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 🌞

 

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (276)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your projects(s) and enjoy being part of the sharing going on within our Worldwide Quilting Community πŸ™‚ It’s easy to join in by clicking the links below and leaving your encouraging thoughts and ideas in the comments boxes of the blogs you visit πŸ™‚

I’m still working my way through finishing up projects. I made one of the four cushion covers and posted a tutorial sharing my method for making an envelope closure with button fastenings. I need to sew buttons to the remaining three covers and stitch them and the binding to the cushion fronts.

I’m making slow progress stitching down the binding to the UFO quilt. I have to confess to getting too absorbed in what’s on TV! I’m doing a bit of a binge watch of ‘The Good Wife’. I nearly gave up in series one but through series two I got hooked by some of the on-going story lines and here I am at episode 3 of series 3! Maybe I will have to switch to audio books if I’m ever going to finish the binding? πŸ˜€

What’s my next project? I’m warming to the idea of using a Suzy Q pattern I bought some time ago, ‘Modern Fans‘. At the time I bought a stack of pink and grey FQ bundles from Hobbycraft to use with this pattern. Over the intervening time I’ve snuck out a few of the FQs for other projects so maybe it’s time to make the quilt before all the materials disappear? I’m also feeling an urge to practice FMQ, maybe this quilt top with it’s curved piecing could be a good project to try out some new moves?

Here are the links into our Worldwide Quilting Community. Jump in and enjoy!

Melva continues to share Marian’s memories of life along the Santa Fe Trail in the mid 1800s.

Fancy learning how to repair old/damaged quilts? Carole has years of experience providing this service for customers. She is ready to teach the skills and refer clients as her workload is too great. Carole is able to provide the class to individuals or guilds.

Bear Paw blocks are high up on my list of favourite blocks to make. They are relatively quick; there aren’t too many HSTs to trim :-); and they can be arranged in all sorts of layouts. Wendy’s guild, Capital Quilters, has a Bear Paw block logo. In this post she shares some photos of the Bear Paw quilts made by guild members back in 2015. They are planning another Bear Paw QAL for 2022.

Following bloggers who make miniature quilts finally broke down Nancy’s resistance to making another little quilt. Click over to her post to find links to quilty bloggers who do things in miniature and see Nancy’s progress with her version of the Dear Prudence quilt.

Suzy shares a super quick method to make a table runner. It would be easy to apply this method to any sort of design, Suzy’s design is called Holiday Table Runner.

We know patchwork quilters are a bunch of kind, warm hearted souls, don’t we? Bernie has discovered a way to spread the warm hearted kindness by joining in with ‘I found a quilted heart’. Find out more by reading Bernie’s blog post.

Gretchen is expertly hand quilting a Welsh quilt. In her blog post she shares some of the detail and explains how her quilting frame works.

I’m looking forward to Angela Walters‘ next free motion quilting series, ‘Fabulous Feathers’. The first episode is due to go out on 16th November and is titled ‘Fixing Feather Frustrations’! Keep up to date with the broadcast schedule by subscribing to Angela’s email newsletter πŸ™‚

Linking with Michelle for the Beauties Pageant and Wendy for the Peacock Party. Michelle is sharing her methods and progress re. de-stashing while Wendy explains why she has had to slow down progress on her Pandemic cross stitch sampler.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Tutorial: Envelope Cushion Back with Buttons and Binding

I began following the English Country Garden QAL in February 2021. I did intend to make all nine blocks and create the quilt-as-you-go quilt top… But best intentions and all that…I’ve got to the back end of 2021 with just four of the blocks completed. I enjoyed learning more about EPP and applique by making the blocks and also enjoyed having a slow stitching project to turn to but now I’ve decided it’s time for me to draw my involvement in the QAL to close. I’ll be making use of the completed blocks rather than consigning the project to the UFO Cupboard of Shame!

I’ve trimmed the blocks to 18Β½” square to make four new cushion (pillow) covers to replace the rather worn patchwork covers we’ve been using in our living room for the past 10 years or more.

