Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (243)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and join in sharing with our Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the links below to find inspiration and friendship around our common passion of patchwork quilting. Please do leave comments on the pages you visit to encourage the writers and keep the sharing travelling around the world 🙂 Thank you!

I’ve had quite a bit of variety to my sewing this week.

Project 1: A finished table runner shared here.

Project 2: Piecing a patchwork top a customer had lost the will to finish. A keen dress-maker this was her first patchwork project and… well… she discovered patchwork grows too slowly. The pattern is ‘Giraffes in a Row’ by Lorna McMahon aka Sew Fresh Quilts. When I unpacked the part-finished quilt top I was relieved to find the pink, red and yellow giraffes pieced and joined together. A start had been made on the green giraffe and most of the pieces had been cut ready for the blue and purple giraffes. The partially made green one was a good learning tool to get me understanding the pattern and figuring out how to order the pieces of the blue and purple giraffes (I made their heads first – kinda cute!).

I’ll find out in a day or two the customer’s decision re. quilting (it may be taken out of my hands at this point). In the meantime the flimsy is livening up my design wall 🙂

Project 3: Basket of Blooms. Having whizzed through all that piecing of giraffes (there were A LOT of pieces) I felt ready for a change of gear. I took Friday as a rest day, ignored my ‘you ought to be doing a list of things‘ thoughts and settled to a restful day of hand applique. It really did feel like I’d taken a holiday: sat by the window stitching, musing and watching the garden birds enjoying a buffet of fresh seeds and suet pellets.

It’s such a long time since I practiced hand applique that I took time to read through the instructions in ‘the Best-Ever Applique Sampler’ book by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins (thank you to Laura for the recommendation). With the book open by my side I settled to stitching down the blue and yellow flower heads and the three hearts decorating the basket.

The finishing touch is to make five yo-yos/Suffolk Puffs to stitch in place along the top of the basket. I’m trying my hand at something new everyday!

Project 4: I’ve been excitedly awaiting the start of the English Country Garden QAL. The pattern for the first block, poppies, arrived in my email box on Monday. Alison Stothard has provided plenty of clear instructions in the pattern and via written and video tutorials on her website. I’ve been learning from these and today I glue basted some fabric templates whilst watching Alison’s regular Saturday morning live-stream programme on Twitch TV.

So quite a lot to be getting on with this weekend, what with finishing the top of the Basket of Blooms applique and preparing the shapes for the EPP QAL 🙂

Here’s a selection of the blog posts that have caught my attention this past week. I do hope you find plenty of interest:

Rebecca shares in depth and with great clarity how to choose a quilting design for a quilt. Her post is directed at long arm quilters but just about all the information she shares can be applied whatever method of quilting is used.

The second of Leanne’s ‘Get to know…’ interviews is a good read. Her series is a great of fostering a sense of community around a shared love of quilting. This latest interview is with Sarah Craig of Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Allison’s blog posts are always as bright and appealing as her patchwork patterns. In this post she lets us into a secret – the less than perfect scene just out of camera shot! Sometimes its really a blessing to see for real what we all know – none of us is living in the perfection so often filling our screens! Allison also has a new table runner to share – it’s got a lovely Spring time vibe and I’m sure the block could be adapted to make a cute quilt…

JanineMarie’s found a great way to integrate multi-coloured scraps into the scrappy triangle blocks she’s making for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Very clever!

Such a helpful guest post on Suzy’s blog. Laura Hopper is a textile curator and shares 3 Best Tips in Fabric Storage. There’s plenty of detail and some myth-busting too, definitely worth a read if – ha!ha! -you have a stash of fabric to manage 😉

If you need a dollop of inspiration to get you machine quilting then Christa Watson’s latest book could be just what you need! Christa shares details of ‘99 Machine Quilting Designs’ in her blog post. There are a mix of walking foot and free motion designs each with a diagram showing how to stitch repeats across a quilt. (The book is available in USA from Christa’s website or in UK from Amazon and bookshops!).

Yvonne and her husband are continuing to develop their relatively small new home into a workable space. The latest addition is a custom made ironing board with storage space below. There are some interesting space saving storage solutions in the comments at the end of Yvonne’s post too.

Angela has something very special to share – a completed Dear Jane patchwork. Many people have started this quilt, few have seen it through to completion! There are so many intricate blocks. I especially like the way Angela’s rainbow colour scheme gives a modern look to this very traditional design.

Here’s something different to try. Bobbi shares a tutorial for making little blocks that form a diamond with curved edges. The technique reminds me of Cathedral Windows but this is all done by machine. Difficult to describe so I’ll leave it to you to click on the link if I’ve made you curious!

Christa Watson has some more interesting tips in the third of her series ‘Machine Quilting Tips and Tricks‘.

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Alycia is keeping up with her quilting goals 🙂

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Finding my sew-jo during lockdown

My planned 8 x 10 block layout for RSC21

Well! We’re not in our first or even our second lockdown here in the UK. Nope! We are settling into our third. I don’t know why this one has hit me hard. Perhaps the announcement last Monday, 4th January, came just a bit too soon after all the emotional re-adjusting we went through in the run up to Christmas? Plans to see family and friends petered away to a quiet, stay in your household, affair.

Whatever the reason my sew-jo disappeared. It took me ’til the weekend to uncover Julie the Juki ready to power through some patchwork piecing. During the week I did visit my sewing room a few times and fiddled about sorting pink strips, pressing them and cutting foundation papers to size (or what in my fuddled state I thought was ‘to size’).

