Speedy Patchwork and a Pre-Wash Surprise!

Well! This was a bit of a surprise! To allow the fibres to shrink before cutting and piecing I pre-washed a piece of white cotton from IKEA I wasn’t expecting the colour to change! I mean it’s white, there’s no dye to bleed!

Left: Before washing and Right: After washing

My husband knows a thing or two about this and says its the OBA (Optical Brightening Agent) in the detergent and demonstrated it’s effect with a UV light 🙂

Left: Before washing and Right: After washing

I generally wash my quilting cottons before cutting and piecing. I know there are good arguments on both sides of the pre-wash vs. don’t wash debate. I just feel more comfortable knowing excess dye has been washed out of deep colours and the cotton fibres have shrunk before I start sewing. Of course there are exceptions to most rules and I’m willing to be pragmatic on this issue. Fabrics in packs of pre-cut strips and squares can’t be washed without fraying and becoming distorted. If I’m using pre-cut strips or squares I don’t wash the background fabrics I’ll be piecing with them – they can all shrink together when the finished quilt is washed.  And scrap quilts do end up being a mix of pre-washed fabrics and off-cuts from unwashed pre-cuts. So, in principle, I pre-wash but there are plenty of exceptions 😀

Back to sewing 🙂 I decided to take out the dark solid from the blocks I made over the weekend. I don’t think it was the dark colour value bothering me, it was much more that the chunk of solid colour in amongst the prints and lighter solids kept drawing my eye – becoming less a place to rest the eye and more of a distraction.

Looking at a B&W image of the completed quilt top I’m satisfied there is a fair range of value without the dark solid.

 

Having completed this quilt top my attention went straight back to the remaining fat quarters.

I decided on another simple block pattern and found a really helpful strip piecing technique for making the blocks in Allison Harris’ book, ‘Growing Up Modern’. It was easy to adapt her width-of-fabric instructions to my fat quarters and non-standard width IKEA cotton. I am enjoying giving my sewing machine a pedal-to-the-metal workout as we race through all the long seams together 🙂

Ready for some high-speed strip-piecing action!

I haven’t decided on a layout for this quilt but as there are only four prints I think it may be easier to keep them in an orderly fashion rather than try to make a ‘random’ distribution. Here are the blocks I’ve made so far:

Linking with Jennifer for Wednesday Wait Loss – a place to encourage one-another to keep going with our WIPs. Also linking with Susan for Midweek Makers – she’s found a lot of green quilts to get in the spirit of St Patrick’s Day. With all this speedy strip piecing it seems appropriate to link with Denise for Put your foot down Thursday 🙂

Lastly a heads up that this coming Saturday, 20th March, is International Quilting Day 🙂 Will you be doing anything special to mark the day?

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (247)

Welcome to a belated edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have been having some stitching fun this weekend. Bring along your project(s) and share in the some of the quilty goodness offered to us by other members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Please do click on the links below and join in the conversations by leaving an encouraging word or two in the comment boxes at the end of any posts that inspire you.

I-Spy Puzzle Quilt. The quilt sandwich showing wonky, non- squared edges.

I’ve been absorbed in making a(nother) Scrap Vortex style quilt. I’m calling this one the ‘I-Spy Puzzle Quilt’ as I’ve included lots of pieces of

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Adding flanges to a border

The Basket of Blooms applique is continuing to give me opportunities to learn and practice new techniques. This week I made the yo-yo embellishments. First time making these and maybe not entirely successful as the holes in the centres look rather large – perhaps I should have used smaller stitches so they’d gather-in more tightly?

I poked a little piece of the brown fabric into the yo-yo to make the opening less obvious!

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (226)

Welcome to Saturday/Sunday Quilting Bring & Share 😉 Please do bring along a project or two, fill a glass or mug with your favourite beverage and relax as we share in just a little of the goodness doing the rounds of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Join in the sharing by clicking on the links and/or adding your thoughts and ideas in the Comments box at the bottom of this page. Thank you 🙂

I’ve had a varied week. Last weekend we made good headway on decorating our son’s bedroom – a good team effort by the three of us. On Monday Dear Hubby and I took the day off and drove down to Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve. It’s one of our go-to places and it didn’t disappoint. The weather was balmy, the sea and sky were blue, there were plenty of birds to be spied from the hides around the Reserve AND it was warm enough to enjoy lunch in the Cafe garden (I highly recommend the Dorset Apple Cake!).

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