Oh! Whew! The past ten days have been delightfully busy. I’ve wanted to share here on my blog as things have been happening but just had to admit that being busy is tiring and sitting in front of a computer screen when my brain is crying out for sleep just isn’t an option! I’ve decided not to attempt writing a chronological post – it would be VERY long and could lack the spark that comes from writing about what’s stirring my creative juices right now 🙂
So I’ll jump straight in and share what I’ve been doing today: I have been inspired to design and make a cover for a mobile storage unit I bought from Hobbycraft at the weekend. It is a metal unit with plastic drawers and rolls along on casters.
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (even though it is Sunday 😉 – it’s me who’s late not you!). Bring along your weekend sewing project and share in some of the quilty conversations that have caught our attention through the week. Add links to your project posts or add to the conversations by using the comments box at the bottom of this page.
My projects this week have been all about teaching and learning. I’ve had fun experimenting with foundation piecing Pineapple blocks before teaching the technique at Purple Stitches’ Quilt Club. Here are my versions of the 12″ Pineapple and Old Maid’s Puzzle blocks:
The Orange Peel blocks are still on my design wall. I need to spend a bit of time with pencil and squared paper figuring out how to enlarge the blocks to give the effect of leaves drifting across a blue blue sky…
But I’m in deep danger of being completely distracted by this little pile of fabric happiness…
Viv has come up with a fresh design for the Purple Stitches Beginners Course quilt. I’m the lucky one who gets to pattern test the design and fondle these new fabrics (available from the shop website).
Here are just a few of the blog posts that have caught my attention this week:
I like that by writing my blog and using social media I am part of the Worldwide Quilting Community (could WQM become a recognisable abbreviation? :-D). Quilters from places across the globe share their love of patchwork and quilting and also give glimpses into events in their lives. Kristie shares her experience of living through Hurricane Michael and how this massive storm has affected the rural community around her home.
I think Avis must have the patience of a saint! She is making the Loyal Union Sampler Quilt designed by Jennifer Chiaverini (she of the Elm Creek Quilt novels) . Avis’ latest blocks look so neat and they showcase several different piecing techniques.
Have you ever wondered why quilt patterns cost what they do? Kirsty of Bonjour Quilts has written a very candid blog post about the costs she incurs in producing and selling her patterns. The short version is that as buyers we can provide designers the best remuneration by buying patterns direct from them. She explains clearly why paper and PDF versions of a pattern have the same cost and reminds us not to break copyright either by copying patterns we have bought or by accepting copied patterns from well-meaning friends.
Do you have fat quarters of large scale prints that you are feeling reluctant to cut into small pieces? Leah Day has a video tutorial using the stack ‘n whack method to create large ‘fractured quarter’ blocks that allow you to showcase your fabrics 🙂
Is it too early to be writing our Christmas gift lists? Maybe not! Alyce has been testing the advantages of using a wool ironing mat as opposed to a conventional ironing board. She found the wool mats are winners!
If you’d like to find more links into the quilty world try my ‘Pins of the Week‘ board 🙂 I refresh the board every Tuesday (sometimes Wednesday ;-)).
PS. Bearing in mind we live in a town and have a small garden, it was a big surprise to find a rather handsome pheasant paying us a visit from the countryside this week!
Last Friday I took the short walk to our local Hobbycraft. There were several reasons – I needed some fresh air; I needed to stretch my legs; my Craft Group needed supplies; I was on the look out for a quilt magazine; and, hep-hem, I didn’t half fancy a bar of chocolate for lunch 😀 It was a beautiful day, I felt a lot better for the walk, I made some purchases for Craft Group and treated myself to a copy of Today’s Quilter and a bar of Cadbury’s finest 🙂
The free gift on the front of the magazine caught my eye: a set of templates designed for making Orange Peel blocks.
Of course, I had to have a go … And I was pleased with this first attempt at piecing an Orange Peel block – no wrinkles in the seams and smooth looking curves 🙂 There is a page in the magazine giving a few instructions, hints and tips as to how to use the templates. Yesterday I took the templates, my background fabric and some fabrics from my stash to the monthly sewing day at Brown Candover. Several happy hours were spent creating Orange Peel blocks in the gentle company of friends.
If you are curious about curved piecing here is a little photo tutorial of how I made the Orange Peel blocks along with some of the handy tips I picked up along the way.
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. It’s lovely to have you join this virtual sewing day 🙂 Bring along your project(s) and share in the quilty conversations buzzing around the world-wide-web. You can always share links in the comments box at the bottom of the page – links to your project or to something quilty that has inspired you this week.
