Well, I have almost finished the top I've been handpiecing for the past year. I'll post a picture when it is finished. As I mentioned earlier, it is last year's Mystery Block of the Month from the Fat Quarter Shop. Since this was the last goal to meet before actually beginning the 120 blocks, I am excited. All that's left is the last 2 borders (which I hope to do this evening), sewing the backing pieces together (on the machine), and packing it away until I finish handquilting the big UFO or WIP (since I have actually worked on it a bit each day) on my quilting frame. Then I'll be able to handquilt this one. Before I knew I was going to handpiece, I thought I would send this one out to a longarmer, but considering the handpiecing, that just seems wrong to me somehow.
The timing is perfect since I have to go to Chicago for a conference next week. Now I'll be able to take the first block or two with me to work on while I'm gone! I'll be cutting those out soon.
I thought I might do a little background research on the first block since Marsha McCloskey really didn't mention which blocks were her originals and which were traditional. In so doing, I came to the first interesting problem. There is a block called Castle in the Air which is very similar to McCloskey's Air Castle except that the center block is an on point square within a square. Further complicating the matter is the fact that as I search the web, I found the Castle in the Air block showing up under the name Air Castle.
So I turned to Jinny Beyer's Book The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns. According to this book, Air Castle is the same as Castle in Air or Castle in the Air and very similar to Card Trick (which has the solid center square like McCloskey's Air Castle, but has the four corner squares made of half square triangles). Sigh. So much for the idea of standardization.
Air Castle from McCloskey's book is a 9 patch. To make it in the shading shown in her book, it requires one light fabric, one dark fabric, and two medium fabrics. Once I get those chosen, I will take a picture of the pieces and post it here.