Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (280)

Welcome to a belated Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 😌 I hope you still have a bit of time to bring along a project or two and delve through the links below to discover some of the good things being shared by our Worldwide Quilting Community.

I had one of those weeks where I hopped around between various projects. I did actually start and complete a patchwork tote bag. I used the pattern I devised several years ago and used up some left over 1930s prints. I never knew quite how to integrate the black background 1930s repro prints with the prints on bright backgrounds (I’m not a big fan of using black) so there were enough of those black prints to make a couple of 12″ nine-patch blocks to use as panels for the outside of the bag. I also ‘invented’ a removable padded handle grip and used cotton webbing for the handles rather than making them from fabric. Now I need to list the tote bag in my Folksy shop…

On Saturday I took two projects to a sewing day. I enjoyed using my mechanical ‘Bernie the Bernette’ sewing machine to stitch many quarter inch seams. Together we made the first two ‘Bullseye’ Courthouse Step blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt (red is the colour for January) before moving onto my latest design project, a beginner friendly baby quilt I’m calling ‘Trip Around the Stars’.

I love the soft grey background and whimsical feel of this ‘To The Moon And Back’ fabric by Michael Miller. I bought yardage from Sew Busy and I’m tempted to go back for more!

I need to make six more RSC blocks before the end of the month; add borders to the baby quilt; and finish writing the pattern. BUT I’m now allowing myself to be pulled in a different direction: namely to make a Plaidish Quilt. There’s an informal QAL being organised by @jessicaquilter on Instagram using the pattern by @kitchentablequilting.  I’ve had a hankering to make a Plaidish quilt for a l-o-n-g time 😉

Here’s a snapshot of the many, many interesting and inspiring blog posts published by generous members of our Worldwide Quilting Community:

As I mentioned last week heart patterns are coming to the fore with Valentine’s Day just round the corner (in craft makers reckoning anyway!). I particularly like Mariana’s ‘Heart Bits’ pattern. The faceted heart shapes look very jewel like, I wonder how the pattern would look made with ombre fabrics?

Rachel has some great tips for sorting scraps and selecting colours to use in scrap quilts 🙂

I like the strong, simple design of Angela Walter’s latest quilt, ‘Faded Stripes‘. Going off on a side track: Angela’s quilt has reminded me of my plan to make a row-by-row quilt using all the speciality rulers I’ve accumulated over the years….

Putting together a plan to tackle some UFOs through the year and having a friend do the same seems like a good way to stay motivated as you cheer each other on. Cynthia and one of her friends have each listed 12 UFOs and will be working on them month by month in a random order. Read about their plan here.

Linking with Judy for Design Wall Monday – there’s a whole host of lovely projects show-cased in the link-up 🙂


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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (279)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along your project(s) and join in sharing news and inspiration with our Worldwide Quilting Community.

Yesterday I shared my first quilt finish of 2022. The Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail quilt was made as I followed the sew along organised by Melva of melvalovesscraps.

I wonder if you have any 2021 QAL projects to finish? And maybe you have already signed up for one or more of the many QALs being promoted as the start of a new year makes us yearn for new beginnings? Some of the links below will take you to blog posts detailing 2022 QALs.

My next sewing project is to continue quilting the Modern Fans quilt. I completed the walking foot stage of quilting yesterday so now I need to switch to free motion quilting. However I’ve found myself a bit rattled by things not going quite right today 😤, definitely not the best frame of mind to take to fmq! I’ll give that a miss today and hope I get out of the right side of the bed tomorrow!

I’ve been a bit slow off the mark re. goal setting and the like. However I have settled on my word for 2022 (I choose a word rather than making New Year Resolutions).

Nurture is the word, is the word, is the word… According to the Cambridge Dictionary, to nurture is:

to help a plan or a person to develop and be successful

Within the world of patchwork quilting I intend to nurture my own skills and help others to gain skills and benefit from the blessings of being creative. Within and outside of the world of patchwork quilting I intend to nurture friendships and family relationships. There’ll be a bit of nurturing our garden too after the hard landscaping that went on last October!