I hope sharing the process I’m using to make cushion covers from these quilted patchwork blocks will be a useful guide should you decide to do something similar πŸ™‚

Materials

  • One 18Β½” quilted patchwork square*
  • Cushion Back Fabric: cut two 18Β½” x 15″ rectangles
  • Medium weight interfacing: cut two 17Β½” x 2-5/8″ rectangles
  • Two 1″ buttons
  • Double fold binding: cut two Width of Fabric 2ΒΌ” strips to make approximately 84″ of binding. Sew strips together and press in half lengthways
  • 18″ x 18″ pillow form.

*I like my cushions squishy. If you prefer a firmer, tighter fit then cut your square to 18″ and the Cushion Back Rectangles to 18″ x 15″.

Equipment

  • Sewing machine with facility to make button holes
  • Rotary cutting tools
  • Pins and/or binding clips

Step One: Preparing Buttonhole Plackets

  • Place a Cushion Back Rectangle wrong side up on an ironing surface. Press a crease 3″ down from a long edge of the rectangle. Open out the rectangle.
  • Position an interfacing rectangle along the crease – there will be approximately Β½” fabric exposed at either end and approx. ΒΌ” seam allowance along the top of the rectangle.

 

  • Adhere the interfacing in place as per manufacturers instructions.
  • Fold and press the seam allowance over the edge of the interfacing Diagram 1.
  • Fold the interfacing flap to the back of the rectangle and pin in place.
  • Top stitch 1/8″ along the top edge and 1/8″ inside the seam allowance to secure the placket Diagram 2. Now measures 18Β½” x 12″ (18″ x 12 if making the tighter fitting version).
View of wrong side of a Back Rectangle with top stitching completed.
  • Repeat to prepare the second Cushion Back Rectangle.

Step Two: Make Buttonholes and Attach Buttons

  • Fold a Cushion Back Rectangle in half on the placket edge and make a crease to mark the centre.
  • Lay the Cushion Back Rectangle face up on a flat surface.

  • Measure 2Β½” away from the centre crease and make an erasable mark starting ΒΎ” above the top stitching that secures the placket seam.
  • Repeat to measure and mark a buttonhole 2Β½” away from the other side of the centre crease.
  • Make vertical button holes using the marks as guides.
  • Place the Button Hole Placket, face up, directly on top of the placket of the other Backing Fabric rectangle (also face up).
  • Make a mark through each buttonhole onto the placket below to position the buttons.
  • Attach buttons.

Step Three: Attach Cushion Back Rectangles and Binding to Cushion Front

  • Lay the Cushion Front right side down on a flat surface.
  • Button the two Backing Rectangles together and pin placket ends so plackets are lying directly on top of each other.
  • With Cushion Back face up, place one 18Β½” edge directly on top of a Cushion front edge. Pin in place.

  • Carefully smooth the Backing over the Front. Pin in place. There will be a strip of excess Backing fabric along one edge.

  • Flip the pinned pieces over so the the Cushion Front is uppermost. Use a rotary cutter to remove the excess Backing Fabric.

  • Pin the binding raw edge to raw edge around the Cushion Front*. Start on an edge that does not have exposed Placket ends.
  • Stitch the binding in place using a ΒΌ” seam in the usual way. Take care not to accidently flip the placket pieces as you stitch.
  • Hand stitch the binding to the back of the cushion cover.

*If you would rather machine stitch both edges of the binding then first stitch the binding raw edges to the Cushion Back before flipping the binding round and machine stitching it to the front of the cushion cover.

I hope this tutorial is useful. Any questions or suggestions do get in touch with me using the comments box at the bottom of this page. If you are interested in reading more of my tutorials you can find them by using the ‘Tutorials’ tab in the header πŸ™‚ . I’ve also published several patterns including the I-Spy Shadow Quilt pattern, these can be bought as PDF downloads from my Etsy Shop.

Linking with Kelly for Needle & Thread Thursday. Kelly has been busy hanging lights outside her house in time for the Holiday Season but has had time to create a gallery of quilts from last weeks linkup.

Allison