Sunday, January 20, 2013

Beginning bird trap building

I have I cannot even count how many swaps going right now & the one with the furthest out deadline is the Birdtrap Swap.  So naturally that is the one I want to work on.  I resisted for a week, finished my own every other month swap blocks for February, started sketching my Rainbow Connection block for March & then I just gave in.

Although it was not a requirement (& still isn't) I wanted to have a bird somewhere in my bird trap.  I decided on a fabric with birds in & out of cages & even a few empty cages.  I fussy cut some birds & bordered them up with what was on the top of the scrap pile.  Some of it was a small print (one requirement), some of it was a solid -not a read-as-solid but an actual solid- (another requirement).  Because I wasn't using a ruler for anything but a straight edge, not one of these even began the same size.  Once they were bordered, courthouse steps style with whatever scrap-strip bubbled to the top of the scrap bin, they were not remotely similar, not square, the centers weren't centered...they were just all different.

The advantage of this is that no matter what comes next, it is a small matter to shave bits off the sides to make the next round work (or to add another border, if that is what it takes but frankly I wanted a pieced row as early as possible.

I dug around in the strip scrap bin (yes, my scraps are sorted by general shape, squares/rectangles versus strips versus irregular post-fussy cut leftovers) & came up with a 2" strip of solid because some but not all of the starting pieces had solid borders & I figured I may as well get them all in the same place as far as meeting requirements goes.  I cut those into 2" squares, found another 2" strip not caring much what it was.  As it happens it is the word BABY over & over again; I have no idea where it came from.  Maybe a binding?. Anyhow, I cut that into squares as well & made rather small 1/2-square triangles for the next round.

& that is as far as I have gotten, more or less.  There is a shrinking pile of 1/2 square triangles, so the next step will be to make another collection of those.  I have one last  fabric requirement to deal with:  a large scale print.  I wish the person organizing the swap had been clearer about what constitutes large scale.  Does the bird/bird cages fabric meet it?  The images are all about 1-3" which is not super large, but the all over print repeats only every 1/3 of a yard or so (less than the outsized 5/8 of a yard, but still big...yes?).  So how do we measure a large scale, by the elements or by the repeat?  Unfortunately,  I don't know which one I meant so I guess I am just gonna let it ride.  & maybe look for a big floral to cover all the bases.

At this moment, the largest of the blocks is approximately 7" by....I'm gonna say more or less 7", although you know that is all just ballpark, right?  So I need another 4", give or take before I am done.  I am putting those more complete blocks aside so I can catch up the others.  Also, I need to answer that whole "what is a large scale print?" question.

I should also mention that the whole time I have been resisting thinking about, then thinking about then working on & now thinking again about these bird trap quilt blocks, I have been unable to get this bird song out of my brain.

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