Adding flanges to a border

The Basket of Blooms applique is continuing to give me opportunities to learn and practice new techniques. This week I made the yo-yo embellishments. First time making these and maybe not entirely successful as the holes in the centres look rather large – perhaps I should have used smaller stitches so they’d gather-in more tightly?

I poked a little piece of the brown fabric into the yo-yo to make the opening less obvious!

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (243)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and join in sharing with our Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the links below to find inspiration and friendship around our common passion of patchwork quilting. Please do leave comments on the pages you visit to encourage the writers and keep the sharing travelling around the world 🙂 Thank you!

I’ve had quite a bit of variety to my sewing this week.

Project 1: A finished table runner shared here.

Project 2: Piecing a patchwork top a customer had lost the will to finish. A keen dress-maker this was her first patchwork project and… well… she discovered patchwork grows too slowly. The pattern is ‘Giraffes in a Row’ by Lorna McMahon aka Sew Fresh Quilts. When I unpacked the part-finished quilt top I was relieved to find the pink, red and yellow giraffes pieced and joined together. A start had been made on the green giraffe and most of the pieces had been cut ready for the blue and purple giraffes. The partially made green one was a good learning tool to get me understanding the pattern and figuring out how to order the pieces of the blue and purple giraffes (I made their heads first – kinda cute!).

I’ll find out in a day or two the customer’s decision re. quilting (it may be taken out of my hands at this point). In the meantime the flimsy is livening up my design wall 🙂

Project 3: Basket of Blooms. Having whizzed through all that piecing of giraffes (there were A LOT of pieces) I felt ready for a change of gear. I took Friday as a rest day, ignored my ‘you ought to be doing a list of things‘ thoughts and settled to a restful day of hand applique. It really did feel like I’d taken a holiday: sat by the window stitching, musing and watching the garden birds enjoying a buffet of fresh seeds and suet pellets.

It’s such a long time since I practiced hand applique that I took time to read through the instructions in ‘the Best-Ever Applique Sampler’ book by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins (thank you to Laura for the recommendation). With the book open by my side I settled to stitching down the blue and yellow flower heads and the three hearts decorating the basket.

The finishing touch is to make five yo-yos/Suffolk Puffs to stitch in place along the top of the basket. I’m trying my hand at something new everyday!

Project 4: I’ve been excitedly awaiting the start of the English Country Garden QAL. The pattern for the first block, poppies, arrived in my email box on Monday. Alison Stothard has provided plenty of clear instructions in the pattern and via written and video tutorials on her website. I’ve been learning from these and today I glue basted some fabric templates whilst watching Alison’s regular Saturday morning live-stream programme on Twitch TV.

So quite a lot to be getting on with this weekend, what with finishing the top of the Basket of Blooms applique and preparing the shapes for the EPP QAL 🙂

Here’s a selection of the blog posts that have caught my attention this past week. I do hope you find plenty of interest:

Rebecca shares in depth and with great clarity how to choose a quilting design for a quilt. Her post is directed at long arm quilters but just about all the information she shares can be applied whatever method of quilting is used.

The second of Leanne’s ‘Get to know…’ interviews is a good read. Her series is a great of fostering a sense of community around a shared love of quilting. This latest interview is with Sarah Craig of Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Allison’s blog posts are always as bright and appealing as her patchwork patterns. In this post she lets us into a secret – the less than perfect scene just out of camera shot! Sometimes its really a blessing to see for real what we all know – none of us is living in the perfection so often filling our screens! Allison also has a new table runner to share – it’s got a lovely Spring time vibe and I’m sure the block could be adapted to make a cute quilt…

JanineMarie’s found a great way to integrate multi-coloured scraps into the scrappy triangle blocks she’s making for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Very clever!

Such a helpful guest post on Suzy’s blog. Laura Hopper is a textile curator and shares 3 Best Tips in Fabric Storage. There’s plenty of detail and some myth-busting too, definitely worth a read if – ha!ha! -you have a stash of fabric to manage 😉

If you need a dollop of inspiration to get you machine quilting then Christa Watson’s latest book could be just what you need! Christa shares details of ‘99 Machine Quilting Designs’ in her blog post. There are a mix of walking foot and free motion designs each with a diagram showing how to stitch repeats across a quilt. (The book is available in USA from Christa’s website or in UK from Amazon and bookshops!).

Yvonne and her husband are continuing to develop their relatively small new home into a workable space. The latest addition is a custom made ironing board with storage space below. There are some interesting space saving storage solutions in the comments at the end of Yvonne’s post too.

Angela has something very special to share – a completed Dear Jane patchwork. Many people have started this quilt, few have seen it through to completion! There are so many intricate blocks. I especially like the way Angela’s rainbow colour scheme gives a modern look to this very traditional design.

Here’s something different to try. Bobbi shares a tutorial for making little blocks that form a diamond with curved edges. The technique reminds me of Cathedral Windows but this is all done by machine. Difficult to describe so I’ll leave it to you to click on the link if I’ve made you curious!

Christa Watson has some more interesting tips in the third of her series ‘Machine Quilting Tips and Tricks‘.

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Alycia is keeping up with her quilting goals 🙂

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (240)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along your project(s) and enjoy sharing in the conversations and inspiration being circulated via our Worldwide Quilting Community. I hope you have time to click on a few of the links below; maybe find a quilty blogger you haven’t met before, learn a new technique or discover a new on-line event to join making new friends along the way. Please do leave a comment or a like on the pages you visit – it is such an encouragement to the writers of the blogs we read.