Here are a selection of the interesting and inspiring blog posts I’ve has the pleasure to read over the past week. Hope you find plenty of interest too 🙂

Michelle has created a comprehensive tutorial for her Scrappy Star Block design. Click over to her blog post to check out the multi-piece block and the cutting & piecing instructions.

Pardon my ignorance but I’d never heard of a Nisse until Nancy shared the little figure she had made – maybe a cross between a gnome and an elf? I had to check Google to discover Nisse are creatures of Scandinavian folklore.

Not surprisingly, I’ve come across quite a few ‘recap 2021, plan for 2022’ posts over the past week. I was particularly struck by Karin’s both because she has made and designed some lovely quilts but also because her reflections on the previous year have led her to create a set of sewing goals for 2022 that sound like they will bring her a lot of pleasure through the coming year.

Jen Frost has compiled a list of 2022 Quilt Along and Sew Alongs. Click over to her blog site to find the list. There’s also a link to her YouTube channel which got me burrowing down all sorts of patchwork-quilting rabbit holes!

Of course there are lots of quilt alongs being promoted at the moment. The Night Sky Sew Along being organised by Julie at Jaybird Quilts looks likely to produce some very colourful quilts. It is FQ friendly and several shops in the USA are offering curated bundles to get us over the hurdle of choosing colours 🙂

IMAGE NAMEThe annual Rainbow Scrap Challenge has been organised by Angela aka SoScrappy since 2010. Click over to the blog site to find out how to take part (there are very few ‘rules’ to follow and the complexity of the blocks is down to individual choice). Red is the colour for January. I think I may join in again, this time taking the lead from Angela to make 7″ Courthouse Step blocks. A great opportunity to use up scrap strips 🙂

A design wall is definitely an asset, a big improvement on using the floor or a bed as space for arranging quilt blocks. Katy and her husband have recently made and hung a design wall in her sewing room.

Now the holiday season is over I’m starting to see hearts appearing in designs as we head towards Valentines Day. Brittany has just released her ‘Heirloom Hearts’ quilt pattern – a traditional Irish Chain pattern with easy pieced hearts – along with kits and, need I add ;-), a sew along!

Happy Stitching!


A Finished QAL Quilt

I’m really happy to be sharing my finished version of the Pieces of the Santa Fe Sew Along quilt. The QAL, organised, by Melva Nolan was easy paced with blocks being published once every three weeks. Melva’s block designs were inspired by the writings of a Victorian relative, Marian Russell, who lived beside and traversed the Santa Fe Trail first as a young girl with her mother and later with her husband. Marian’s vivid memories made interesting reading as the QAL progressed.

I made the twelve blocks using fabrics from my collections of blue and neutral scraps. The outer pieced border is mainly made from my scraps too. The fabrics for the sashing, cornerstones, blue and grey borders and the binding were all purchased specially to complete this quilt. The pieced backing is a mix of fabrics from my stash and the left over fabrics from the sashing and borders.

I used Bosal ‘Stitch It’ 80% cotton/20% polyester wadding for the first time. I definitely recommend this wadding. The fibres used are evenly distributed and the wadding feels soft and smooth. It machine quilted very well and I was impressed with how little lint built up in my machine.

The quilting follows the same ‘hanging diamond’ pattern Melva used for her sample. I used a grey/blue Aurifil 50wt thread, No. 2770 and stitched the quilting lines 2½” apart. I don’t have a walking foot for Julie the Juki so I was relieved the fabrics stayed in place with very few puckers occurring. I credit the lack of ‘creep’ to the quality of the wadding more than the quality of my pin basting technique!

As you can probably see the quilt drapes very well. It is very snuggly and cuddly and at 57½” wide by 72″ long it is a useful size.

