Writing Patchwork Patterns and Dreaming of Dandelions

Hey! Ho! I spent Bank Holiday Monday in my sewing room pushing through writers/quilters block to get my latest pattern ‘done’. No surprise that the pattern isn’t DONE but – putting on positivity hat – progress has been made. It took a lot of concentration and what felt like endless rounds of jumping from a printed draft, to the laptop, to my sewing machine and over to the photographic light tent…

You do have permission to copy my meme and use it as many times as you like! Let’s spread the word!

…. Which leads me to this serious aside about patchwork quilt patterns. It takes a lot of time, thought, fabric and false starts to create a pattern. Respect to pattern writers who manage to create original designs, produce patterns and then market them. As patchwork quilters we know the value of a well written pattern – whether a stand alone item or one from a collection in a book. We really shouldn’t be making ‘free’ copies of these patterns to share with friends, to use for workshops, or Guild get togethers. If the pattern writer hasn’t given permission for copying then any copies are in effect stolen – copying without permission is THEFT. Do we really want to be handing out stolen goods to our friends? As well as resisting the temptation to make copies we need to find polite ways of pointing out this issue of theft whilst saying ‘no thank you’ to copied patterns whenever they are offered to us. That may mean having awkward conversations with friends and Guild workshop organisers. I know from experience this is difficult and now I feel guilty when I look through my collection of patterns and find some which were most likely copied without permission. In fact it’s about time I destroyed those dubious copies and looked out for originals to purchase (direct from the designer if possible).

Time to step down from my soap box…

Those who follow this blog will know I’m more of a ‘starter’ than a ‘finisher’ so won’t be surprised to learn that even whilst concentrating hard on writing the pattern there’s been a bit of my mind considering new projects πŸ˜€ After a day of working on the pattern I was too tired to continue so the ‘shiny new project’ part of my mind got free-rein. I have a drawer (well! two drawers actually) filled with speciality rulers, some bought with projects in mind, others acquired as magazine freebies. I’ve been toying with the idea of making a row-by-row quilt using each of these rulers in turn. Maybe in doing this I’ll find real treasure in some and be able to part with others that really don’t cut the mustard?

As I’ve recently been seeing quite a few machine pieced hexagon quilts showing up in my social media feeds I was inevitably drawn to the multi-size Hexagon Cutter I’d acquired with an issue of Today’s Quilter magazine. And lo and behold! I found a 60ΒΊ triangle ruler too! Perfect!

What about fabric? Ah! Ha! Just the job – a Charm Pack I’ve been eyeing for a while now. There’ll be a bit of waste from the 5″ charm squares as I’ll have to cut hexagons measuring 4″ by 4Β½” but much better to use the squares than have them languishing in my stash! For the triangles I auditioned several solid fabrics before choosing the blue (it is a Kona Solid, maybe ‘Evening’?).

As I was drifting off to sleep I mused about introducing negative space into the design, which led me to think of Dandelion clocks against a blue sky… 😴

This morning I tested out the rulers on a couple of spare charm squares. Hum! Correct angles but sizes not quite compatible, doh!

The triangles were slightly too big. I had to centre them by making a crease in the hexagon block. Once I’d sewn the seams I trimmed down the triangle on the left. Back to the drawing board…

Just as well this shiny new project idea isn’t too straightforward because I really MUST FINISH writing that pattern before I start another project! πŸ˜€

Linking with Judy for Design Wall Monday and Beth for Monday Making.

Allison

 

Mixing Patterns and Rulers: Dear Dottie and Classic Curves

I am using Rachel Hauser’s Dear Dottie pattern and Sharon McConnell’s Classic Curves Ruler to make a quilt – mixing the pattern’s emphasis on learning colour value skills with the adventure of cutting and sewing curves. (Links to websites and tutorials at the end of this post).

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Moravian Star finish, sewing on a rainy day…

Conditions outside have steadily deteriorated through the day… It started grey now it’s very windy, very wet and very, very grey! πŸ™

Rainy Day by Allison Reid
The view from my sewing room window at 2.30pm!

I have had to admit defeat re. publishing a Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post. Reality check! This is a busy time of year for everyone. Lots of extra socialising to enjoy as well as preparations for Christmas to be completed. So rather than stress about missing blog post deadlines I will rest SQBS posts for the next few weeks and resume in the New Year. In the meantime I shall write when I can and continue to read other quilter’s blogs as a form of respite from all the busyness πŸ™‚

I can share a finish! Deciding to gift the Moravian Star decoration was the right incentive to keep me working on the project. Finished and wrapped on Sunday, gifted on Monday!

Moravian Star finished by Allison Reid

Today I’ve been testing a set of Drunkards Path rulers. These make a 6″ finished block. I used a 25mm rotary cutter to negotiate the curves. The rulers don’t have non-slip pads but actually I found both of them easy to hold in place whilst I was cutting.

Drunkards Path test blocks by Allison Reid

The blocks went together without any fuss and measure the expected 6Β½” unfinished (whew!). I wasn’t brave enough to try the ‘no pin’ technique Rachel Hauser uses when stitching curves together but I did go with minimalist pinning – just five pins evenly spaced along the seam.

Drunkards Path test block pinning by Allison Reid

This block size gives a fairly gentle curve which meant I didn’t have to raise the presser foot to adjust the seam position as I stitched. All in all a useful test that gives me confidence to embark on another project I have in mind πŸ˜‰

As for Christmas preparations… Well! I’ve just about written all the cards… And I’ve hung one decoration πŸ˜€

Christmas Tree Quilt by Allison Reid

This is my small version of the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Christmas tree quilt. I made it this time last year mainly from stash fabrics. I wonder if you are enjoying rediscovering handmade decorations as you prepare your home for Christmas?

Allison

 

Patchwork: Beginners Rotary Cutting Set

The Beginners Classes I’m teaching this term are nearly through. During the penultimate session last Saturday students tried out walking foot quilting techniques and learnt how to pin baste their quilt sandwich. I’m looking forward to seeing all the near complete quilts on Saturday 23rd when I’ll be teaching the making of straight grain binding and demonstrating how to attach binding to a quilt. I have my homework cut out as I’ve yet to sandwich and quilt my own version of the Dashing Stars quilt! πŸ˜€

But, rewinding to Session One of the Beginners Course, I’ve been giving some thought to what should be included in a Rotary Cutting Starter Kit. Ours is not a cheap hobby but having the right tools makes a

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