Monday, May 16, 2016

Tumbling Blocks Progress Report

After an awesome spring day on Friday, we had to endure a wet, cold weekend that played havoc with lots of outdoor activities like the plant sale I managed for my church mission team and the early morning bird walk on Sunday which I co-lead.   I should have painted but after wet, cold mornings outside I was too tired to do anything except sit at the sewing machine.

I decided to finish making the units for my tumbling block quilt.  I verified that everything was in the right place and then counted up how many side units were needed.
I found the bag of scrappy diamonds quickly (lovely to have something organized)!  There were even several finish tumbling blocks and soon I was underway, laying out the remaining side units and stitching them together.  The little stack of diamonds and half diamonds on the left served as "leaders and enders" so I could keep the chain going through all the y-seams.
Have you noticed Barbara Brackman's new follow along project -- the Morris Hexathon?
I have and it's only one small block a week and I can machine piece it and so I failed the resolve "not to start a new project in May" -- more about that next week!
Once all the side units were finished and added to the design wall, I focused on making the top and bottom edges straight.  I use half hexagons like these to achieve that.  With straight edges on all four sides, adding the borders is simple.  I show how I do this in a previous post -- HERE. 
I needed 10 of these units.  One of the habits that makes chain piecing easier and keeps me focused is to lay out the pieces in the positions they will occupy in the finished block with the right sides up.     
Of course, that doesn't guarantee I won't make a mistake but it's generally foolproof.
One of these isn't like the others!?! 
The chain piecing technique enabled me to fly through these units.
Here you (barely) see them across the lower edge -- I can't reach the top of the design wall so the remainder will sit beside the machine until needed.
Before I left the studio, I chose border fabrics.  Now to get back in there and finish setting the top together!  I love that I can use just about any border fabric that suits me that day on scrappy quilts like this! 

If you are also playing with y-seams during the month of May, I'll be opening up another Y-Seam Warrior Link-up next week on Tuesday, 5/24/2016.  It will be open for five days and you can link from your blog, Flickr, and Instagram!
The spring garden weeding is progressing slowly and on my daily "walk-about" the yard, I noticed this mob of tiny just hatched spiders scrambling around the end of my window box -- pinhead size.
And I love the composition of this picture of the chives coming into bloom -- total accident -- no editing!  Might have to print some notecards using this one!
Time to do some more painting!!

Mary Huey


  1. Oh, I just love the 3-D look of those tumbling blocks and I've always been attracted to scrappy quilts. I've never done a Y seam in my life. How do I learn it? Do you have recommendations for the best tutorial, video or book?

  2. Useful info, Mary. Your yard is fit for a home tour! I have a question about adding some half diamonds - not sure of the order. I'm making a hexagon out of a six pointed star. What is the order for sewing those half vertical diamonds around it to make my star into a hexagon. I did one and it was difficult - there must be an easier way. TIA.

  3. That is such a pretty scrap quilt. Thanks for sharing your tip and your quilt with Oh Scrap!

  4. Mary, Y-seams seem so intimidating to me. I suppose it is one of those things that I need to force myself to get over it and give it a try already. Your tumbling blocks are so cool. I love the 3-D effect. Actually, most patterns using Y-seams are pretty appealing visually. Ugh.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures - very pretty!

  5. What an incredible quilt in the works! I love all your fabric choices, but especially the low volumes and how they set off the brights. The flower photos are very pretty. How beautifully the one of the baby spiders looks... From here. Hahaha!