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! 🙁

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 🙂

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 6½” 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 😉

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

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?

Allison

 

Dashing Stars and a Moravian Star

Hooray! For finishing projects! And Hooray! For sharing a creative hobby with like-minded people – a great way to find inspiration and grow friendships 🙂

I’m fortunate enough to participate in a monthly sewing day in a warm hall in the middle of the beautiful Candover Valley, Hampshire. Yesterday was the last Thursday of the month, the date of our regular gathering. Surrounded by like-minded ladies, good conversation and the gentle whir of sewing machines I made steady progress on not one but three projects 🙂

First up: I machine stitched the binding to my third version of ‘Dashing Stars’, the pattern used in the Beginners Course at Purple Stitches. It feels great to have another finish under my belt 🙂

Dashing Stars 3 finished by Allison Reid

Next: I turned to the log cabin project. This began in response to a request for a Log Cabin workshop. A few weeks ago I worked out a pattern using two methods to make a Log Cabin block. I then set-to with a Moda Jelly Roll – ‘Vive La France’ – and my low volume stash to make thirty-six Log Cabin blocks. I enjoyed myself, writing out the methods and pattern as I went along but had to admit that making two sets of 18 blocks would be too much to do in a time-limited workshop….  Back to EQ7 and my design wall … I decided on a more manageable workshop-friendly design using just sixteen blocks.

Log Cabin Workshop quilt top by Allison Reid

Yesterday I stitched my sixteen blocks together to make the workshop example. I’ve ordered some plain Moda fabric for the border and I have several strips left over from the Jelly Roll – enough to make a coordinated scrappy binding.

IMG_4276And my third sewing day project: A Moravian Star. I started this on Tuesday evening at a meeting of Roundabout Quilters. One of the members of the group kindly prepared templates and demonstrated how to paper piece this rather spectacular decoration. I’m using five fabrics from my Christmas stash and some scraps of wadding. It’s a long, long time since I’ve embarked on a English Paper Piecing type project and I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying it.

(The image to the left is from a free Moravian Star tutorial on the AQS website. Unlike the pattern Roundabout Quilters are using, the AQS pattern does not use wadding to pad out the diamond shapes).


Moravian Star segments by Allison Reid

Twelve of these five-piece segments are needed to construct the Star. I’ve decided to give this decoration to a friend as a Christmas gift – a decision that should spur me onto a finish rather than the creation of yet another UFO!

All-in-all a very enjoyable and productive sewing day. Linking with Alycia for Finished Or Not Finished Friday – she’s been working on a modern version of the Log Cabin block.

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (86)

Welcome to a very late edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share! Ooops! However it’s not too late to bring along our project(s) and share in some of the great inspiration being imparted by members of our Worldwide Quilting Community 🙂

Dashing Stars 3 ready to bind by Allison Reid
Before the classes on Saturday I quilted echoing arcs across the quilt. I demonstrated attaching the binding during the lessons. Now I just need to machine stitch the binding down on the front…

My bring along sewing project is my third version of the Dashing Stars quilt designed by Viv Poon of Purple Stitches. On Saturday I took my quilt to the back-to-back final sessions of the Beginners Classes I’ve been teaching this term. It seems to have rained on all of the four Saturdays this course have been held! Sure enough it was wet and very gloomy so all the class participants had to dash from their cars to the shop carrying their nearly finished quilts, their sewing machines and equipment. Getting to a workshop can be quite a workout can’t it? Even when the parking is close by!

Anyhow! It was good day in the shop. Wonderful to see the students projects turning from their ‘ugly duckling’ states to beautiful swans as the excess backing and wadding was carefully trimmed away before binding strips were pieced and then stitched to the quilts. It is always so satisfying to see patchwork novices producing their first quilts! Thank you ladies, it’s been a great term!

Beginners Class am Nov 19 by Allison Reid
Three of the ladies in the morning Beginners Class were ready to proudly display their first quilts.
Beginners Class pm Nov 19 by Allison Reid
And three first quilts were ready to be shared at the end of the afternoon class.

