Monday, January 9, 2017

Westering Women - Block Roundup

I haven't posted any blocks for Westering Women since early September when the August block was completed.  Many reasons for this, not the least being September's block, which though very pretty had 12 fiddly little Y-seams - yep, I counted them and said to myself 'no-way'.  There were a couple previous blocks earlier in the year with Y-seams and they got done, but I guess by September my priorities had changed.  Boredom had set in, and there were grandbaby quilts and receiving blankets to finish, quilt ministry chemo patient quilts to work on, Quilty 365 blocks to keep up with, and the list goes on.

But.  I didn't want to scrap this project entirely.  So, though it completely skipped my radar while making up an initial list of goals for the new year, a couple days ago I dug out the eight completed blocks and set about making the final four.  Starting with December, and please excuse the poor quality photos, all taken at night in less than stellar lighting -
Road to California
November -
Bear Paw

Then I worked on October's block, Rocky Mountain Chain.  Somebody remind me that I should never piece triangles after 10 p.m.!  I had the block finished and popped it on the design wall only to discover half of it was totally backwards.  Aargh!   The partial rip-it in progress -

Well now, that's better -
Rocky Mountain Chain

And, now we were down to September's block - still not going to mess with Y-seams again, but what to substitute?  Browsing through an older Quilters Newsletter magazine I found a quilt called Columbia Pinwheel in a 2005 issue.  Nice block but the directions called for 8 inch blocks.  A few pages further on was an article on the math for resizing blocks - OK - this sounded doable.  Many of those Westering Women didn't take the Road to California but headed toward the Willamette Valley in Oregon by way of the Columbia River Gorge, so this block seemed like a good substitute.  Did the quilty math, two or three times, with a calculator, following the directions in QN.  Lots of triangles to upsize (should have been my first clue). Made the block, turned out nice -
Columbia Pinwheel
and, you guessed it - the block came out too big by about 1-1/2 inches.  OK, one for the orphan pile.

Then yesterday while looking through the January 2012 issue of Quiltmania I came across this quilt.
Be still my heart!!  Definitely adding this quilt to my "have to make" list!  And, why not add a snowball block to finish off Westering Women as well?  Those weary travelers would almost surely have run into late autumn snow as they inched their way across the last of the mountain ranges, and that snow would likely have been muddy as well along those worn and rutted trails. Don't you just love all this justification just to get out of doing a few more Y-seams?  Well, if you're still reading along, here is my muddy snowball block to round out the dozen Westering Women blocks!
And, last but not least, in no particular order on the design wall, ta-da -
the finished sampler blocks of my version of Westering Women.

Originally I had planned to set these blocks 4 across and 4 down with a large appliqued medallion in the center.  Still might do that, though at this point the blocks will be set aside to simmer for awhile. I'm just happy to have the delinquent blocks off my list, even if they weren't actually on it in the first place!

Happy Monday, and may no Y-seams cross your path today.


  1. all that work to avoid those seams.....Why do we do that to ourselves?
    I am so guilty of overthinking those blocks, and avoid them too. Heck now a days I avoid a lot of But your assortment of blocks look very good no matter how you use them.

  2. Congratulations on finishing all the blocks for Westering Women. You obviously put a lot of thoughts and common sense into choosing a different block for September. Too bad Columbia Pinwheel didn't work. It is a lovely block. On the other hand, yes, they probably did see a snowflake or two. I love the end result. Either way you layout this one, it will be a great quilt. ;^)

  3. The muddy snowball looks right at home amid the other blocks. (That block does make a gorgeous quilt.)
    I will do anything I can to avoid the dreaded Y-seam! : )

  4. Those blocks look wonderful. I love the colors in Road to California.

  5. Your Westering Women blocks look great! Congratulations on finishing them. The snowball block fits in wonderfully. I am catching up on these same blocks. I just did those 12 dreaded Y seams yesterday. I am learning as I go.

  6. They look wonderful together and your snowball fits right in. I completely agree with you, I would avoid a block with just one Y seam, 12 is over the top.

  7. Is a Y seam like coming to a fork in the road? Your blocks looks fabulous together and any story you want to tell to add in a different block is good with me.

  8. Ha ha ha the Y seams - well, your snowball substitute does its job beautifully. My westering women blocks are simmering too. I'm on the fence on whether to do Yankee Diary!

  9. Just like your pioneer sisters, you took an impossible situation (Y-seams? Yuck!!!) and made it work - love your "muddy snowballs" block - it fits the theme of your quilt perfectly!!!! You plowed in there and got a difficult job done - and done well!

  10. This is wonderful, I love your substitute block! Were there really 12 Y seams for Sage? I appliqued mine.


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