Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Another Glorious Scrap Quilt Finish!

 Do you ever have one of those projects that just ticks along in the background?

This turned out to be one of those!

Nearly a month ago I showed you these little 9 patch squares.

Then I added triangles to bring the size up a little.

Then trimmed.
 Then had to plan out a layout - taking into account the three different grey fabrics that I'd used for the setting triangles (I'm working from stash, using up smaller pieces!).
 Then pair them up with the sashing that I wanted to use, ready to sew
 Time to check that the lines had stayed where I expected them to stay, before adding the longer sashing strips to complete the quilt top.
 So that happened over the course of the month.

Last week I patched up enough wadding (a total of 27 pieces!) to make something large enough to complete the quilt sandwich.

Once it was basted, it didn't take long to quilt it with a wavy line.  Not too dense, I still want it to be cosy.
 I didn't strive too hard to keep them parallel.  Just close enough to have a relationship to each other.
 Here it is, complete.

We already have a family game of 'choose your favourite' - lots of fabrics that we recognise from other projects!

Finishing at 40" x 60" This one is likely to be a keeper.  It's destined for the back of my sofa for the moment.  I'm enjoying it (and enjoying the fact that I managed to get all the sashing fabric facing the same way - I don't usually choose directional fabrics for a reason!).
 Alongside that excitement there were also a few more of these.
 This time with draw string laundry bags for people on a day trip or (later in the year!) an overnight trip.
And button up pouches to keep the clean masks all in one place.

I haven't made one of these simple 'clutch' bags for ages.  Good to find that they are still as simple to make as I remembered!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Scraps, Glorious Scraps!

 I am not the only person in the house generating scraps!

My DD1's business, FabWraps, also generates scraps, which she wants to turn into a Project Linus quilt.

I've been helping her work with them this week.
 I wish that we hadn't left it most of a year until deciding to tackle them!
 I'm teaching Georgie to foundation piece with a short stitch over paper.
 When the square is covered....
 ....we flip it over and trim the edges to line up with the paper.
Then flip it right way up to admire it properly!

You will spot this one in the photo at the top of the post.

It's a relaxing way to sew blocks.  No templates or measuring required, just lining up a few bits of fabric.

Hope that we make good progress over half term!

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Quilty Finish!

 I've been meaning to make a Carpenter's Wheel for years.

OK, so this is an easy version of it.  Perhaps it's a Carpenter's Star instead of a Carpenter's Wheel - I've never been good at knowing what pattern / block names are, I'm afraid.
Finally, scrap sorting / scrap busting in lockdown has prompted me to take it from the 'one day' list and move it to the 'do it now' list!

I extended the size of it with sashing and blocks of more charm squares (I have no more blue, green or neutral charm squares left).

It reached 66" x 44" which is a good size for me to quilt.
 Shame that I still managed a tuck or two in the back!  I clearly need more practice again!

Pieced backing.  I was delighted to find this peice of 'nummer' from Ikea, which only needed extending in one direction.
 I thought that I'd got enough grey left to bind the quilt, but I was wrong, so it has a brighter binding than I'd been intending, but all from stash, which is a good thing, and quite cheery.
 Alongside my quilty finish there were another couple of batches of these.
This batch made with cord elastic rather than flat elastic - all that I could get for the price I wanted to pay / in the time that I wanted to get it.

Happy sewing, everyone!

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

It's all about the.... homes?!?  No, not really - although I'm on day 37/100 on the #100dayproject - and I'm very happy with how the neighbourhood is shaping up!  I'm still having fun using different techniques and colours to make these little jewels.  Some more complex than others!
But the rest of my sewing?  I've bowed to the invitable and made masks.

My version is a triple layer (quilting fabric outer, breathable  non woven polypropylene middle, and a soft cotton jersey by the skin.

There is a pipe cleaner sewn into a channel at the top so it can fit closely around the nose.

Different fabrics for different family members.

I 've tried to make it as easy as possible to put on and off.  It has a long length of elastic and a cord toggle to make wearing and adjusting them straighforward.
 They are made in two sizes - teens and adults.
I shall make them for my (extended) family, and then stop.  Already I've had to order more elastic and more cord toggles.  Thank goodness for all the people who are still working in the companies that provide these items!

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Sending a Hug

 After a second elderly relative said how much they were missing hugs, we decided to take action.

Two metres of plain fabric, about 20" deep, a Sharpie pen colour chosen by each member of the family, and a dry bit of cardboard to keep the fabric clean and dry (more or less!).

Then each of us lay down with our arms stretched out and were traced around with our pen colour.

Sentiments and signatures added.
 A second, petterned, fabric sewn on, turned through, top stitched.
 And there you are, a hug in a stole (rather than a stolen hug).  Now they've been sent (and received!) the recipients can have hugs as tight as they like for as long as they like.

Of course I know that it isn't really the same.  But we've shown three people that we are thinking of them and raised a smile or two in the process.
My next project was to tackle my 'leaders and enders' nine patches.  Each one finishes at 3" square, so I tend to do something else to bring the size up a bit in order to make a bigger 'something' from them.

More on this next week, I hope!

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Mini Tutorial - Floating Hexies

 I decided that I wanted to make something simple - and this is based on the excellent pattern in Pam and Nicky Lintott's 'New Ways with Jelly Rolls' for a quilt back.

