Midweek in my Sewing Room – Seagulls and Half Square Rectangles

Image result for free seagull images clip artWhew! It’s Thursday morning and I’m struggling to get going today. I slept well until the local mob of Gulls decided to kick up a bit of ruckus well before 6am. These pesky birds have set up residence here, some 50 miles from the coast, making up for being low in numbers with their high volume calling. They are constantly patrolling the skies, chasing off Red Kites and Buzzards and skirmishing with the local crows.

My main goal this week has been preparation for the Patchwork Workshop tomorrow. On Tuesday I made the final adjustments to the pattern for the ‘Into the Woods’ table runner. Yesterday I printed out the foundation paper piecing patterns and made some part-finished examples for the demonstrations I’ll give in class.

Read moreMidweek in my Sewing Room – Seagulls and Half Square Rectangles

From design to stitching (and a whoops)

First the whoops! I only discovered this morning that yesterday I accidentally published a draft of the next Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post. What can I say? Me and technology! Sorry if you received an email notification of the post and then wondered what on earth was going on.

Dashes, dots and crosses on the design wall by Allison ReidHo! Hum! Back to the sewing machine. A few weeks ago I designed a quilt and decided to delve into my stash of fabrics, first to make a test block and then to make a little quilt of sixteen 9″ blocks. On Monday I really got down to it – stitching all the blocks together and considering what to do about borders. I tried a few combos from the stash but none was quite right so I walked over to HobbyCraft and found a blue that would ‘do’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read moreFrom design to stitching (and a whoops)

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (56)

Happy Easter! And welcome to a belated Saturday quilting Bring & Share. It’s not too late to bring along our projects and share in some of the news and great inspiration doing the rounds of the Worldwide Quilting Community. Please do click on the links and go find something inspiring. Add your thoughts and links in the comments box at the end of this post. Thank you!

Scrappy Trip Along quilting in progress by Allison ReidMy sewing week was dominated – to the point of obsession – by a self-imposed deadline to finish the Scrappy Trip Along quilt. I wrote a bit about my ‘trial by quilting’ in my previous post. Despite my resolve to enjoy the process I have to confess that I did not find stitching out my chosen patterns very satisfying. I could only see the uneven stitching and the less than smooth curves, I also started fretting about the quilting being too dense, taking away the soft, cuddly feel of the quilt. All-in-all a rather tense week.

I finally finished the free motion quilting on Saturday and turned my attention to the borders. I decided to preserve my sanity and do some simple walking foot quilting. It felt so good just following the zigzag line I’d marked out using a Chaco marker and a triangle ruler 🙂

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring and Share (56)

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (54)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have time to bring along a project or two to this virtual sewing day and share in some of the conversations that are circulating round the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do add links and your thoughts in the Comments box at the end of this post. Thank you!

Shadow Quilt Pattern with quilt by Allison ReidWell! My big news this week is the publication of my I-Spy Shadow Quilt pattern. I have had to be very disciplined, chaining myself to the computer and overcoming a series of irritating problems BUT it’s all smiles and happy dances now! The pattern is available as a pdf download from my Etsy Shop – www.etsy.com/shop/AllisonPatchworks/ . There are two versions of the pattern, one to print out on A4 sheets of paper the other to print onto US Letter paper.

I did break loose of the chains and get to my sewing table on a few occasions through the week 😉 My plan was to make a 12″ patchwork block using three fabrics: dark, medium and light. Then make four 6″ blocks of the same pattern, using the same fabrics, to show how secondary patterns develop when quilt blocks are put together. I made Contrary Wife blocks.

Contrary Wife Blocks by Allison Reid
Contrary Wife Blocks. One 12″ and then four 6″ blocks.

No Contrast BandW by Allison ReidThese blocks didn’t make my heart sing… I realised too late there wasn’t enough contrast between the light and medium fabrics and maybe that was making the dark fabric contrast too starkly in these isolated blocks? Taking a photograph and editing it to Black & White confirmed the lack of contrast between the medium and light fabrics I’d used. Disappointing but I’m ‘living and learning’!

 

 

 

 

Contrast Fabrics BandW by Allison ReidI went back to my stash and picked another three fabrics. The B&W test on these shows more balanced contrast I think. Time to start again…

‘Contrast’: The language of colour is a bit of a mystery to me. Back in my school days I was more than happy to drop Physics and spend a few hours a week quietly ‘doing’ art (to a not very high standard). Now as I grope around trying to understand colour I realise I was actually taught more about colour in science lessons than in Art lessons – but I can remember little of it apart from the astonishing fact that white and black are not colours – huh? Forty years on and I am trying to understand more of and use correctly the language of colour.

Here is a brief summary of my language of colour learning so far:

  • Hue – where is a colour on the colour wheel i.e is it red or blue or yellow or something in between? Basically what colour am I looking at?
  • Value – light through to dark shades of a colour. So I misjudged the value of the colours I originally chose for my Contrary Wife blocks?
  • Saturation – the intensity of colour. I guess we’ve all read about the ‘saturated colours’ used by particular fabric designers? I’m thinking Kaffe Fassett and Tula Pink…
  • Clarity – is the colour clear or ‘muddy’? Could that be the difference between say lime green and sage green?
  • Tone – hum! I haven’t quite got it straight how to identify and talk/write about tone. Every hue has ‘tones’ and identifying these helps us match up different colours – some look ‘comfortable’ together, others just look ‘off’.

As you can tell my colour learning is in it’s infancy! Could you recommend any helpful books or websites with a light tone that could add value and clarity without saturating me in the deep science of hues? 😀

Here are just a few of the blog posts that have caught my interest through the week:

Kirsty has posted a great pictorial tutorial showing us how to make a rectangular Diamond Quilt Block – it’s a stash buster!

Bernie has been true to her word and published a blog post on 1st April giving us all the opportunity to share and read about each others less than perfect quilt making moments! Contributors have been refreshingly honest and the stories might make your heart sink in sympathy but also skip a beat realising that what goes on in our sewing rooms isn’t always the perfection we see paraded on social media!

I had a bit of a light-bulb moment when I read through Katy’s Sewing Diamonds Tutorial. Very useful indeed! 🙂 And her matching seams are to die for!

Fancy sewing an emoji cushion or quilt? Teri reviews the new ‘Sew Emoji’ pattern book by Gailen Runge.

Becca has made a beautiful quilt called ‘Saltwater Taffy’. The quilt is based on an antique design which has strong links to her location in New Jersey. Becca’s post is a really interesting read.

Christa Watson is an accomplished patchwork quilter – writer of patterns, books and designer of fabrics. She is sharing a real-time series of her ventures into dress-making, a whole other sewing world! Read Part 1 here and find out how she plans to adjust patterns.

Do let me know if you can point me to books and websites that could give further enlightenment on the language of colour. Thank you!

Happy Stitching.

Allison