A few weeks ago the final class of the final Beginners Course of 2018 took place at Purple Stitches. As the class tutor I always make a fresh version of the class quilt along with the participants. We ended the course with a session all about binding. Well… I machine stitched the binding to the front of my quilt and then it hung around as a hand stitching project for quite some time…
Finally I can declare this little quilt a finish 🙂 It joins six other versions of the Beginners Quilt that I have made over the past two years.
This finish also marks the end of an era as Viv of Purple Stitches has designed a new pattern for up-coming beginners courses. I’ve made a sample quilt top and will let you know when the big reveal of the new quilt design takes place 🙂
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I’ve managed a better balance between sewing machine and lap top this week. The lap top has mainly been used to add fresh items to my ETSY shop. Writing product information takes a surprisingly long time – and editing the product photos takes even longer! For the first time I’ve added some fabrics to my shop items. I’m in de-clutter mode at the moment – I think it is the changing season that has brought this about as Summer clothing and outdoor furniture is put away and Winter garments and occupations begin to take over. So even the sewing room has had a little declutter. It’s been good to finally give up some fabrics that I’d bought for projects I no longer have the time or motivation to pursue.
It’s been satisfying to do some sewing. I’m in the early stages of preparing a new workshop, ‘Using Up Scraps’. One of the techniques I’m planning to teach is crazy patchwork. Up till now I’ve only ever created crazy patchwork by using a stitch and flip method on a foundation fabric. Earlier in the Summer I was inspired by a friend to purchase a roll of stiffening material called In-R-Form by Bosal (although most sewists in the UK seem to be calling it by the manufacturers name rather than by the mouthful ‘In-R-Form’!). My friend bought her Bosal from Empress Mills and told me about the website’s link to a bag making You Tube video. I had to smile when I got home, found the website and clicked on the link only to find Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company with Vanessa aka ‘Crafty Gemini’ making a tote bag using a Jelly Roll and Bosal. What a fun pairing those ladies are! Anyway that got me thinking to try making a basket using Bosal decorated with crazy patchwork.
I cut a piece of Bosal, 9″ x 12″, and covered one side with crazy patchwork. It was very easy to stitch through the Bosal and it has created a firm but flexible basket. Unfortunately I made a bit of a boo-boo in choosing to make the basket fairly small. Once I’d made the lining I realised the side seams were less than four inches long. Of course I need to leave an opening in one of the seams to be able to turn the bag the right way out once the lining is stitched to the outer. But I think that opening needs to be at least three inches long in order to squish the flexible but bulky Bosal through the gap. Hum! I will have another go at making a basket but this time increase the size by a few inches…
We have been blessed with a few days of Summer in Autumn, clear blue skies and warm sunshine. On Thursday I was able to join friends at our monthly sewing day out in the beautiful Candover Valley, Hampshire. We meet in a village hall/come cricket pavilion next to the Victorian Church of St Peter. What a wonderful setting – so peaceful (well! apart from our chatter and the whir of sewing machines!). We took our lunches out onto the patio overlooking the cricket ground, basking in the sunshine, listening to the birds and just enjoying the treat of a warm day so late in September.
Before lunch I worked on my contribution to Roundabout Quilters’ raffle quilt. We will each make a house or tree block (final size 12″ square) which in the New Year will all be joined quilt-as-you-go style ready for the publicity shots for our group exhibition next September. I have pinned my block into it’s quilt sandwich and intend to add the quilting stitches this weekend.
After that lovely sunny lunch I went back into the hall and worked on another project. I made more half square triangles using some of my stash of Civil War reproduction fabrics. The rich, earthy colours of these fabrics are well suited to the rapid shift from bright Summer to golden Autumn that is taking place all around us. I’d like to arrange these HSTs into blocks and stitch them together over the weekend.
As usual there have been a whole host of interesting and inspiring blog posts to read over the past week or so. Here are just a few of the ones I have enjoyed and hope you will too:
Christa Watson has taken her quilt design process back a stage and has been designing fabrics. In this post she has lots of photos to show how a fabric design sketched on a piece of paper evolves into a real bolt of fabric. Fascinating!
I’m always on the look out for sewing room makeovers and Irene has posted the latest changes she has made to her sewing space – re-purposing IKEA units and other furniture from around her home. Ingenious and practical!
I am taking part in Hampshire Open Studios – here’s the link to my page on the website. We are half way through the 10 day art and craft trail. Throughout the County over 250 artists and crafters are opening up studio spaces, workshops and galleries for free and inviting people to follow the trail, dropping in on locations listed in their area.