I should have called this post "Easy Street Part 1 With Emphasis on the Street," as we spent this past week traveling. We got home late Saturday night, so today (Sunday) besides unpacking, doing laundry, buying groceries, organizing the pantry (because when I tried to put the groceries away, I couldn't take the disorder any longer,) and sleeping, I needed to tackle Part 1 of Easy Street so I could blog about it and be able to share on Monday (tomorrow.)
I am not doing the same color scheme as Bonnie. I don't have very many of those colors in my stash, so I'm falling back on my usual color scheme. I did the same for Roll Roll Cotton Bole, and it came out great, so I think this one will, too. Oh, by the way, Easy Street is the new mystery which Bonnie Hunter does every year around this time. I did RRCB two years ago, though I had to start late, and I didn't do Orca Bay last year. When I lived in Hawaii, I always had lots of company this time of year, so it was difficult to do.
So the first step was to use the constant fabric (Bonnie-Grey, me-gold) and your backgrounds (Bonnie-white and black, me-cream on cream) to make four patches from 2" strips. 192 four-patches. Luckily, this was a pretty easy step, and I was able to get them done quickly.
First step: Make strip sets and subcut into 2" sections
Toss the sections (onesies) into a basket
Bonnie said that when making the 4-patch blocks lead with the dark on top so that all the blocks will be the same.
Press with the "pinwheel" fanned center
How do you do your random, many-unit sewing? I have my own quirks, which I thought I would share with you. First I have all the units in a basket or other container (if there are a lot of units in a block, like a 25 patch block, I will cut off the bottom section of a paper bag and use it--numbered to keep me straight) In this case, the units are the same and can all go in one basket.
I keep the basket right next to the machine.
Next I reach into the basket with both hands and grab a handful and put each pile on my lap, so that there are two piles. I grab one unit from each pile, position them correctly, and chain it through the machine.
My goal is to have the two piles work out exactly. Sometimes it does! If it doesn't, my second desire is to at least have an even amount, so that I can use up all the units without getting an additional one out of the basket. (See, quirky! But wait, there's more!)
Early on, I like to set a few units off to the side. None of them are identical. This way if I get to the end and am short some units, I can make more with only one additional strip set and not have both units the same. That is the goal, by the way. I want both the background squares in each 4-patch to be different.
The other thing that I do while doing large amounts of units is that I like to break it up. I won't sew all 192 and then press them all, I like to work in batches of about 50. I say "about" because I don't count. That is another "game" I play to keep the boring, repetitive sewing more "interesting." I don't count, but in this case my goal was 50 units. I sew until I think I have 50 and then I go press. It is like the opposite of the show "The Price is Right" where the "winner" is the person who guesses closest to the actual price without going over. My target is to get as close to 50 without being under. The first time I did a batch, I stopped at 61. The second time it was 55. That was the best batch since it was closer to 50, but still over. See, I told you I have quirks! But hey, it amuses me and helps to power through the repetition!
In the end, I have 192 4-patches. I'm ready for the next step!
PS: I ran into the Photo Issue where Blogger says your storage is over your limit. Luckily I found out that if you use Google+, that fixes it. The "fix" is that you have to upload your photos into an album in Google+ and then you can add them to your blog entry from there. What a clunky pain! Now I have to do another step to write a blog! Anyone have any other free solutions?