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Iceblossom 01-09-2020 06:56 AM

Taking a coffee break, about halfway done with trimming the sets. Then it will be make the pinwheels and then that's it for sewing today.

For the afternoon, I'm going to make my first batch of vegan tamales today. Dear son and DDiL are full vegans, so no dairy and they are also no honey. As a former vegetarian, I was not against honey but there are many issues involved and it is their decision not mine.

For years I've been saying "this is the year I learn to make tamales" and there was a recipe posted here by a new member on tamales that uses broth and vegetable oil, no lard or crisco and I have both ingredients on hand. I did have to buy the masa and corn husks, but that's at my regular market less than 5 miles round trip. So first I tried it with turkey stock and turkey from Thanksgiving with verde sauce. It came out pretty darn good, I still have to work at the cooking time but they were entirely edible!

Yesterday I made a spicy mushroom mixture, just sauteed chopped fresh mushrooms, a strong onion, and some red chili paste with olive oil. Before I put it in the tamales I'll add a bit of fresh cilantro, I'll make about half that way those as traditional tamales. The other half I'm just going to throw in a can of corn niblets into the masa and make it as more of a cornbread side dish, still wrapped as tamales. One of the places I go to offers a dulce variety with raisins mixed into the masa like that, I only wish that some day I will achieve their perfect texture. Only way is to practice.

Next try will be "Toddmales" for my hubby who always wants more filling in his tamales. I'll be trying Banana Leaves instead of the corn husks so more like the Guatemalan version. Yes, I even have banana leaves at my local market, the specialty Asian market across the way from there, and at least 3 other places I know of within 5 miles of home. I'm envisioning something more like the stuffed sticky rice packages we have out here, Square patties with a layer of filling and then another patty on top.

Hope you all have a great day. For those that need a prod for progress -- get to it, you! For those of you that need a break -- oh poor dear, this might a good time to just sit down with a cup of something nice and a good book (tv show, music, etc). Remember we are supposed to be having fun. And it's all going to be fine, fine, fine. Whatever our concerns, it's going to be fine!

SusieQOH 01-09-2020 10:29 AM

Iceblossom- I needed your last paragraph!!!<3
Getting to the end of the geese. I have a lot of clue 7 done but not the pinwheels.

Iceblossom 01-09-2020 11:16 AM

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Almost done now, but this is how I put together my pinwheel units. I start with one pinwheel, and if I got that one wrong they are all going to be wrong so hopefully I got it right! So I lay that one out and then fold it down to prepare for sewing. Yes, I press open and I use a lot pins, it works for me. Again, most of the stuff I complain about I do to myself!

So then I set up a second one and check it and hope for the best. Then I stack a few blocks on top, and turn them over as I turn them into sets. I'm finding I'm happiest somewhere around 4-6 sets at a time, easy to keep track of. Before I leave the cutting station I clamp the groups together. You can't see it but my bucket-o-clamps is just to the left of the picture (and the blocks to be worked on are to the right).

Usually I buy pads of graph paper but this had holes so it got shoved into a notebook and is my quilting notebook for now. My notes I write on to myself for this are in there, along with other projects. It works pretty good for a chronological order too. But right now, it is very refreshing to me to see bright white, so many of these fabrics have been really hard on me with Olfa green.

You can see in that top pinwheel how I have two pieces that go more together and two that are better with themselves, yet they were all cut from the same piece and how some of my pre-re-dyed pinks were causing problems turning into yellow. I did switch around two pieces so the like ones were on the diagonals. The fussy me then wanted to move that yellow one up to the top corner but I mentally slapped myself and told me to let it be.

Edit: Note that I pin below my seam line, below my foot line even. It will hold things in place fine from down there. My old vintage machine went over pins with ease and panache, but it's best if you don't and I wouldn't drive over pins with an expensive machine.

Edit 2: I left my oversized squares for the next step whole because of my issues with the two sides. It's just going to be easier for me to move them around and attach them as squares instead of triangles.

Iceblossom 01-09-2020 12:15 PM

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Another process picture before I'm done -- just as a help for people who haven't started their pinwheels yet.

If you stack and attack the pinwheels construction as I did and then sew them as the top/bottom sets, then when you have chain sewn them, they will be ready to stick together in their left/right sides. So the top of the picture shows one of the pinned sets from the previous sets. Then is the sewn set, notice that I kept the chain stitching between them. Then you just fold them from that stitching, pin and sew the next seam.

