Wednesday 31 May 2017

Scraps Galore!

 I've nearly completed the scrap cutting overhaul on two out of my three drawers - so it's going well! 
As expected it has been quite time consuming.  Also as expected, I've been distracted into cutting additional sizes as well, so 2 1/2" squares and anything 2" wide have also been added to the piles!  This does have the advantage that I am wasting even less fabric, though, which is a good thing.

It's lovely finding 'old friends' as I go through my scraps - some of them from my very earliest days of quilting, maybe 17 years ago!
In other news, our garden is enjoying a few minor changes too.  Our five pet chicks are now out of the fenced paddling pool in the kitchen and in their coop (RH in this picture).  Not too long until they will be big enough to be in the whole run!

We are also in the process of trading up trampolines - moving from 8' round to 9'x13' oval.  That's the biggest size that we can manage on the decking.  Our DDs are looking forward to it!

I'm looking forward to finishing scrap cutting so that I can get on with some scrap sewing.  Hope that you have fun goals too!

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Small Delights

 I'm giddy with the thrill of another finish!  This might be the last for a while, as it's the final unfinished project that had been put away over the last year or so.

Completed size at about 18" x 14", this really is a mini quilt.  You may remember that it was a laser cut kit from John Flynn.  My accuracy leaves some thing to be desired, but I'm pleased with the overall effect.
 More small delights with these little fabric gift bags (from a tutorial from aspoonsfulofsugardesigns).

They are very easy to make by hand or machine and can either be used as tiny gift pouches or left open to make little 'trays'.  I think that they would be handy for jewellery on holiday - somewhere to put tiny things so that you can find them again!

 Another set of small loveliness.  A couple of gift sets (zippy pouch, fabric covered notebook, tissue holder) for birthday gifts for DD2's friends.

Can you tell that I'm between quilting projects now?! 
 So on to the next project!  These are my overflowing scrap drawers.

At one point I was trying to cut to a system and the drawers are labelled up with the size pieces that I thought I was going to use.

However, more often than not, at the end of a project I ended up stuffing random sizes of fabric into these drawers.  They are now so full that I'm no longer able to do that!

Careful examination showed the zip lock bags where I was keeping scraps according to colour - an idea that I love, but which, again, I'd failed to really follow.

I've now come to the momentous decision that I should actually cut these pieces into standard sizes.  It's going to take me a while!
The key difference this time is that I've decided what two scrap projects I'm going to try and make as a result of the cutting frenzy - which gave me three sizes to aim at. 

In addition I'm going to have anything sensible at 2 1/2" wide (jelly roll width) and 1 1/4" wide (my favourite binding width) as well as 5" (charm squares).

The list of sizes is hung up in front of me so that I can't get distracted into other sizes.  Its going to be time consuming to prep these fabrics but it will be very satisfying to make good use of them at the end!

Wednesday 17 May 2017

All the Trimmings!

 Trimmings.  Funny sort of word - it could be the little cut off edges, like here, or lace around a hat, or stuffing and food stuffs around a roast meal - before we even start to think about trimming sails or trimming a boat.....  Anyway, I was thinking about the first sort of trimming this week, as I set to work on the mini blocks that I was making for my 'storm at sea'.

This layout was the first that I tried.  I've tweaked it a couple of times now, but I haven't started sewing it together yet as I'm trying to find some secondary patterns.  I'm not sure that I shouldn't have done that before sewing the parts together, but I'm not sure that I have a household that wouldn't have fiddled with the tiny pieces before I'd got that far, so block making first seemed like the best plan!
 Whilst that layout is still under consideration, I decided that I should put some 'raw' fabric paint onto my favourite calico, just to have a reference chart.

 I learned from my previous Wendy Dolan inspired piece, and diluted the colours a lot more this time.

Of course, I think that I may have gone too far in the other direction.  Slightly paler than in my head!

This is the start point (fabric blocks, paint washes) of my next attempt.  I also used a little fabric paint that was supposed to puff but didn't, really.  More experimentation required!
This is the stitching start point, where I'd got the main lines down using the walking foot. 
This is closer to being complete.  Lines given more weight by going over then more than once,  curved lines and FMQ completed with a hopping foot.  I used a lovely variegated thread for the two different plants.

It's still not quite there yet, though.  I need to add a little more weight to the gate.  I need to add something in the bottom RH corner (perhaps a sketch pavement?  I'm not sure yet).

Overall I'm pretty pleased that it's a recognisable interpretation of my front entrance.  Lots of fun to do - and plenty more exploring to do on this technique.

Off to work on these two WIPS now!  I hope that you are finding some stitching time too!

Wednesday 10 May 2017

A Puzzling Finish!

 Okay, not really a puzzling finish, but I wanted to try and reference the fact that this is a Suduko quilt!

It might be hard to pick out, but the nine blocks used to make the quilt are each made up of nine small blocks, which have between one and nine fabrics in them.

The quilt design was published in 'The Quilter' by Lesley Coles.

 It's one of the challenges set by my quilt group - Richmond and Kew Quilters - in order to generate a few special categories for our quilt show (which is still some way off).
The front is a little busy with a lot of similar sized prints.  I decided to make the quilt from my stash, so some fabric choices were based on whether or not I had sufficient fabric within the colour families that I wanted to use! 
 The stripe on the back is one of the fabrics from the front - I had just enough to eek out this seed print into a backing - phew!

Curly quilting all over - trying to make the whorls large enough that the quilting wasn't too dense as I wanted this to be another good snuggle quilt for someone.  After the exhibition it will probably go to Project Linus.

 I'm happy that it looks cheerful, even if it is difficult to distinguish the Suduko within it!

Another fast finish as I'd made the small blocks for this last year.  It's fun working through my WIP list and clearing project piles away as I go.
I've also started making another Wendy Dolan inspired piece.  I haven't travelled far to take photos as it's of my front gate!  Small patches of different textures added, along with a little puff paint.  Next steps colour and stitching.

My next WIP to work on is a mini storm at sea.  I started it some time ago but put it to one side when I wasn't pleased with my seam accuracy.  I'm now thinking that I either need to brace myself to unpick it or to carry on and complete it - just leaving it to one side isn't good enough!  Wish me luck!


Wednesday 3 May 2017

Little Hazel Complete!

 It's  lovely to pick up some of my longer term WIPS now that I've completed the 365 Challenge.

Little Hazel, a BOM that Esther Aliu released last year (thank you, Esther!), was high on my list to complete.
 Made from a set of spotty fabrics, It was great to get the top made from the blocks that I'd made last year - and then back it, baste it and bind it!

It didn't take too long to complete it, once I sat down and worked out where I was in the project.  That's the problem when you put a project down and it's longer than you expect until you pick it up again!
(Colours shown are closest to real life in this photo with the backing and the label).
This one is staying at home with us.  It's going to be our snuggle on the sofa, sit on in the garden, use all the time quilt at the request of DD2 who is in love with it!

Now time to move on with the next WIP - a Suduko challenge through my quilt group.  Another project that I started last year.....!