Thank you for all the encouraging comments left me last week after I admitted to having lost my sew-jo. They were just what I needed to get the cover off my sewing machine and get stitching. On Monday I wrote about the string blocks that got me back into sewing mode alongside my plan to make a string block quilt for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2021. I received two messages from readers very politely asking if they might use the design for their RSC quilts? That gave me a real boost – so good to know my idea had given them the inspiration they needed for the Challenge. I think that definitely counts as a tick for my word of the year, SHARE 🙂

Having found my sew-jo I now need to work on my ‘pattern-jo’. Boy! Have I been making heavy weather of writing a pattern for a table runner/wall-hanging project! 😀 This week I’ve managed to write enough to be able to test the cutting instructions for two of the blocks. Thankfully they came together as planned. Now to write the instructions for and make the third and final block…

Of course a revitalised sew-jo lead to a Dreami (drop everything and make it) project has sprung onto my design wall! This began as a solution to the problem of what to do with pre-cut fabric packs? I find it difficult to resist buying packs of coordinating fabrics, they look so lovely on the shelves in my sewing room but what to do with them? I came up with an idea for this pack of eight fat quarters (an on-line, lockdown purchase made last year).

Melange by Stof ‘Misty Morning’ fat quarter pack and yardage.

I wanted to use as much of the fabric as possible to make a good size lap quilt. The quilt plan grew in the back of my mind, some of the maths became my ‘go back to sleep’ thoughts in the middle of the night. This week suddenly felt like the right time to break into the fat quarter stack. After machine washing the fabrics I was pleased all measured just over 18″ x 20″ except for one fat quarter which wasn’t cut straight:

Never mind, with a bit of fiddling I just managed to get the necessary cuts from this wonky fat quarter.

The little basket in the photo contains all of the left-over fabric from eight fat quarters – I’m pleased so little fabric has gone to waste or been added to my scrap bins. The partially completed nine-patch block is the only glimpse I can give of the quilt just now but I hope it will come together very quickly and soon be ready for the big reveal.

Here are this weeks links into our Worldwide Quilting Community:

Cherry’s latest pattern, Oh! Sew Happy, is a cheerful row-by-row sewing themed quilt. There are spools, buttons, a sewing machine as well as a row of houses and the word ‘sew’. Lots of elements of the pattern could be used or adapted to make wall hangings for a sewing room or gifts for stitching friends.

Angela Walters has scheduled a series of live chats over on her You Tube channel (recordings will be available if the live times are not convenient for you). Here is the schedule: 21st Jan, Tips for Machine Quilting Feathers; 28th Jan, Help! How do I Quilt it?; and 4th Feb, The Business of Machine Quilting.

A post by Yvonne Fuchs aka Quilting Jet Girl led me to a skill building block of the month that has just got underway. Organised by Kim Lapacek the ‘Old School Block of the Month’ will have blocks contributed by twelve quilt designers through the year. Here are links to the introductory post and the first block post.

Looking for a speedy way to cut fabric? Katy demonstrates How a Die Cutter Works. And in a second post Katy shares information about the various die cutting machines and their accompanying dies manufactured by Accuquilt.

Rachel has made a serious dent in her collection of string scraps and has a finished Log Cabin quilt to enjoy. I especially like the scrappy border she improvised – another way of using up string scraps 🙂

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Finding my sew-jo during lockdown

My planned 8 x 10 block layout for RSC21

Well! We’re not in our first or even our second lockdown here in the UK. Nope! We are settling into our third. I don’t know why this one has hit me hard. Perhaps the announcement last Monday, 4th January, came just a bit too soon after all the emotional re-adjusting we went through in the run up to Christmas? Plans to see family and friends petered away to a quiet, stay in your household, affair.

Whatever the reason my sew-jo disappeared. It took me ’til the weekend to uncover Julie the Juki ready to power through some patchwork piecing. During the week I did visit my sewing room a few times and fiddled about sorting pink strips, pressing them and cutting foundation papers to size (or what in my fuddled state I thought was ‘to size’).

Halfway through the first string block the bobbin thread ran out…. Then nearing completion of the block it suddenly dawned on me that the foundation paper was 8″ square. My plan was to have 8″ finished blocks! *Groan*! The papers should have been cut with a seam allowance, making them 8½” square. Rookie mistake! After a quick look at the scruffy, untrimmed edges of the block I felt the fabric strips were long enough and the seams stitched far enough beyond the paper that I would be able to square the block to 8½ inches. Thankfully that worked. For the remaining seven blocks I made sure to extend the strips and the seams well beyond the edge of the foundation papers and trimmed them all to the correct size 🙂 So glad I only cut the eight paper squares needed for this months Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks and didn’t get carried away cutting loads of papers, the wrong size, for future use.

These eight blocks will form one row of my RSC21 quilt. Thought I’d leave my pink slippers peaking in the photo!

The lockdown no-sew-jo has been broken, all be it a rather shaky break-through. Just as well I chose a forgiving block – no accurate cutting or seam matching required – whew!

Now I’m attempting to re-engage my brain cells by writing and testing a new pattern. It involves hearts… Will it be ready for this years Valentines Day or 14th Feb 2022? 😀

If your sew-jo has been missing I hope you re-discover it very soon 🙂

Linking with Cynthia for Oh! Scrap (she’s making pink blocks for several rainbow scrap quilts) and Judy for Design Wall Monday (she is making Drunkard’s Path blocks).

Allison