Monday, April 17, 2017

Canter's Cave Wrap-Up - Part 1

So much was accomplished at Canter's Cave last week that I feel it necessary to spread out the updates over 2 or 3 posts just to keep the material manageable. Here in this first post, I will share with you the progress I made on my work over the course of the 2-and-a-half day retreat.

The theme (optional) we gave ourselves was to make a Thimbleberries pattern or use Thimbleberries fabrics or do both pattern and fabric. I selected a pattern called Star and Chain from the 1999 book Blue Skies; Star and Chain is featured on the cover, and I chose a darker set of (mostly) Thimbleberries fabrics for my version.

I began my work by making the 30 star blocks. That means 120 flying geese units. It seemed to take forever, but I eventually got them all done. Above are the parts for the red, gold, brown and green stars. I finished the blue stars first.

When I realized I was going to have a boatload of cut-away corners, I decided I would not waste them. I sewed them as I stitched, cut them off and packed them into a plastic bag for future use. Yes, that is a very small seam - about 1/8th inch after cutting.

When I finished the stars, I had the chains to make. For sashing strips, this was an involved step. I needed 120 units that leaned left and 120 units that leaned right. Yes, I sewed those extra cut-away corners, too.  It was like I was making 2 quilts at once, you know?

Thankfully, dear Jan offered assistance with cutting and pressing some of the final chain units. This freed me up to just concentrate on sewing. Whew. All the parts are mostly made and I will soon be ready - hopefully this week - to begin assembling.

Above is sweet Jan in full helper mode. She not only worked on some of my blocks, which you see on either side of her mat, but she helped Terry with pinning her king-sized quilt.

Not all my stitching was smooth-sailing. More than once I found this (above) on the bobbin-side of my blocks. Minor setbacks like this give me time to step away for a minute, get a snack, take a walk, stretch the legs and then get back to it. Generally, a quick clean-up of lint or re-threading the machine was all that I needed to do.

Above you see the fruits of my retreat labors. Thirty stars completed; all the red chains completed; half of the blue, brown, and gold chains completed. Partially completed blue, brown and gold chains. Ah! I need to amend my earlier statement: this is NOT all of my work. Somehow the green chains are MIA. Maybe they are buried further down in my tub. I do believe they are done, though. I need to sew corners on the remaining brown and gold chains, and then cut and press them all.

I will be in connecting mode soon!

Just a point of emphasis here. This pattern requires 736 2.5" squares. Of those, 616 are used in either chain units or flying geese units. This means that I have 616 itty-bitty HSTs - 2" - awaiting me for a future project. And they are all sewn together! I know I will appreciate this bit of extra effort. Right?

Happy Quilting, Friends!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That was an excellent way to spend a retreat! The star blocks look lovely. I guess you could use all those tiny triangles to make another star quilt?


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