Sunday, May 23, 2021

Frolic Blocks--More Sewn (Post 7)

Stitching sashing to the blocks
My goal in April regarding "Frolic" was to sew enough blocks to get the top 16 inches larger. I cut a little and sewed a little. I searched my "precuts" for additional fabrics and repeated until I had completed more blocks. 

It was hard to get back into the block making part of the project again because in March I was sure that I was ready to attach a border. I had put away the parts for stitching blocks. Getting out all the supplies again was not fun.

After I stitched the first block, the rest were not as difficult as I settled into a routine. There is less variety in these blocks because I have more than doubled the original number of blocks listed in the pattern. I am amazed at how much fabric I've used in this project! I stitched ten full blocks and two half blocks. Between the time that I wrote my April post and the first of May, I thought that I could add one row instead of two rows. I thought ten blocks would be the perfect fit. 

Adding a row
Ripping the top apart to add the blocks was harder to do! I had maintained most of the points and met many of the intersections. I had no idea how much ripping the row of stitching would affect my psyche! I forced myself to rip it.

Once I had the top back to two pieces, I laid out my blocks. I couldn't make the fit. I thought that I could add one row and that would get the top the 16 inches larger that I needed. Was I ever wrong!!! I learned that with diagonal rows, you need an odd number of rows so I needed to sew another row of blocks together. 

Problem identified
This top,  which was about 92 inches square, is too large for my design wall. It is too large to lay out on the bed! I can sort of make it fit on the floor. I needed space to be able to see where to place the blocks. Mother's Day, I laid the blocks in between the two halves of the top. This was when I realized adding one row of blocks wasn't going to work.

Do you see the problem? With one row of blocks, there is a space at the end of the row; but, if it were filled, then the row won't fit the other end of blocks! I learned that I needed to make yet another row because when setting these blocks, there needs to be an odd number of rows. 

More scraps selected
No way did I want to stitch even more blocks! I needed to cut out at least nine more full blocks and two half blocks. I didn't have enough of a variety of fabrics remaining so it was back to my scrounging my scraps. I pulled a little more red and a little more blue 2 1/2 inch strips. My revamped goal was to sew at least nine blocks in May. 

I thought about buying some dark blue fabric; but, my goal for this project was to use what I have. Originally, I did buy the aqua fabrics, a little yardage of blue and some yards of neutrals because I didn't have near enough to begin the project. In the end, I talked myself into using my stash! I stretched the value range of the colors. I hope that I made good choices. I hope I will have enough variety that I won't have similar fabrics in blocks grouped together. Time will tell.

Blocks kitted and ready for stitching
I cut and kitted block sets. I sewed more blocks. I felt like the block sewing process was endless. I am reminiscent of Bill Murray in the movie "Ground Hog Day." I kept sewing and eventually I finished those blocks. 

I did beat myself up about not figuring out the row issue sooner--I spent many hours on the issue. I took a deep breath and told myself, "C'est la vie!" Then, I told myself, "Get on with it! Start stitching. In the end, you are going to be happy you didn't settle with a quilt that didn't quite fit the bed."

After making the "kits" for the remaining blocks, I realized I didn't have enough blue fabric to piece the HST border I have in mind. I purchased three navy fat quarters and three yards of neutral fabrics. 

After looking at the photo of my purchases, the dotted half yard of blue fabric will likely play better in my penguin project. (I haven't posted progress about that project yet!) I needed to "beef" up the cream tones in my neutrals for variety. I've prewashed the fabric and pressed it with a bit of spray starch to give the fabrics some body. 

More fabrics purchased for the top

By the end of the week, I had pieced all the blocks I had kitted. I don't know if I'll get the sashing sewn to the blocks before the end of the month; but, I'm happy to have stitched all the blocks. I anticipate not stitching any more blocks! 

I figure it took me about one hour and 15 minutes to stitch one block. The original plan was to stitch 25 full blocks and 15 half blocks. I have now stitched 62 full blocks and 21 half blocks. I have one extra block which will likely be the label. The project is closer to becoming a top which is great! I am pleased that I stuck with the process and kept stitching!!

Friday morning, I laid the latest blocks on the floor and photographed them. They appeared to play well together.  Then I laid out all the parts to check if the space issue I had encountered earlier was resolved. It was.

The next steps are to create the sashing, sash the blocks and stitch the sashed blocks together. Then, I'll be determining how many more HSTs I need to make for the border! 

Last blocks completed

This was goal number four on my 2nd Quarter goal list. Goal number five on my May list was to get the top to the border stage. Time will tell if I make that goal or not!

 I'm linking to Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework as this project continues to use a lot of scraps! 

Regarding COVID:

Worldwide:166M cases; 3.45M deaths

United States: 33.1M cases; 589K deaths

Oregon: 198K cases; 2,637 deaths

India is still a hot spot for COVID cases and deaths. Our London daughter received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday. Plans for a late July visit are still on track. I'm excited about an in person visit since it was January 2020 when we had returned from visiting her last.

The trial layout. . .the blocks will fit
In the United States, many states have lifted or revised mask restrictions. While some people happily have embraced the update, others are more cautious. Generally, businesses are the ones that are supposed to enforce the "if you show your vaccination proof, you can enter maskless." Businesses report that they don't have the staff nor moneyfor that position nor do they want to be the vaccination police. In a city, one company may require masks while another may not. Eventually, it will all get sorted.

In Oregon, 40 percent of the population is vaccinated and 52 percent of the population has received at least one dose of a vaccine. Last Friday, the governor relaxed restrictions in a number of counties. The vaccination centers have gone to totally accepting walk-ins. The centers are set to close in late June and early July because enough people have taken advantage of the vaccinations. 

The governor also released news that there will be a lottery with the winner collecting one million dollars. To enter, you just have to be vaccinated. Her hope is that the contest will entice more people to get the vaccine. The drawing will be held June 28. There will be other prizes and winners too. Her idea behind offering the prizes is to entice more people to become vaccinated.



Ivani said...

Great progress on your Frolic quilt, Terry.
Regarding Covid, Hope you can visit your daughter soon.
Here in Brazil the situation is very hard. I wrote about it yesterday.
Praying for more vaccines. The world will only be safe when everyone is immunized.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

You were really persistent with your Frolic project - way to go! It will be amazing when completed! So glad you can plan a trip to see your daughter, too. Life is starting to feel more normal!

Vicki in MN said...

So sorry your had to go back and make more blocks, not fun, but in the end you will be happier with the quilt. It really is gorgeous! said...

Thank you, Ivani. I agree with you about the vaccine. I am so sorry that the available vaccine in Brazil is so limited. I hope more is delivered soon. said...

Diann, yes I was persistent and now, I need to create the sashing and attach it to the blocks. It is a slow process; but, I do like the pattern. I'm looking forward to having our daughter visit us in the States for sure! said...

Thank you, Vicki! I keep telling myself that in the end, I'll be glad that I made more blocks. Now to squeeze in some minutes to stitch on the project!