Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (244)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along your projects(s) and be part of the sharing going on in our Worldwide Quilting Community. Join in by leaving encouraging comments for the blog writers you visit via the links below.

How has your week been? We had very little snow here just a freezing East wind that made facemasks a practical outdoor accessory! Brrr! A good week for getting on with projects indoors. Yesterday I shared my first attempt at adding a flange into a border seam. I’m pleased with how it turned out. The Basket of Blooms applique block plus borders now measures 24″ square. I think that makes it a wall hanging rather than a cushion cover! I’ve cut backing fabric and a piece of wadding to size, ready to baste into a mini quilt sandwich. The plan is to hand quilt the background. I’m not sure how to fix it as a hanging… I don’t think I’ll add loops to hang it from a pole… So I’ll have to investigate other options. Do you have a favourite method for fixing fabric wall hangings to the wall?

I’ve received some happy post this week 🙂 Several spools of 60wt Mettler thread to add to my small collection of applique/EPP threads and a copy of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I took out the subscription when one of those ‘too good to miss’ deals flashed up on my Instagram feed. I have a vested interest in this title as one of my designs will feature in a forthcoming edition 🙂 Should I take a bow? 😀

Thread buying was prompted by participation in the English Country Garden QAL. Today I settled down in front of my laptop with my basted EPP shapes and stitched along with Alison as she live-streamed her regular Saturday morning programme, Hexadoodle Quilts, on Twitch TV.

My EPP poppy.

Alison demonstrated how to whip stitch the pieces together and later showed how to use a printed template to accurately place the pieces on the background square. I’ve appliqued four leaves in place so far… This is a quilt-as-you-go project so once the shapes are stitched in position it will be time to make a sandwich and quilt the block. I haven’t decided on backing fabric yet…

My projects for this weekend are to baste the Basket of Blooms wall hanging and continue working on the applique stage of the English Country Garden Poppy block.

Here are the links to the patchwork quilting community, I hope you’ll be learning and finding inspiration with each click:

Melva’s long running series linking the letters of 2nd World War POWs to patchwork blocks is coming to a close. It has been fascinating to read about the aftermath of war described by first hand witnesses. In this post Melva shares a letter from a German ex-POW who returned to Germany longing to be reunited with his family only to end up in a Russian labour camp. All these letters shared by Melva are a raw reminder that the deprivations of war last many decades beyond the signing of a peace treaty.

The Happy Scrappy quilt pattern was shared by Alyce at the start of the pandemic as a way of uniting quilters from around the world. It was a gentle scrappy QAL designed for short bursts of stress-free piecing without the need to go out fabric shopping. Over 400 quilters took part! In this gallery post Alyce shares a few of the quilts and flimsies that have been completed – so many colour schemes and pattern adjustments to compare and enjoy 🙂

Jayne has put in a sustained effort to de-clutter her sewing space. The results are striking and maybe an encouragement if you are thinking it’s time to tackle clutter around your sewing machine!

Lately I’ve been paying particular attention to applique projects and how they are quilted. Gretchen’s quilt top looks stunning. I especially like the way her quilted feathers weave behind the applique flowers. I’ve definitely been inspired!

Flying Geese are such a staple of patchwork and yet piecing these blocks can be quite a frustrating process. Yvonne Fuchs is into precision and her beautifully photographed No-Waste Flying Geese tutorial is full of tips to ensure the production of uniform, on-size Flying Geese. Well worth a careful read and a save to Pinterest!

Sandra hosts the monthly squirrel link up and of course she does this because she is prone to more than an occasional squirrel project! Her latest was inspired by a holiday photo – such as amazing beach scene – using a machine applique technique. Her mini-quilt clearly depicts the beach glass Sandra loves to collect. I wonder if anyone else will be inspired to try this technique taught by Allie @exhaustedoctupus?

Patchwork clothing is definitely ‘a thing’ right now. Lissa has cut into an old quilt to make a new jacket. That was brave but so much better than the intended destination for the quilt!

