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?

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Another two blocks

 Week 14 (above) and Week 15 of my Aves Block of the Week project.

Lucky that they were both nice and easy to complete, once the fabrics were decided upon and cut!

More hours (many more hours!) spent on starting to change my email addy in the myriad places that it is used as I will be changing from next month, than spent on delicious sewing - sigh!

Never mind, at least when it's complete I'll feel pleased!

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Wheel Complete!

 The flying geese outer ring was the Aves 'block' of the week this time around.

Fun to make.  You can see where I sewed lines (from behind, using the paper piecing lines) to show me where to sew it to the inner wheel and later to the rest of the quilt top.

I think that next time I'll do it without any thread, just leaving me the holes in the fabric to guide me.
 Here it is sewn to last weeks 'spokes' to form a complete roundel.

I should have pressed it before I took a photo really!
 More great wheels here at the Kempton Steam Museum which was in steam last weekend (and will be again for another five weekends or so during the year - if you can get to south west London to see it I'd recommend it!).

Magnificent and on a scale bigger than I'd realised.  This triple expansion steam engine is about 6 stories high - and the two fly wheels that you can see here are 32 tons each!  Apparently they were made in two halves, and the maximum weight that could be carried on the railway wagons of the time was 16 tons.  Fascinating stuff.

 Immense scale.  My photos don't really do it justice I'm afraid.  If you can, do go along and see it in steam.
 Alongside the steam museum is this separate attraction - Hampton and Kempton Waterworks Railway.  Cute little steam engine (working every Sunday afternoon and museum weekends from March until November).  They are using this to promote / provide experience for an exciting project, which is to relay track from here to Hampton following the old track which was laid in WW1 to provide easy access to coal brought up the Thames.
A laudable project and one that I'm fully in favour of!
Not mentioned in any leaflet that I've seen, my personal favourite on the day was an 'extra' trip on a diesel 'man mover' - something that I've never tried before.

We didn't spend a lot of time at these attractions, but I've come away inspired to try and use some of the aspects of them in a quilt design.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Flying Spokes!

 Well, flying geese spokes anyway!  Week 12 of the Aves BOW.  I didn't follow the careful instructions of Kathryn Kerr this week, but once I'd got the pie shapes and the flying geese spokes and the centre star I decided to ignore all the 'Y' seam possibilities and applique the central star to the rest of the roundel.  I confess that it isn't perfect, but it's good enough for me to smile and move on to the next part, which is to make a flying geese border for it.  Happy days!
 I also started a lozenge quilt - back to my scrap bag using-it-up theme.

I got out all my left over rectangles (8" x 4")and left over squares (1 3/4"square)....
 Set them up as 'covered corners'.....
 Trimmed them....
Folded the corners back and ironed them.

This has left me with a pile of lozenges - but no real design layout in mind for them!

Of course, I realise now that if I'd planned it out first that it might have been a better idea and that I might get a better result!  Lesson learned.

When I get some more sewing time I will play with layouts until I get something that works for me.  Always fun to play!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

More Progress!

Another multiple block week for Aves BOMers.  This time we had to make  16 blocks, each coming out at 3 1/2" square.

As well as this we were encouraged to put the central area of our quilt top together - but for some reason I don't seem to have taken a photo of that! 

More time spent on school holiday fun than on sewing this week!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Easter Finish!

Week 10 of Aves - 8 blocks of Hovering Hawks, each at 3 1/2" square.  Lots of pieces and I loved it!
 The 'proper' finish this week, though, was Betty's Quilt.

I'm really pleased with how it came out - even to having the perfect colour backing for it already in my stash!  It was a sheet gifted to me by a friend when she emigrated to Australia, just one of many pieces of household linen that has supported my quilting over the years!  Thanks Kate!
 The quilt front finished at just under 60" square, which is a great size as a double bed topper or to snuggle under on the sofa.

I LOVE how complex the pattern looks.  It is just one block repeated 25 times: 13 times with white and dark purple, 12 times with white and lighter purple.  It just looks a lot more complicated than that when you put them together.

I think that this might be a pattern that I return to - and I might even make a tutorial so that you could make one too if you wanted to.
 The cushion front - as I made the quilt into a quillow.

I used one of the blocks again, but used sashing and HSTs to make it up to 20" so that it would accommodate the folded quilt easily.
Fast quilting pattern as I was keen to make my self imposed finish date of Easter Sunday.

I'm pleased to say that I had it labelled, washed and dried in time to hand over as planned.  I'm even more happy to say that Grandma Greenwood, who had asked for it to be made and specified the colours, seems really pleased with it.  It will be gifted to her friend at the end of the month where I hope that it will be equally well received.

Off to start my next Aves blocks now - it looks like a big week as there are some mid point assembly instructions too - very exciting!