Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (51)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have had a good week and you will have time for a some creativity over the weekend. Bring along your project(s) and share in the latest quilty conversations across the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do use the comments box at the bottom of this page to share your projects and add your thoughts and reactions to what has inspired you and caught your attention this week.

I’ve been busy preparing for the third class of the Beginners Course at Purple Stitches. This, the penultimate class, is all about basting and quilting. I’ve pin basted my Dashing Stars quilt ready for the quilting demonstration.

Dashing Stars (2) basted by Allison Reid

I decided it would be a great idea to use another quilt top to demonstrate basting. I could have picked any number of completed quilt tops from my UFO pile but no, I chose to use the #scrappytripalong2019 – the blocks needed to be sewn together, borders measured and stitched in place, the wadding cut, the backing fabrics chosen and pieced together… Oh! And a label made too! Well! It may have been a good idea… But…It took me all day Thursday to piece the top and faff about putting the backing together. Thankfully I had a piece of Quilter’s Dream Poly wadding just slightly larger than required. I pushed through, not only making the label but also machine stitching it to the backing ๐Ÿ™‚

Blocks stitched together and borders added.
Backing for Scrappy Trip Along Quilt by Allison Reid
#scrappytripalong2019 backing
Label made and stitched in place.

I’m really pleased with the pieced backing. It looks so simple yet it took me well over two hours to select the fabrics, cut them to size and stitch those l-o-n-g seams! I had a thoroughly satisfying day moving on the #scrapytripalong2019 blocks from the design wall to having a quilt top ready for basting although it really struck me just how long it takes to make a quilt! I guess when we make a few blocks here, a few blocks there and complete a quilt in our ‘free’ time we very quickly lose track of just how many hours it takes? I was amazed how the hours ticked by that day and by my consistent underestimating of how long it would take to complete each step!

We have a houseful of guests this weekend so my sewing room has morphed into a guest room. Once home from Purple Stitches I’ll be turning my hand to some hand stitching ๐Ÿ™‚ As luck would have it I started a little Blackwork bookmark project on Monday at our monthly craft group.

Blackwork bookmark by Allison Reid Elizabeth 1 wearing Blackwork by Allison ReidI like Blackwork, I first learned it as an off-shoot of cross stitch (my go to craft before I discovered patchwork). Blackwork (essentially filling stitched outlines with repeating patterns stitched in running stitch) has a long history and was particularly popular in Tudor times. Look at this portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, her sleeves and the bodice of her dress are covered in Blackwork. I found this portrait in a great book by Becky Hogg, published by the Royal School of Needlework in their Essential Stitch Guides series.

And moving smoothly (or should that be ‘seamlessly’?) into this week’s links:

I read in the March edition of ‘British Patchwork & Quilting’ magazine that the Royal School of Needlework have published embroidery courses online. Find out more at www.rsnonlinecourses.comย 

Christa Watson has been sharing how she plans out the quilting designs she stitches over her quilts. This is a really comprehensive guide given as a guest post on Amy Smart’s blog, Diary of a Quilter.

Shannon Brinkley loves to talk fabrics and colour. In this blog post she explains the virtues of ‘monochromatic prints’.

Bobbie’s post has lots of handy piecing tips. She shows us how to make the first block in a sewing themed mystery quilt. The first block is a sewing machine.

If you are in the USA and could be inspired to create a quilt to donate to one or other of the charities supported by Hands2Help you can find out more information from Sarah at her blog, Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Bernie gives a moving description of the work carried out by a hospital Palliative Care Team and the use they make of donated quilts.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

The I-Spy Shadow Quilt and making a quilt label

I-Spy Shadow Quilt on washing line by Allison ReidLast week I was so determined to finish the I-Spy Shadow quilt that I didn’t have time to properly share some of the ins and outs and ups and downs of making this quilt. I’m taking an hour to catch my breath and to properly acquaint you with this quilt that popped up as a ‘finish’ in my previous blog post.

I hope you can see from the photo why this quilt is a ‘shadow quilt’? The regular positioning of the light and dark background fabrics gives the impression that the feature fabric squares are floating above the quilt and casting shadows. The forty-two feature fabric squares are novelty prints with images that could be used in a game of I-Spy.

