I just had a total brain fart and accidentally deleted the entire blog entry I was about to post with no way to recover it. So sad! Ugh. I think I just taught myself a valuable lesson. Sigh. I'll try it again. I'm officially two months (as of yesterday) into my quilt marathon, as I've started calling it. I spent so much of the first month getting organized, basting all of the intersection pieces and starting to baste the internal ring pieces. And I felt like I made a lot of progress in the first month.
June was a different story. It's not that I didn't make a lot of progress this month. I did, in fact, but I wasn't able to concentrate on this quilt as much. Work was crazed, which did allow me to take some hand sewing with me on the road. I was shooting a new project all month, and I like to get to location early so I'm not late, so I take hand sewing with me to work on in my car when I have time to spare. But I also had a lot of projects with impending deadlines to work on and since my City Weekend Quilt has no deadline, it's easy to push it aside. Much of my downtime was spent hand sewing two Joseph's Coat Blocks I'm making for a swap. Coincidentally, learning how to baste these curves is really helping me in my Double Wedding Ring piecing too.
That's not to say I didn't have any time to spend on this quilt. I continued to baste the ring pieces until they were overflowing the ziploc bag I'm using to separate them. Part of me considered continuing to baste the remaining ring pieces, but I was also getting a little antsy and was ready to move onto something new. I'm nothing if not organized, so even though it wasn't entirely necessary, I split the outer ring pieces (that connect with the intersections) in half. These are the only pieces that are directional - half need to point one way and the other half point the opposite direction. I didn't have to do this, but sometimes I just don't have the energy for anything else so I did. And I basted one piece in each direction so when I start making more of these I know which way they should go.
I also started basting some center pieces and the internal ring pieces settling on Kona Snow for these. There was a lot of debate about which Kona I wanted to use for these pieces. Ash is a personal favorite, and usually my neutral of choice. I was also considering Kona Natural. The white shades tend to be a little too stark for me. But after careful consideration I decided that Snow was the way to go with this one.
One of my many faults is that I can get distracted very easily, often moving from one UFO to the next before completing anything. And I do have a fear in the back of my head that working on a project of this scale for so long will start to bore me. Thankfully, so far that's not the case. But I did have an overwhelming desire to see one block completed before the end of the month. And, at this point, I have more than enough pieces basted to start making blocks. In fact, from here on out, I think I'll be doing a mixture of basting and piecing at the same time just to help keep things fresh and be able to see some progress.
There are thirteen different prints I'm using from the line to make up the rings (not including the intersection pieces) so I played around with them until I came up with a layout that satisfied me. I strung these pieces together to create a reference strand I'm using as I work. Because of the number of fabrics I'm using and the way the rings intersect I feel like this reference chain will help me control the chaos.
These blocks are not for the faint of heart and they are time consuming. The first block took me a couple hours. But the result is so worth it. My husband may think it's too girly, but I am in love and since this is for me I don't care. Hopefully I'll still feel this way six months from now when I'm still working away on it!