Just a few clicks into the Worldwide Quilting Community for you this week (you’ll find more on my Pins of the Week Pinterest Board): 

‘Tis the season …to be signing up to 2020 Quilt-A-Longs! Here are two that have come to my notice this week: Yvonne’s ‘Push-Pull’ QAL offers a way into understanding and using her expertise in the field of very modern looking ‘transparency’ quilts; while Amy’s ‘Next Door Block of the Month’ QAL offers a chance to practice and develop paper foundation piecing to create a variety of buildings (looks a lot more interesting than my description sounds 😉 ).

Stephanie enjoyed the ‘stitch it and gift it blog hop. In her post ‘Recap‘ she shows some of her favourite stitched gift ideas from the hop. I’m especially taken with the cushion cover made from shirt plackets (designed by Moira of the Quilted Snail).

I know, I know! It’s not December yet but I am going to type in the ‘C’ word by sharing the Quilter’s Christmas Wish List compiled by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.

Linking with Beth at Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Working on two patchwork projects- piecing, backing and binding

Ooo! I’m sorry I missed the deadline for last weekend’s edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. It’s been a busy old time here and my laptop has been in a repair shop for over a week (battery issues) so everything has slipped. Anyho! You’ll find some links into the Worldwide Quilting Community at the end of this midweek post and I’m hopeful my laptop will be returned today. I sure will have a lot of blog reading to catch up on…

I have been busy patchwork quilting. Saturday I ran two Beginners classes at Purple Stitches. Week two of the course and the aims were to learn how to make two at a time Half Square Triangles and four at a time Flying Geese. I felt very mean giving a whole chunk of homework to the class members who had concentrated so hard to make their Churn Dash and Sawtooth Star blocks – all the blocks need to be made and the top pieced before the next class! In two weeks time I’ll be teaching the art of making a quilt sandwich and sharing quilting tips and techniques. I have to keep a step ahead of the class so I had my homework cut out too! After quite a bit of dithering and rearranging blocks I settled on a layout and stitched the quilt top together. This morning I pieced the backing and cut out a piece of Quilters Dream Green batting ready to make the quilt sandwich.

My third version of the Dashing Stars pattern – this time it’s a bit of a rainbow 🙂
A pieced backing with a blank rectangle ready to use as the label.

Keeping myself on my toes, I’ve been switching between the Beginners class quilt and my second version of the Square-in-a-Square quilt.

 

Thankfully I found my free motion quilting mojo and managed to stitch the feather swirls into the twenty block centres. I’ve also machine stitched the binding to the front of the quilt. Now I need to hand stitch the binding to the back of the quilt. My essentials for this job (apart from a sharp needle and good quality thread) are binding clips and Thread Heaven (a substitute for beeswax). I find the clips are so much more user friendly than pins and the thread conditioner certainly cuts down on the number of knots and thread twists that occur as I’m stitching. Do you have any favourite tools or techniques to use when you are hand stitching binding?

Here are the links I’d gathered for the Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post before my laptop had to go to to be repaired: 

Yvonne and her husband have arrived home after five months on the road. Among all the settling-back jobs Yvonne has found time to decorate and re-organise her sewing space (‘space’ is the operative word!).

As part of her Autumn Jubilee Carole has published a great tutorial on her blog page showing us how to make table mats that fit the Season perfectly.

Rebecca has taken on the challenge of completing half-finished, hand pieced Double Wedding Ring blocks for a client. She explains clearly how she is constructing two bed runners rather than one large quilt from the blocks that are all ‘slightly unique’! Hum! It looks like quite a puzzle… I am in awe of Rebecca’s ability to figure out what needs to be done to create a precious heirloom out of a collection of partially finished blocks.

Carole Lyles Shaw creates amazing modern quilts. In this post she lists her favourite quilting tools along with some handy tips on how to make the best use of them.

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers and Jennifer for Wednesday Wait Loss. Both blog link ups feature inspiring project ideas and are great examples of the friendliness to be found in the Worldwide Quilting community 🙂

Allison