I completed the top with a week to spare to my deadline but then had a bit of a hiatus, waiting to purchase some backing fabric from a local shop and a longer wait for some Quilters Dream Poly wadding to be delivered by post. I tried to make good use of this waiting time by first making a label for the quilt; secondly (once I’d been shopping) piecing the backing and attaching the label; and also making the binding.

This is how I generally make and attach quilt labels:

I-Spy Shadow quilt label by Allison Reid
Label traced onto fabric.

I use a computer to compose the label wording and print this onto plain paper. I then make use of a lightbox or a window to trace the wording onto a piece of fabric. I use a Micron fine tipped permanent marker pen.

I usually make a border for the label using some left over fabrics from the quilt top. Then I press a quarter inch seam under all around the edge and pin the label into place onto the backing fabric. I use a machine stitch – zig-zag or blanket stitch usually – and applique the label to the fabric.

I-Spy Quilt backing and label by Allison Reid

I find placing a piece of Stitch ‘n Tear on the wrong side of the backing, helps prevent the applique stitches bunching up the fabric. The Stitch ‘n Tear can be removed very easily once the applique stitching is complete.

I-Spy Quilt back of label by Allison Reid
Removing the Stitch ‘n Tear from the wrong side of the backing fabric.

The wadding arrived with three days to spare so I set-to immediately: Trimming the wadding to size and then pin basting the patchwork top, wadding and backing together. I decided to use my sewing machines walking foot to add a simple design of echoing arcs starting from the top left of the quilt. My thinking being that the arcs would be radiating out from the imaginary light source that was casting the shadows across the quilt. If you see what I mean?

I-SpyI-Spy Quilting (1) by Allison Reid

I used a Drunkards Path template and a Chaco marker to draw an arc on the quilt and then used the metal stitch guide with the walking foot to keep the spacing between the arcs at 2 inches.

I-Spy Quilting bar use by Allison Reid

All was going well until the arcs reached the middle of the quilt. Then the quilt top started to pucker and puff away from the layers beneath it.

I-Spy Quilting wrinkles by Allison Reid
Wrinkles and puckers building up across the quilt ๐Ÿ™

I took a deep breath, put the quilt back on the basting table, removed the remaining basting pins *SIGH*, re-positioned the layers, smoothing out the excess fabric and re-pinned *DOUBLE SIGH*. Tedious but worth the bother. When I resumed quilting the fabric lay much flatter and I’m happy with the final result.

I-Spy Shadow Quilt (quilting detail) by Allison Reid

I suspect the top layer puckered partly because I was quilting from one corner of the quilt right across to the other and partly because I was in a rush and didn’t position the basting pins as closely together as I would do usually. I can hear my Mum saying, ‘More haste, less speed!’

In that hiatus of waiting for backing and wadding I made a book pillow to accompany the quilt, using novelty prints and fabrics left over from making the patchwork.

I-Spy Book Pillow in the Garden by Allison Reid

So that’s the story of the I-Spy Shadow Quilt ๐Ÿ™‚ It is listed in my ETSY shopย along with the book pillow and I hope to publish the pattern very soon….

Linking with Connie at Free Motion by the River for the last Linky Tuesday – Connie has been hosting this friendly link-up since 2012!

Happy stitching.

Allison

PS. I’ve just come home from a meeting of Roundabout Quilters. In the show and tell slot one member shared her I-Spy quilt! ๐Ÿ˜€

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (22)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have a project to bring to this virtual sewing day and will take time to join in with some of the blogging conversations as well as sharing what’s caught your interest through the week. You can add links via the comments section or the linky button at the end of this post.
My project for today (and quite a few more days!) is hand stitching the binding to the back of the BIG quilt. The quilt measures 76″ square so that is a whole lot of stitching waiting to be done! I’ve made the task harder by making the double-fold binding from strips of 2″ wide fabric instead of my usual 2ยผ”. It’s amazing what a difference that littleย ยผ” of fabric makes in terms of bending the binding over the edge of the quilt and pulling it beyond the line of stitching on the back of the quilt. I will be making use of a lot of binding clips on this one!

