I have tucked away my sewing machine and cleared my sewing room ready to receive our guests over the Christmas and New Year holidays. I often feel a bit lost when the sewing equipment is packed away. I think the ‘lost/detached’ feeling I get when the sewing room is converted to a guest room is more about letting go of the possibility of sewing rather than any real loss of sewing time. After all there’s more than enough to do what with extra meetings with friends and family (not to mention more shopping trips into town in one fortnight than for the whole of the rest of the year!) so the chances of disappearing into my sewing room for any length of time are pretty limited.
But taking a break from sewing opens other opportunities to be creative and crafty. At the craft group I help run we were shown how to make a star shaped table centre/wall hanging. This was fun and do-able in
Conditions outside have steadily deteriorated through the day… It started grey now it’s very windy, very wet and very, very grey! 🙁
I have had to admit defeat re. publishing a Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post. Reality check! This is a busy time of year for everyone. Lots of extra socialising to enjoy as well as preparations for Christmas to be completed. So rather than stress about missing blog post deadlines I will rest SQBS posts for the next few weeks and resume in the New Year. In the meantime I shall write when I can and continue to read other quilter’s blogs as a form of respite from all the busyness 🙂
I can share a finish! Deciding to gift the Moravian Star decoration was the right incentive to keep me working on the project. Finished and wrapped on Sunday, gifted on Monday!
Today I’ve been testing a set of Drunkards Path rulers. These make a 6″ finished block. I used a 25mm rotary cutter to negotiate the curves. The rulers don’t have non-slip pads but actually I found both of them easy to hold in place whilst I was cutting.
The blocks went together without any fuss and measure the expected 6½” unfinished (whew!). I wasn’t brave enough to try the ‘no pin’ technique Rachel Hauser uses when stitching curves together but I did go with minimalist pinning – just five pins evenly spaced along the seam.
This block size gives a fairly gentle curve which meant I didn’t have to raise the presser foot to adjust the seam position as I stitched. All in all a useful test that gives me confidence to embark on another project I have in mind 😉
As for Christmas preparations… Well! I’ve just about written all the cards… And I’ve hung one decoration 😀
Welcome to Saturday/Sunday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your projects and share in the inspiration and conversations buzzing around the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do add your thoughts and links in the Comments box at the end of this page.
This weekend I’ve been helping out at the Ladies Craft Evening at Church. Six different Christmas-themed crafts were on offer along with a light supper and a short talk by a Christian about what Christmas means to her. There was quite a lot of preparation for the evening but it was well worth the effort as over 60 women were able to enjoy all that was on offer.
My stitching craft time has been spent growing my Moravian Star decoration. The first half is almost complete.
And I have a new jelly roll to pet. I’ll be using this when I test my draft Log Cabin Workshop pattern. (Well! Someone has to break into a jelly roll every now and again or we’d have them stacked higher than the Tower of Babel! :-D)
Of course, it being Christmas season, I do have a few ‘secret sewing’ projects underway or in the planning that I can’t share on social media.. 😉 I expect you have one or two of those too? However, I am excited that later this week I will be in a position to reveal the secret sewing I had underway back in July 🙂 A big hint – on Thursday I’ll be making a bee-line for the nearest news stand!
Here are some of the quilty blog posts that have inspired and informed me this past week:
Christina Cameli has put together a great photo tutorial showing us how to make Scrappy Quarter Log Cabin blocks in a very free and easy improv style (you don’t even need accurate quarter inch seams to create these blocks – I know that will cause a few fists to be pumped 🙂 )
Colour value = dark, medium, light. Do you ever use the black and white photo option on your phone to help you evaluate the colour value of the fabrics you are choosing for a project? Yvonne is an expert at doing this – using either a ‘mobile device’ or a camera and Photoshop. She has produced an excellent video tutorial showing how to take photos of our fabrics then colour adjust and grayscale them to help in our choices.
Bernie stitched up a fun little project for her two year old Granddaughter. Who wouldn’t want to hang a handmade decoration on their Christmas tree? Well! I can think of a few…. But I guess many of us delight in the memory-filled decorations that come out year after year?
Have you ever taken part in the annual Row by Row challenge? Janet Lutz, a quilt shop owner, designed the hop to encourage us to visit bricks and mortar quilt shops. Ready for 2020 she has instigated some big changes to the nine year old challenge. Read more about the new look in this article by the Craft industry Alliance.
At Church today we celebrated the first Sunday of Advent. We were reminded that Advent isn’t really a season for counting down to Christmas Day but is the time to be looking forward to Jesus’ return. The official Church prayer or ‘Collect’ for the First Sunday of Advent:
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility; that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
I would pray earnestly for Jesus to return very soon and end the suffering caused by so much injustice in this imperfect world but I do not want the final day of judgement to arrive before all my family, friends, neighbours and readers of this blog have taken time to reflect on the purpose of Jesus’ first time coming to this world. To make an informed response to the claims made by Jesus and his contemporaries I recommend you watch the series of short videos and/or read ‘God’s Big Picture’ by Vaughan Roberts.
Hooray! For finishing projects! And Hooray! For sharing a creative hobby with like-minded people – a great way to find inspiration and grow friendships 🙂
I’m fortunate enough to participate in a monthly sewing day in a warm hall in the middle of the beautiful Candover Valley, Hampshire. Yesterday was the last Thursday of the month, the date of our regular gathering. Surrounded by like-minded ladies, good conversation and the gentle whir of sewing machines I made steady progress on not one but three projects 🙂
First up: I machine stitched the binding to my third version of ‘Dashing Stars’, the pattern used in the Beginners Course at Purple Stitches. It feels great to have another finish under my belt 🙂
Next: I turned to the log cabin project. This began in response to a request for a Log Cabin workshop. A few weeks ago I worked out a pattern using two methods to make a Log Cabin block. I then set-to with a Moda Jelly Roll – ‘Vive La France’ – and my low volume stash to make thirty-six Log Cabin blocks. I enjoyed myself, writing out the methods and pattern as I went along but had to admit that making two sets of 18 blocks would be too much to do in a time-limited workshop…. Back to EQ7 and my design wall … I decided on a more manageable workshop-friendly design using just sixteen blocks.
Yesterday I stitched my sixteen blocks together to make the workshop example. I’ve ordered some plain Moda fabric for the border and I have several strips left over from the Jelly Roll – enough to make a coordinated scrappy binding.
And my third sewing day project: A Moravian Star. I started this on Tuesday evening at a meeting of Roundabout Quilters. One of the members of the group kindly prepared templates and demonstrated how to paper piece this rather spectacular decoration. I’m using five fabrics from my Christmas stash and some scraps of wadding. It’s a long, long time since I’ve embarked on a English Paper Piecing type project and I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying it.
(The image to the left is from a free Moravian Star tutorial on the AQS website. Unlike the pattern Roundabout Quilters are using, the AQS pattern does not use wadding to pad out the diamond shapes).
Twelve of these five-piece segments are needed to construct the Star. I’ve decided to give this decoration to a friend as a Christmas gift – a decision that should spur me onto a finish rather than the creation of yet another UFO!
All-in-all a very enjoyable and productive sewing day. Linking with Alycia for Finished Or Not Finished Friday – she’s been working on a modern version of the Log Cabin block.