Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Easy Street Part 1

Hi Everyone!

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.

                                      Here are the fabrics that I am using for this step.

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?


  1. JoAnne....you crack me up! Because I do the same dang things when I'm sewing units like that! I set a few sets aside, so I don't have twinsies at the end......I try and make things come out even, and when I go to iron them.....I'm trying to make even sets of 10.....so if its 20, 30, 40, etc.....I get a little giddy! lol We're so weird! LOL

    And now I'm afraid to post again, thinking I'll get that message about pics. I am NOT a computer person, and all it would take is for them to tell me I have to download something weird, and that will be the end of me! :o( I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

  2. Very nice JoAnne! Your quirks are funny. I don't think I quilt consistently enough to have developed any yet.. hmmmmm maybe they are there and I just think everyone does it this way hehehe

  3. I enjoyed your blog on Easy street and the good tips.It was a good read.I am going to stick to Bonnie's colors if I can it is the first mystery for me.

  4. JoAnn, you can get 20GB extra storage for $5 per year. Go to account settings and you should see Storage, view or modify. I had to add extra storage a few years ago. It's well worth it.

  5. I love your system and your post. I started a new blog to get around the Photo Issue.

  6. We all have our methods. I leave mine in stacks of like twosies and then I take one stack and rotate to use up all the others, after 4 or 5 go thrus I change to another set of twosies and do the same thing. In my mind, that way I get a fairly even mix. When I get near the end, I match up sets to make sure that I have 2 different backgrounds with each 4 patch. Your method sounds interesting though, maybe I'll try it, and your blocks look great.

  7. You can also post your photos to Photobucket (www.photobucket.com) and then copy the URL to your blog ... it has unlimited storage and is free.

    You're not the only one with sewing quirks. ;-)

    I love your four patch colors. I can't wait to see the rest of your colors.

  8. Ha! I love this! I play little games like this, too. Whatever makes the sewing fun.

  9. I'm drooling over all those luscious cream on cream fabrics... so lovely!

    I do little games when doing this type sewing...and will have to give some of yours a try next time. What fun... and it does help break up the monotony!

  10. Too funny! Love your color choices, I'm also using tans and creams. So fun! Happy Quilting!

  11. Beautiful neutrals, can't wait to see what your other colors will be.

  12. Such pretty colors - should turn out wonderful! Your approach to eliminating NO duplicates was a real hoot to read, I sit and pin my 'twosies' to ensure I don't get any/too many repeats ;-)

    I didn't do Roll Roll Cotton Bole, probably would've if I'd known about it, but I did do Orca Bay last year and enjoyed that one soooo much I knew I was hooked and could hardly wait for this one to start this year...should be lots of FUN!

    Looking forward to seeing your quilt emerge and grow each week,

  13. Isn't it nice to see a lovely pile of 4-patches after relatively little effort. Looking forward to seeing what colours you choose for step 2.

  14. I also set aside a few just in case I have duplicates at the end. I have blogger as well and just got the message last week that I had reached my photo limit. When I told my daughter she agreed to pay the $2.49 (I think) a month that I refused to pay.I will look into Google+. That would be great to not have to pay for photo storage.

  15. I had that same problem with Picasa... although they kept letting me load photos, the ones I took were just too big and used up too much storage space. Connie at Freemotion by the river did a post where she recommended downloading photoscape, a free photo editing program. I did and you can shrink your photos before you load them: I set the maximum width to 500 pixels and it crunches them down to a size that works better with Blogger and uploads much faster. Nobody told me this before I started blogging! So then I had to go back and edit all my previous posts with the downsized photos instead of the original huge ones. It took awhile but eventually my storage was no longer maxed out. Google doesn't count pictures under a certain dimension against your total, as I understand it. You can probably do the same kind of crunching using other software but Photoscape is very user-friendly for someone like me who doesn't understand techie things very well.

  16. I haven't gotten that msg from Blogger about my photo limit. I hope when I do that I remember your advice! I look forward to watching your quilt proceed!


  17. Well, JoAnne, as I was reading how you play games to finish boring jobs, I thought you sound a lot like me. I do the same kinds of things. I'm your newest follower.

    I'm still trying to decide whether to play along with Easy Street. I can't sew for a few more weeks -- I'll be so far behind! But I love the color combinations I'm seeing so maybe I will play.
    Nancy from joy for grace

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