Preparing for Patchwork Workshops and Falling Down Rabbit Holes!

Snip of Log Cabin class notes
One of my ‘graphics’

On Monday I started revising the pattern and class notes for a workshop called ‘Two Ways to Build a Log Cabin’. The class is booked for 6th March. Before Christmas I made a flimsy to test out my idea and to check the accuracy of the fabric quantities I’d calculated. I began writing the pattern as one to sell but over time came to the conclusion that there are more than enough Log Cabin patterns and tutorials available in books and for free on-line so I’ve been revising my pattern into a class handout. I’ve also been twiddling around with the block design on EQ7. This all takes time – quite a lot of time actually! Especially as I haven’t been able to master graphics software so I do all the pattern illustrations using Microsoft Word. And I probably use that in an inefficient way… but repetition is a good teacher and I’m learning!

All the above is by way of an explanation as to how it is I’ve done quite a lot of thinking and computer work around sewing but so far this week haven’t actually got to switch on my sewing machine! That is about to change though 🙂 I’ve finally broken into a roll of strips, dividing them into two sets to make the normal and curved Log Cabin blocks for a second test quilt. (There are quite a few strips left over from the roll – these have led me down a rabbit hole*). The background fabric is a low volume text print that has been hanging around in my stash for too long. I’m hoping these fabrics will give the quilt a modern look in contrast to the much more traditional looking quilt flimsy I made before Christmas.

Log Cabin (2) fabric strips by Allison Reid

In my Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post I shared that I’ve decided to hop on the 2020 Rainbow Scrap Challenge. The colour for January is green. I sorted through my box of green scraps and came up with two colour groupings. I cut my scraps into 2½” squares and strips ready to stitch together as my leaders and enders.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2020 green strips by Allison Reid

I’ll need to be a bit careful doing this as the Scrap Challenge leaders and enders fabrics are quite similar to the fabrics I’m using for the Log Cabin blocks! 

Scrappy Trip Along finished front (2) by Allison Reid
My 2019 Trip Around the World quilt

*Oh! But Dear Reader! I have now been drawn into another sew along! Scrolling through Instagram I discovered that Allison Jensen @woodberry_way is hosting a Scrappy Trip Quilt Along. I know I shouldn’t (this is definitely a squirrel tumbling down a rabbit hole!) but I did so enjoy the 2019 Trip Along organised by Gnome Angel ... And now I’ve got a growing collection of 2½” strips….(see above*) And Allison’s how-to videos on Instagram and in her blog posts are so interesting and so appealing…. 😀

Well! Last week I shared my word of the year – GROW. It certainly seems the number of projects I have on the go is GROWing 😀 But hey! One week into 2020 and I’ve signed up for a needle turned applique class – definitely got the GROWing skills buzz going! Have you chosen a word for 2020? Has it been inspiring your thoughts or actions?

Lastly, it’s a new term so there must be a Beginners Class starting at Purple Stitches! In fact Viv has filled two classes, one running Saturday mornings, the other in the afternoons. I’m looking forward to meeting the class members and seeing the fabrics they’ve chosen for their first patchwork quilts. Before Saturday I had better print class notes and prepare my demonstration materials…

Linking with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers.

Hope you are finding joy in creativity.

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (88)

Rainbow Scrap Challenge green blockWelcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share! Happy New Year! I hope your stitching plans for 2020 are falling into place and you are keen to get to your rotary cutting mat and switch on your sewing machine. If on the other hand you are finding it hard to regain your sewing mojo after all the holiday upheaval then I trust you will find inspiration through some of the links below. (In fact it was one of the links I’m sharing here that inspired my first new project of 2020 – a scrap busting challenge…). So without further ado: bring along your project(s) and share in some of the goodness swirling around in the Worldwide Quilting Community 🙂

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring and Share (88)

The old and the new…

Happy New Year!

Hengistbury Head Dec 2019 by Allison Reid

There wasn’t a lot of sunshine during our New Year’s Eve walk across Hengistbury Head but it was lovely to be at the seaside 🙂

The Old Year, New Year Stuff:

Over the past few years I’ve gotten into the habit of choosing a word of the year for a focus rather than going for New Year Resolutions that only set me up to fail. I do fit some goals around my chosen word but my core intention is to use it as a consistent reference point rather than a way of assessing progress or achievement.

