Saturday, April 8, 2017

Checkerboard Pieces

###### I did not post this on Friday because I left at 4:30 am to drive to Bakersfield, where I caught a train for Yosemite National Park, and then boarded the in-park bus. I spent 4 hours in the park before reversing the trip to get back to the car after Midnight, and then had an hour drive in the dark through the mountains. 

They don't allow cars in the park. You park and then ride the in-park bus to the various stops to paths or museums. This makes it a very nice trip with hours on the train riding instead of in the car driving. For as much time as I spent on this third train trip to the park, there is so much more to see and I would do it again. Each time has been during a different season. Its smart to go off season to avoid the high traffic times where everything is congested.

It rained all day and the mist over the mountains and water on the windows made it impossible to take pics with my little camera. I love the experience of being there and I guess its not for sharing. 

The Solstice to Solstice Challenge quilt I've got going uses some checker boarding, a couple of blocks and some framing in places for its assembly. Checkerboards use two colors, so with a scrappy quilt, it becomes more a matter of what you have left and how it fits together. Mine is more of a medium /dark effect.

This is my first block using that method. The quilt pattern calls for the blocks to be assembled in Sections. This block goes in Section B. There are some frames to add, and then the various blocks can be assembled to finish off this Section.

The next one goes over one block and now that Section is finished. In one HUGE way, I am grateful for the BOM concept because there are endless steps to these blocks and my guess is that they might very easily become UFO's without guidance.

It took me awhile to piece the largest Section for the center. Now that I know the final layout, it makes it a little easier to make it come together. For one thing, using a theme of scraps for this kind of quilt makes much more sense. Some are okay with random, others not so. 

There will be Sections added to each side and to the bottom.

This is another block that gets framed with  checker board strips. More pieces border along it as well, yet only after the block above it gets finished.

I kept working on these additional pieces for the various Sections until I was just exhausted. Then I wondered why I felt compelled to finish it right away. The project goes until Summer Solstice in June. There is plenty of time. I don't even have a back planned for it and its going to be around 86" square, which is HUGE for me to baste and quilt.

While I was on the trip, I had time to think of this quilt, what is still in my closet, and came up with an idea for that box of 3" squares. At one time, I wanted to make up quilts to have at the ready whenever someone went into crisis and needed comfort. I am not always a fan of the 9-patch quilts, yet, here is this container jammed pack full of 3" squares. To that end, I am going to start pinning 9-patches in order to use them up. Like the box of strips that I made into squares, they will become one of the sides to a comfort quilt.

While on one hand, there are endless patterns available for scrappy quilting, right now, I need to make more than a dent in what is there. I want to watch for other BOMs but will also spend time making quicker-finishes.