Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (74)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in England, the sun is shining and the mercury is rising. There’s time to enjoy the outdoors and play in the sewing room too: bring along your project(s) and share in the conversations initiated by members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Add your thoughts to the conversations by using the comments box at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

I was aiming for a finish this week but it hasn’t quite come about. My main focus has been on the quilting of one of the Square-in-a-Square quilts. Using the walking foot I stitched edge-to-edge wavy lines followed by in-the-ditch stitching around the charm squares at the centre of each block. The quilting shows up best on the back of the quilt:

Square in a Square quilting back by Allison Reid

I liked the squishy look this open quilting design produced – I was reminded of the eiderdowns we had on beds before duvets became the go-to bedding. But on reflection I decided a quilted design within the centre sqares would create interest whilst adding to the stability of the layers. My first choice was to mark and stitch (using a free motion set up) a design into each square using a stencil.

Square in a Square stencil by Allison Reid

This didn’t work so well…

Square in a Square stencil quilting by Allison Reid

I could put up with the wobbly stitching lines and the variation in stitch size but when the beginning and end of the continuous line design didn’t meet up… Well! I got the stitch ripper out and had a re-think. I plumped for free motion feather swirls. The results are not particularly even but I am content with the overall result – imperfect feather designs are very forgiving.

Square in a Square FMQ feather swirl by Allison Reid

I’ve completed three of the feather swirls so my aim is to complete the remaining seventeen before attaching the binding to the quilt.

Tomatoes ripening in my garden by Allison ReidI will be spending quite a bit of time outdoors too – this weekend feels like a bit of a bonus at the end of the summer season. The tomatoes are finally ripening and I am moving into phase two of the ‘battle of the bird table’ with my adversary: the ever growing population of large, greedy Woodpigeons. I wouldn’t mind them stopping by to feed once in while but these birds peck away in relentless fashion with no thought of sharing the food with smaller birds. I added some plastic mesh to the bird table to prevent them perching and reaching the food but to no avail. Still! I am ready for a fresh battle 😀 I will not be defeated by a Woodpigeon!

 

Woodpigeon on bird table by Allison Reid

And so to just a few of the quilty conversations that have caught my attention this week:

Ever been on a quilt shop hop? Karen over at Tu-Na quilt set off to tour the whole of Michigan in 8 days taking in 59 shops and covering 2815 miles in the process – not to mention a Grandson’s baptism! Click here for the opening installment of her Shop Hop tales!

Yvonne Fuchs has released another of her striking quilt patterns. The solid fabrics she used for the featured ‘Wonder’ baby quilt has helped me decide on the colour scheme for a Snoopy quilt commissioned by a friend.

Cynthia challenged herself to use green fabrics. She has created a stunning improv garden quilt.

Allison’s Diagonal Seam Tape is a brilliant idea – helping accuracy and saving time by doing away with all the diagonal lines that usually have to be drawn for half square triangles or snowball corners. In fact the tape is such a great idea that Allison’s initial supplies sold out super fast!

Linking with Alycia for the first Finished or Not Finished Friday 🙂 as she takes on the baton from Myra at Busy Hands Quilts.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Midweek in my Sewing Room – Seagulls and Half Square Rectangles

Image result for free seagull images clip artWhew! It’s Thursday morning and I’m struggling to get going today. I slept well until the local mob of Gulls decided to kick up a bit of ruckus well before 6am. These pesky birds have set up residence here, some 50 miles from the coast, making up for being low in numbers with their high volume calling. They are constantly patrolling the skies, chasing off Red Kites and Buzzards and skirmishing with the local crows.

My main goal this week has been preparation for the Patchwork Workshop tomorrow. On Tuesday I made the final adjustments to the pattern for the ‘Into the Woods’ table runner. Yesterday I printed out the foundation paper piecing patterns and made some part-finished examples for the demonstrations I’ll give in class.

Read moreMidweek in my Sewing Room – Seagulls and Half Square Rectangles

Touring Quilter – Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire

Wow! The sheer faces of the chalk cliffs at Bempton RSPB Reserve provide choice nesting spots for tens of thousands of seabirds. It was an amazing experience to walk along the cliff tops, and stand on the viewing platforms provided by the RSPB to take in the sight of so many birds clinging to the cliffs, bobbing around on the sea far below or wheeling around in the air between.

Bempton Cliffs (1) by Allison Reid
A short section of the cliff top walk and one of the spectacular cliff views.

We saw Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Guillemots, Fulmars, Gannets, Herring Gulls and Puffins from the cliff tops. Walking across the beautiful chalkland meadow between the Reserve Centre building and the cliff edges we spotted Tree Sparrows, a Barn Owl – hunting in broad daylight – and Jackdaws in abundance.

Bempton Cliffs (4) by Allison Reid
View from the Reserve Centre across the meadows to the cliffs.

We learned that most of the seabirds only come to land for the breeding season, the rest of the year (including the Winter) they stay out on the open waters of the North Sea and Atlantic. I find it incredible to think of them surviving the storms and the cold.

Bempton Cliffs (2) by Allison Reid
Click on the photo to zoom in and see the birds on the cliffs.
Bempton Cliffs Gannets by Allison Reid
Gannets, the largest birds on the cliffs.
Bempton Cliffs Gannet on nest by Allison Reid
Gannet on nest with Kittiwakes behind.
Bempton Cliffs Kittiwakes by Allison Reid
Kittiwakes clinging to the cliffs.
Bempton Cliffs Razor Bill by Duncan Reid
Razorbill (photo by D Reid)

The Puffin population at Bempton Cliffs has declined sharply over the past few years. The pairs that are breeding there this year were hard to spot. They nest in tunnels (about the length of a mans arm) so aren’t that visible. As the day went on we got our ‘eye in’ and spotted several on the water far below the viewing platforms – far too far for our pocket cameras to produce a recognisable image. My husband did manage one photo of a Puffin resting on the cliff face – it’s a bit blurry but it really is a Puffin 🙂

Bempton Cliffs Puffin by Duncan Reid
Puffin (photo by D Reid)

And finally, a close up of a cheeky Jackdaw that fancied a share of our lunch 😀

Bempton Cliffs Jackdaw by Allison Reid

Normal patchwork and quilting posts will resume shortly. 😉

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (62)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. An opportunity to bring along your project(s) to a virtual sewing day and join in some of the conversations reaching across the Worldwide Quilting Community this past week. Do add your links and thoughts in the comments box at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

Salisbury Cathedral from the North by Allison ReidIn my last blog post I mentioned a planned visit to Salisbury. My lovely Daughter had arranged a day out for the two of us 🙂 We met at Salisbury Railway Station. First job was to deliver my (rather heavy) Pfaff sewing machine to the repair shop at the Franklins sewing and knitting store. My much used machine is in desperate need of a TLC service: although still valiantly soldiering-on it sounds mechanically dry, almost like it’s been left out in the desert and filled up with sand 🙁

Square in a Square border and binding fabrics by Allison ReidOf course while we were in Franklins we spent some time trying to match up fabrics with the Mirabelle fabrics of my current project. It wasn’t easy. I think this range of fabrics is about five years old, maybe more, and the tones and shades of current fabric ranges are completely different. Still in the end we decided these two fabrics should make acceptable borders and binding for the pair of Square in a Square quilts I’m making.

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring and Share (62)