Creatively ‘winging it’!

I am taking part in Hampshire Open Studios – here’s the link to my page on the website. We are half way through the 10 day art and craft trail. Throughout the County over 250 artists and crafters are opening up studio spaces, workshops and galleries for free and inviting people to follow the trail, dropping in on locations listed in their area.

Quilts in the lobby by Allison Reid
Quilts in the lobby

Quilts on the banisters by Allison Reid
Quilts on the banisters


Qilts in my sewing room by Allison Reid
Quilts in my sewing room

Sewing table during HOSTo keep my sewing room looking reasonably orderly and to have space to display my quilts I have chosen to work on a couple of small projects. I am quilting the ‘Into the Woods’ runner and I’ve been putting together a wall-hanging using three of the test blocks I made whilst teaching the Chocolatier workshops at Purple Stitches (you can see both projects clinging to my design wall in this photo).

The wall hanging project has a couple of limitations that have helped me make decisions as I’ve been putting it together. First, the hanger I bought on holiday is 12″ wide so the finished patchwork needs to be the same width and, second, I have very nearly run out of some of the fabrics I used to make the test blocks so choices were limited and required some extra seams to cobble together pieces large enough to use (proper patchwork!). As for the ‘design phase’ of this project…?  Well! I certainly have been ‘winging it’ – not even a rough sketch on the back of an old envelope!

My first decision was to put the central of the three blocks on point. I searched through my stash and found a half metre of suitable background fabric – it’s from the Padstow range by Moda.

Wall hanging blocks by Allison Reid

Then I had to figure how to enlarge the other two blocks. I felt adding strips of the background fabric would look too bland. Instead I made two lots of Flying Geese blocks using the ‘Wing Clipper’ ruler by Deb Tucker. Each Goose block measured 3″ by 1½” finished. I stitched them together and put them next to the Chocolatier blocks. The Flying Geese looked out of scale to me. Back to the cutting mat and sewing machine to make three sets (making four at a time geese I needed three sets to make 12 geese) of smaller blocks – finished size 2″ x 1″. Better, I think:

Flying Geese comparison by Allison Reid
I think the smaller size Flying Geese look more in keeping with the blocks than the original larger ones.

Next I added ½” wide red sashing strips to frame the on-point block and expand the smaller blocks and widen the Flying Geese strips to the same width as the centre block. The wall hanging now measured 9″ wide unfinished. I thought about the borders, looked at my depleted fabric supply and decided on half inch strips starting with red to complete the ‘frame’.

Adding borders to wall hanging by Allison Reid

It took quite a few joins to make strips of the blue fabric long enough for the next half inch border. And the last piece of the red fabric was just the right size to cut 2″ strips to make the binding 🙂

Hanger and binding by Allison Reid
The 12″ hanger, left over fabrics and the binding.

I added one final border strip – this time in the background fabric to bring the width of the wall hanging up to the required 12″. For the quilt sandwich I’ve used a soft, unbleached calico as backing with Hobbs Heirloom cotton wadding. Now to do a bit of quilting – mainly in-the-ditch I think but I could change my mind… After all there is no plan to follow with this little project 😉

REady for quilting by Allison Reid

Linking with Lorna for Let’s Bee Social. Lorna has designed the most cute Dachshund Dog pattern and a reader has sent in a photo of the Foxy fox block she’s made using one of Lorna’s patterns.

Happy stitching!


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