Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (294)

Welcome! To Saturday Quilting Bring & Share πŸ™‚ Bring along your project(s) and enjoy being part of the generous sharing of tips, inspiration and knowledge that goes on in our Worldwide Quilting Community. If you click on any of the links below be sure to leave an encouraging comment to keep the sharing vibe moving through our Community πŸ™‚

Quilting completed, hand stitching the binding just underway.

I didn’t get quite as far with my quilt project as I’d hoped to but I have had a very enjoyable week. We are not planning to go anywhere but to my mind August always has a holiday feel to it; many regular weekly events are cancelled through this month which leaves opportunities for some spontaneity and relaxation. I’ve had more time with family and friends than usual. There’s been the Commonwealth Games coverage on tv to provide relaxation (although some of the events do produce tension!). One big ‘draw’ away from the sewing room has been the relentless watering of garden and allotment πŸ’¦ Evidently the UK is experiencing the driest year since 1976 and in our region there was less than 7% of the average July rainfall. We now have a hosepipe ban in place and are being urged to conserve water as river and reservoir levels continue to drop.

Keeping the courgette plants alive while the grass turns to stubble.
In our garden the turf laid last October is struggling in the drought πŸ™

Thankfully there’s no drought of inspiration in our Worldwide Quilting Community πŸ™‚ I hope you find plenty to spark your creativity in the links below:Β 

Christina Cameli is running a free QAL featuring a design using wedge shapes to create a sparkling effect across the quilt. Well worth clicking over to see the ‘Harmony and Light’ quilt even if you are not in a position to sign up to (another!) QAL πŸ™‚

My half-quilted Modern Fans quilt…

Hmm! Every time I look up from my sewing machine I am faced with a partially quilted quilt. And everytime I look at it I come up with and then just as quickly reject different quilting designs. Maybe I should join HollyAnne’s free Quilting Plan Challenge? Hmm?

A quick little scrap project and a lesson in machine quilt-as-you-go, what’s not to like? Click over to Damjana’s mug rug tutorial to see how it’s done.

Just like double decker buses – you wait and wait for one and then a whole line arrive at the same time! – here’s another quilt-as-you-go mug rug. Designed by Julie aka The Crafty Quilter her tutorial includes a choice of applique shapes to download for free.

Another project that’s ideal for using up scraps of fabric and other bits and pieces you may have tucked away in your sewing space is Sonia’s Flexi Sewing Case. It’s a clever design, a little, soft case that folds out flat to become an EPP work station. The Flexi Sewing Case pattern is on sale through August.

Leanne’s Points of Connection quilt pattern is simple in terms of the blocks she’s brought together but dynamic in the way she has cleverly laid out those repeating blocks.

Rachel’s improv piecing project couldn’t have come at a better time for me! Her positive attitude to exploring designs and ideas without knowing the outcome is a lesson to me as I wrestle with my first attempts at improv patchwork πŸ™‚

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday.

Happy Stitching!



#30DaysofimprovQAL – Week 1 Stripes

Yikes! Instagram has a lot to answer for! After reading a post by Shannon of @shannonfraserdesigns I decided to join in with the 30 Day Improv QAL. Shannon along with Amanda of @broadclothstudio are hosting the QAL and providing weekly prompts (via email), ideas and short videos. If you ‘do’ Instagram then follow #30DaysimprovQAL to see the numerous ways the prompts are being interpreted.

Ah! Interpretation! That’s the rub for me! Improv patchwork is way outside of my comfort zone: no pattern, no cutting instructions and lots of room for interpretation 😱

Anyways, I followed the advice given, chose five fabrics and cut each piece into quarters, one quarter for each week of the QAL. I decided to set aside 20-30 minutes every morning to act on the prompts.

And here’s the photo record of my first week of improv (I’ve copied the daily prompts in red).

