Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (236)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share – arriving in your inbox fashionably late on a Sunday! I hope you have had the opportunity to enjoy some sewing time over the weekend. Bring along your project and share in the inspiration, news and thoughts from members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. You can join in by clicking on the links below and leaving a message in the comments boxes at the end of the blog posts you read. Thank you!

My sewing time has been taken up with two projects that have deadlines. The gift for my parents is coming along, just the binding to hand stitch in place and the runner will be complete. The second project involves working towards a magazine deadline – so ‘secret sewing’ for the time being πŸ˜‰ Both projects need to be completed before the end of this coming week.

The magazine accepted my quilt pattern over a month ago but came back asking if I could make a cushion cover to match. Thankfully I had fabric left over from the quilt so I agreed. I had to design a fresh pattern as the block design used for the quilt didn’t scale down well onto a cushion. I tested the pattern by making a cushion cover using fabrics from my scrap bins. As each stage of the cushion-making process passed the ‘pattern test’ I repeated the stage using the quilt fabrics for the magazine. I quilted both cushion fronts with in-the-ditch stitching between the nine-patch block units before adding large ‘stay-stitches’ around the edges.

The stay-stitching around the edge of my test cushion front. Can you spot the seams in the light fabrics? I had to piece two of the light squares – very satisfying to use up the very last pieces of a fabric scrap!

Once the stay stitching was in place I switched to free motion quilting to stitch a super-quick meander across the cushion fronts. I’ve finished the cushion for the magazine πŸ™‚ The test cushion will be an addition to our living room decor once I’ve hand stitched down the binding but that is low on my priority list for now.

Here are the links to a few of the blog posts that have sparked my interest this past week. I hope you find plenty of inspiration. Make a cup of your favourite beverage to sustain you as you traverse a rabbit hole or two:

Over at Quilt Musings there is an inspiring blog post about using a skill building patchwork pattern book. Learning to achieve accurate seams and piece perfect points certainly does take practice. Following a pattern that is designed to grow skills and at the same time use up stash fabrics that have proved hard to use or no longer make your heart sing is a great way to grow patchwork quilting confidence and make space for new fabrics πŸ™‚

Sounds like Izzy really enjoyed the process of making her latest quilt. Isn’t it great when a project comes together better than expected even when the original plan has had to be changed due to a stash deficiency?

Rebecca’s got a Christmas squirrel project underway! You know how sometimes there comes a moment when a project bursts from the back to the front of your mind and refuses to go away until you’ve dropped all other projects, rushed around getting the supplies and made the darned thing? πŸ˜€ If you follow Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon you’ll know she has a monthly link up for anyone has had a squirrel take over their sewing time – yep! squirreling happens often enough to have it’s own dedicated link party!

Jan has brightened up a blank wall by making single blocks from three different patterns. Cutting and piecing the blocks gave her an opportunity to test her understanding of the patterns. The quilted blocks look great up on the wall.

Leanne has shared a sparkling star in a star block design as her contribution to the Quilt Block Mania thread. She shares some possible colour and layout variations which look very interesting. I’m always intrigued by the secondary patterns patchwork blocks can create.

Sandra is celebrating her quilt design being featured on the front of a magazine. The design features shadowed arrows. I especially like the way Sandra has changed the direction of her straight line quilting and added in a few extra designs to add interest and compliment the arrows facing in different directions.

Allison Harris shares her latest scrap quilt. This one is made entirely of Hourglass Blocks. Her post contains a link to her free, comprehensive, printable Hourglass tutorial.

Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. It’s a season not just to count down to Christmas Day but to re-orientate our focus to the person of Jesus. John the Baptist was born a few months before Jesus. Following John’s birth his father, Zechariah, gave a prophecy about his role in preparing people for the coming of Jesus. The prophecy ends:

…because of God’s tender mercy, the light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.’

Luke 1:78-79

I’m following the Advent page on my Church’s website, there’s a mix of reflections, interviews and some information about up-coming events at Church too. You are welcome to dip in and scroll through the daily posts πŸ™‚

Happy Stitching!


A bit of paper craft with some links to patchwork and quilting news and tutorials

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

Read more

Moravian Star finish, sewing on a rainy day…

Conditions outside have steadily deteriorated through the day… It started grey now it’s very windy, very wet and very, very grey! πŸ™

Rainy Day by Allison Reid
The view from my sewing room window at 2.30pm!

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 πŸ™‚

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!

Moravian Star finished by Allison Reid

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.

Drunkards Path test blocks by Allison Reid

The blocks went together without any fuss and measure the expected 6Β½” 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.

Drunkards Path test block pinning by Allison Reid

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 πŸ˜‰

As for Christmas preparations… Well! I’ve just about written all the cards… And I’ve hung one decoration πŸ˜€

Christmas Tree Quilt by Allison Reid

This is my small version of the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Christmas tree quilt. I made it this time last year mainly from stash fabrics. I wonder if you are enjoying rediscovering handmade decorations as you prepare your home for Christmas?



Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (87)

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.

Moravian Star first half by Allison Reid

Blue Jelly Roll by Allison ReidAnd 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.. πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚ 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:

Chela has discovered another great tutorial on You Tube. Marcela demonstrates clearly how to make a lined box pouch. I will get round to inserting zippers….

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 πŸ™‚ )

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.

UK based Melony has designed her own range of Christmas fabrics. You can see them in her latest blog post and purchase cuts from the bolts direct from Melony.

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.

Linking with Kathy for this week’s Slow Sunday Stitching. Kathy is working on a Christmas project.

Happy Stitching!