I like to carry appliqué with me when I travel, and a long trip last month--almost four weeks away from home--gave me a chance to finish up a few more blocks in this very long-term project; I only work on it when I'm travelling. These blocks will be trimmed to 15"; I have one more basted up that I'm still working on. If I do a diagonal set like this, I'll need to make six more blocks; the side triangles will probably be plain grey. If I do a straight set as below (to which I would probably add sashing), I just need the one more that's in progress. Cutwork applique like this works really well for travelling, as I can baste the whole block together before I leave home and not worry about losing little pieces. I didn't do a lot of planning in the blocks--just picked designs I liked. Not sure this ends up being the best design overall, but I got a lot of pleasure in the making of it.
Being without a sewing machine for a month, and knowing I had to limit how much hand-sewing I did (because of the pain I've had in my hand), I decided this would be a good time to work through the Notan design exercises in the book below, something I've been wanting to do for a while. One of the weeks away was in a rented house in Hawaii (the Big Island), a beautiful, quiet place up a mountain, in rainforest landscape. It was lovely to sit out on the lanai and cut and paste paper.
Here are a couple of tries at the "expansion of the square" exercise.
Here's the house we rented, for a very reasonable price.This is the back yard. I spent some very pleasant time sitting out here with my applique or a book.
I would highly recommend this particular rental, which you can find here: http://www.vrbo.com/61570.