Snapshots and Snippets Part 1

Oh! Boy! I did convey in my last blog post the struggles I’m having keeping my posting here in step with my quilty life. You can gather by the lack of posts over the past days (including TWO missed Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts – many apologies) that I’m still not coordinating my sewing room life with my on-line sharing!

Continuing with my decision to abandon chronological posting I will (again) dive into ‘what’s occurring’ now (did you catch the cheeky Gavin and Stacy reference there? πŸ™‚ )

Our lovely daughter spent a long weekend with us – so good to have a couple of Mother & Daughter days. She helped me experiment with a couple of craft projects for events coming up at Church over the next few weeks. (I don’t have photos of the project samples at the mo but hopefully I’ll include some in future posts). Her husband joined us for 24hrs, he is up to his eyes in final year accountancy revision and exams. Having visitors gave me an opportunity to clear up the mounting mess/WIPs in the sewing room, refreshing the space, converting it into a guest room.

With our guests gone the room is slowly reverting to my creative space. I am determined to cut down on the clutter though, so as I bring each storage box back into the room I am emptying it (right to the bottom!), sorting, discarding and repacking with purpose. I am trying to put into practice the thoughtful and understanding advice of Nadia aka clearthedecks who is a quilter and therefore understands our difficulties re. destashing, letting go of projects and moving on.

The room is looking a little stark at the moment, in ‘clean slate’ kinda way. This morning I retrieved my current works in progress, arranging them across the design wall.

Four WIPs on the design wall by Allison Reid

Top left are the scrappy string and flying geese blocks I made last week as the start of the cover for my new storage trolley (I’m happy to report the trolley did convert to an acceptable bedside table); in the centre, the first blocks of the new Beginners course quilt (promise I will finish the top very soon Viv…); my Dreami projectΒ (that’s: ‘drop everything and make it’) falling leaves quilt – sandwiched, awaiting quilting; and slumped on the sofa bed, my current sew-along Beginners quilt that needs quilting before the final session of the course on Saturday (eeek!).

And there’s a little matter of catching up on the 188 emails in my inbox! πŸ˜€ One of those emails is a notification from Yvonne Fuchs that the Fall 2018 Tips and Tutorials Festival is now live. Do click over and find links to lots of useful, practical, inspiring blog posts by our fellow patchwork quilters from around the world. So much to learn, so much to share. I will be linking my recent post about curved piecing to the Festival.

Right… What to do first?… So many lovely choices πŸ™‚

Allison

Sewing room storage unit and using up scraps

Oh! Whew! The past ten days have been delightfully busy. I’ve wanted to share here on my blog as things have been happening but just had to admit that being busy is tiring and sitting in front of a computer screen when my brain is crying out for sleep just isn’t an option! I’ve decided not to attempt writing a chronological post – it would be VERY long and could lack the spark that comes from writing about what’s stirring my creative juices right now πŸ™‚

So I’ll jump straight in and share what I’ve been doing today: I have been inspired to design and make a cover for a mobile storage unit I bought from Hobbycraft at the weekend. It is a metal unit with plastic drawers and rolls along on casters.

Hobbycraft Storage Trolley by Allison Reid

Read moreSewing room storage unit and using up scraps

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (36)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (even though it is Sunday πŸ˜‰ – it’s me who’s late not you!). Bring along your weekend sewing project and share in some of the quilty conversations that have caught our attention through the week. Add links to your project posts or add to the conversations by using the comments box at the bottom of this page.