And of course, every quilt should have a label 😉

Linking with Michelle for the Beauties Pageant and with Wendy for the Peacock Party.



Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (278)

Happy New Year! Welcome to the first edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share to be posted in 2022. Hope you have time this holiday weekend to push aside (or tidy away) the decorations, bring out your craft projects(s) and share in just a little of all the goodness published by quilty bloggers from around the world. Click on the links below to become an active participant in our Worldwide Quilting Community:  don’t forget to leave an encouraging message or handy tip in the comment box at the end of any of the blogs you visit 🙂

We were so fortunate this Christmas to be able to visit family and entertain visitors as planned. We also had the blessing of having our booster jabs over the holiday period. I am so thankful for the staff who worked extra shifts and the volunteers who gave their time in such a cheerful manner to ramp-up the vaccination programme over the festive weeks.

It was a pleasure to pack away my sewing equipment in order to convert ‘my’ room into a guest room and enjoy having a guest for only the second time in 2021. Since our guest left I’ve gradually been re-organising the space. Julie the Juki is set up and has been my quilting workhorse, stitching vertical and diagonal straight lines across the Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail quilt. I’m on the final leg of making the quilt – just the label details to trace onto fabric before I machine stitch the binding in place.

Label on the light box ready for the words to be traced using a permanent marker.

I already have my eye on my next project (isn’t this so often the case?), I’ll be returning to the Modern Fans quilt.

My version of Modern Fans by Suzy Quilts

Before Christmas I used a walking foot to stitch a simple echo design in the concave blocks.

I’ll probably stitch in the ditch around the convex blocks but what I’m itching to do is switch from walking foot to free motion quilting. Inspired by Christmas gifts in the shape of Christina Cameli’s book and a dry-erase whiteboard my head is full of fmq designs to stitch!

Here’s some reading for the holiday weekend, I hope you find plenty to inspire you as you contemplate projects for the year ahead:

Before Christmas Kirsty shared a tutorial showing how to convert a square orphan block into a rectangular place mat.

What a moving finale to Marian’s tale of life on and away from the Santa Fe Trail. Do settle yourself down for a few minutes to read the last excerpt Melva has shared.

Christa Watson’s series of live video chats are easy to access as recordings and are full of interest as she shares her years of experience in the craft of patchwork quilting. Click this link to view the recording of Christa chatting about variegated threads.

Rachel explains how her Block of the Month (BOM) Pas de Deux, will be organised. There’s a discount offer running through the first week in January.

Gretchen is using her wonderful hand stitching skills to combine 1930s prints and much more modern prints in her applique project, Hearts & Wreaths. She’s chosen a soft yellow background, Kona Maize.

The Best of 2021 Linky Party is a great place to find fresh inspiration and new friends in the Worldwide Quilting Community. Cheryl’s party invites patchworking bloggers to link a post written to hi-light their six best blog posts of 2021. Make a large cup of coffee/tea and get ready to slip into a colourful warren of ideas and wonder!

If you are wondering about colour trends for 2022 then click over to Kirsty’s post. She’s collected together the colour predictions from Pantone, Kona and Etsy and written a post full of colourful images and ideas.

Leah Day has created a quick-to-make quilt pattern using strip piecing. Her video tutorial for the Easy Weave Quilt is full of handy tips.

And talk of strip piecing takes me neatly to Busy Hands Quilts. Myra is a prolific pattern designer-writer and uses strip piecing as her go-to technique. Her New Year pattern sale runs until 2nd January.

I like the results Rachel is achieving by delving around in a box of orphan blocks and fabric leftovers. She describes the quilt on her design wall as ‘lighthearted and off-kilter…. a nice sentiment for this time of year’.

I’m looking forward to another year of stitching and blogging. Thank you for reading my posts and following my progress as I explore the many skills and techniques to be found under the patchwork-quilting umbrella.

Happy Stitching!