Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Pleased with my Progress

 The start of the new school term means that I have more time and energy for sewing - so I've had a chance to catch up on the Block of the Week Aves quilt that I'm making.

Week 31 was these eight 3 1/2" blocks, made using the fast flying geese technique.
 A single 6 1/2" block for Week 32.
 Another set of eight 3 1/2" blocks for Week 33
Another single 6 1/2" block for Week 34.

I'm still learning about machine applique - and didn't manage to add these little pieces without them shifting quite a lot.  I'd decided against pinning - it seemed that there was lot of pin compared to fabric - but might think about a temporary glue to hold them in future to achieve a better placement once they are sewn.

Phew!  Pleased to be caught up!

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

A little further on...

 It's been a while, but here is Week 30 of my version of the Aves Block of the Week quilt.  These 6 1/2" blocks seemed to take an age to put together - partly because I didn't read the instructions properly and cut some of the fabric squares too large.  At least I could cut them down to the right sizes!
A lovely surprise for me last night, when the lovely Benta gave me my birthday present early! Very smart project bag and matching zippy pouch, and fab colours on the fabric.  I'm delighted with them both, thank you Benta!

I'm hoping to get a little more sewing done this week - it would be nice to start gaining ground on my block of the week programme with a view to being up to date by the end of the month, if I can!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

More sewing

I'm running behind on my Block of the Week programme - but I've finished Week 29 now!  Lots of flying geese - each of the eight strips is 3 1/2" x 27 1/2"

It is so satisfying when each week is 'ticked off' my pile of 'quilty things to do'!

Wednesday, 22 August 2018


Finally, I got around to embroidering names onto the white sashing between the photos.  I'm much happier with the cushion cover now!

The birthday gifts are all together now and ready to be passed over to the birthday girl.  Deadline met!

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

More Progress!

Week 28 of Aves - a construction week - is complete!  A little after I'd hoped, but it's done now with all five roundels in place.  Most certainly a 'finished is better than perfect' piece!

I'm happy with how it is coming together and looking forward to the rest of the blocks.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

More summer time

Some weeks there isn't much time for sewing during the holidays!

This is week 27.  Week 28 is an assembly of the centre - all five roundels will be together for the first time which is very exciting.  All carrying on my hand in the background....

Happy summer sewing!

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Another summer week

 Made to go with the quillow, this is a family photo cushion.

I remembered to leave a reasonably large border so that I didn't lose too much photo when the cushion pad was placed inside, but I think that I should have made the sashing narrower in the centre.  I'm toying the idea of adding some embroidery to it so that the white isn't so stark.  Wish that I'd done that before making it into the cushion cover!
 I also used some of the trimmings from the quilt to make this little zippy pouch.
 And, of course, I've been carrying on with the Aves quilt -  this is week 26.

School summer holidays, so lots of non sewing activities going on - but ideas for other projects stacking up in my head!

Wednesday, 25 July 2018


 I have the same problem as last week, in that the colours of this quilt are much softer in real life - the wide border is a soft creamy calico, for example.

I'm really pleased with this little quilt.  Its A3 size, made for my quilt group challenge which was to represent the season which I pulled out of a hat.  Mine was summer, and this piece is called 'Norfolk Summer'.  I was trying to get the lazy golden fields and the big skies - all from the remains of my scrap collection!

Thanks to Benta for my 'hedgehog' (which is really an Australian echidna, sorry for transplanting it!).  I think that the quilt really needed that and the tiny bird embroidered at the top too.
My other crafting fun has been to make these paracord key rings.  As a result of misunderstanding some paracord bracelet instructions, I had four short lengths of cord with no particular use for it.  A gal pal, Nicki, suggested that key chains might be the way forward, and she was right.  I love it when I have the fixings on hand to make something from almost nothing!
Thanks for the idea!

School summer holidays are in full swing, and I'm going for the relaxed vibe!  I hope that you are able to enjoy some relaxed crafting too.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

I beat my deadline!

 Quillow complete!

