Monday, December 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday and Orca Bay step 5 update

I didn’t get as much sewing done as I had hoped, but I did start step 5, worked some more on step 4 and began printing out Inklingo QSTs for step 1. Also played around with some of the Orca Bay pieces that have been made thus far to see how they might fit together.orca 5 006a

The picture shows some step 5 units, and then two possible ways to use the pieces we have made.  Also shown (faintly) on the right is one of the Inklingo sheets.

I am enjoying using Inklingo method, but I would give one caution to anyone considering using it.  One of the advantages is that you can customize the size of ‘paper’ so that you use only the amount of fabric you need, thereby wasting less. All the math and computation is done for you, you know how many pieces you need to make, you pick the template and the layout that will best produce those pieces.  For example, to make the unit one hourglass units, in the 2” finished size that I need, I will need to print out 19 sheets like the one shown above. Each of these sheets will make 24. Each of these sheets are 7” x 10.5” so there is very little waste. If you printed out a standard letter size, you would have a lot of partial, useless pieces and fabric waste.

The problem is that not all printers allow you to customize the size of paper you use. I had done the step three HSTs on my older, cheapy printer, on letter size (because they fit well on that), with no problems at all.  Inklingo gives you all the info you will need to find and customize the paper size you need to print, even when following the directions in Little Cheapy’s manual, I never was able to customize. The manual said ‘to customize, do x,y and z’, but the caveat was there that not all papers could be customized. I tried every paper type they gave, none would allow customization.  We have a second not-quite-as-ancient printer hooked up to my computer so that we can scan, but we seldom print on it because the ink refills are much more expensive. I went into  that printer and followed the customization instructions, and BINGO, it worked!

Therefore, my caution to anyone considering Inklingo is that before you buy a set, make sure that your printer can customize paper sizes. You don’t want to be unable to make full use of  your purchase. The sets are not terribly expensive, especially since you can use them over and over, just keep printing. You just want to be able to use all the best features.

Check out Patchwork Times for some inspirational design walls and Quiltville for the progress being made by other Orca Bay participants.

LATE BREAKING NEWS /  CORRECTION:  I just printed out some more of the QSTs and discovered, completely by accident, that when I saved the 7 x 10.5 paper size that I created on the scanner/printer, it now shows up on the size selection menu for either printer, and can be printed out on either printer- I just wasn’t able to create the new size on Little Cheapy.  Hooray! Now I can print with the more economical cartridges!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Design Wall Monday/Orca Bay part 4 progress

Translation supplied for a dear friend who doesn’t speak Quilt, yet faithfully follows my blog and tries to encourage me onward.

Progress! It’s a good thing.  I finished the part 3 HSTs   

Nan- that means half square triangle, looks like this

orca bay part 4 001

I have made about two thirds of  the part 4 triangles from strips-my color for these is orange. Perhaps the rest will be finished today.

orca bay part 4 005

See the fuzzies on my design wall?  You should see me! I’ve been wearing a sweat suit to be warm and comfy as I stitch away. A purple sweat suit, because one must coordinate with ones project, right?  Anyway, with all the trimming and little clips of threads and what not, I currently resemble……well, the Pillsbury Doughboy gone fuzzy. If my sons could see me now, I can hear some of the jokes—what do you get when you cross the Michelin Man with a Wookie? Night of the Living Thread……that sort of thing.

Meanwhile, I’m wondering what Bonnie is up to with these shapes. So many possibilities, and very hard to guess because we don’t know all the shapes and pieces she will eventually use. Here is one possible combination of pieces, of course, Bonnie will have all the bears toes going in the proper direction. (Nan-a square block with some of those HSTs on two sides is called a BearPaw, which is what I was trying to make with the purple and teal but was directionally challenged)

orca bay part 4 003

Please check out the progress that others are making on their Orca Bay Mystery Quilts and some of the wonderful work other quilters have on their design walls.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Design Wall/Orca Bay Monday

On my design wall today are a few of the string blocks (step 2) and a sampling of the HST (step 3) of Bonnie Hunter’s Orca Bay Mystery  that I am participating in.

Orca Bay first pix 004

I have all of the step 2 string blocks completed, and I love them. They are so neat and look good-and they are purple.

Orca Bay first pix 005

I am about two-thirds of the way finished with step 3. I took advantage of the Inklingo special sale for Orca Bay participants and have used Inklingo to make these blocks. I have looked into Inklingo before, but never got into it. I have to say that I am really enjoying making the HST this way-and enjoying HSTs is not something I ever expected to do! Since I haven’t even started step 1 yet, (hey, why start at the beginning?) I think I will probably go back to Inklingo and get the collection for quarter square triangles.

Bonnie selected her colors using a photograph from her Alaska trip. I found a few photos I really liked, but the colors were too similar. Then, while still debating if I even would participate, I saw a photo on someone’s computer that blew my mind. Initially, I couldn’t even tell what the photo was, all I saw was the color! It turns out that the photo was of an ant, under extreme magnification. The ant was electrically vibrant shades of oranges and yellows. The background changed from deep purples (in areas that would have been ‘sky’ in a landscape) to dark teal (in what would have been the ground). Such an incredible photo, I don’t think I have the link to it, if I find one I will post. The subject certainly wasn’t ‘pretty’, but it was so vivid and colorful, it had to be my inspiration.  Hmm, maybe this quilt won’t be Orca Bay, but Electric Ant for me…… I’m not sure how the quilt will turn out with these colors in it, but that is part of the risk in doing a mystery quilt, and Bonnie’s are always amazing.

All of this was done as I listened to an audio version of one of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries. This is the second I have listened to, and I intend to listen to the rest, I enjoy them so much. At first, it seems wordy, but if you listen instead of wish she’d just get on with the story, you will find the descriptions and insights amazing in themselves. These books aren’t  action packed, shoot ‘em ups, but more in line with P.D. James thoughtful detective Adam Dalgliesh. Penny’s work reminds me to enjoy the journey to the conclusion, not just the conclusion itself, to savor each morsel instead of gorging and swallowing  the whole thing.

Go on over to Judy’s Patchwork Times to check out what other quilters are up to, you will see some great work. While you are at it, go over to Bonnie’s to see the progress other Orca Bay mystery quilters are making, it will be amazing to see how differently these quilts turn out, even though they are all using the same pattern.