More Playing. Less Decision-Making

It’s been a busy couple of days at work this week. I didn’t finish work tonight until 6:30. After dinner and a nice long walk, since we didn’t get much of an afternoon walk, I didn’t have much oomph to actually accomplish something meaningful in my sewing room.

Instead, I played a little bit with the sunburst blocks on my design wall. I still think it’s likely that I’ll go with my original layout, but it’s fun to look at other options. So, although I haven’t made a final decision, my direction is pretty assured.

Wanda from the Exuberant Color blog suggested in a comment on my last post that I try the four-sunbursts-together layout I shared the other night, but make the blocks straight rather than on point. So I moved the blocks around. Here’s the result.

And again… I like this better in person than in the photos. But I’m not sure I love it. What I DO like about it is the way the blocks sort of come and go. Which four blocks my eye rests on keeps changing. Some that I see have the sunbursts in the center. Others have the intersection of the strips in the center. I do like that sort of abstract and dynamic feel of this layout.

But here’s a close up that gives a little different perspective.

After I took these photos I decided to try one more layout. I rotated the lower left and upper right block in each foursome.

This one looks like total chaos, but there’s actually order in that chaos. You can follow rows of sunbursts diagonally across the quilt in each direction.

I’m positive I wouldn’t use this layout, but it was fun to see what it looked like. I’m not sure how much more playing I’m going to do with these blocks. I’m feeling sort of ready to go back to the original layout and get these all up on the design wall and arranged the way I want them. Then I’ll need to get moving on those setting triangles.

This handy book that a friend recommended to me a number of years ago has a page about calculating the size of your setting triangles.

It’s a really great and handy little book. It gives you all kinds of calculations that you can use when putting a quilt top together. I refer to it pretty regularly. It doesn’t have a lot of pictures or images, just pages and pages of really good info. This page tells you how big to cut your setting triangles to fit your blocks.

This blog post shows the fabric I decided on for my setting triangles. This blog post shows some different options I looked at. This blog post shows some more options when I was feeling a little more serious about this choice.

There was actually a time when I seriously thought I would make more of the sunburst blocks to use as the setting triangles. I don’t remember how long that serious thought lasted.

The last time I was working on this quilt I made a note of the size my brother requested. It’s on a sticky note hanging on one of the filing cabinets in my sewing room. He wants it to be 84 x 104 inches. Kind of an odd size, but he measured their queen size bed and would like it made to fit the bed and their liking. So I will make it that size, with a few extra inches to allow for quilting and shrinkage.

At that time I had all the blocks up on the design wall and decided how many more blocks I needed to make. I remember writing down some notes on this in a notebook. But which notebook? So tonight I started digging through several notebooks that are in a drawer in my sewing room.

Here’s the kinds of things I write in those note books. It can be vague. So very vague.

I have no idea what quilt that was for. It looks like I may have been calculating binding and borders. So with this sort of note in mind, I was worried that any notes I had made on my sunburst blocks would be so vague that I wouldn’t know them when I found them.

But I got lucky!

So, I needed 17 more blocks, which included the blocks to be used for the setting triangles… I think. The blocks I have completed are in three different groups. There’s a baggie of the finished and trimmed blocks. Then there are two smaller piles. One pile of 10 blocks that are trimmed to 8.5 inches square. And another smaller pile of 5 blocks that haven’t been trimmed. I’m pretty sure I intended those untrimmed blocks to be the setting triangles. I left them untrimmed because I wasn’t sure how big they needed to be.

So, the point of all this is that I’m pretty sure I have all the blocks I need for this quilt top. But I won’t know for sure until I get it all up on the design wall and get it measured then calculate how much length and width I’ll lose with my seam allowances.

I’m planning to make a couple of borders to get this top to the size I need. I even have the fabric for borders and a piece of fabric for the backing.

So I have no excuses to stop me from wrapping this up. Now I just have to make myself do it! I swear that I will NOT put those blocks back in the project box without finishing this top!

I sure am enjoying our streak of nice weather. I had a lovely, yet short, walk this afternoon with the boys in some glorious sunshine. Last night I popped out after work at 5:00 and was tossing the ball for Bender and Rico. And look….. it’s still light at 5:00! Our sun will set tomorrow night at 5:07 pm.

I can’t tell you how incredibly happy it makes me to see the evening light starting to return! The boys are happy too… if it means they get a little fun after I finish work at night!

I’ve been having my handyman do a few jobs for me the last couple weeks. One of the things he did was install my new locking mail box. We have some mail theft issues around the area and it’s a good idea to have a mail box that locks since I get packages pretty regularly as well as checks in the mail.

Every time I take a photo of those boys I see the different looks on their faces. Can you guess which one is just fine with posing for photos and which one finds is not quite so enjoyable? They are definitely individuals with different personalities!

