Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Grassy Creek Clues 1 & 2--post 2

Pressed and cooling pieces
For clue number one of Grassy Creek, we stitched a lot of gold and gray half square triangles (HSTs) together. I cut a pair of strips from the gold and gray fabrics. From there, I cut enough pieces to sew a set of HSTs. After I pieced the set, I pressed them. For this mystery, I'm pressing the pieces differently. I'm using Sally Collins' tip of weighting the pieces until they cool. (Check the video at about the 35 minute mark for a demo of her pressing technique.)

Sally says that the seams will stay flat through the whole sewing process. I've started pressing that way on a project, but, abandoned it later. This time, I'm attempting to stay true to the process to see how well I like it. I covered the pressed pieces with a large square ruler. I weighted it with my spray bottle. 

Next, I trimmed the HSTs. I sew with a scant quarter inch seam so that I can trim to perfection. I'm not a perfect piecer; so trimming helps me look like I am perfect piecer! 

Cooled HSTs
For the first time, I used the Folding Corners ruler to trim the pieces after they had cooled. This is my new go to trimming tool. I liked how easy it was to orient the block accurately under the ruler. Those lines are helpful to ensure I've centered the block correctly!

In my younger days, I would have completed the steps as if it were a production line. I would have cut and kitted all of the pieces. Then, I would have sewn, pressed and trimmed all of the pieces. These days, my body needs more breaks. Sewing a few pieces and moving to another task helps me to not become so sore. This "mature" process also gives time for the pressed pieces to cool. I like working in smaller batches. I don't feel as overwhelmed with the scope of the project when I work on a few pieces at a time.

Finished HSTs
I finished clue one in plenty of time to start clue two! Clue two was to make a lot of hour class blocks with the neutral, gold and green fabrics. I had two Zoom sewing sessions this week. The concentrated sewing time helped me complete most of hour  glass blocks in-between checking out other people's projects. I even located a few strips in my "pre cuts" that I was able to incorporate into the blocks. 

Monday was our Mystery Mavens sew day. We have 24 members in our group. Twenty people spent a part of their day with us. Some people had to work or had other assignments. It was a great turnout and what I appreciate about the members is their helpfulness to others. 

Lining up my bonus HSTs for trimming
If someone is having trouble, there is a lot of support and trouble shooting to solve the issue. I have noticed that we are improving our descriptive techniques so we can explain options. I've also noticed that we are improving our listening skills too. Even though in person stitching is preferable to "demonstrate" what you are saying, Zoom is working for us!

I also appreciate that members post photos of their progress in our private FaceBook group. I love seeing all the different fabrics and different color ways people have chosen! It is a nice way to stay connected! We meet once a month. Although, we may choose to meet in a couple weeks if we find a clue is difficult to understand or if we are getting behind in the process. Before the pandemic, we met in a community room in a member's neighborhood.

One of the gals in our group pieces small scraps together and makes the most wonderful charity quilts. I had a bunch of small leftover scraps that I cut into HSTs. I sewed the HSTs into pinwheels as leaders and enders. The pinwheels are small. I did spin the seams. How cute is that little HST in the seam allowance? These blocks will finish to two inches. 

Completed Step 2--HSTs
Sewing the leftover bits is a goal of mine. I don't want a bunch of scraps leftover at the end of a project. When I reach the end of strip, I cut it into what ever useable sized piece in my scrap saving system that I can. I know that I'm more likely to use from my scrap saving system than I am to pull out those scraps and cut useable pieces later.

I don't know if these pinwheels will end up
in the quilt or if they will become "parts" to be used in another project. They are cute!

Pressed pinwheel from the back
Friday, Bonnie releases clue number three! I'm ready! In the meantime, I've put in a few stitches on the Unity binding. I've made a couple more Folic blocks with the leftover parts as my starting base. I'm finding cutting the pieces to fill in the leftovers tedious. Looking through the scraps to find a little more of the block fabrics and cutting a specific number of pieces takes time! I also needed to use a completed block as a guide so I could remember how I pressed the block! Truthfully, I'm happy to be using a few more scraps so in the end, more blocks will mean more stash reduction! 

Bonus pinwheels
Even though I've sewn mainly from my stash during this pandemic, I haven't seen much change in the stash stacks. I'm thankful I've stash to keep me plenty busy in a variety of projects.  

Last night, our Mt. Hood Quilters guild had a live meeting. There were about 65 members who attended the virtual meeting. It was fun to see people dressed up in their holiday tops, necklaces, earrings and hats! One of the members gave a demonstration of a Swedish weaving which we made out of a piece of felt. We had breakout rooms and I got to meet new to me members. 

I appreciated how members helped other members who were new to the zooming process. It was a fun meeting!

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