Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Leveling Up!

 Now that I've made a few more orange peel blocks, I thought that I might make them into a medallion for the centre of a quilt.

Of course, then I needed to think about their layout.

This was my first thought.

Hmmm.
 This was my second thought, which I prefer.

I had thought that I'd sash the blocks, after sewing them together into sets of four..... but actually I like these laid out as they are.  They show the secondary circles better this way.

So, now I will sew them together and then add some borders - unless I sew them together and then decide to add some more orange peel blocks to make it larger.  I love how fast they are to sew (I don't bother about pins and more or less get away with it) but I'm not keen on the cutting out.  Always more decisions to make!


And the 'leveling up'?  After decades of using spools of Aurifil, I've decided that I should invest in a cone stand.  It will pay for itself in about two cones of thread, I estimate - and as a household that won't take much more than a year on current usage!

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Overwhelming Urge

 You know when you get an overwhelming urge to do something or try something?  My latent urge to make some orange peel blocks has emerged!

I've always liked the look of them, but have never given them a try, except, perhaps, as a Dear Jane type applique block.

I've seen several quilts with them recently.  I was smitten.  I wanted to have a go.
I sent off for some templates.  I started cutting fabric.  Oh my, that's a slow part of the process!

None of the layering up and multiple cuts at once that I'm used to.  Each time a template was used I was having to place it carefully so as not to waste fabric.  The block will finish at 6". So easy to machine stitch the gentle curves, but it means using yardage rather than scraps.

I'm having fun playing.  These are the only completed blocks so far, and it won't be a quick process, but I'm having fun playing with the fabrics and thinking about different layouts.

Alongside this I've been making sure that my quilt records are up to date.  Mine are only a basic presentation for each quilt that I make, of a photo, title, date of construction, and perhaps notes about the pattern and who the quilt is given to.  Once that's complete, I'm going to do my regular computer file backup.  I'll encourage you all to do the same too.  Much better to have a backup of your files if you chosen technology does have a wobble!

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Bright Baby Quilt

 I'm meaning that the colours are bright, rather than the baby, although that may well be true for whoever receives this quilt!

This is the back - a lovely Riley Blake zig zag.
 Now the front is peeking - can you see how I played with the dots with the binding?  Reversing the colours and changing the scale, it gives another bright colour.
This photo doesn't really do the bright colours justice!  It is loud!  It is proud!  It makes me happy to see it!

Now I'm off to decide what to make next.  The luxury of having no WIPS or UFOs (at least, that I can remember!).

Of course, it might be time to have a bit of a sort out of my scrap bins, which once again are bursting at the seams!

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Twin Sisters - Mini Tutorial

 Search the internet, and you'll find other better tutorials - this is as much to remind me what I did as for any other reason!

I decided to make oversized blocks - they finish at 14" square - and this is how I did it.

I cut 6 x background strips and 6 x feature fabrics strips - each of them 5.5" x width of fabric. (So a yard each of two fabrics would also work, with enough left for binding it).
 I sewed the fabrics together in pairs - one background (pink zig zag for me!) and one feature.

Next I subcut the pressed fabric pair strips into 10.5" squares with the background fabric closest to me, then cut them all diagonally from top left to the bottom right.  It's important that they are all cut the same way!
 Now arrange the HSTs into two 'windmill' blocks - one mostly background fabric, one mostly feature fabrics.  You can see why they are called 'twin sisters' can't you?
Once they are sewn, arrange the blocks as you would like them.  Mine are alternate.

I chose just three feature fabrics.  Six might have been more fun, and I'd have scattered the block colours around more rather than making strips.

I think that this would also work in just two fabrics, and I might try that soon.

This gives a overall size of 42" x 562.  Perfect cot quilt size.

Now all I have to do is back, quilt, bind and label it!

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Second Finish for the Year

 You know when you come across a UFO, but you can't really remember much about it?

This is one of those. 

Found on my shelves when I was tidying them (in order to store more fabric that I bought *by accident* in the New Year sales).

I can see why I didn't complete it - there is an awful lot wrong with it - but it wasn't going to anyone any good to be left in a folded heap on the shelf, so I got on and finished it!
So: fabrics that don't have enough contrast, odd shape, missing points, poor pressing during the process so that  there are tucks on the front that are sewn in place, and a variety of different quilting patterns until I got one that I could manage with the drag of the brushed cotton backing!  I confess all to the quilting police, and I'm still managing to look on the bright side.  After all, this 30" x 50" (I know, isn't that odd proportions, what was I thinking?) quilt is now complete and can soon go to a charity to help keep someone warm.  I shall move on to something different, with no nagging quilt sitting on my shoulder!


Wednesday, 8 January 2020

First Finish for 2020!

 My first finish!  Here shown as a flimsy.  It's roughly 11.5" square.

I used part of a charm pack of Downton Abbey fabrics, a little white-on-white fabric, and some purple scraps for the setting and the outer border.

My accuracy is still something to be worked on, but some blocks were showing signs of improvement which is to be applauded!
And here is the finished item.  Quilted, bound, hanging sleeve on the back.

I used a pattern from a book called 'Teeny-Tiny Quilts' by Donna Lynn Thomas.

I decided to try a decorative stitch pattern for the quilting.  If I was to do it again, I'd stitch the straight line down the middle with large stitches, use it as a reference line, and remove it at the finish.  I'd also work harder to get exactly the same start position for the pattern so that the lines were parallel - but that's why you try things out, isn't it?  Without learning from it it would be a waste of an experience!

A good start for 2020, I'm going back to tackle a UFO next, I think.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2020!

Thought that I'd brag about two of my top Christmas presents today.  The quilt holding gingerbread man is from my lovely friend Benta, who cleverly chose blocks from the mini sampler quilt that I made (thank you Kitty Wilkins) earlier in the year.  You can see more about it and other personalised designs here.

The coaster is from my lovely friend Avril - a perfect spot to balance my cup of lemon and ginger tea when I'm crafting.

Two beautiful presents from two beautiful friends.  I'm very lucky!

I'm also lucky to have had some time to do a little sewing.  When I say little, I'm not kidding - I'm making another small quilt and have been strip piecing short lengths of 7/8" fabric together before sub cutting them..... watch out for photos in the next week or two!

Enjoy whatever crafting or sewing time you have too!  Wishing you a very crafty New Year!