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MQA Progress Report 3

September 2, 2005

I finished the last set of blocks Tuesday night and Wednesday morning I laid them all out on the dining room table in stacks of like blocks:

While sewing this last week, I finally realized why I was having trouble orienting the rectangle pieces correctly when sewing them to the strips–and yes, the answer is yet another variation on the “follow the directions” lesson that’s come up every time I’ve done a progress report–I’d drawn the lines on the wrong side of the fabric, as in not the side the design is on and also not the side the authors marked. The directions don’t explicitly say to draw the lines on the right side of the fabric, so when I drew mine, I put them on the back, where they wouldn’t show in the finished quilt if they didn’t brush or wash out and where I could see them when I was sewing the pieces together. So since my lines were on the wrong side, carefully following the instructions about which direction to rotate the pieces didn’t work for me–I had to rotate the other way. For a while, I was convinced the directions were just wrong, because by not following that one step, I was able to successfully make blocks. Then I really studied the diagrams closely and noticed that the lines turned from solid to dashed in the sewing step–hmm, maybe that meant the lines were on the right side of the fabric. Tracking back, I could see that was the case–if you drew the lines on the right side of the fabric, the directions would work just fine. I still think putting the lines on the back was a reasonable choice, though.

As far as laying out the quilt, my initial plan was to put blocks with blue in them near the top, like the sky, and darker blocks near the bottom, like shadows. Of course, since I came up with this plan rather late in the game, some blocks have both blue and dark grey in them. Well, I made 72 blocks and only need 54 for the size quilt I’ve decided on (58 if I do the half-drop I’m still considering), so maybe those won’t get used. My first layout, completed Wednesday night, looked like this:

I started rearranging things Thursday morning to add more blue and to try and create a vaguely mountain-shaped contour where the sky met the non-sky. By this morning, it looked like this:

I predict there will be more rearranging before I start sewing. I love playing with blocks.

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