Snapshots and Snippets Part 1

Oh! Boy! I did convey in my last blog post the struggles I’m having keeping my posting here in step with my quilty life. You can gather by the lack of posts over the past days (including TWO missed Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts – many apologies) that I’m still not coordinating my sewing room life with my on-line sharing!

Continuing with my decision to abandon chronological posting I will (again) dive into ‘what’s occurring’ now (did you catch the cheeky Gavin and Stacy reference there? πŸ™‚ )

Our lovely daughter spent a long weekend with us – so good to have a couple of Mother & Daughter days. She helped me experiment with a couple of craft projects for events coming up at Church over the next few weeks. (I don’t have photos of the project samples at the mo but hopefully I’ll include some in future posts). Her husband joined us for 24hrs, he is up to his eyes in final year accountancy revision and exams. Having visitors gave me an opportunity to clear up the mounting mess/WIPs in the sewing room, refreshing the space, converting it into a guest room.

With our guests gone the room is slowly reverting to my creative space. I am determined to cut down on the clutter though, so as I bring each storage box back into the room I am emptying it (right to the bottom!), sorting, discarding and repacking with purpose. I am trying to put into practice the thoughtful and understanding advice of Nadia aka clearthedecks who is a quilter and therefore understands our difficulties re. destashing, letting go of projects and moving on.

The room is looking a little stark at the moment, in ‘clean slate’ kinda way. This morning I retrieved my current works in progress, arranging them across the design wall.

Four WIPs on the design wall by Allison Reid

Top left are the scrappy string and flying geese blocks I made last week as the start of the cover for my new storage trolley (I’m happy to report the trolley did convert to an acceptable bedside table); in the centre, the first blocks of the new Beginners course quilt (promise I will finish the top very soon Viv…); my Dreami projectΒ (that’s: ‘drop everything and make it’) falling leaves quilt – sandwiched, awaiting quilting; and slumped on the sofa bed, my current sew-along Beginners quilt that needs quilting before the final session of the course on Saturday (eeek!).

And there’s a little matter of catching up on the 188 emails in my inbox! πŸ˜€ One of those emails is a notification from Yvonne Fuchs that the Fall 2018 Tips and Tutorials Festival is now live. Do click over and find links to lots of useful, practical, inspiring blog posts by our fellow patchwork quilters from around the world. So much to learn, so much to share. I will be linking my recent post about curved piecing to the Festival.

Right… What to do first?… So many lovely choices πŸ™‚

Allison

Sewing room storage unit and using up scraps

Oh! Whew! The past ten days have been delightfully busy. I’ve wanted to share here on my blog as things have been happening but just had to admit that being busy is tiring and sitting in front of a computer screen when my brain is crying out for sleep just isn’t an option! I’ve decided not to attempt writing a chronological post – it would be VERY long and could lack the spark that comes from writing about what’s stirring my creative juices right now πŸ™‚

So I’ll jump straight in and share what I’ve been doing today: I have been inspired to design and make a cover for a mobile storage unit I bought from Hobbycraft at the weekend. It is a metal unit with plastic drawers and rolls along on casters.

Hobbycraft Storage Trolley by Allison Reid

Read moreSewing room storage unit and using up scraps

Piecing Orange Peel Blocks – a photo tutorial

Last Friday I took the short walk to our local Hobbycraft. There were several reasons – I needed some fresh air; I needed to stretch my legs; my Craft Group needed supplies; I was on the look out for a quilt magazine; and, hep-hem, I didn’t half fancy a bar of chocolate for lunch πŸ˜€ It was a beautiful day, I felt a lot better for the walk, I made some purchases for Craft Group and treated myself to a copy of Today’s Quilter and a bar of Cadbury’s finest πŸ™‚

The free gift on the front of the magazine caught my eye: a set of templates designed for making Orange Peel blocks.

Today's Quilter Orange Peel templates

Of course, I had to have a go … And I was pleased with this first attempt at piecing an Orange Peel block – no wrinkles in the seams and smooth looking curves πŸ™‚ There is a page in the magazine giving a few instructions, hints and tips as to how to use the templates. Yesterday I took the templates, my background fabric and some fabrics from my stash to the monthly sewing day at Brown Candover. Several happy hours were spent creating Orange Peel blocks in the gentle company of friends.

If you are curious about curved piecing here is a little photo tutorial of how I made the Orange Peel blocks along with some of the handy tips I picked up along the way.

Read morePiecing Orange Peel Blocks – a photo tutorial

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (33)

Welcome to another edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. If you are anything like me you will be in a dilemma about which of your current projects to bring to this virtual sewing day! (See below for a little round up of the works in progress (WIPs) scattered around my sewing room). I have been enjoying catching up with some of the quilty conversations bloggers have been sharing – there is a selection below and you can find more on my Pinterest board ‘Pins of the Week‘ πŸ™‚ Dive in!