Halfway through the first string block the bobbin thread ran out…. Then nearing completion of the block it suddenly dawned on me that the foundation paper was 8″ square. My plan was to have 8″ finished blocks! *Groan*! The papers should have been cut with a seam allowance, making them 8½” square. Rookie mistake! After a quick look at the scruffy, untrimmed edges of the block I felt the fabric strips were long enough and the seams stitched far enough beyond the paper that I would be able to square the block to 8½ inches. Thankfully that worked. For the remaining seven blocks I made sure to extend the strips and the seams well beyond the edge of the foundation papers and trimmed them all to the correct size 🙂 So glad I only cut the eight paper squares needed for this months Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks and didn’t get carried away cutting loads of papers, the wrong size, for future use.

These eight blocks will form one row of my RSC21 quilt. Thought I’d leave my pink slippers peaking in the photo!

The lockdown no-sew-jo has been broken, all be it a rather shaky break-through. Just as well I chose a forgiving block – no accurate cutting or seam matching required – whew!

Now I’m attempting to re-engage my brain cells by writing and testing a new pattern. It involves hearts… Will it be ready for this years Valentines Day or 14th Feb 2022? 😀

If your sew-jo has been missing I hope you re-discover it very soon 🙂

Linking with Cynthia for Oh! Scrap (she’s making pink blocks for several rainbow scrap quilts) and Judy for Design Wall Monday (she is making Drunkard’s Path blocks).

Allison

 

Ending 2020 with a Patchwork Rainbow

I’m happy to have my first Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt finished in the year I began making it – just! The monthly hunt though a box of scraps of the prescribed colour gave me a sense of making progress through the topsy-turvy year of 2020. The simple nine patch blocks fit together in a 10 x 12 layout measuring 60″ x 66″. The backing is an extra wide text print and I created the label in my usual fashion using a computer print out, light box and permanent marker.

I stitched two sides of the label into the binding and finished the project by hand stitching the remaining two edges to the quilt back. The binding fabric is from the Solstice range by Sally Kelly @sallykellyfabric . I felt I was committing a crime by cutting this beautiful fabric into binding strips but the rainbow of colours on a dark blue background make it just perfect for the quilt!

In the end I chose to echo quilt a gentle curve across the quilt following the flow of the patchwork pattern. The echoes are 2½” apart so the quilt drapes well and feels cuddly 🙂 I used three different colours of Aurifil 40wt threads – 2314 across the yellow & orange sections; 2520 across the red, purple & blue sections; and 2902 across the aqua & green sections.

My final quilt of 2020 🙂 It feels appropriate to have ended with a rainbow, symbol of hope in the Bible, and a natural phenomena which moves us to look up in wonder. Before Christmas I shared thoughts on Advent as a season of waiting. The sense of waiting continues with the transition from this year to the next bringing few tangible changes. This morning I read a reflection by Mark Meynell* which included the thought that there are two types of waiting: passive ‘rainy day’ waiting; and active ‘house-guest’ waiting. I’m going to make a conscious effort to make my ‘stay at home’ Tier 4 existence a time of active waiting. Not necessarily making quilts (although there’s bound to be some sewing room action!) but a time of expectant waiting. Instead of staring at the rain and wishing it would stop I intend to be preparing for when the sun breaks through a gap in the clouds and a rainbow arcs overhead.

Rather than wishing you ‘Happy New Year’ (which may sound hollow to some and wishful thinking to others) I will instead go back to the theme of Advent: a sure hope in the promise of everlasting light that can never be extinguished by the darkness. Two thousand years ago John wrote with confidence, ‘… the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining’. Jesus is the name of that light and He’s still shining! Amen

Allison

* Mark Meynell, Colossians & Philemon For You, The Good Book Company

A quilt finish and a bonus cushion cover

An odd mixture of emotions today as we emptied the loft of stored Christmas decorations and absorbed the latest guidelines and rules issued by the UK’s Prime Minister. Very strange to think that maybe no one outside of our little ‘household bubble’ will step into the house to see the tree and decorations. But how fortunate we are to be a three, knowing that other members of our family are not alone in their homes either and hopeful that all can remain safe and well until the virus is finally brought under control.

Trying to take a positive slant: the social restrictions already in place have led to much more time being spent at home in the run up to Christmas than in previous years. No end of year lunches or get-togethers getting me out of the house has meant more time to sew in December than I can ever remember! I have two finishes to share. Firstly, the cushion cover I made to test a pattern.

Made from stash fabrics chosen to coordinate with our living room sofas. The cushion cover is 18″ square and has a simple envelope opening.

The second finish is my fifth version of the Beginners Course pattern, Dashing Stars. I used the background fabric to create a narrow 2″ border to give (I hope) the effect of the blocks floating across the quilt top.

I enjoyed hand stitching the binding – it’s just the right time of year to have a cosy quilt draped across my lap. I am very fond of Dashing Stars (5). It combines my go-to saturated Autumn colours with my growing partiality for text print fabrics. All the fabrics were purchased at Purple Stitches. The text fabric is an extra wide background cotton. I used the remainder for the pieced backing.

I used Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 wadding and stitched a 2½” wide diamond grid across the quilt. I’m very happy with how it looks and feels – super soft and cuddly 🙂

No quilt is complete without a label! This label is part of the pieced backing.

Linking these finishes with Wendy for the Peacock Party and Michelle for the Beauties Pageant. Wendy is sharing photos of three of her Christmas quilts – the close ups of the felt applique are worth a peak 😉 – and Michelle has used an old pattern with fabric from her stash to make a quick quilt and gain a sense of achievement 🙂

I do hope you are able overcome any disappointments the Covid restrictions may have brought your way. Our public health officials are hopeful the measures taken now and the vaccination programme being rolled out will give us the opportunity to enjoy social contact with family and friends by the end of Spring. ‘Waiting’ and ‘looking forward’ are certainly themes that resonate powerfully in Advent 2020.

Allison