30 Replies to “More Playing. Less Decision-Making”

  1. Good morning.Daybreak is almost here, and there is no precipitation, so I think it might be a clear day. That’s exciting. I just want to make a quick comment about the sunburst block arrangement that you are for sure not going to be using. While I think whatever we decide with our creations is good, I very much like this one. It doesn’t appear chaotic to me, I see pairs everywhere, dancing diagonally. It was such fun looking at your possibilities, and now we’ll see your finished top soon. Have a great day

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the last layout of the quilt blocks, it’s not chaotic to me. Even though I love Wanda and her quilts, I didn’t like the layout she suggested. I keep notes similar to you, but I don’t have UFOs so i can safely throw scraps away. I do have one unfinished top which I need to add appliqué and it’s all bundled up. I’m down by the Mexican border in Texas and the heat and sunshine is wonderful during winter, my dogs and parakeets love it. And yes, it’s easy to see who doesn’t mind getting their picture taken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You THROW scraps away? I don’t know that I’ve ever thrown a scrap away, unless it’s really tiny! I LOVE working with scraps!

      I wish I didn’t have any unfinished projects!



      1. I meant to say I threw away my scraps of paper.  Not fabrics.

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        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well each layout I think ooohhh. That’s the one. Honestly any will work. My thought is why not ask your brother and sister in law which they like. Sometimes one layout may be more appealing to someone else. But the riot of colors is energizing any way you put it together!
    Each time I make notes on a quilt for later development I think the same thing. Be more specific! I think I am but I’m definitely not. LOL
    Ah but you have a great excuse, such cute boys to distract you. Too bad about needing a locking mailbox. Just a shame how much theft and fraud there is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My notes look the same, very vague after the fact. But at the time, they made perfect sense!! I do keep all notes with the project until the quilt is actually done, just in case, haha. Wondering about your locking mailbox… if your mailbox is locked, how does the mailman put mail in there? They can’t keep a zillion extra keys for individual mailboxes, can they?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually started this blog as a way to keep track of things I was making and how I did it. But it’s a good idea to do a better job keeping notes. Especially since I rarely make patterns as they are written.

      The locking mail box has a slot at the top that the mail carrier can open. It’s made so the mail can go in, but your hand can’t and the mail drops down into the bottom of the box. They’re all over the place here. the slot is big enough to take a package of more than ten yards of fabric. So the mail carrier doesn’t need a key. I’m the one that has the key to unlock a door to get the mail out.



  5. I work at a quilt shop and reference that same book nearly every day in helping customers. I myself own two copies, one of which I picked up at the “free” table at a group meeting. I’m not sure it’s still in print, but it’s a gem….highly recommended!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right that the reference book isn’t in print any more. A friend recommended it to me a good number of years ago and I’m really glad I have one. I refer to it regularly.



  6. Hi Anne, I do so enjoy reading your blog. May I ask what is that thing in your back yard that looks like a roof sitting on the ground? What is it’s purpose? It’s amazing how our dogs have their own personalities! I guess that’s one of the things that makes us love them. My daughter has an Australian Shepherd (sp?) and he is so handsome and engaging. Lot’s of fun. I’m impressed with how much time you spend with your dogs and with walking. I have a 14 year old puggle (part pug, part beagle) who is as cute as a button, but she doesn’t do much walking these days. Arthritis and nerve damage from a spinal problem. Your sunburst blocks are beautiful! I agree with Wanda about the arrangement. Whichever layout you choose, the quilt will be a stunner! Ann J.


  7. I understand why you picked the layout you did, but I really like the 4 patch layout in your post today. The overall effect is impressive. I don’t think my stash lends itself to making a quilt like that, but I’m going to have fun thinking about it. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really like Wanda’s suggestion for the layout. As another reader suggested, why don’t you ask your brother and his wife what layout they like? Just sayin’. Also, the Kaffe “blues” fabrics on the blue sharkstooth is dynamite! I like it so much I just ordered two yards of that blue sharkstooth for future reference. You just keep inspiring me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought about letting my brother choose but I don’t think it’s something he’d enjoy. I think I’ll go with the original plan.

      You’re going to love that blue sharks tooth. It’s really pretty!



  9. I do like it better with a straight set than on point but I think your original layout is more elegant. I wonder if your brother would like to have some input into the final decision, or maybe you have to do the one that inspires you and therefor would be more fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had thought about letting my brother choose the layout but I’m not sure that would be a fun thing for him! He might just find it frustrating!

      I think I’ll probably go with the original plan. That’s what he saw that made him ask if I would make it for him, which really surprised me at the time.



  10. Rico and Bender must be so happy it’s staying lighter out too 🤗.
    Yes, I definitely like your original layout for the sun burst quilt. It is going to be a beauty 💕 just in time for spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I started out using mostly batiks. Then a friend of mine introduced me to Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I haven’t made a batik quilt in quite some time. So yes, I mostly work with the Kaffe fabrics.

      I also love the Australian Aboriginal fabrics and have a decent stash of those and absolutely love working with them.

      I don’t have a lot of fabric outside the ones I’ve mentioned. I have a decent selection of various black and white fabrics from various manufactures, but not much beyond that.



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