It has been a funny old week. It started at 4.30am on Monday when we roused ourselves from restless sleeps to travel to Heathrow Airport. Our youngest son is off on a big adventure: he’s spending this, the third of four University years, studying at Heidelberg Uni, Germany. He is studying Liberal Arts, majoring in German. He’ll be taking all his chosen modules in the German language – history, philosophy, film…. He was only ten years old the last time he flew with us so you can imagine he was a little nervous about negotiating the airport on his own. Glad to say he managed the whole journey to the student accommodation in Heidelberg without mishap – plane, train, bus and tram!Image result for map of germany showing heidelberg

On a side note, we could not believe how much traffic there was on the motorways leading to London, even before 6am. We were driving east, just before sunrise, and the four ribbons of red tail lights ahead of us showed us unbroken streams of vehicles heading towards the Capital. We are so grateful not to be faced with that journey as a daily commute.

The poor night’s sleep and the early alarm call made me feel very tired for a couple of days. I stuck to the more straightforward tasks on my to-do list – ironing, cleaning, and fabric cutting. (I did try to do something on the computer and discovered pretty quickly just how low my resilience levels were!). Nevermind, I’ve caught up on sleep now, worked on a patchwork pattern without throwing the computer across the room or bursting into tears and have had a fairly cheery WhatsApp chat with the young man in Germany πŸ™‚

So to my projects:

  1. Something I’m calling ‘Hidden Stars’ is up on my design wall at the moment. The blocks are large at 16″ and I’m thinking a 3 x 3 setting with a border… I do enjoy these richly coloured Moda fabrics with their subtle sheen.Hidden Stars on the design wall by Allison Reid
  2. I’ve fussy-cut two sets of novelty print 5″ squares ready to make at least one I-Spy quilt. I have the fabrics for the sashing and borders. The plan being to make the quilt as a means of prompting revisions to a partially written pattern…Novelty fabrics by Allison Reid
  3. I will be teaching another Beginners Course at Purple Stitches this term. Actually the first session is this weekend. I’ve checked through and printed out the first handouts for my students and prepared some fabrics for my SIXTH version of the Beginners Quilt! I’ve decided to use up more of my 1930’s reproduction fabrics, setting them in a plus-sign design. Ready to make Beginners #6One of my too-tired-to-think jobs earlier in the week was to sort through the fabrics cutting them into 5″ or 2Β½” squares. I’m not decided what to do with these left overs. Perhaps it’s time to remove them from my stash? I have listed a few stash fabrics in my ETSY shop – sometimes it’s time to move on and accept that enthusiasm for certain projects has waned and the fabrics bought in anticipation are now surplus to requirements.

And this week there was one small but welcome finish! I had another go at making a crazy patchwork basket. This time I increased the size of the piece of Bosal ‘In R Form’ to 14″ x 12″. I think for the ‘Using Up Scraps’ class in November I will recommend students start with a piece measuring 16″ x 12″ just to make sure it’s not too much of a struggle turning the basket inside out after joining the outer layer to the lining.

Crazy patchwork baskets by Allison Reid
The little one was my first attempt, the larger one today’s effort πŸ™‚

Finally, but by no means least, here is my selection of the conversations being raised in the worldwide quilty community this week:

Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs has recently released a Jelly Roll friendly pattern called ‘Winter Wreaths‘. It looks effective and Cheryl says there are very few seams to match so it would be ideal for a beginner and/or a quick project.

Jessica makes very colourful quilts – in her on-going series about quilting modern quilts she has shared ‘All Squared In’, a clever, simple design that shows off the ‘modern log cabin’ squares and her marvelous quilting.

Julie of Jaybird Quilts has just released her latest pattern. Called ‘Ribbon Candy‘ it is a very effective twist on the traditional Rail Fence Block. Well worth a look – even if it’s just to go gooey-eyed at the sight of her tiny baby, Nathan πŸ™‚ modelling the quilt.

If you are the writer of a quilty blog then you’ll be interested to know there is a new Friday finish linky called Brag About Your Beauties hosted by Michelle of ‘From Bolt to Beauty’. A great place to share your finish, gain inspiration for your next project and generally share the world-wide quilty love πŸ™‚

Carole Lyles Shaw has been at work in her sewing room de-stashing and de-cluttering. Her methodical approach to not only organising her fabrics but also her ideas and project priorities gives me hope that I could succeed in bringing my own clutter and swirling ideas under control. πŸ™‚

Do you benefit from setting yourself goals and finding a way to be held accountable to those goals? How about posting your One Monthly Goal for October with Elm Street Quilts? Plenty of quilters already have. It doesn’t have to be a finish, it could be to cut out all the fabric for a quilt top, or piece ten blocks … Don’t hang about, the linky closes this weekend!

I’m linking this post to Myra’s Finished or Not FridayΒ  – do click over and be inspired by the creativity of quilters from around the World.

Happy stitching.

Allison

 

 

Surprising, shocking pink!

Last week I spent a lot of my sewing time not sewing but on my laptop writing up the ‘Cabin in the Woods‘ block pattern. At the weekend I made an executive decision (after all I am my own CEO!) to take a break from screens and do some sewing! I also spent a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon watching our youngest son playing in a light-hearted charity tennis tournament.Ready to Receive a serve by Allison Reid

All this is by way of an explanation for my failure to publish a Saturday Quilting Bring & Share blog post! It will be back!

Shocking pink borders by Allison Reid

Read moreSurprising, shocking pink!