A catch up, with finishes and new ventures!

After an unscheduled break from writing blog posts I have a bit of catching up to do! So, without further ado, here we go:

The Beginners course ended successfully with my student finishing her lovely quilt. She’s looking suitably proud of her achievement in this photo!

I can share a finish too – the pretty, pretty version of my Trip Around the Stars quilt I made as the demo for the class is complete.

I added binding in the bright pink I’d used for the star points. I stitched the binding down by hand – not such a chore on a quilt that measures 38″ x 46″.

The lovely decoupage print extra wide backing is from Purple Stitches.

For the quilting I stitched one of my go-to favourites: a wavy line grid. I used a walking foot with a guide set at 1Β½ inches.

Thinking about what it’s like for absolute beginners trying to get their heads around patchwork quilting prompted me to rise to an online product challenge. I’ve produced the ‘Patchwork Quilting Equipment Guide: Best Buys for Beginners‘. My aim was to provide the information needed to make purchases that are fit for the job and will provide value, project by project, over many years. I’ve included sections on rotary cutting equipment, threads, needles, pins & scissors, fabric, wadding and sewing machines. Of course I got a bit carried away and added lots of extra information including how to care for the tools and even an explanation of all the weird cuts of fabrics us patchwork quilters talk about so blithely! The Guide is now ready to purchase as a pdf download.

My most recent project has been a ‘learn something new’ endeavour: the making of a little coin purse using a decorative purse frame. I have to say it was a bit fiddly and I’m not convinced about the practicality of this particular design. I find the opening of the 8.5cm/3ΒΌ” frame is a bit tight even for my small-medium sized hands. That, combined with the broad base style of the purse, makes it difficult to reach into the bottom corners.

As I’ve already prepared fabric with interfacing to make another nine purses I’m going to experiment with other pattern templates that have a smaller, more rounded shape. I only bought two of the small metal frames so I’ll move onto 10.5cm/4″ frames to find out if they are more practicable (hopefully the pieces of fabric I’ve prepared will be large enough!). The first pattern template I used was one that came free with a tutorial.Β  Next up, I’m going to try creating my own pattern template following the directions in this tutorial.

Linking with Wendy for the Peacock Party and Michelle for the Beauties Pageant. Wendy is making preparations as she is the guest exhibitor at the Taupo Quiltmakers show in June while Michelle is enjoying over-thinking a fabric pull for her next Plaid-ish quilt.

Happy Stitching! And, most importantly, Happy Easter!

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (280)

Welcome to a belated Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 😌 I hope you still have a bit of time to bring along a project or two and delve through the links below to discover some of the good things being shared by our Worldwide Quilting Community.

I had one of those weeks where I hopped around between various projects. I did actually start and complete a patchwork tote bag. I used the pattern I devised several years ago and used up some left over 1930s prints. I never knew quite how to integrate the black background 1930s repro prints with the prints on bright backgrounds (I’m not a big fan of using black) so there were enough of those black prints to make a couple of 12″ nine-patch blocks to use as panels for the outside of the bag. I also ‘invented’ a removable padded handle grip and used cotton webbing for the handles rather than making them from fabric. Now I need to list the tote bag in my Folksy shop…

On Saturday I took two projects to a sewing day. I enjoyed using my mechanical ‘Bernie the Bernette’ sewing machine to stitch many quarter inch seams. Together we made the first two ‘Bullseye’ Courthouse Step blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt (red is the colour for January) before moving onto my latest design project, a beginner friendly baby quilt I’m calling ‘Trip Around the Stars’.

I love the soft grey background and whimsical feel of this ‘To The Moon And Back’ fabric by Michael Miller. I bought yardage from Sew Busy and I’m tempted to go back for more!

I need to make six more RSC blocks before the end of the month; add borders to the baby quilt; and finish writing the pattern. BUT I’m now allowing myself to be pulled in a different direction: namely to make a Plaidish Quilt. There’s an informal QAL being organised by @jessicaquilter on Instagram using the pattern by @kitchentablequilting.Β  I’ve had a hankering to make a Plaidish quilt for a l-o-n-g time πŸ˜‰

Here’s a snapshot of the many, many interesting and inspiring blog posts published by generous members of our Worldwide Quilting Community:

As I mentioned last week heart patterns are coming to the fore with Valentine’s Day just round the corner (in craft makers reckoning anyway!). I particularly like Mariana’s ‘Heart Bits’ pattern. The faceted heart shapes look very jewel like, I wonder how the pattern would look made with ombre fabrics?

Rachel has some great tips for sorting scraps and selecting colours to use in scrap quilts πŸ™‚

I like the strong, simple design of Angela Walter’s latest quilt, ‘Faded Stripes‘. Going off on a side track: Angela’s quilt has reminded me of my plan to make a row-by-row quilt using all the speciality rulers I’ve accumulated over the years….

Putting together a plan to tackle some UFOs through the year and having a friend do the same seems like a good way to stay motivated as you cheer each other on. Cynthia and one of her friends have each listed 12 UFOs and will be working on them month by month in a random order. Read about their plan here.

