Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Hatcheting More Scraps

There is a strong strain of individualism and risk-taking in Texas. We'll do what we want to now and worry about the future later. 
This is a case in which the future blew in and hit the whole state.
H.W. Brands, historian at UT Austin

Personally I made it through the winter storm in Houston with no broken pipes but turned off the water all week. And I have lots of quilts. ;-) There were so many on the bed to stay warm, I couldn't move once I got in. By Sunday many were wearing shorts.  

It shouldn't have been this bad; however, our legislature never required power plants to winterize so many chose not to despite similar problems with storms in 1997 and 2011. Most of Texas' energy comes from natural gas and almost half went offline Sunday and Monday; however, several state legislators blame renewable energy that only provides about 10% of our power. Wind turbines in colder northern states {that were properly winterized} did not freeze. 

Mayor Turner led us through Hurricane Harvey, the Covid pandemic, and now winter storm Uri. He and his staff worked all week to open warming stations and distribute food and water. What a good example they set by continuing to do their jobs in difficult circumstances.

Quilting


Funny how this works. My Hatchet blocks inspired Wanda to make her own version. The quiet beauty of her quilt inspired me to try a new quilt with a limited color palette: yellow and green. It was an easy pull because the fabrics are in a pile on the floor. They either needed to be sewed quickly or packed. 

Part of the reason Wanda's quilt looks so good is the uniform quiet background she used. I don't have enough of any cream right now {and I'm still in "use it up" mode} but I found a small collection of quieter prints that work with these light colors. 

In addition to the backgrounds, there are eight greens and two yellows for the ribbons. Halfway through sewing it's obvious they aren't working as ribbons.  


The next idea was a "wave" through the fabrics but this layout looks worse if that's possible. The abrupt line between yellow and green looks more like a shoreline.


The most common layout of Hatchets is the X. I thought about alternating yellow and green Xs but {of course} they aren't evenly distributed. So they need an arrangement that disguises that fact. Starting with a yellow X, I surrounded it with some green and then offset the next yellow X. Suddenly an idea appeared. 

If you know me, you know I will end up with some mathematical solution. Something's a bit off here.


But a couple of minor changes on the bottom rows settled that.


With the design laid out on the wall it was easy to sew up. 



The plan is to gift this as a toddler quilt. The recipient's mother loves yellow and I think these old-fashioned fabrics will suit her well. 

Reading


When Nora deliberately overdoses she arrives at The Midnight Library, a sort of way station between life and death. Each book is a parallel life based on every different decision she could have made. Infinitely many books. Mrs. Elm, her former school librarian and current librarian here, directs her to look at her regrets and see how the other path turns out. But other people don't stay the same so some books lead to wildly different relationships with people in her life. 

I enjoyed Matt's idea that "the road not taken" isn't always smooth and perfect.



Monthly FUR (Fabric Use Rate) 

Although Hatchet 3 and Shadow Star are finally complete tops, there were no actual finishes in February. YTD = 2 yards.

Enjoy the day, Ann

30 comments:

  1. Your final arrangement looks good! Wanda does make it look easy doesn't she! This will make a cute quilt. I am glad you came thru the big freeze ok. I have a brother that lives in the Dallas area and they went thru some rolling blackouts for a day or two. His son and wife relocated to my brother's house for a few days since the electricity was completely off at their place. My brother said while he could, they filled up the bathtub for toilet flushing water and he broke out the camper stove so they could cook. He also had no broken pipes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wanda makes everything look easy. And such beautiful fabrics. But the recipient will enjoy these softer colors and I'm delighted to move them along.
      My Dallas relatives had rolling blackouts, too. Down here we just lost power or not. Filling the bathtub is my first order of business for any emergency but an earthquake. I'm thinking I should replace our old camp stove.

      Delete
  2. Your final version looks just lovely--what a thoughtful gift...those creamy soft yellows are a perfect choice...nice work....hugs, Julierose

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie. The soft yellows still look good and it was a joy to find a place to use these older greens. Plus, the recipient likes these shades.

      Delete
  3. I'm glad you did well in the storm. Watching Texas from the distance of Detroit has been sad--so many people in desperate situations. I'm also glad that you gave Mayor Turner credit for his constant work and concern. I love your green and yellow quilt and especially enjoyed reading about and seeing your process in figuring out what to do with the blocks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know there's a cost benefit analysis in homebuilding but wish they'd put more thought into weatherproofing pipes. We decided we'd simply shut ours off at any hard freeze warning. It's a bit of a pain to get all the buckets and tubs organized ahead of time but much better than a burst pipe in cold weather.
      Mayor Turner has been on city council for years and has risen to every challenge that has been thrown at him as mayor. We are fortunate to have him.
      It was fun to move these blocks around until they finally made sense.

      Delete
  4. I lived in Houston in 1997. Close to Memorial Park. I remember how bad it was for that storm. Wasn't it around Christmas time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did some field work in Memorial Park in college for a biology class. And they left us... Ah, the days.
      The storm was in January. Long ago, isn't it?

