Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (288)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your projects, share in the inspiration and generosity of our Worldwide Quilting Community.

I’ve had an enjoyably eventful week. A sewing day on Thursday: I took hand binding to do so no sewing machine required. I made the most of the opportunity to walk to and from our meeting place, the local Scout Hut. There was lots of chat and sharing of projects going on but I did mange to stitch down about three quarters of the binding on my Trip Around the Stars quilt. One recurring subject of conversation was the upcoming Sandown Quilt Show. Several members of the group, including myself, were planning to travel up the M3 to London the following day. Others would be making the hour long journey on Saturday.

I completed the Trip Around the Stars quilt at home a couple of days later whilst listening to a course all about live-streaming* (I know get me moving into the modern world! 😁).

My Trip Around the Stars pattern is available for Β£7.00 as a PDF instant download from my new Payhip store – PayPal and card friendly πŸ™‚

On Friday I went to the Quilt Show at Sandown: Was a good day as usual. Before Covid struck the annual event had begun to wane in popularity with fewer vendors, fewer exhibition quilts and smaller numbers of visitors. Although it’s sad to see this show, along with others, decreasing in size, post-Covid it’s quite a blessing to be able to move freely and not be concerned about over-crowding. The venue (the airy ground floor of the main stand of Sandown Racecourse) is spacious but not too big. On a warmer day it would have been possible to take our refreshments up on the Stands and enjoy the view across the green racecourse with it’s panoramic view of central London but it was a bit too breezy to be outside!

I came home with a little collection of low-volume fabrics to top up my stash (I’m running out of these for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Court House Step Blocks) and some landscape prints. Impulse purchasing of the prints followed an inspiring Gail Lawther workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed her fused applique class and now I’m full of ideas for making little pictorial wall hangings.

Saturday, A walk through the Bluebells: The rising sun woke us around 6am so we went with it, had an early breakfast and then drove the short distance to Micheldever Woods. It really was a magical sight with the morning sun filtered through the partially open, bright green leaves of the stately Beech trees giving dappled light and shade the acres of deep blue flowers.

*Live Streaming? What’s this old girl up to? πŸ‘΅ Well! I’m getting over my tech phobia in order to pursue two of my patchwork quilting passions: One, building community around our wonderful craft; two, teaching the basics to beginners and then helping them and others to enhance our skills together. To these ends I’m going to launch a new private membership group on my Facebook Page called ‘Patchwork Beginners’ Learning Hub’. Thankfully excitement about this venture is outweighing my tech-nerves and I’m keen to get the group up and running this coming week πŸ₯³ If you’d like to keep up to date with the launch schedule I invite you to follow my Facebook Page, NewEveryMorningPQ, and/or sign up to my newsletter:

 

Here is a short list of links to some of the patchwork quilting posts that have caught my interest over the past week:

I recommend using Myra’s Busy Hands quilt patterns. She has designed so many quilts, nearly all are pre-cut friendly and use quick piecing techniques. This post about her Flying Geese ‘Formation’ pattern is a good example of her work and the lovely fabrics she chooses to showcase her designs.

Nancy’s post ‘The Most Fun I Ever Had Making a Quilt‘ is a heart-warming read for anyone who has experienced the challenges of making a multi-block quilt, grappling with unfamiliar techniques, having to rip out fabrics that turned out not to be in keeping…. After all the ups and downs spread over several years Nancy has completed the quilt and can honestly say it’s the quilt that’s given her the most fun!

I found this tutorial about trimming Half Square Triangles really useful! Suzy demonstrates trimming HST blocks BEFORE opening them out to press the seam. She shares two methods, one using a special ruler (Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer) and the second using a standard square ruler. Very interesting – I will be giving this technique a go next time I’m faced with a pile of HSTs πŸ™‚

Yvonne has been applying her scientific experience to curved piecing. Specifically whether cutting pieces across the grain to save fabric affects the piecing and final outcome of Drunkards Path blocks. She’s created a video as well as a comprehensive blog post to explain her method and the results of her investigation.

