Here is my progress on DD#1's quilt. I have the top half of the quilt sewn into rows. It's a good thing this is an easy pattern, because it's not the project I'm mulling over in my mind.
I am assembling a couple of charity quilts while I assemble DD#1's quilt. These are the rows I have together...
...and here is the rest of it laid out on the design wall. I made enough squares to make two purple versions of this. I'm not sure if I'll be working on the second one by the time DD#1's quilt is assembled or not. I just love this pattern as a leaders/enders project. It is easy to sew and goes together quickly, and simple enough that I don't have think much about what to grab as I'm doing another project as my main thing. The purples will be the third and fourth quilts I've done with this pattern, so that's not taking much brain power either.
Ah, so what project has my gears turning and my brain cells overheating? The sea-themed quilt I'm going to make! I looked at lots of sea quilts, and none of the ones I found have the variety of sea life I'm looking for in the way I want to do it. I did find an applique quilt with a good variety, but I want to do a mixture of applique and piecing. I've looked through my quilt books and found several pieced fish blocks, and unlike my normal method, I decided I am going to make some sample blocks. I've always wondered why people make sample blocks, and the idea never appealed to me before, but I am really going to be winging this quilt, and sample blocks are starting to make sense to me.
The more ideas I look at, the more I tweak the idea in my head. I went with DS the Elder to a used bookstore yesterday. (We have the BEST chain of used bookstores in AZ called Bookman's. They are huge and set up like Barnes and Noble but everything is used. Great places!) I looked in the quilting section, as usual, and I came across a couple of books to buy and take home. One of them I chose specifically because it has a pieced pattern for a humpback whale! The other book I bought was on machine quilting, and I really thought I would find nothing of use for this sea quilt in it, I just wanted the book for techniques. As I was looking through the book, I found a photo of a quilt, and I knew just how I was going to do the top of the sea on the quilt! It had a pieced quilt that was made up of trapezoids made into strips. In various sea colors that would make an excellent sea surface.
OK, now I have a pieced humpback whale pattern, multiple fish patterns of all sizes, a plan for the surface, and some ideas for applique. None of my fish blocks are the same size, some are on point, some are square, some rectangular. This quilt is going to be an adventure! I have thought about plotting it all out on graph paper to see what will work, but I think I just need to play with real blocks. I can't make everything to scale, with a whale on the quilt, the fish would have to be so small you couldn't see them at all, never mind me piece them. I think I'd like to make each of the blocks I'm considering in the sizes the patterns call for. Some of the blocks would be fairly easy to re-size, some, like the whale, incredibly difficult. Once I have some sample blocks, and I know how hard each of them are to piece, I can consider re-sizing some. Any blocks I don't use can be used in a different quilt someday.
I haven't started pulling fabrics for this quilt, though I do have the backing fabric, and a border fabric. I thought I had a fabric to use for the background water, but I don't think there is enough. The more I thought about it, I decided even if it was enough, I didn't like it for the water. It is just blue, and I decided I needed a green/blue. I found a green/blue blender online and ordered it for the background. I considered batik, but decided against it. It would be pretty, but not right for this quilt. When my background fabric gets here, I'll start making blocks, and playing with layouts. Until then, I'll try to get as much done as possible on my other projects.
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