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday which has a heart theme in keeping with Valentines Day weekend.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (242)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Sorry I’m a little late publishing this weeks post – I think I’m getting a bit lackadaisical with deadlines as this lock-down stretches into forever! Hey-ho! Let’s enjoy bringing our projects along and sharing in the inspiration and news circulating through the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do use the links below to click to other blogs and I’m sure you’ll be inspired and heartened by what you see and read – don’t forget to leave a kind comment to encourage those bloggers to keep on sharing 🙂

Last week I didn’t have my camera SD card with me so I published a Saturday Quilting post starved of photos. This week I’m going to make up for that lack with a feast of photos! There’s definitely a theme of soft, muted colours going on as I share my first finish of the year. It’s a quilt inspired by the question. ‘What to do with a pack of eight fat quarters?’ I bought the pack because I loved the colours (aren’t the fabric manufacturers and shop owners clever, knowing exactly what will press our fabric loving buttons? :-D).The fabrics are from the Melange range by Stof and I bought a pack called ‘Misty Morning’ from Cotton Patch way back in the first UK lock-down. The colours certainly are reminiscent of a misty morning but for me the fabrics took my thoughts to walking the moorlands of the Peak District, Derbyshire.

Ah! Holidays, remember those? On to the quilt design… I decided to set myself a challenge of finding out just how big a quilt I could make from my pack of fat quarters, minimising waste and leftovers. I had some yardage of the Melange fabric to play with too. I used a light

Read more

First Sunday of Advent

Advent is the time to re-set the focus of our hearts and minds on Jesus, the ever-lasting light, turning away from the distractions that get our hearts and minds heading into the shadows where we can become full of dread for the future.

Jesus described himself as ‘The Light of the World’.

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

John 8:12

The opening chapter of John’s Gospel is full of descriptions of Jesus as light.

The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

 

Advent is not only a season to count down to Christmas, remembering Jesus’ birth but also a season to look forward with certain hope knowing his death and resurrection have defeated the darkness and his light will prevail into eternity.

Allison

Step Away From the Sewing Machine!

Do you ever approach sewing with a sense of foreboding? Thankfully not too often or maybe never? This afternoon I did enter my sewing room with nagging doubts about the wisdom of continuing to quilt one of the little quilts from the big UFO. I told myself such doubts were due to feeling a trifle tired after a busy morning plus my usual apprehension re. free motion quilting.

I fought the nagging niggles, took a deep breath and sat down at my sewing machine. I slowly and carefully made the adjustments required: stitch length switched to zero, feed dogs down, presser foot pressure dialed down, speed regulator at medium, fmq foot fitted securely.

Thankfully I did opt to begin with a warm up using a practice sandwich… Within a few stitches BAM! the needle had broken! That did nothing to quell the creeping feeling of dread! Hey! Ho! Replace the needle, stitch s-l-o-w-l-y watching for a fault. I couldn’t create smooth curves and closer inspection showed that some of the stitches weren’t catching the bobbin thread. Time to get the manual off the shelf and double-check I’d set up the machine correctly. Yes! I had but still the stitches were skipping.

Back to basics, re-thread and start again. It was then I discovered an ‘operator error’ (that would be me!). For some reason I’d inserted the bobbin in the bobbin case with the thread running anti-clockwise instead of clockwise! Doh! Silly me!

Surely now me and Julie the Juki could get on with improving our fmq skills? Well! No! Still skipping stitches! *SIGH*

Time to step away from the machine. Maybe I should have listened to that sense of foreboding in the first place and opted for a different occupation this afternoon?

When I do go back I have a couple more options to try: first change to a bigger needle (I’m set up with 50wt thread and a 75/11 quilting needle), if that doesn’t work then I’ll have twiddle the tension dial.

Sorry this is a rather down-beat post, but it wouldn’t do to give the impression that every sewing session goes according to plan would it?

Anyway a frustrating session with my sewing machine is put in perspective by news of the terrible dangers and damage created by Hurricane Laura. I’m sure quilters across the region will already be rallying to give aid and bring comfort through their craft.

Allison