The photos don't do the soft colours justice - I may try some more photos on a day when the light is different.  However, the quillow is finished three days earlier than my self imposed deadline.

Here is the quillow in it's cushion form, using the same sort of quarter square triangle blocks that are on the quilt, but a smaller scale.
 Here is is unfurled as a quilt.
 Then I tried a 'flat' photo - but at 60" square it didn't quite fit into the space on my sewing room floor!
Lastly, folded up.  Technically it isn't truly finished as I haven't made and added the label yet, but that will happen when I have my printable fabric out in a couple of days time. 

Another project complete!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Another week disappears!

 Week 25 in our Aves Block of the Week journey.  Another lovely pieced block.
 The rest of my sewing week (when the sewing room was cool enough to be in!) was laying out this quilt....
...and chain piecing to form the quilt top.  I'm pleased to say that I actually got further than this and now have a quilt ready for hand stitching the reverse of the binding on.  I'm pleased that I was able to make good progress on it!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Making Good Progress

Another nice easy pieced block this week for Aves - although it still had 57 pieces to include within its 6 1/2" square!

I can see now that I could have made a better fabric choice for what became the central star - the 'bookbinder' fabric which I love should have been swapped for something with a smaller pattern.  Never mind - its all a learning process!
It gave me plenty of time to work on my other current quilting project - which needed 50 quarter square triangle blocks.
Which need to be added to 50 plain fabric blocks.  I love a bit of chain piecing!

Soon the quilt top will be made and I'll turn my attention to the 20" cushion front for the quillow. 

Enjoying the simple repetitive sewing.
I've also used a few of the scraps from the quilt to make other projects - covered notebooks and tissue holders.  More simple sewing, but very satisfying to be able to give homemade gifts away!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Cake and Blocks

A nice simple 6 1/2" block from Kathryn Kerr for the Aves BOW (23) this time.   We have just passed the half way point of our 45 week programme.
 We are now a household with two teenagers!

One of whom will shortly be sporting pierced ears, hence my attempt to model an ear on this fruit cake.
 I didn't try any thing too ambitious on the following day for a three layer chocolate and vanilla cake!
 Other time has been spent deciding on the right fabrics to make a quilt that will tone with this bed linen.
Decision made - these three fabrics (you can't see the almost self -coloured white dots on the centre fabric) with the dark coral fabric to be used as a binding, matching the pillow case.  This one has a deadline (another 80th birthday present!) so I'll be trying to complete it before the school holidays start, which for us is on the 19th July.  I'd better get sewing!

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

More Aves Quilt Blocks

 It took me a while, but I finally got the outer wheel (week 21) attached to the circling swallows (week 20).

This week's block, week 22, was much easier, although 64 pieces in a 6" block is a fair number!

The colours that I'm using still make my heart sing every time that I pick them up!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Circling Swallows

The centre part of the fifth (and final) roundel in the Aves Quilt pattern.  I'm fairly pleased with my Circling Swallows.  It's not perfect by any means, but I managed to keep all the important points, I think!

This week I'll be making the final flying geese round border and attaching it to this.  The centre of this quilt is really coming together now!

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Order from Chaos

 I should have taken a photo of the snake pit of strips before I sorted them into colour families - that was true chaos!

I had quite a collection of 1 1/4" strips and 2 1/2" strips, it turned out.
 I'm carrying on working my way through them still.  These nine purple blocks look fab, don't they?  This heart shape is a happy accident.  I'll play around with the layout, but I like the idea of setting them within some plainer fabric pieces as a quilt top.
The way forward for these 14 pink pieces is less clear.  Obviously I still need to press and trim the blocks with the narrow strips, but after that I might mix them with another colour or two to get a reasonable size quilt.

I'm not sure whether I'll keep them all the same orientation in the final quilt or not.  Playing with scale, colour and orientation sounds like a big task, so I might limit one or two of those variables when I get to it.

For the moment, though, I need to start work on my blue blocks!

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Strip Happy!

 I'm back to my scrap busting again.