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring & Share (22)

A finish, a missed deadline and a piecing tip

I am having one of those weeks when I can be very glad my diary looks fairly blank. The unexpected has been happening and although my to-do list doesn’t have many ticks I have been busy! An elderly friend has had a fall at home and requires a course of treatment in hospital. I’m glad to have had the time to help her and to meet up with more of her friends from her other social circles. Her situation – no close relatives – hi-lights the importance of nurturing friendships. Most of us don’t have a ‘developing friendships’ tick box on our to-do lists but time ‘doing’ friendship should never be counted as wasted time ๐Ÿ™‚
I have a finish to share ๐Ÿ™‚ Finally I have put the last stitch in the binding ofย  ‘Morning Mist’. Sadly that last stitch was secured eleven hours too late to share this quilt in the April One Monthly Goal linky but, none-the-less, I am counting Misty Morning as my April goal achieved.
Misty Morning by Allison Reid New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting
Misty Morning back by Allison Reid New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting
Morning Mist label by New Every Morning Patchwork & QuiltingI stitched the label to the backing last year – just before making the quilt sandwich, just before the sandwich then became a UFO. The label therefore states the quilt’s date of making as February 2017! Ah! Well!
I will be adding a photo of the quilt to my 2018 Gallery (click the button at the top of the page to see my – small – collection of finishes). And I will be adding the quilt to the collection in my Folksy shop.
So that’s the story of the finish and the missed deadline mentioned in the title of this post. Now for the ‘piecing tip’:
Last Saturday the fifth Beginners Course got underway at Purple Stitches quilt store. In the first of the four sessions I teach rotary cutting, stitching accurateย ยผ” seams and we begin piecing patchwork blocks. Along with the class notes, I provide a page of little number labels – one label to pin to each of the sixty-four fabric squares required for the quilt. Once the students are happy with the arrangement of their fabric squares and have decided on the orientation of any directional fabrics I encourage them to label each square.Block labels by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting
I find this numbering and labeling of patchwork blocks actually saves a lot of time. I number each label like this: the first digit corresponds to the row; the second digit to the position along the row. The numbers work from the top left block of the layout (label 1.1) to the bottom right (for this quilt, label 8.8). In the past I have just used little scraps of paper and scribbled the numbers on with a pencil. For my students I thought it might be kinder (and more professional) to produce a printed sheet.

Block labels - printed and scribbled by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting
‘Posh’ printed labels and scribbled pencil labels do the same job ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you would like a copy of the labels try clicking this link and hopefully you will be able to download the PDF file ๐Ÿ™‚ย Row and block markers – 8 x 8
I find numbering each block in this way does save time during the piecing process:

  • It’s possible to stack all the blocks next to my sewing machine and go in for some great chain-piecing action.

Chain piecing by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting

  • If I drop the blocks or muddle the blocks at the ironing board pressing station (Ha!Ha!) it’s possible get them back in order without having to lay them all out again and check the arrangement.
  • The numbered labels help me keep the blocks up the right way. Otherwise, in the short movement of lifting blocks from the table at the side of my sewing machine to bringing them under the needle, blocks have a strange habit of spinning in my hands and having the wrong edges stitched together!

A few minutes adding labels can avoid having to spend a lot of time unpicking seams ๐Ÿ™‚
Ooops! by New Every Morning Patchwork & QuiltingCaveat – This system is not foolproof. I, Dear Reader, must count myself a fool. Look what I managed to do last night – I placed the higher numbered block under the lower numbered block and stitched them together! Resulting in blocks being the wrong way round – TWICE!!! ๐Ÿ˜€
I’m adding this and other tips to my newly launched Facebook group called ‘Patchwork Tips and Tales’ – you can access the group via my New Every Morning page. I hope you will consider joining this branch of the worldwide quilty community. My intention is that the group will allow us to share tips, learn from one another and help find solutions to patchwork or quilting project problems members may encounter. I’m very happy for you to share links to your blog posts and helpful tutorials with the other members of this closed, members only, group. I look forward to receiving your membership request and welcoming you into the Patchwork Tips and Tales group ๐Ÿ™‚
As I stated at the top of the post I will have to give quite a bit of time over to dealing with the unexpected, and here in the UK we have a Bank Holiday weekend coming up too, so I’ve decided not to create a Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post this week. The posts will be back through the rest of May and on into the Summer – that’s as long as I’m not in for a run of ‘unexpecteds’!
Linking with Connie at Free Motion by The River for another Linky Tuesday – click the link and find lots of patchwork & quilting inspiration, storage ideas and maybe a recipe or two as well ๐Ÿ™‚
Also linking with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday – she’s been finishing a UFO too!
Allison