Making Progress

What a good weekend I had. Look what is on my design wall this morning.

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My snail’s trail quilt is well under way.

But before we get to that, let me tell you about my weekend. It was a fun one.

I knew it was going to be busy so I did my grocery shopping  Friday night. I made a huge amount of potato salad to take to a barbeque on Saturday. When we have family picnics, I know I am safe if I bring potato salad or homemade ice cream. Those are the two things my kids and grandkids always request.

Saturday morning, I went to the farmer’s market. I love that part of summer in the metro area. I go every Saturday – the fresh produce is astounding and the prices are amazing. One of the booths has a bag for $10 – whatever you can fit in that bag.

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From the Farmer’s Market

I’m finding we get to have a huge variety of veggies. Last week in addition to the things I buy every week, I got Brussels sprouts and fava beans. This week I bought the regular things, as well as beets, green beans, Poblano peppers and a purple potato.

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I love the fresh veggies.

Next, I watered my “garden.” In the December/January 2014 of Quilters Newsletter, we featured Tim Latimer in Meetin’ Place. If you want to read about him, the digital issue is still available here. Tim does wonderful hand quilting and is also a horticulturist and floral design instructor at Michigan State University. I’ve followed his blog for quite a while and he frequently posts photos of his flowers. I really enjoy looking at his flowers as well as his quilts. So I’m hoping you enjoy my “garden” photo here.

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It’s not quite a garden but I enjoy it.

I have a tiny patio at my apartment. A few weeks ago I got this shelf and most of the plants you see on it. It’s amazing how much pleasure I get from just a few flowers and herbs.

After the watering was done, I still had 30 minutes before heading across town for the barbeque so I sewed for those 30 minutes.

I’m working on a snail’s trail quilt. It’s actually the pieces and parts left from a video shoot. In the video segment, we talked about how to prepare a single quilt block to hang on the wall. That episode is available here.

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One block – it hangs in my office.

When we do video shoots, we have multiples of the project so we can show you the steps. I had the finished, mounted snail’s trail block and five other finished blocks as well as pieces of a sixth block. I decided to turn the leftovers into a small quilt. I had the collection of fat quarters from Connecting Threads called Fiesta by Jenni Calo. I decided if I made a total of 36 10” blocks I could have a nice little throw. I’d been working on the blocks all week. A set of four fat quarters made eight blocks. I worked with four fat quarters at a time, cutting the patches and then sewing the eight blocks. The first three sets went along without a hitch but I cut the fourth set wrong. I still have no idea how I did it but I had to do some major piecing on the last two blocks. I marked the pieced seams in this one so you can see them.

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Oh me, oh my!

The fact that I had to mark them so you could see is encouraging. I’m hoping once the quilt is quilted it won’t be noticeable but if it is, I’ll come up with a plan – an applique or extra quilting or something. There is always a fix for that kind of problem.

So anyway, Saturday morning I worked on those two blocks for a half hour or so.

Then it was off to the barbeque. It was a birthday party for our granddaughter. She is a girly little girl and loves princesses and sparkly things but here’s my favorite present. Her uncle (who is a Little League baseball coach) found this pink baseball glove for her. I think it is so cute.

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A PINK Baseball Glove

The party was great fun. Five family members surprised us. They are from three and six hours away and we had no idea they were coming. Here are the kids and grandkids who were there (and hubby in the back row).

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A Group of Bakers

I finished the snail’s trail blocks on Sunday. I was putting them up on the design wall as I went.

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The blocks are finished.

There were two sections that I didn’t like. In the top row, the left hand block looks “mushy” to me because the blue print and the green print don’t have enough contrast. The center block in the top row is the only one with the pale center and I think it looks strange. I also want to rearrange so the two sets of blocks from the same four fabrics are not next to each other in the bottom row.

This is when I love my design wall and my hint for this week. I rearrange and take photos so I know what I did. Then I review the photos and choose the look I like the most.

Here is what is on the wall now but I’ll probably play a little more before I actually sew the quilt top together. By just rotating the blocks, you get a different dominant color and it completely changes the look of the set of four blocks.

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This is better.

I worked on the back a while, too. I wanted to finish using the spool of thread I was using before moving on. And I did it. I emptied two spools this weekend making a total of 34 spools so far this year. I am actually concentrating on using up spools so when I am piecing a scrap quilt, I choose the emptiest spool that is in the right color family.

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Empty Spools

Now unfortunately, the snail’s trail quilt has to go away for a while. I have two other quilts to work on with deadlines later in the month. But I’ll get back to it eventually and show you photos when I do.

Happy quilting until next week and  for great ideas and hints, remember to check us out on our website, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

About Lori Baker

Lori is the creative editor at Quilters Newsletter.
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2 Responses to Making Progress

  1. Sue says:

    I love snails’ trails. I made a wall hanging using light- to-dark that was in the Quiltmakers’ gallery awhile back. You can do a lot with that pattern!

  2. Shelley says:

    In the original photo you were right about the top left corner not being quite right. The material used in the center of that section was without enough contrast between the adjacent material. I really prefer higher contrast in a snail’s trail pattern.

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