Sunday, 17 July 2016

Back to Work on the Bluenose II

I had been laboriously working on the Bluenose II pixel quilt since some time in 2014. It was supposed to have been my sister Cindy's 50th birthday gift, and she's now 52. But this is a very tedious technique, involving many 1" squares of fabric, all of which have to be sewn with the correct colour in exactly the right place. I chose to work in mostly 10" blocks, with the exception of the topmost row, which is 13" deep and the rightmost column, which is 12" wide. To aid in working on the blocks, I drew a grid of 1-1/2" squares (unfinished size of the squares) 20 wide and 10 deep on one of my design walls, to accomodate working on two blocks at once. When I commenced the renovations on my basement sewing studio, all of my sewing/crafting supplies had to find a temporary home elsewhere, including the design wall with 2 blocks in progress. Trying to find a place for everything was not easy, and this design wall ended up being tossed on the bed in the basement bedroom with various and sundry other items. Not exactly the best way to store it. As a result, some of the squares fell off the design wall. So, when I finally got around to working on this project again, I not only had to find as many missing squares as I could, but I also had to make sure everything was where it belonged. That took me a number of hours, plus adding the remaining squares to complete the blocks.
Sewing the squares together is about as tedious as assembling them on the design wall in the first place as I still had to ensure that each square remained in the correct place. I finally managed to finish these two blocks.
It had been so long since I had worked on this quilt top that I didn't realize these were the last two blocks I needed to complete for row 5. I had blocks 1 through 4 and 7 completed. I'm not sure why I had skipped blocks 5 & 6 and completed block 7, but these two blocks were now done, I joined the whole row together and then added it to the bottom of the quilt. You can see the results in the top picture, and below.
As you can see by comparing the top picture with the one immediately above, pixel quilts look best from a distance. The closer you get, the more it looks just like a random bunch of different coloured squares of fabric.
It appears the boat is finished, I just have to add more water: one more row of 10" blocks. These last two rows are the most tedious part of the quilt as there is much greater colour change amongst the squares - not too many solid blocks of colour like in the sky and the sails. So it will likely still take me awhile, especially since this quilt requires full focus. I don't like to work on it if I'm tired or preoccupied. 
You can find my previous posts on this quilt here: