Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (289)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend and have a bit of time to relax, bring along your project(s) and share in some of the inspiration, tips and news circulating through our Worldwide Quilting Community. Leave an encouraging message in the comments box of any of the blog sites you visit to keep the goodness flowing πŸ™‚

It’s been a bit of an odd week here as me and my husband settle into a new ‘looking for work’ routine. We are very blessed that this break in employment coincides with a burst of Spring weather bringing with it plenty of opportunities for walks and allotment, ‘lottie’, activity. This afternoon we were busy weeding, mowing, watering and nurturing.

While we are waiting for the veg seedlings to be big enough to plant out I let the Forget-me-nots take over the vacant beds.
The Strawberry plants are already covered in flowers. Not many bees about though…

In my sewing room this week I’ve made a mug rug and pushed on with making clasp purses. The mug rug is the example made for a free pattern I’ve written and the clasp purses are my latest bid to make some items that I can sell (or, more to the point, that other people might buy!).

First of all, the background to the mug rug. I decided to launch a new group on my Facebook page. The group is named, ‘Patchwork Beginners’ Learning Hub‘. My idea is to create a friendly group where new-comers can come and learn the craft of patchwork-quilting. Here’s a link to my first ever live-stream video where I attempt to explain what the Learning Hub is all about and who it is for.

The Patchwork Beginners’ Learning Hub is a private group so there are a couple of questions to answer before membership is approved – just to make sure it stays a safe place with no spammy intruders! The mug rug pattern is available to download as soon as membership is approved. I’ve written it with patchwork newbies in mind but obviously it can be used by more experienced patchwork-quilters too.

My other sewing related venture this week has been preparation for a craft fair next Saturday 14th May. Four or five years ago I gave up on trying to sell items at craft fairs and turned my attention to selling on line. This hasn’t met with much more success so my stock of quilts, bags and other bits and bobs has been growing and growing! I’ve decided to have a switch back to physical, in-person, selling. It’s a risk that could cost a lot more than I gain as I’ve paid out Β£30 for table space and Β£80 to renew my public liability insurance 😒 With my ever enlarging stock you might well be asking why on earth I’m adding to it by making the clasp purses? πŸ€” Especially as having completed just one of the ten I’ve cut out and stitched I now know what a fiddle it is to attach the clasps πŸ™ƒ

My thinking is they’ll be at a lower price point than bags or quilts so may attract buyers… But whether I’ll make back my investment in the clasps I don’t know! Anyhow, other preparations for the craft fair have included sorting out which items to take, making price labels and creating a mock-up of the stall to test out my props. I tested the stall using the folding table from my sewing room. It’s less than 5ft long so all the things on it look a bit squished for space but I’m assuming the table I’ll be given next Saturday will be 6ft long so it’ll be easier to see individual items rather than being faced with a big jumble!

Having moved the folding table out from behind my sewing machine table and into the hallway I decided this was the time to clean and tidy my sewing room… It was a BIG job but I’m glad I did it as the dust and muddle had been unsettling me for a while.

My diary is pretty full this coming week so getting prepared for the craft fair well in advance was a priority this weekend. In little spaces of time through the week I may, or may not, finish a few more of the clasp purses…

Here are links to a few of the inspiring and useful posts I’ve read over the past days:Β 

How many years ago did you start your oldest UFO? Cynthia is celebrating finishing a quilt she began way back in 2014. The blocks are foundation paper pieced and depict 1950’s style kitchen utensils. Cynthia gives a link to the pattern that’s still available to purchase from Kristy at Quiet Play.

If you tend to get so absorbed in a sewing task that you carry on even though it’s causing your body stress then you should definitely take time out to read ‘5 Tips for Good Sewing Ergonomics’. There are way more than five tips to take away from this blog post by Jenni Grover.

Wow! JanineMarie is using a multitude of scraps to work on her Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects and several others besides. I now consign scraps smaller than 2″ square to the bin (waste/trash NOT scrap bin) but Janine Marie’s ticker-tape patchwork strips must be using up the most teeny-tiny pieces of fabric!

Jen Frost has produced a comprehensive video tutorial detailing how to attach hanging tabs to a small quilted wall hanging. She includes her method for calculating the finished size of the tabs which is obviously worth considering BEFORE making and attaching them! There are also tabs (ha! ha! see what I didΒ  there?) in the video so you can skip the parts you already feel confident to do eg. adding binding.

As promised Allison is sharing new quilt designs to showcase her latest fabric collection, Forget-me-not. The Primrose pattern has rows of blooms in vases and definitely makes the most of the fabrics.

Linda outlines the process of making her Seaglass Quilt #2. It is another great way of using up scraps (Linda says 3″ squares of fabrics rather than ‘crumbs’) and I like the faced edging she’s made to her quilt too (there’s a link to the tutorial in Linda’s post).

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. She made a 1,500 mile round trip with two stop-overs to get a new motor fitted in her longarm machine. Honestly here in the UK if we drive 150 miles in a day we feel like we’ve been on a major adventure!

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (286)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Hope you can bring along a project or two and enjoy sharing inspiration, tips and ideas with members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the links below to take a wander through the quilting neighbourhood, please do leave encouraging comments and ‘likes’ whenever you stop-by to take a closer look at something that takes your interest πŸ™‚

Excuse the gratuitous photos of flowers. I can’t help myself! It’s been beautiful weather here all week and flowers and blossom have been opening in the warm sunshine.

Magnolia Stellata glowing in the sun and fluttering in the breeze.

We’ve been isolating for ten days as my husband keeps on testing Covid +ve. The unseasonal warm sunny weather has been a lovely silver lining as we’ve been enjoying coffee breaks and lunches in the garden. The Primulas are looking particularly good this year (well! the ones that haven’t been pecked to smithereens by the Woodpigeons and Sparrows ).

A few days I go I posted about spray basting a quilt after getting frustrated with the less than perfect quilting outcome of a previous quilt that I had pin basted. The spray basted quilt sandwich is awaiting it’s quilting test. I put it to one side for a few days in order to actually bring another quilt to a finish…

… I machine stitched the binding to the second quilt I’ve made using the Beginners Course version of my Trip Around the Stars pattern. I like the subtle colouring of this one. The quilt measures 38″ x 46″.

 

Thankfully our term of isolation ended yesterday so today I could go ahead with the second class of the Beginners Course. It was good to get my teaching hat on again and begin to feel like we are getting back to normal. My class version of the Beginners Trip Around the Stars quilt is in complete contrast to the one above! We added borders today so the flimsy is complete.

I think I may have overdone ‘pretty’ but those Lewis & Irene prints called to me!

Now I need to baste and quilt the pretty, pretty quilt ready for next Saturday’s class when we’ll be binding our quilts. I’m looking forward to seeing the quilts finished and the look on the face of the first time quilter as she celebrates the completion of her first quilt.

I also hope to find time in the week to quilt the spray basted quilt and complete my comparison of the effectiveness of spray basting as opposed to pin basting…. Look out for part 2 of ‘Spray Basting – Will it work for me?’.

Here are the links which will take you on a wander through the fascinating Worldwide Quilting Community:

An orphan block quilt that proves that any colour goes and making it up as you go along does work! I think Melva’s quilt top is proof that no block is lost, all can find a home!

I admire Jayne’s perseverance and determination to finish a quilt. She has been steadily improving her long arm quilting skills whilst working through a large fabric stash and a very long list of ‘wanna make’ quilts. In this post she shares how perseverance and determination got her through a needle-stick incident and a maths mis-calculation to a finished quilt!

Patty has been making patchwork blocks in support of the people of Ukraine. She gives links to the block designs (which can be downloaded with the intention that a donation is made to a charity/organisation providing aid to those affected by the invasion). And there are further links provided by readers who have left comments at the end of Patty’s blog post.

Woah! Gretchen’s finished patchwork flimsy is beautiful and HUGE! The spring fresh colouring of blue, yellow and white combined with the repeated patchwork pattern gives the quilt top a very homely retro look. Gretchen is a talented quilter so I’m looking forward to seeing how she decides to stitch this BIG top into a quilt.