Welcome to another edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. If you are anything like me you will be in a dilemma about which of your current projects to bring to this virtual sewing day! (See below for a little round up of the works in progress (WIPs) scattered around my sewing room). I have been enjoying catching up with some of the quilty conversations bloggers have been sharing – there is a selection below and you can find more on my Pinterest board ‘Pins of the Week‘ 🙂 Dive in!
It has been a funny old week. It started at 4.30am on Monday when we roused ourselves from restless sleeps to travel to Heathrow Airport. Our youngest son is off on a big adventure: he’s spending this, the third of four University years, studying at Heidelberg Uni, Germany. He is studying Liberal Arts, majoring in German. He’ll be taking all his chosen modules in the German language – history, philosophy, film…. He was only ten years old the last time he flew with us so you can imagine he was a little nervous about negotiating the airport on his own. Glad to say he managed the whole journey to the student accommodation in Heidelberg without mishap – plane, train, bus and tram!
On a side note, we could not believe how much traffic there was on the motorways leading to London, even before 6am. We were driving east, just before sunrise, and the four ribbons of red tail lights ahead of us showed us unbroken streams of vehicles heading towards the Capital. We are so grateful not to be faced with that journey as a daily commute.
The poor night’s sleep and the early alarm call made me feel very tired for a couple of days. I stuck to the more straightforward tasks on my to-do list – ironing, cleaning, and fabric cutting. (I did try to do something on the computer and discovered pretty quickly just how low my resilience levels were!). Nevermind, I’ve caught up on sleep now, worked on a patchwork pattern without throwing the computer across the room or bursting into tears and have had a fairly cheery WhatsApp chat with the young man in Germany 🙂
So to my projects:
Something I’m calling ‘Hidden Stars’ is up on my design wall at the moment. The blocks are large at 16″ and I’m thinking a 3 x 3 setting with a border… I do enjoy these richly coloured Moda fabrics with their subtle sheen.
I’ve fussy-cut two sets of novelty print 5″ squares ready to make at least one I-Spy quilt. I have the fabrics for the sashing and borders. The plan being to make the quilt as a means of prompting revisions to a partially written pattern…
I will be teaching another Beginners Course at Purple Stitches this term. Actually the first session is this weekend. I’ve checked through and printed out the first handouts for my students and prepared some fabrics for my SIXTH version of the Beginners Quilt! I’ve decided to use up more of my 1930’s reproduction fabrics, setting them in a plus-sign design. One of my too-tired-to-think jobs earlier in the week was to sort through the fabrics cutting them into 5″ or 2½” squares. I’m not decided what to do with these left overs. Perhaps it’s time to remove them from my stash? I have listed a few stash fabrics in my ETSY shop – sometimes it’s time to move on and accept that enthusiasm for certain projects has waned and the fabrics bought in anticipation are now surplus to requirements.
And this week there was one small but welcome finish! I had another go at making a crazy patchwork basket. This time I increased the size of the piece of Bosal ‘In R Form’ to 14″ x 12″. I think for the ‘Using Up Scraps’ class in November I will recommend students start with a piece measuring 16″ x 12″ just to make sure it’s not too much of a struggle turning the basket inside out after joining the outer layer to the lining.
Finally, but by no means least, here is my selection of the conversations being raised in the worldwide quilty community this week:
Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs has recently released a Jelly Roll friendly pattern called ‘Winter Wreaths‘. It looks effective and Cheryl says there are very few seams to match so it would be ideal for a beginner and/or a quick project.
Jessica makes very colourful quilts – in her on-going series about quilting modern quilts she has shared ‘All Squared In’, a clever, simple design that shows off the ‘modern log cabin’ squares and her marvelous quilting.
Julie of Jaybird Quilts has just released her latest pattern. Called ‘Ribbon Candy‘ it is a very effective twist on the traditional Rail Fence Block. Well worth a look – even if it’s just to go gooey-eyed at the sight of her tiny baby, Nathan 🙂 modelling the quilt.
If you are the writer of a quilty blog then you’ll be interested to know there is a new Friday finish linky called Brag About Your Beauties hosted by Michelle of ‘From Bolt to Beauty’. A great place to share your finish, gain inspiration for your next project and generally share the world-wide quilty love 🙂
Carole Lyles Shaw has been at work in her sewing room de-stashing and de-cluttering. Her methodical approach to not only organising her fabrics but also her ideas and project priorities gives me hope that I could succeed in bringing my own clutter and swirling ideas under control. 🙂
Do you benefit from setting yourself goals and finding a way to be held accountable to those goals? How about posting your One Monthly Goal for October with Elm Street Quilts? Plenty of quilters already have. It doesn’t have to be a finish, it could be to cut out all the fabric for a quilt top, or piece ten blocks … Don’t hang about, the linky closes this weekend!