This time working through the short lengths of 2 1/2" strips and the various lengths of 1 1/4" strips.

Shown here are a few of the 'yellow' and 'green' blocks.

I've made 15 yellows and 13 greens.  Still to work on the purples, blues, neutrals, pinks....
 Once I've made (and trimmed) all the blocks I'll work out how I'm going to mix them and what size top or tops I'm going to create.  I'm really excited about these blocks.  There is a lot of (easy) sewing, and they are oddly satisfying to produce.
Lucky that it was a quick block to make this week for the Aves Quilt - or at least, I chose a quick technique to complete it!

I went 'quick and dirty' with a HST background and fusible applique machined down.  Fun to make.  I admire the people who are making a carefully pieced background and hand appliqueing the pieces to it - but it just wasn't what I wanted to do this week.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Will I, Won't I?

 Will I re-sew the flying geese frame to the dove centre or won't I?   I'm not especially pleased with the lumpy finish that I've achieved, but neither am I convinced that I'll be able to manage a better result with a second try!

I'm prevaricating at the moment.  It's pinned to my wall whilst I decide what I should do.  It may be that weeks 16 / 17 of my Aves quilt aren't as finished as they should be if I do decide to re-do their coupling.
 In the meantime I've been getting on with a challenge from my quilt group.

We've each been given a piece of this fabric - mine was roughly 6" x 8" (thank you Benta for nabbing and sending me this in my absence from the meeting!).

We were then challenged to make an 8" square quilt where the fabric could still be recognised.
This was the first quilt that I made - I really wanted to use the pattern as a pair of eyes.
 This was my last quilt with it, when I saw an elephant print in a fabric shop at the weekend and realised that I might have enough fabric left for one more eye.  I had to grub about in my bin to retrieve this fragment as it was smaller even than the pieces that I usually keep!
This was my second quilt - I like the idea of a loose woven design with strips left after I'd removed the strip with the owl eyes.

This is called 'Don't Fence Me In'.

All three quilts use fusible applique (so I lost as little of the challenge fabric as possible) and machine stitching.

All good fun!  I'm now planning to go back to my scrap drawers and start a new scrap project.

Happy sewing everyone!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Scrap Quilt Memories

 This week I had enough energy to make good progress on this little quilt that I started a couple of weeks ago.

It finishes at 36" x 46".

The blocks in the centre are 'lozenges' (rectangles with the corners 'snowballed') which used up some particular size of squares that I had.  Then I had almost enough rectangles to create a border around them.  Just five more needed to be cut - one from a scrap of fabric that I had beside my sewing machine, four for the corners from another left over piece.
 What is odd is that it isn't just the fabrics in this quilt that were provoking memories, but the actually shape of the pieces.  I only made one quilt that used these 8" x 4" rectangles - a wedding quilt for a dear friend who died not many years after he married.

I relived some of the happy memories of making the quilt for him and his wife and of the phone call from him on his wedding day, with their 'thank you' for the quilt.

I wouldn't think that a simple measurement could bring all that back so vividly!  I'm almost sad that I've used all of them now - although happy that I've made a further dent in my scrap drawers!
Backed with my grey Ikea fabric (I'm bored with it now, but as I only have enough for another quilt or so I haven't got far to go with it!) and bound with a 'bubble' pattern fabric.

Another quilt for Project Linus is complete!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Block Building

 Block 16 this week!

This is how the block started out.  I have to confess to a couple of mis-cuts but I didn't do too badly with the instructions that we were given by Katherine Kerr.
 The 'Doves in the Window' looked like this as the initial star was made.
 And like this once the 8 setting triangles were inserted.

I suspect that next week we'll be making a flying geese surround for it.
No other sewing this week - but a little architecture admiration.  This is the ceiling of the cloister at Lacock Abbey that was used in a Harry Potter film or two, I'm told.  It is beautiful.  Not only the lovely warm colour of the local stone, but crafted so carefully too.  I have a feeling that I should have taken more photos.  It would make a beautiful start point for a quilt design, wouldn't it?