Too good to hide away on a back, in my opinion!
 So I've made mine with just two fabrics.  One for the hexies, one for the background.
You need to cut 4.5" strips x WoF.  I cut four strips for the dark purple, and seven for the background.  You need to add extra half hexies at the ends which is why you need more background shapes.
 Then use your 60 degree ruler, and use the lines between the 8" and 3.5" lines to cut the half hexie shapes, flipping the ruler round after each cut to be as economical with the fabric as possible.

Next sew them together to make strips - you can see below how to create the hexagons from two strips.

I planned a 3 - 4 - 3 layout.  Once you lay them out you can see where to add the extra background half hexies.
 I liked laying mine out to make sure that I'd got the right number (facing the right way!) in each strip.  You can see here that I was part way through the process and needed to add more sections at some of the strip ends.

When you are happy with your strips, line them up and sew together.  Work out where the hexagons are going to be to work out how each pair of strips will line up.

The ends will look something like this.

You need to cut them off to make a straight edge (generating more scraps to play with, of course!).

That's it.  You have made enough for a runner, perhaps.  Mine finished at 54" x 24".  If you made two it would make a good lap quilt or cot quilt size.

What I actually went on to do was to add deep borders around my central part, before backing / basting / quilting / binding.

The quilt finished at 70" x 46" which is a reasonably useful size for cozying up under.

The backing was a bit random.  Life saver rings and another fabric with a flash of red on it.  Not a bad combination, but perhaps not the best players with the front of the quilt!  Sorry, whoever ends up with this one - but it was sewn with love if that counts for anything.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Mixed Sewing (again!)

 More mini homes as my #the100dayproject2020 offering.

Different techniques, and still throwing in the occasional reference to daily life - like the loaf shaped house at the top to show our home baked bread from the weekend....
 More scrubs bags - now delivered to the London Ambulance service.  Check 'for the love of scrubs' on Facebook if you want to try and find somewhere local to you asking for scrubs / bags / hats / bands.  Some places are very specific about the fabrics that they will accept for various items, and you should plan for everything to be able to be washed at 60oC.
Finally, two blocks for the Richmond and Kew Quilters charity block idea from Marianne - a Trip Around the World type block.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Mixed sewing

 Another rainbow window hanging - as we wanted to have one to show thanks to the key workers using the train station that we overlook.

Thanks to Patch and Dot for the base pattern which you can find here.
 And using the same fabrics, I started my #100dayproject - this year I'm planning to make 100 tiny homes, reflecting on how many of us are currently staying at home - and how grateful I am to have a home that I enjoy being in.

It's been fun so far.  These little fun houses are set on a grid of 2.5" square to make sure that I don't let them get too large!  I plan to keep using a variety of techniques to make them.
 Finally, I've started making a batch of 'scrubs bags' for the London Ambulance service.  Many thanks to my BF who - many years ago - gave me lots of bed linen.  Fabric that hasn't been made into quilt backs is now being pressed into service.
The pillow cases in particular were an easy conversion into drawstring bags - and I'm lucky to have had a roll of cotton tape on hand for the drawstring part of them.

The ones in the pile on the right are cut from a duvet cover, and I made my own 'strings' from the cover too.  More time consuming, but I don't have enough tape to use in all the bags that I plan to make.

Interesting times, as they say, but at least I can still sew.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Lots of Small Projects

This was my completed quilt for the week - roughly 20" square and based on this pattern by Kjersti Smith (thank you Kjerski and Creative Quilting for making it free  to download for April).

Displayed in our window to say 'thanks' to everyone who is still working, whether at home or out on the front line, in service, care and health industries and every other industry too!  We will need all of you who are preventing the economy to completely grinding to a halt, as well as those who are more commonly recognised.  Thank you everyone who is doing their bit to keep the wheels on!
 Here is the start of my scrap busting.
This carpenters wheel has used all my neutral or near neutral charm squares, and most of my blue and purple ones.  At 32" square it needs more to be a useful size, but I will look through my  scraps and 'small yardage' bits to see what falls into place.

I'm so pleased to make this, though, as it has been on my list for years to make!
 Then it was time to make cards.  I may not be able to see family and friends this Easter, but I can share the love by sending a card.
During March there were a number of birthdays that I made cards for too.  I need to get making the ones for April now (and ask my DH to buy some more postage stamps!).

Stay safe, stay well, and stay in!

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Small Victories

 My scraps are finally all sorted (for the moment!)

It's hard to believe that they all fitted into the three plastic drawers, even harder to believe that they all fitted back again!
 But here's the proof!

Neatly sorted.  Either by size, or, with the irregular strips and rectangles, by colour (in the zip lock bags in the middle drawer.

It's left me with decisions about how to use them, of course.  But a decision for another day!

A second small victory?  This floral wreath is complete - a cross stitch piece that I've been working on for an online course (showing that I can use variagated thread - there are only six different threads used here.  Sometimes with thread lengths used 'top to tail' to give variation within a stitch, sometimes just trying to use the darker and lighter colours to pick out different parts of flower heads.

Reminds me of something that my grandma might have liked!

A third victory?  Not so small, this one.  My BF had her lumpectomy (a victory in itself in these uncertain times) and the cancer hasn't spread into the lymph node!  Hurrah!  Thank heavens for screening programs...... and what a shame that they are temporarily closed in many places at the moment, for obvious reasons.