It does take a little stacking and sorting and working with the concept to get it right. For me, the less times I move the fabric the less time I have to confuse myself. As we've found in this thread, I get confused a lot!

origamigoldfish 01-09-2020 12:21 PM

I can't wait to see your finished quilt, Iceblossom! The colors are so pretty!

I am cutting triangle sets for step 7 today...definitely going to be short on the raspberry. By 6 sets, i think. I have plenty of raspberry/pinks left, but they are not quite wide enough or they are not long enough to make a full set of 8.

I am trying to remember if I have something in my tiny tiny stash that is close enough to use, because all I need to complete it is one more fat quarter, but I think all of the pinks I have are totally the wrong shades to go with what I have. And I would rather not introduce a new print this late in the game that I did not use in the earlier clues. I may try to find an extra bit of dark blue too, because I am almost completely out of those as well. A lot of these pinwheel units are actually pieced together from blue scraps from earlier sets.

The fun part is going to be trying to find matching fabric...I bought this as a curated bundle, and a quick check shows me the shop I bought it from removed the listing, and has none of the pinks or dark blues left in their fabric listings. Neutrals and a couple of the lights, but not what I need to purchase. Most of my favorite fabrics in the bundle I got the selvedge edge without the label on it too, so off to google I go!

joe'smom 01-09-2020 02:33 PM

I spent my time today arranging units on my wall instead of constructing my pinwheels, silly me. I'll try to finish up the clue tonight.

QuiltingVagabond 01-09-2020 02:46 PM

Clue 7 complete! Scrappy vs Random: to me, scrappy means using many fabrics but often chosen carefully to achieve the desired result. Whereas random means anything goes - even if it is the same fabric next to itself.

My journey with Bonnie Hunter's quilts has taught me that I can go really scrappy (lots of fabrics) but at the same time be fairly controlled. My pinwheels have good contrast, which is always my goal, but used between 7 and 10 blues and the same number of reds. Can't wait for the next clue. I would love it if Bonnie would do the reveal in more than 1 clue!

origamigoldfish 01-09-2020 06:20 PM

I ordered a half yard of my favorite of the raspberry fabrics to finish my clue 7 with. Unfortunately it won't be here until late next week, but as long as clue 8 doesn't use raspberries I will carry on. If it does use raspberries I will start checking size and trimming up previous clues. My HSTs are pretty good, but I put the flying geese aside to trim up a few at a time.

I am using fat quarters for this project, and some of them have the same print across different colors. I have repeats across greens, blues, aquas, etc. I've been pretty careful to keep from repeating color combinations in my sets, but I might have to repeat a couple for the pinwheels. Overall I am aiming for a controlled scrappy effect.

I wonder if we will get a reveal this week? I still have a ton of neutrals to use up, a handful of scraps in blue and pink, one last strip of aqua, and quite a bit of green left.

joe'smom 01-09-2020 06:37 PM

I doubt I will ever randomly place a piece of fabric in a quilt. I don't really understand the reasoning behind random placement.

Wondering if there will be a reveal, if we will use more greens, what we will do with the aqua QST piece, and how we will use our neutrals.

There's at least one darling block lurking in our pieces, but I thought it was probably too ordinary to be a Bonnie block, plus I could see no reason for the particular orientation of the pinwheel being necessary, which Bonnie said was very important. I suppose that dog ear is a vital clue!

I'm hoping it will be another early morning posting.

WMUTeach 01-09-2020 07:09 PM

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Originally Posted by SusieQOH (Post 8349128)
If someone told me I had to make an entire quilt out of flying geese I think I'd blow my brains out!!! haha
Almost finished but I'm not enjoying this part at all. Yuck.
Yesterday and today I listened to a performance of Hamlet to get me through a large portion of them. It
saved me!

Please be gentle with yourself Suzie Q. Here is the quilt I made for my son for Christmas this year. "String Theory" is the name and it is all geese. By the end I never even counted how many. Not a fun adventure but I learned a lot along the way. One of my quilting friends let me use her Accuquilt to cut the triangles. It made a big difference and was very accurate. This was a labor of love that will not be repeated. (From my mouth to God's ears!)

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