Linking with Judy for Design Wall Monday – there’s a whole host of lovely projects show-cased in the link-up πŸ™‚

Allison

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (269)

Welcome back to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share after our short Summer break. I hope you have a project to bring along and some time to join in the sharing of inspiration, tips, news and views with our Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the links below to find your way into the Community, leave an encouraging message in the comments boxes and enjoy absorbing some of what’s been shared over the past few weeks πŸ™‚

This week I finished the third version of the bag I’m designing (it’s listed along with a matching facemask in my Folksy shop). It was a bit of a slog as I was not only sewing but also taking step-by-step photos and amending the draft pattern as I went along.

 

I’m pleased with the adjustments I’ve made to the design. I’m particularly proud of the bottle holder πŸ™‚ Little things, little things…

Whew! It is a relief to have pushed the pattern writing process to a new stage. Now I have to edit the photos, integrate them into the pattern draft and polish up the written instructions…

Having finished a sewing project I took time this morning to clean the lint out of my machine and change the blades of my rotary cutters. Why do I always delay doing these simple but game-changing tasks? πŸ˜€

Then I scratched my ‘patchwork piecing itch’ by making the eighth block of Melva’s Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail Sew Along.

Grandmother’s Block

The Sew Along is ideally paced for me with a new block being announced just once every three weeks. The blocks themselves are interesting to make and at 12Β½” square provide a relaxing break from more fiddly sewing.

Just as well I am keeping up with Melva’s Sew Along. Looking around my sewing room and up at my design wall I can see I’ve got rather a lot of projects stuck at a standstill.

The EPP/applique English Country Garden QAL blocks are the February-April blocks, I still haven’t finished the May Marigolds; the blue EPP hexagon flowers were made many months ago to fill in the open spaces of the Irish Chain quilt languishing on the back of the sofa bed; and there are several other partially completed projects stored in clear boxes around the room/house. I think I either need to make progress with the projects on the design wall or replace them with a selection that will get me motivated. It feels like a good time to freshen things up; we’re entering a new season, the new school year is getting underway and several groups I belong to are about to resume after the 18 month Covid break. Are you gearing up for changes in projects and activities as we enter the last third of the year?

Before we get to the links just a reminder that I’m now sending out a newsletter a couple of times a month. There’ll be more links into the world of patchwork quilting as well being the place to hear about new patterns and workshops before they are launched. Newsletter 2 will be winging it’s way to in-boxes in a few days time. Sign up here to keep ahead of the news πŸ™‚

Here are some links that I hope will be of interest and spark your creativity:

Izzy has chosen a flower design to free motion quilt across a Plus Sign Patchwork. The curvy, swirling design makes a great contrast to the straight lines of the patchwork and creates a comfortable, smushy texture too.

The final part of Cynthia’s scrap sorting trilogy includes a selection of the quilts she has made from the scrap fabrics she keeps so well organised.

Watching someone else exercising their free motion quilting muscles is always entertaining (well! in my quiet world it counts as entertainment!). In this short video clip watch Leah Day quilt out ‘Loopy Angles’, straight lines and triangles take the place of loopy lines and circles.

On a fmq roll here so why not add another fmq link? πŸ™‚ This link will take you to Angela Walter’s ‘Tips for Quilting Negative Space’.

Inspiration comes from all directions… How about Van Halen’s guitar? πŸ˜€ Izzy has interpreted the design on said guitar to make a cushion cover for a VH fan.

Quilts that make you say ‘wow’! I have no desire to make a millefiori style quilt but I am fascinated by the process and the results Wendy shares in her blog posts. Her latest quilt ‘Fireworks’ took four years to make! It is EPP and hand quilted. All done exquisitely.

Following the progress of a blogger’s project via their posts makes me eager to click on the email notifications when they arrive in my inbox to see what’s occurring. Finishing the piecing, then quilting and binding someone else’s abandoned Double Wedding Ring quilt certainly provided an interesting series of posts as Sharon battled to keep the project moving, overcoming several difficulties along the way. Having willed the project on I’m so pleased to see the quilt finished. It certainly is a masterpiece in perseverance and well worth all the effort Sharon put into it.

Yvonne is an experienced quilter of negative space. She shares her quilting plan decision making process in this post.

When you finish a huge UFO quilt and decide it’s your favourite make ever! Take in Rebecca Grace’s pure pleasure at moving her Pineapple Log Cabin Quilt to the final stages of it’s construction πŸ™‚

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. She has finished a scrappy quilt which looks just great.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Salmon Pink Blues

I’ve given myself a bit of colour bother! I went for a pick-n-mix tour of my local quilt store. I picked a fabric from the ‘Fantasy’ collection by Sally Kelly. I chose to mix it with a print from the Wildflower collection by Kelly Ventura.

The Fantasy fabric has a variety of dusky colour shades on a dusky lavender/grey background – I tried to find a colour match on a Kona colour card but can’t find one – something between Kona Lavender and Slate. The fantastical flowers and foliage are coloured in shades amongst others, of salmon, orange and pink. Three colours I have difficulty putting together despite them being adjacent to one another on

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