Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (260)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share πŸ™‚ I hope you will find time over this weekend to relax, bring along a project or two and share in the inspiration filled conversations doing the rounds of our Worldwide Quilting Community.

So a little bit of a catch up. As you may (or may not) have noticed Saturday Quilting Bring & Share took an unscheduled break last week. After the quiet, sheltered, home-centric existence of the past 15 months our little world has unexpectedly gone through some significant changes. Happy things have happened as a result; our short break by the sea and spending lots of time with family (even seeing all three of our children and their partners together – nearly a year since that last happened). The past week has seen the culmination of the changes. We are a tad weary now as our minds continue to process all that’s happened and our emotions settle. We are so thankful we are all well; modern tech is keeping us in touch with family members who have moved away; and, most thankful of all, we know change happens through God’s will and within the hope His eternal plan brings us.

Alongside the personal changes has been the belated and most welcome onset of Summer after one of the coldest, wettest months of May on record. There has been plenty to do outdoors with rapidly maturing seedlings needing re-potting or planting out and many weeds to be composted.

Slowly emptying my greenhouse of plants now the temperatures are rising and the frosts are long gone.

Working outdoors is such good therapy isn’t it? I nearly always feel the reward of spending an hour or two at the allotment – both in seeing the effects of my ‘labours’ and being made aware of muscles benefitting from the workout!

I have been even more scatter-gun than usual in my approach to sewing but remarkably I do have two finishes to share! Neither were planned! First up: I finally added the binding to the Basket of Blooms wall hanging πŸ™‚

I had plenty of the golden yellow gingham in my stash so the binding matches the flange I added with the borders way back when… I hand stitched the binding to the back in time for the piece to be hung for our guests to see. The Basket of Blooms block/cushion cover pattern is a design by Jo Avery available as a pdf from the Quilters’ Guild.

My second finish is a bag.

Lots of new materials and techniques for me to try in this free ‘Pelican Tote’ pattern available from Bagstock Designs. I did mange to keep a record of my progress, along with links to the resources I found helpful, so I will share all the details in a separate blog post – too much to share here πŸ˜‰

Sorry I’m sharing so few links to inspiring posts this week. I will apply myself to my brim-full email in-box in the coming days and have more to share next week πŸ™‚

Lorna has captured the haughty expression of a camel perfectly in her latest animal patchwork design.

Wahoo! Another way to use up scraps of fabric! Linda shares the braided rug she is making – the spiral pattern is intriguing.

Rachel has shared a comprehensive Economy Block tutorial. She has included a tip to ensure directional prints run in the same direction around the central square. Useful, as I know I can spend ages trying to puzzle this out and still get it wrong!

Yvonne Fuchs is well known for her carefully designed transparency quilts. Here she delves into colour blending theory. It is quite deep but give it a try, Yvonne’s explanations are clear and created with patchwork quilters in mind.

Lot’s of wonderful inspiration in the gallery of the ‘Favourite Finish Monthly Linkup‘ run by Cheryl aka Meadow Mist Designs.

Linking my finishes with Michelle for Beauties Pageant and Wendy for the Peacock Party.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (256)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope whatever this past week has brought your way you will have an opportunity over weekend to bring along your project(s) and relax whilst sharing in the inspiration members of the Worldwide Quilting Community have been posting for our gain. Leaving your thoughts and ideas in the comments boxes at the end of the posts you read is great way to take part in the sharing πŸ™‚

I have managed to move on a few projects this week and, of course, spent no small amount of time chasing squirrel projects! First to what I have actually done: quilting the March Forget-me-not block for the English Country Garden Quilt Along. Whew! It’s a finish!

The text print background fabric hides the quilting so it’s easiest seen on the back:

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Improv Free Motion Quilting and a Missing UFO

My Word for 2020 icon by Allison Reid

I am so happy with the progress I made at Jo Westfoot’s ‘Mix It Up Improv Free Motion Quilting Class‘. πŸ™‚ I’ve dabbled in the past but you know I have a love-hate relationship with free motion quilting. In a recent blog post I went as far as to call it a battle! Anyway, in the spirit of GROW (my word for 2020) I booked myself onto the class. I’m so glad I did.

Jo took as through quilting a series of motifs and filler designs with plenty of time to sit at our machines and give them a go. I particularly enjoyed stitching out the whimsical flowers.

My fat quarter practice sandwich – an afternoons work!

Since the class I’ve tried designing and stitching my own flower motifs. Doing that is a clear indication that my attitude to FMQ has shifted, I now have a ‘can do’ attitude rather than getting bogged down in the fear of spoiling a patchwork with my imperfect quilting. No doubt there will be occasions in the future when theΒ  ‘mind monkey’ chatter will stop me in my tracks BUT at least I do now have my practice sandwich to wave at them!

When I booked the class I had in mind a long abandoned UFO which has some large setting triangles, ideal for decorating with improv FMQ. Last week I went looking for that UFO. Could I find it? Uh!Uh! I looked through boxes of fabric, partially finished projects, class samples…. I dragged more boxes out from under beds… No sign of the quilt top *sigh* I repeated the hunt. I was getting a bit anxious: What if this UFO was stashed away with a whole lot of other UFOs that I had completely forgotten about?! Still no sign of the quilt top! A few days later I tried again. This time I armed myself with a torch and lay myself flat on the floor next to each of the beds in the house. Success! Pushed way to the back of a space I found the quilt top, in a plastic box and *phew* it was on it’s own.

I am ashamed to admit that the eight 12″ blocks date back to Amy Gibson‘s 2016 ‘Sugar Block’ BOM series on her blog stitcherydickorydock! The large block is older – a sample for sofa cushions that were never made. The fabrics are fabulous, such gorgeous deep, rich colours. Actually, looking at the blocks I’m quite impressed with them. Thanks to Amy’s clear instructions I managed to negotiate some fairly complex cutting and piecing including my first attempts at Foundation Paper Piecing.

I’ve had to search through the Gallery section on my phone to discover that it was September 2018 when I cut sashing strips and stitched the top together. And then I guess I was gripped by fear of FMQ and relegated the project to a box and the dust under our bed. Please don’t judge me – I’m sure I have dusted under our bed at least once since Sept 2018… And since then just forgotten about the UFO lurking there.

There are a few projects in the queue that I need to work on before I I can turn to quilting this re-discovered UFO but thanks to the skills learned and practised at the workshop I now feel excited by improv FMQ rather than fearful.

Have you worked through a fear/can’t do attitude to gain a patchwork quilting skill?

Allison

 

 

 

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