Flitting From Project to Project Before Lock Down

Yep! Here in England we are just a few hours away from the second lock down of the year. This was announced on Sunday so there’s been a fair bit of last minute purchasing going on before all but essential shops close for four weeks. Of course, online shopping and click & collect services will continue so really there’s no need to rush around in a panic…

I’m trying to keep common sense thinking to the fore but often failing. I’m very grateful that this morning happened to be the fortnightly women’s Bible study held by our Church (on Zoom, of course). It’s good to have the grounding of Biblical truths to dwell on and learn from in these times when it’s too easy to get caught up in the minutiae of the moment forgetting this is all happening in just a tiny fragment of eternity.

I have to admit my thought processes have been particularly scatty over the past few days. I’ve not been able to settle to sewing, yet in the wee small hours last night I found myself planning another patchwork project! At least figuring quilt math in the dark and quiet got me back to sleep in double quick time! This morning I went into my sewing room all set to work on this new project (like I need another project!) but got distracted straight away by the piles of fabric scraps left on the cutting table…

Well! That got me back to sewing anyways.

Before the Zoom meeting I got those stray scraps stitched together and added them to the partially finished Scrap Vortex blocks. My cutting table now looks more orderly and my design wall more colourful. For this week that counts as a result!

The project I lay awake planning revolves around a pack of eight fat quarters I bought online in the last lock down. I had an idea for them then which is no longer floating my boat.

Melange ‘Misty Morning’ fat quarters on a grey background (I’ve tried to tone down the blue cast but the grey is still looking too blue/grey in this photo)

In fact I wonder why I so often fall for the temptation of pre-cut fabric packs? I always dither about how to use such packs to best effect, so they tend to stifle my creativity rather than inspire BUT a curated collection of fabrics always looks so attractive on a shelf 😀 Is it just me or do you notice in photos of other crafters sewing rooms stacks of beautifully arranged fabric bundles glowing brightly among perfectly colour-matched notions and curios? To quote Queen, ‘Is this real life? Or just a fantasy?’ 

Oh! My goodness! My thoughts are flying around like I’m experiencing a prolonged caffeine rush! I will bring this stream of consciousness nonsense to a close very soon I promise! I feel so sad for young people who have had to postpone wedding dates, cancel much needed holidays or are struggling to find employment. For me lock down doesn’t bring many disappointments: the main one is not being able to have direct contact with my parents and other family members (no indoor mixing of households permitted 🙁 ); the final class of the Beginners Course has had to be postponed, I feel for the students who are so close to completing their first quilts and will now have to wait; I was enjoying the social aspects and sense of purpose working a few hours each week in Purple Stitches provided, hopefully that will recommence in December or the New Year.

On a final thought-flit: I would love to be producing more patchwork patterns. I have almost as many pattern UFOs as quilt UFOs. To write patterns more efficiently (I could hardly be less efficient!) I really need to grapple with Adobe Illustrator rather than getting frustrated with the limitations of Microsoft Word. Hum! Maybe it will do my flutter-by mind good to apply it’s limited capabilities to learning new software? Or maybe I’ll just end up eating a lot of chocolate and throwing my laptop out of the window 😀

Anyone else going a bit loopy this week?

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers.

Allison

Patchwork Project Progress

As hoped I have been able to spend more time in my sewing room. I even missed the screening of The Great British Bake Off in order to progress my patchwork projects! (I know! The sacrifices made for this hobby of ours!). 🙂

Breezy day!

I’ve completed the patchwork top of the Dashing Stars quilt. I think this is the sixth version I’ve made. As I had plenty of the background fabric to play with I decided to make an addition to the pattern. Note the narrow borders on the

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Quilter’s Color Quest: Stash Challenge

The Quilter’s Color Quest is drawing to a close and I have a bit of catching up to do! The Challenges set in August by Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color revolve around stash fabrics. The final chapter in her book , The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color, is all about ‘Working in Cloth’. There’s a wealth of thought provoking advice about evaluating a stash of fabric and how to categorise fabrics by style which helps identify personal preferences as well as how to destash unhelpful fabrics and how to build a stash that will be ready to use when the creative urge stirs.