Linking my finished quilt with Michelle for the Beauties Pageant and Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Both have been enjoying making quick projects.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

A catch up, with finishes and new ventures!

After an unscheduled break from writing blog posts I have a bit of catching up to do! So, without further ado, here we go:

The Beginners course ended successfully with my student finishing her lovely quilt. She’s looking suitably proud of her achievement in this photo!

I can share a finish too – the pretty, pretty version of my Trip Around the Stars quilt I made as the demo for the class is complete.

I added binding in the bright pink I’d used for the star points. I stitched the binding down by hand – not such a chore on a quilt that measures 38″ x 46″.

The lovely decoupage print extra wide backing is from Purple Stitches.

For the quilting I stitched one of my go-to favourites: a wavy line grid. I used a walking foot with a guide set at 1Β½ inches.

Thinking about what it’s like for absolute beginners trying to get their heads around patchwork quilting prompted me to rise to an online product challenge. I’ve produced the ‘Patchwork Quilting Equipment Guide: Best Buys for Beginners‘. My aim was to provide the information needed to make purchases that are fit for the job and will provide value, project by project, over many years. I’ve included sections on rotary cutting equipment, threads, needles, pins & scissors, fabric, wadding and sewing machines. Of course I got a bit carried away and added lots of extra information including how to care for the tools and even an explanation of all the weird cuts of fabrics us patchwork quilters talk about so blithely! The Guide is now ready to purchase as a pdf download.

My most recent project has been a ‘learn something new’ endeavour: the making of a little coin purse using a decorative purse frame. I have to say it was a bit fiddly and I’m not convinced about the practicality of this particular design. I find the opening of the 8.5cm/3ΒΌ” frame is a bit tight even for my small-medium sized hands. That, combined with the broad base style of the purse, makes it difficult to reach into the bottom corners.

As I’ve already prepared fabric with interfacing to make another nine purses I’m going to experiment with other pattern templates that have a smaller, more rounded shape. I only bought two of the small metal frames so I’ll move onto 10.5cm/4″ frames to find out if they are more practicable (hopefully the pieces of fabric I’ve prepared will be large enough!). The first pattern template I used was one that came free with a tutorial.Β  Next up, I’m going to try creating my own pattern template following the directions in this tutorial.

Linking with Wendy for the Peacock Party and Michelle for the Beauties Pageant. Wendy is making preparations as she is the guest exhibitor at the Taupo Quiltmakers show in June while Michelle is enjoying over-thinking a fabric pull for her next Plaid-ish quilt.

Happy Stitching! And, most importantly, Happy Easter!

Allison

 

Meet the Patchwork Juggler!

‘Patchwork Juggler’! Ha! Ha! That’s what I feel like at the moment! Throwing patchwork projects in the air and catching about two out of five as gravity does it’s thing. (For ‘gravity’ read ‘time’ and ‘inclination’!)

Let’s start with the projects I have managed to keep juggling rather than the one’s I’ve dropped…

Plaid-ish was completed in time to be gifted πŸŽ‰

On social media I’ve seen many quilts made to this pattern by Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting. A current Plaid-ish QAL hosted by @jessicaquilter over on Instagram finally shifted my thinking from ‘one day I’ll make a Plaid-ish quilt…’ to ‘I’m going to make a Plaid-ish quilt NOW!’

Most of the fabrics are from my stash. I did have to purchase some fabrics for the dark blocks and, to fit in with the limited time available,Β  I chose to buy an extra wide backing rather than piece a backing. I made all the Blocks required by the pattern but decided not to use the bottom two rows as I was worried the 64″ x 82″ quilt would be difficult/impossible to squish into a standard front-loading washing machine. I’m hoping this quilt will be used a lot and therefore require regular washing πŸ™‚ So this Plaid-ish quilt measures 64″ square and does fit into a standard washing machine.

I used Bosal 80/20 wadding and 50wt Aurifil 5005 turquoise blue thread for the quilting.