Cynthia has a way with scraps and project left overs. She’s made a baby quilt using the triangles left from strip blocks. The layout and the background fabrics give the impression it was all carefully planned!

If you are handy with hammer and nails (or know someone who is!) then a custom made quilter’s pressing table could be within your reach. Rebecca Grace is very happy with her rectangular, mobile pressing unit that fits a full width of fabric.

Allison

 

Making without being creative

Excuse me, I have been in an odd mood lately. Musing on all sorts whilst continuing to sew.

I wonder if I’m boring you? My blog posts seem to have evolved into a catalogue of ‘what I’ve done’ with little or no creative inspiration. Am I being too hard on myself? I don’t know! My sewing time has certainly been spent getting projects done rather than being creative. No new designs, no squirrel projects (the drop everything to do something new type), no playing around on EQ7 or with pencils and graph paper.

Happily I haven’t lost my sew-jo, I’m still enjoying time spent hand stitching binding, machine stitching blocks AND I’m in the mood to begin experimenting with FMQ after a long break. Perhaps that will be my way back to creativity?

So at the risk of making you yawn, and sending myself to sleep, here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Finally finished, a scaled down UFO from maybe a decade ago πŸ™‚ This little quilt (46″ square) is about one quarter of the original design (from a magazine). I decided to add the EPP flowers in the spaces created by the Double Irish Chain blocks as I was too scared to attempt ‘fancy quilting’ in the spaces and ‘spoil’ it! I found the backing and binding fabrics in my stash.

Inside the quilt there’s a double layer of Warm & White wadding. I doubled it up because it was very thin in places (maybe the end of a roll or a production glitch?).

I finished the second of the four English Country Garden QAL cushions.

The last two just need the binding hand stitched – I will take those as my project for a day out sewing tomorrow. We now meet in a hall within a half hour walking distance of my home, which is handy as I don’t drive, so hand stitched projects are a more practical transport option than machine sewn projects.

Talking of walking… The sun made a welcome appearance yesterday afternoon, so rather than write this blog post I took myself on a local circular walk.

Look how long my shadow was at 2pm! The sun is so low in the sky this time of year – I was dazzled on the way back even though I had remembered to wear my sunglasses.

No need of sunglasses today πŸ™ A very grey, gloomy view from my window. No matter, I will wrap up warm and do a bit of gardening this afternoon. Our little back garden received a long awaited makeover last week – it’s all one level now with new paving, a low wall, new fencing and fresh turf.

Unfortunately all that work created quite a bit of mess and necessitated having a heavy skip plonked on our front garden, so now the front is in desperate need of some TLC. I guess the squished, dust covered plants have a chance of recovery after a Winter’s rest? I do hope so.

Back to the sewing room…. I’m working on the Modern Fans quilt by SuzyQuilts. I’ve not much experience using templates and made a rookie mistake. I drew the shapes on the back of the fabric so these 18 blocks are the mirror image of Suzy’s design!

The rest of the blocks are non-directional so they are OK! I had a little brain wave in the night (not sleeping so good at the moment – more thinking time!) and reckon if I take a photo of the quilt design on my phone and then edit it to produce a mirror image I should be able to arrange the blocks correctly, all be it they’ll be flipped by 180ΒΊ …

Now I’m off to the local pharmacy to have a flu jab…. Very thankful that we have the opportunity to have these vaccinations πŸ™‚

Linking with Susan, who is busy with Thanksgiving preparations, for Midweek Makers.

Allison

If you’ve made it this far without dozing-off you may like to see a few more photos from my walk in the Autumn sunshine 🌞

 

 

How is it Friday already?

Another week is drawing to a close and May is half way done already! This lockdown is doing strange things to my perception of time. It certainly isn’t helping me resist my natural inclination to procrastinate! Every little task has become something I could do tomorrow!

Today I’m trying to give myself a ‘positivity boost’ – maybe I just need someone to give me a kick?

Anyhow! Rewind to yesterday. I kept myself busy by working away in my sewing room: an exercise in writing a pattern alongside cutting fabrics and putting together blocks for a quilt top. I was doing well until I got stuck

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