Troisième semaine de En Provence

20161209_083245.jpgI hope I typed that title correctly.  Clue # 3. Before I get to how I laid this out, here are the clues I read in Bonnie’s post today.  “everything we have done so far is symmetrical” suggests we will be having non-symmetrical blocks. If you can draw a line down the center of something and get two similar halves, it’s symmetrical. Shapes like squares and circles are symmetrical.

In other words….we will be working on blocks coming up that are not square.  She hasn’t suggested anything remotely like hexagons or other EPP shapes so the next obvious guess would be rectangles.  And if she’s talking about a ruler to make triangles then the guess that it includes flying geese certainly sounds like we’re on the right track.  If so, will it be tiny flying geese at 1″ x 3″ (which I think it will although I have nothing to base that on) or larger 3″ x 6″ flying geese that would cover over 2 other blocks?

20161209_094019.jpgThe other clue is related to colors.  She’s stated that we’re done with the magenta.  She’s also stated we will be using a fair amount more of the neutrals.  We haven’t touched the green or mustard yellow and she didn’t say we were done with the purples so there be probably be more of those.  Another way to make stars is with flying geese so it will be interesting to see how she goes with these.

Creating random 4-squares that are evenly spaced out isn’t as easy as it sounds if you don’t want to risk running into big clumps of the same fabric in certain spots.  There are a lot of ways to do this, but I applied a method that I use in work when we’re trying to get to a random sample.

20161209_144236.jpgFirst, I separated the lighter purples from the darker purples.  I happen to have a pretty good stash of purple for a variety of reasons.  For instance, I made our daughter a purple quilt last year for Christmas – one fabric on the front, another on the back and then a couple of smaller samples when we were choosing fabrics that I had left over.

I also had purple in 2 or 3 places on the stained glass quilt.  And there’s definitely purple in the machine quilting blocks – or at least some of them.  I can’t forget the purple star quilt and I also switched my original purple because I thought it was too blue so I had plenty left over from that.

After I separated the colors, I cut them into 2″ strips and sewed contrasting fabrics together.  From here, I laid out the 2-fabric strips and if I had 2 strips from the same dark fabric then I put it in the same stack even if the lighter fabric was different (which it was because I made sure to not use the same light/dark combo more than once).

20161209_191132.jpgAs I went along, I figured out I could typically get 9 or 10 2-square blocks from the strips I had so I kept going until I thought I had enough for 168 4-squares.  In other words, to get to 168 finished blocks, I need 336 2-square blocks.  That means if I can get let’s say 9 of those from one strip I need at least 38 strips (336 / 9).

From there, I picked out a single 2-color strip and cut it into 2″ widths until I got the 9 or 10 blocks – specifically so that I would use that particular combo of fabric up entirely.  Then I cut individual 2″ blocks from the remaining strips – but just 1 from each combo until I had the 9 needed to match up to the ones I had just cut and then I sewed the 9 from one strip to 9 individual random 2-square blocks.  By cutting a strip up entirely, I was able to foolproof that I wouldn’t have that 4-patch combo again…because half of the combo was now used up entirely.  Hopefully that makes sense.

20161209_113637.jpgAfter I got cut cutting all the strips I had such a mess that I really had no choice except to clean up my sewing area so all those pieces didn’t get lost.  I promptly found even more purple fabric that I had set aside.  Argh.  But I remembered back to the start of this post…I don’t think Bonnie is done with the purple fabric yet.  So I’ll start with these the next time we use these.

I didn’t get through sewing all 168 blocks today and that was after I spent most of my pre-planned vacation day ironing, cutting, and sewing.  I also haven’t started Thursday’s block for the Splendid Sampler but that one is patchwork so I should be able to knock it out in about an hour.

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Darlene Contadino says:

    Thanks for sharing your process. I always love reading how other quilters work. I love your fabrics. I see your brain is working overtime as you consider all the possible blocks Bonnie will include. I’m the same. I had not thought about the flying geese. It will be exciting to see what is next.

    1. Did you see her red/white star blocks she posted for another quilt today? That made me think about another option.

  2. Deb Praus says:

    Loving your Random is hard to do! Lol I am not using purples as my stash was depleted having made 3 purple quilts this last year and my rule is for the mystery, stash only. We shall see….

    1. I was fine with the purple, green, and cream on hand but I got caught on the mustard yellow and the constant so I did buy some fabric but not very much. Good luck!

  3. norma says:

    I love the colours. Looks like an interesting project – you have so much patience

    1. I think because I enjoy sewing so much I probably have a lot of patience because I tend not to do things last minute. It’s definitely a stress reliever for me.

  4. kathyreeves says:

    You sound like me when it comes to “random!” I try to use the paper bag method, and I always replace pieces because they weren’t random!! We want fool proof random.😝

    1. Exactly! I think I have control issues with the idea of randomness!

  5. admcmasters says:

    I’m liking what I see so far in yours. You have a great variety of fabrics and I think that will make it more interesting. Way to go!

    1. Thank you! Purple is definitely where I have the most fabric although I have a pretty good variety in the green also. It’s the yellow where I may run into issues but we’ll see.

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