      Delete
  5. When you talk about winterizing I realise how different your climate is from ours- we all just toddle merrily from autumn into winter and out the other side into spring. Bigger sweaters, and of course central heating, but not much changes apart from that.
    I like your final version of the greens and yellows such a lot. It also pleases me that somehow the less organised version is more coherent than the ordered one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Texas seems really sold on "free-market" but I am not a fan of that for utilities. We really need them in weather extremes - heat, cold, flood - all of which we get here. If they still want to push free-market, they should at least incentivize proper preparation. People died. And the poorest are hurt the worst.
      I need to start working on a quilt like you do yours. It's such a different way to work. Most of my baby quilts are ways to use up scraps and leftovers because I like multi-fabric quilts and need to continually reduce my pile. Thanks for mentioning the less-organized version. Funny how they change with different sets of fabrics.

      Delete
  6. This is such a strong, simple looking block, yet so many possibilities for layout! Wanda's quilt looks great, but I'm really liking the old fashioned vibe to yours.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Audrey. I knew you'd recognize "old greens" when you saw them. Like you, I'm trying to move the fabric along. It's interesting to see how the quilt changes from one quilter to the next depending on the fabrics and layouts.

      Delete
  7. Very fascinating conclusion to your "which looks best" saga. I had to stare at the last step a little while to figure out what you were putting together. It looks great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robin. I enjoy seeing other people's iterations so am glad you like it, too.

      Delete
  8. Loved reading this & following along with how you go to your end decision! And a very pretty result! Super good too, using up some of those older fabrics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are both trying to use up some of our stash, Linda. You always share your process, too. So much fun to see "how it all comes about."

      Delete
  9. This is such a fun block. My light fabric in the beachy quilt is several different fabrics but they all had the same value. I think that is the best way to both use up small pieces of fabric and keep me interested in the project. I like your second photo with the yellows separated from the greens but I really like the layout you ended up with. It's almost like chains of green with yellow X's. I'm going to do a really scrappy pink one with this block and the background will be various values. I'm thinking the pattern might emerge and then disappear with that assortment. Cutting starts tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, Wanda. So simple but more ways to put it together than appears at first. It's a good way to use up some of my larger bits and pieces. I'll be over to see your scrappy pink. Sounds wonderful!

      Delete
  10. I am glad that you survived the power cut and associated issues. It is a shame that we in America design for efficiency and not resilience, be it our supply chain or power grids.
    Ever since I took Wanda's Colorwash class, I am drawn to that kind of layout - gradually changing color/value across the quilt. So I kinda liked the Waves layout. The yellows and greens are subtle and sophisticated. I am sure that whatever layout you finalize the mom will love it. I am curious - are you saving the HSTs cut off from the snowballed corners? What becomes of them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good point, Preeti. Designed for efficiency (or really, for lowest short-term cost) and not for resilience.
      Color gradients often make beautiful quilts and Wanda is superb at it. I'm not saving these HSTs although it was hard to toss them. If I'd remembered to sew them before cutting the corners off it would have been different. OTOH, then I see Cathy's stuff and kick myself for not saving every single niblet. Ha.

      Delete
  11. That is an interesting design layout Ann, worth the different tryouts before reaching the final decision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Maureen. It's fun to play with blocks, isn't it? I hope you are doing well. Get lots of rest.

      Delete
  12. Glad you made it thru the storm intact. Love the hatchet blocks!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cindy. It means we have time to help others and many people need it around here.

      Delete
  13. I am always amazed at the difference color placement can make. We survived in Atasocita, Texas as well with minor set backs. I consider a major setback was that I had a fully charged phone and electricity and couldn't call my next door neighbor or my son who lives 3 blocks away. I translated that to mean that I probably couldn't have called 911 if I had needed them, so I think that was a big problem. We are reviewing our family household contingency plan just like Governor Abbott is doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too. Simple changes make a huge difference at times. I'm glad you made it through the storm. Scary to have no phone reception. I have a friend who works with Red Cross and he says they are phasing out Ham radios. But we have become so dependent on power lines and towers.
      Too bad they never mentioned what to review for contingency plans earlier. I'm not sure many people would have drained their pipes but it certainly made a difference for us.

      Delete
  14. Your final layout is perfect! Great to see your process.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Midnight Library has gotten great reviews. Thanks for adding to them -- I definitely want to read it. Glad you figured out how to set the hatchet blocks. Funny how a simple unit can present such a challenge....I might say you may have wished you stayed in California last week, but had you been there rather than Houston you'd have been worrying from afar about the pipes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed how The Midnight Library brought home that each choice leads to different outcomes and none is perfect. It was fun to find a new way to set these simple blocks. I like the way Cathy set hers in groups of four recently too.
      It's better that I was here for the freeze. As you wrote, the pipes needed attention they wouldn't have received from afar.

      Delete

Reading comments is such a pleasure that you will find my replies here, too, for everyone to enjoy.