My word for 2019 was ‘COMMUNITY’. My word for 2020 is ‘GROW’. I toyed with words on the theme of expanding/moving forwards, such as ‘develop’ (sounded a bit clinical) or ‘nurture’ (maybe a bit too airy for my practical nature?). So this year GROW is the word (I just heard ‘Grease is the word, is the word’ run between my ears as I wrote that! :-D) but I won’t be letting go of ‘community’.

What is the legacy of community and how does Grow fit with my patchwork quilting hopes and dreams for 2020? Well…

Being part of the Worldwide Quilty Community both on online and in person has been a key motivator for me. Last year I focused on this with the intention of contributing and sharing more both through social media and through teaching.

Social Media: Regular Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts on this blog gave me a useful platform to show progress with my own projects and, more importantly, to share links to helpful and interesting posts published by other quilty bloggers. I definitely intend to continue with regular SQB&S posts. My Facebook page NewEveryMorningPQ and my Instagram feed @allisonreid.neweverymorning are other ways I seek to keep in touch with patchwork quilters. Bringing GROW to social media fits easily as a continuation of last year’s community theme.

Log Cabin with borders by Allison Reid
I just had time to add the borders to my sample for the Log Cabin class before packing away my sewing equipment for the Christmas break.

Teaching: Through 2019 I taught four Beginners Classes at Purple Stitches. I also organised a workshop from scratch – booking the hall, taking bookings on line and teaching from my own design 🙂 I enjoy the challenge of leading workshops and gain great satisfaction seeing participants confidence GROW as their projects take shape. I’ll be GROWing the number of workshops I have available to teach through 2020. For the first quarter of the year I have scheduled two Beginners classes (both start on 11th January – there are a couple of places available in the afternoon class) and a new class, ‘Two Ways to Build a Log Cabin’, being held at Purple Stitches on Friday 6th March.

I’ll also be applying GROW to pattern writing. I aim to publish eight patterns this year. One will be the pattern that was printed in Quilt Now magazine at the end of 2019 and another will be a pattern accepted for magazine publication in July this year 🙂 So there’ll be quite a lot of behind the scenes/secret sewing going-on to GROW in this area! I do have plenty of pattern ideas swimming around in my mind, I need to work on creating a properly organised computer filing system so I can use my written instructions and diagrams more efficiently… Of course, patterns need to be tested so there’ll be plenty of opportunity to make patchwork quilts 🙂

I’m planning to GROW my own skills and practice the art(s) of patchwork quilting. To this end I’m excited to be booked onto a free motion quilting class in February with Jo Westfoot aka The Crafty Nomad. And I’m intending to purchase another sewing machine (jumps up and down in excitement): a Juki 2200 Mini which I’m convinced will GROW my free motion quilting skills 😉

It’s all very well making these plans for 2020 but I am reminding myself that ambitions built on my own strength are actually built on sinking sands – I have no idea what will happen to me hour by hour let alone through a whole year! To trust and act on the rock of Jesus’ words (Matthew 7:24-27), knowing the solid truth that ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8) is, I’ve found, the best way to look to the future. Whatever happens to enhance or thwart my plans my wisest choice will be to GROW my trust in Him. 🙂

Allison

Hengistbury Head Dec 2019 the Priory by Allison Reid
Christchurch Priory from Hengistbury Head

 

 

Final quilt of 2019: Finished, gifted and well received

Belated ‘Happy Christmas!’ to you! We have had a good time celebrating with family over the past few days and still have visits and family times to look forward to as we approach the new year. I hope you too have been able to form happy memories of Christmas 2019 and have plenty more good things coming your way over the rest of the holiday.

Secret Sewing revealed: Since Christmas Day is past and the quilt has been gifted and unwrapped I can now reveal the secret sewing I was working on through the earlier part of December: a quilt for our youngest son who likes the colour blue.

Read moreFinal quilt of 2019: Finished, gifted and well received