You could be forgiven for thinking that I had given up on my Reproduction Gypsy Wife, thanks to a few weeks of silence on the blog front, but not so! October and November have just been very busy work-wise, with lots of business trips and over-hours, and so evenings and weekends that would usually be devoted to quilting (given the choice!) have had to make way for other things (except for a visit to the Open European Quilt Championships, more of that later).
However, as the Dutch saying goes ‘Every disadvantage has its advantage’ and I hope to profit by the experience of those, such as Mary E., who are further ahead with what is evidently the frustrating task of getting the blocks together into a top with the minimal instructions in the booklet.
So, how far am I? I have finished all the filler blocks: The square in a square with pinwheel centre blocks and the bordered square in a square blocks,
As well as the square in a square with courthouse steps blocks.
I tried to use a good variety of my reproduction Civil War fabrics, mixed in with my deep coloured Moda Marbles for contrast.
I have now used every fabric in the quilt at least twice, and some more often than that, but I have also tried not to use the same combinations more than once (with the patterned fabrics), mixing up which blues or pinks or browns are used side by side.
Sometimes that is surprisingly tricky: one finds oneself returning to combinations that one likes instinctively, only for a check of the existing blocks to reveal ‘been there, done that’!
I won’t know if this has worked for sure until I get all the blocks up on the design wall. If there are duplicates, they will be something to hunt for on the finished quilt.
And the last block of all, square in a square in a square!
The next stage is, of course, to start putting the quilt top together into sections by adding all the 1 1/2″ strips to the major and filler blocks. I gather from the comments of other Quilt-Along participants that this is no easy task, especially as there are not really any instructions for how to do this, the sections have to join up with each other (and the strips also) and it is not always evident which block is which, especially with regard to the filler blocks, that often only differ from each other by a half of an inch.
So I have decided to see if I can make this process more manageable for myself. I have made a photograph of every page of the section lay-outs and the section construction (as well as of the finished original quilt) and printed them out at A4 size, and I have used coloured pencils to indicate which strips carry on into which other sections. The colours don’t relate to which fabric I intend to use, they just show which fabrics have to be the same to make the whole thing join up.
The next step after that is to identify which blocks belong in which section and put them in groups. Then I’ll hang them on the design wall, so that I can check the colour distribution of my blocks across the quilt. Once I’ve done that, I’ll be able to cut the strips, and make sure that they compliment the surrounding blocks.
Will all this help? I’ll let you know, but given that now that all the blocks are done, the cross-hatched original looks like this, it can’t hurt!