The corner label was stitched into the binding.

The binding fabric, from my stash, proved to be a great colour match for the patchwork of fabrics on the front and the muted backing fabric.

The Plaid-ish quilt definitely counts as a squirrel project – it certainly wasn’t in my plans for the first quarter of 2022 – and deciding to gift it was the best incentive to keep it moving forwards, not stopping until it was well and truly finished πŸ™‚

Other projects that have been thrown in the air and continue to be juggled are the baby quilt design that I’m going to be using as the pattern for the up-coming Beginners Course at Purple Stitches. It’s all been a bit of a rush but I’m discovering that sometimes deadlines can be my friend rather than the source of my project downfall. I finished the shop sample of the quilt last week and I’ve been pounding my laptop keyboard, writing and revising the class tutorial version of the pattern.

I’m also writing the ‘Trip Around the Stars’ pattern for ‘general release’ – the design is slightly larger than the class quilt and includes instructions for strip piecing Four Patch Blocks as well as the Snowball, Star Point Blocks.

Of course revising the design and writing two patterns means I need to make another sample quilt! I must confess to having got into a bit of a muddle at this point… Thinking it would be OK for me to get ahead of myself by cutting out the fabrics for the planned ‘general release’ pattern whilst continuing to write and revise the Beginners version of the pattern. Hmm! I should know the limits of my brain power by now! 🀯 Let’s just say I will be shopping for some extra yardage…. 😏

Somehow in the background I’ve managed to sort and cut fabrics for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Bullseye Courthouse Steps blocks. Here are the completed January blocks. The February RSC colour is aqua/teal.

So that’s the projects that have been/are being successfully juggled.

The projects that have been dropped include the original Trip Around the Stars quilt and the Modern Fans quilt, both of which are partially quilted. I did manage to publish the first in my mini-series about accurate piecing but have yet to complete the second blog post. Regular readers will know the weekly Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts have been dropped too *sigh* and there’s not been many other social media updates either. Once I have the Beginners Class pattern finalised and the larger Trip Around the Stars pattern ready to be tech-edited I will be scurrying around picking up the dropped projects, ready to share and nurture (my word for 2022) once more.

Linking this post to Wendy’s Quilts & More for the Peacock Party, Alycia Quilts Finished or Not Friday and Michelle’s From Bolt to Beauty Beauties Pageant.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

A Finished QAL Quilt

I’m really happy to be sharing my finished version of the Pieces of the Santa Fe Sew Along quilt. The QAL, organised, by Melva Nolan was easy paced with blocks being published once every three weeks. Melva’s block designs were inspired by the writings of a Victorian relative, Marian Russell, who lived beside and traversed the Santa Fe Trail first as a young girl with her mother and later with her husband. Marian’s vivid memories made interesting reading as the QAL progressed.

I made the twelve blocks using fabrics from my collections of blue and neutral scraps. The outer pieced border is mainly made from my scraps too. The fabrics for the sashing, cornerstones, blue and grey borders and the binding were all purchased specially to complete this quilt. The pieced backing is a mix of fabrics from my stash and the left over fabrics from the sashing and borders.

I used Bosal ‘Stitch It’ 80% cotton/20% polyester wadding for the first time. I definitely recommend this wadding. The fibres used are evenly distributed and the wadding feels soft and smooth. It machine quilted very well and I was impressed with how little lint built up in my machine.

The quilting follows the same ‘hanging diamond’ pattern Melva used for her sample. I used a grey/blue Aurifil 50wt thread, No. 2770 and stitched the quilting lines 2Β½” apart. I don’t have a walking foot for Julie the Juki so I was relieved the fabrics stayed in place with very few puckers occurring. I credit the lack of ‘creep’ to the quality of the wadding more than the quality of my pin basting technique!

As you can probably see the quilt drapes very well. It is very snuggly and cuddly and at 57Β½” wide by 72″ long it is a useful size.

And of course, every quilt should have a label πŸ˜‰

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

Allison