The first part of the stash challenge is to distinguish between helpful fabrics (simple pattern, one colour, tone-on-tone or solid) and limiting fabrics (multicoloured, large scale or novelty print).

I had a sort through my scrap boxes , selecting nine fabrics that to my eye meet the criteria for being ‘limiting’ fabrics.

Next I had another rummage and found helpful fabrics to sit along side the limiting fabrics. (I realised too late that I’d turned the Challenge on it’s head as I should have been selecting fabrics and proving them to be ‘helpful’ by pairing them with tricky limiting fabrics!)… Anyhow these are the pairings I made:

A helpful fabric to the right of each limiting fabric.

The Quilter’s Color Quest has been such a boon for me through all this pandemic craziness: A series of short, absorbing tasks; learning about colour whilst handling lots of fabric :-); with the promise of a super scrappy Bear Paw quilt at the end.

Picking up the August Challenge today has been a bit of life-saver. Well! ‘Life-saver’ is an exaggeration, maybe ‘mood-saver’ would be more to scale. I’ve read posts by other quilty bloggers who have struggled with the pro-longed social restrictions and found their creativity dwindling. For some reason that’s the place I’ve landed in just lately. This was brought home to me this morning when I pinched my thumb nail between two hard surfaces – ouch! Tears sprang to my eyes. Then I started to cry. I realised the tears and the crumpling of my face had nothing to do with my thumb hurting and everything to do with all the emotions swirling around in my head through this strangest of years. So, I had a cup of tea (as we Brits do!) and disappeared into the sewing room to sort out fabrics for the Quest Challenge! I also put away the FMQ quilting project that wasn’t working – no point testing my resilience at this point, we know it would end in tears and/or rude words!

There is a popular hashtag on Instagram that I often use: #quiltingismytherapy I can truly say patchwork quilting has been a great restorative therapy for me today.

Having worked on the Color Quest Challenge and made some Bear Paw blocks I am ending the day feeling far better than I did at the start. Helped in no small part by my daughter’s prayers and a loaded phrase that pops up in the Bible with reassuring frequency, ‘But God…’ We try so hard to sort things out, plotting and planning events with a particular purpose in mind, forgetting or ignoring the fact we are not in charge! Today I read Paul’s speech to the Jews in Antioch,

Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead…. We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus…

Acts 13:28-32

There is no promise in the Bible that we will not have to face great hardships, maybe injustices too. Joseph certainly experienced some deep lows in his life, spoiled by his father, his brothers plotted his murder before selling him as a slave, he rose to a position of trust only to be falsely accused and imprisoned. Eventually he become Pharaoh’s right hand man, all so that he could give aid to his family in time of famine, saying to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (The history of Joseph is given in Chapters 37-50 of Genesis.)

I hope you are not struggling at the moment. If you are then don’t lose heart. If at all possible take a little step towards creativity – the simpler the project the better 🙂 I do believe creativity is a core part of our being – we are made in the image of a creator God – we function better when we have a creative ‘outlet’, even more so if we can share our creativity with other people.

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (118)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have time to bring along a sewing project or two whilst enjoying the sharing of ideas and inspiration by other members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Do add your thoughts and links by using the comments box at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

I’ve enjoyed an unusually sociable week. So lovely to catch up with friends and family face-to-face, in real-life, rather than via Zoom or social media. The dry weather may have given us lots of watering to do but it has given ample opportunities to meet-up outdoors.

On the sewing front I’ve been working on making my Bargello experiment into a quilt top. The Bargello panel measured 51″ wide by 40″ long. Dimensions suitable for a wall hanging maybe but not very useful as a quilt or throw. I’d used almost every inch of the Circulus Jelly Roll but still had a Circulus Charm Pack to use. Slowly an idea formed in my mind… Using the 5″ squares with a background fabric to make curved blocks…. Inspired by the circles printed on the Circulus fabrics.

Some weeks ago I ordered a background fabric but when it arrived I knew straight away it was the ‘wrong’ grey *sigh* On the plus side a couple of yards of any grey added to my fabric stash is a happy occurrence! Last Saturday I made a visit to Purple Stitches (lovely to see Eve and step inside the shop) and after an enjoyable browse chose a grey print from the Fantasy range by Sally Kelly.

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