  • Monday – keep it simple by just exploring cutting and piecing your strips. See how alternating the direction you piece your strips in helps limit (or exaggerates) the wonk.
I cut through all five fabrics using a rotary cutter without a ruler.
Strips stitched together all in the same direction. Feeling quite proud that some do have a bit of a wonk!
  • Tuesday – play with scale and see how piecing skinny strips feels different to super wide strips and how it can add complex detail to your block.
Stitching together the skinny strips was tricky. The seams didn’t want to go under the machine foot and kept shifting. Even, quarter inch seams they are not!
  • Wednesday – lean into the wonk by combining your free hand cutting while piecing your strips all in the same direction. See how much β€˜wonk’ you can build into your piece!
Look at me! Cutting fabric freehand with scissors!
Strips not so wonky but the block has certainly got a wonk!
  • Thursday – pull out that rotary cutter and give your strip sets a fun slice and sew it back together. Then dice it up again!
Before the slicing, stitching and dicing.
After, slicing, stitching and dicing. I have to confess to not giving any thought to this process – treating it like making a quilt from random scraps rather than contemplating ‘stripes’!
  • Friday – incorporate some negative space in your block composition to see what effect that has on your stripe motifs (this is a great opportunity to put your trimmings from earlier in the week to good use!).

I hoped throwing in some negative space fabric would create improv blocks. I quickly realised that’s not how it works! I decided to try ‘interpreting’ traditional patchwork blocks.

The top two blocks are based on the ‘Blocks In A Box’ block. The block on the bottom left is based on a Four Patch and the one bottom right… Well! That one got made and then chopped and stitched some more and I have no idea what it might be based on! This all took me at least 1Β½hours – way more time than the 20-30 minutes of the previous four days.

End of Week 1 Conclusion: The short version – I really have no idea what I’m doing or what Improv Patchwork is! The longer version – I think the two blocks on the bottom row provide some sort of exploration of ‘stripes’. From a practical point of view I realise I cut my fabric strips way too narrow. My blocks are a mass of bulky seams that will be a nightmare to quilt! Maybe I didn’t need to use all five of my fabrics? Maybe choosing multi-print fabrics is going to make this QAL quite problematic?

I’ll be glad to have the weekend off from improv! Hoping to return to the challenges of Week 2 in a positive frame of mind!



Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (293)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and join in with the sharing of projects, ideas, tips and information by other members of our Worldwide Quilting Community πŸ™‚

Whew! I’ve had quite a week preparing for the I-Spy Quilt Workshop. I received helpful and positive feedback from all four participants and we all enjoyed each other’s company as we created the blocks for our I-Spy quilts. I completed half of my quilt before the workshop to make sure I could demonstrate the whole process to the group. This morning I added the border strips so the top is complete.

Tomorrow I will take advantage of being at Purple Stitches for the day and purchase some backing and binding fabrics.

Today, between walking to Church and back in the morning, doing a spot of housework and watering the allotment I managed to piece a back for the Bargello quilt and cobble together some pieces of wadding. I feel really up beat about this project, it’s so satisfying to keep it moving towards a finish πŸ™‚

And finishing projects is my main sewing goal for August. Knowing me I will start something new 😏 but my main focus is to shift several of my ready-to-quilt and partially-quilted projects to a finish. Watch this space… In the meantime…

… Here’s a bumper crop of links into the inspirational world of patchwork quilting:

UFOs! A subject I and many other patchwork quilters return to often! Jayne has started a series all about UFO’s, kicking off with an applique project dating back to 1990!

Damjana at Apple Green Cottage has posted a selection of twenty free tote bag patterns. She’s provided a brief description, photo and link to each pattern.

Have you been inspired to hand stitch by all the photos of Kawandi projects being shared around the internet? Here is Patsy’s Kawandi featuring Alison Glass fabrics.

Kristy Lea of has just received all the bolts of her latest fabric range called ‘Imagine’. A host of saturated rainbow rainbow colours with complimentary neutrals. Take a look at her instagram post to see Imagine.

Rachel has finished her scrappy Log Cabin quilt. It looks great and the scrappy border is really inspired. And she’s going to use the pattern to host a QAL in January! Can’t wait πŸ™‚

I’ve been inspired by Linda of Flourishing Palms to join in the 30 Days of Improv Quilt Along. It’s not too late to join in with this QAL that runs through August with weekly email prompts and info.