My projects this week have been all about teaching and learning. I’ve had fun experimenting with foundation piecing Pineapple blocks before teaching the technique at Purple Stitches’ Quilt Club. Here are my versions of the 12″ Pineapple and Old Maid’s Puzzle blocks:

Pineapple and Old Maid's Puzzle Blocks by Allison Reid

The Orange Peel blocks are still on my design wall. I need to spend a bit of time with pencil and squared paper figuring out how to enlarge the blocks to give the effect of leaves drifting across a blue blue sky…

Orange Peel blocks by Allison Reid

But I’m in deep danger of being completely distracted by this little pile of fabric happiness…

Serendipity by Minki Kim for Riley Blake Designs from Purple Stitches
Serendipity by Minki Kim for Riley Blake Designs from Purple Stitches

Viv has come up with a fresh design for the Purple Stitches Beginners Course quilt. I’m the lucky one who gets to pattern test the design and fondle these new fabrics (available from the shop website).

Here are just a few of the blog posts that have caught my attention this week:

I like that by writing my blog and using social media I am part of the Worldwide Quilting Community (could WQM become a recognisable abbreviation? :-D). Quilters from places across the globe share their love of patchwork and quilting and also give glimpses into events in their lives. Kristie shares her experience of living through Hurricane Michael and how this massive storm has affected the rural community around her home.

I think Avis must have the patience of a saint! She is making the Loyal Union Sampler Quilt designed by Jennifer Chiaverini (she of the Elm Creek Quilt novels) . Avis’ latest blocks look so neat and they showcase several different piecing techniques.

Have you ever wondered why quilt patterns cost what they do? Kirsty of Bonjour Quilts has written a very candid blog post about the costs she incurs in producing and selling her patterns. The short version is that as buyers we can provide designers the best remuneration by buying patterns direct from them. She explains clearly why paper and PDF versions of a pattern have the same cost and reminds us not to break copyright either by copying patterns we have bought or by accepting copied patterns from well-meaning friends.

Do you have fat quarters of large scale prints that you are feeling reluctant to cut into small pieces? Leah Day has a video tutorial using the stack ‘n whack method to create large ‘fractured quarter’ blocks that allow you to showcase your fabrics πŸ™‚

Is it too early to be writing our Christmas gift lists? Maybe not! Alyce has been testing the advantages of using a wool ironing mat as opposed to a conventional ironing board. She found the wool mats are winners!

If you’d like to find more links into the quilty world try my ‘Pins of the Week‘ board πŸ™‚ I refresh the board every Tuesday (sometimes Wednesday ;-)).

Happy stitching.

Allison

PS. Bearing in mind we live in a town and have a small garden, it was a big surprise to find a rather handsome pheasant paying us a visit from the countryside this week!

Pheasant in my garden by Allison Reid

 

 

Piecing Orange Peel Blocks – a photo tutorial

Last Friday I took the short walk to our local Hobbycraft. There were several reasons – I needed some fresh air; I needed to stretch my legs; my Craft Group needed supplies; I was on the look out for a quilt magazine; and, hep-hem, I didn’t half fancy a bar of chocolate for lunch πŸ˜€ It was a beautiful day, I felt a lot better for the walk, I made some purchases for Craft Group and treated myself to a copy of Today’s Quilter and a bar of Cadbury’s finest πŸ™‚

The free gift on the front of the magazine caught my eye: a set of templates designed for making Orange Peel blocks.

Today's Quilter Orange Peel templates

Of course, I had to have a go … And I was pleased with this first attempt at piecing an Orange Peel block – no wrinkles in the seams and smooth looking curves πŸ™‚ There is a page in the magazine giving a few instructions, hints and tips as to how to use the templates. Yesterday I took the templates, my background fabric and some fabrics from my stash to the monthly sewing day at Brown Candover. Several happy hours were spent creating Orange Peel blocks in the gentle company of friends.

If you are curious about curved piecing here is a little photo tutorial of how I made the Orange Peel blocks along with some of the handy tips I picked up along the way.

Read morePiecing Orange Peel Blocks – a photo tutorial

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (35)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. It’s lovely to have you join this virtual sewing day πŸ™‚ Bring along your project(s) and share in the quilty conversations buzzing around the world-wide-web. You can always share links in the comments box at the bottom of the page – links to your project or to something quilty that has inspired you this week.

Beginners Quilt 6 by Allison Reid

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring & Share (35)