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

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (244)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ Should I take a bow? πŸ˜€

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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

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