The main techniques I taught during my I-Spy Workshop today were strip piecing and chain piecing. Topically Amy Smart recently shared a link to her comprehensive tutorial, ‘Strip Piecing Quilts 101‘.

The #summerscrapelimination challenge organised by Swan Amity is in full flow. I’m very taken with Sue Griffiths’ use of fabric scraps to create a leafy table runner.

Happy Stitching!



Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (292)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share πŸ™‚ Bring along your project(s) and enjoying delving into the projects, ideas, tips and tutorials being shared by other members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Click on the links below to go visit quilty bloggers, be kind, leave encouraging comments to help build up our community πŸ™‚

I’ve been tidying up my room following the Bargello workshop and preparing for the I-Spy Quilt workshop next Saturday, 30th July. I did manage to get a quick ‘squirrel’ project started and finished in less than a day.

This little fabric basket is a gift for a friend who is very fond of the nature based artwork of Hannah Dale that is featured on the the fabric. I bought a long quarter of the Bramble Patch fabric with my friend in mind. I was going to make a little wall hanging but funnily enough, in a very recent conversation, my friend shared her plans to make some wall hangings for her loft-space craft room – maybe incorporating some of my novelty fabric scraps, if I didn’t mind? Well! Of course I don’t mind sharing my scraps! But the conversation did lead me to change my plan from making a wall hanging to making a Bits & Bobs basket for her craft table instead.

I made the basket by adapting the pattern shared in a post last year my tutorial. I made it smaller, starting with fabric pieces 9Β½” x 7″ which made a finished basket pretty much 4Β½” tall, wide, and deep. I’ve tied the remainder of the Hannah Dale fabric with a pretty ribbon and popped it in the basket, all ready to gift.

Whilst pottering in the sewing room I suddenly remembered the Rainbow Scrap Challenge! Oops! The colour for July is purple. I quickly sorted through my scrap bin and pressed some fabrics ready to cut. I hope I’ll be able to get to the monthly Scout Hut Sewing Day which happens to be this coming Thursday. The little Bullseye Courthouse Step blocks are an ideal project for a sewing day. I’ve made at least eight blocks in each of monthly RSC colours. Here’s a couple of each with my pull of purple fabrics.

Here are some links into the Worldwide Quilting Community. Enjoy!:

Cynthia shares how she’s used sashing to stretch her patriotic CIL blocks to make an extra quilt. Her colour choices work really well to make the most of the blocks.

In this video tutorial Carolina Moore shares three ways to square up blocks and two ways to fix blocks that come up too small. Very handy!

If you are in the mood to gawp at stunning quilts then look no further than Carole’s post all about her visit to the Annual Quilt and Wall Hanging Exhibition held in the very grand surroundings of the Great Hall of the Cultural Center in the State Capitol complex, Charleston, West Virginia. Just WOW!

Rachel explains how she’s using her scraps to make Log Cabin blocks. I like that she’s willing to make test blocks and learn lessons from what works and what doesn’t. See how her project blocks are progressing here.

Katie got up one morning to witness sunrise over the Arizona desert. She was well rewarded with stunning skies and cacti illuminated by the golden light of early morning. I wonder if all those colour and shape combinations will inspire a patchwork project?

It’s fascinating and humbling to follow the progress Gretchen is making as she hand quilts a whole cloth, Welsh Beauty, design. In this post she takes time away from the quilting frame to photograph some of the floral delights of the ‘Quilt Gardens, Along the Heritage Trail’. This trail was begun in 2008 as a way to attract visitors to an area hard hit by the industrial downturn.

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Alycia is sharing a quilt made of blue plaid fabrics. It’s a lovely finish. And she wants to know our favourite way to eat Zuchinni (here in the UK we go all French and call them ‘courgettes’)… The courgette plants we’ve been nurturing at our allotment are producing lots of fruits (are they fruit or veg?). I like to pick them when they are fairly small, 6″-8″ long, slice them and boil them for 3-4 minutes. I did make a courgette cake once – it was a disaster!

Linking with Michelle at Bolt to Beauty – I think my little basket counts as a ‘finish’ πŸ™‚ Michelle has used ombre strips to create a simple, stunning quilt.

Happy Stitching!