were done chain-piecing style and seemed to take a lot longer than I wanted. But a lot of that was getting used to fussing with the curves and getting them tidily matched. Of course, pressing after each seam (getting up and down) and making registration creases to match things up better slowed me down, too. In all, though, not a long process.
Today I decided to tackle four at a time. In the future, I think I will do 3, as I have three of each print and each piece. This way I can make extra sure my mixing and matching was successful...at least that's how the idea works in my head.
Making them in sets where the outermost arc is the common denominator (although putting them on top might make them the numerator?) is going to make things look a little uniform, as you see here, but these four went faster. They would have been done much, much earlier if my hubby hadn't offered to take me out to lunch (take-out) and then I took a 3 hour nap afterwards. (All that peopling wore me out!)
This puts me at a quarter done already! We'll see how I progress in the coming days. Tomorrow evening I have my second vaccine dose and I am expecting to be down a day or so. I'm hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. I plan to spend a chunk of tomorrow doing the cleaning chores and whatnot that would be done later in the week. Just to make sure things roll smoothly if I do feel poorly. (Also, having a clean toilet *just in case* is never a bad thing!)
I did attend the needle felting class this weekend. Well, I should say I tried to. I arrived on time and found the teacher with a headache. She passed it off to a bad night sleep and such, and apologized that she would not be at her best, teaching-wise. The other two classmates had done this before and I'm a quick learner, so I figured we could make it work. Life happens. Well. Then the shop owner asked about room temperature and she mentioned she was hot. Okay, again, I'm usually cold, so no worries. Then she excused herself and "lost her lunch" in the bathroom. I was torn between running out of there like a scared rabbit (we were all wearing masks, but still...) and feeling obligated to show concern. The shop owner told her she couldn't stay if that was happening and I was glad she made that decision for us all. My money was refunded, but I came home with a few class supplies. And now I am torn between wanting to reschedule and just calling it done - if I didn't have the supplies, the decision would be easier. There are a lot of thoughts running through my head regarding this situation, but I'll spare you those details and just let you find your own...
So technically, I tried needle felting. I didn't finish the project (I have a mushroom stem), but I tried it. I suppose that counts to fulfil my stick? Hmmm...
Time to go pack the hubby a lunch and finish a few more chores. For having taken a long nap today, I still feel kinda tired. Maybe it's the weather? Or maybe just I slept poorly last night? Or maybe that nap was just TOO good?!
PS Gabby is a ham...