Beginners Quilt No6 Finished and ready for a new home :-)

A few weeks ago the final class of the final Beginners Course of 2018 took place at Purple Stitches. As the class tutor I always make a fresh version of the class quilt along with the participants. We ended the course with a session all about binding. Well… I machine stitched the binding to the front of my quilt and then it hung around as a hand stitching project for quite some time…

Finally I can declare this little quilt a finish ๐Ÿ™‚ It joins six other versions of the Beginners Quilt that I have made over the past two years.

This finish also marks the end of an era as Viv of Purple Stitches has designed a new pattern for up-coming beginners courses. I’ve made a sample quilt top and will let you know when the big reveal of the new quilt design takes place ๐Ÿ™‚

So, I have in my possession five of said Beginners Quilts. Here are three of the five, each measuring 45″ square.

30's Playback quilt by Allison Reid

All are now listed in my Etsy Shop, ‘AllisonsPatchworks’. It would be lovely to see them going to new owners, hopefully to be loved and well used rather than joining a rather overwhelming stack of quilts on my spare bed ๐Ÿ™ See what happened to the stack when I needed a quilt from the bottom of the pile ๐Ÿ˜€

(For anyone considering the purchase of one of my quilts or runners, I promise that I do store them all flat and free of folds on the spare bed in a well aired room, out of direct sunlight – NOT in the heap you see in this photograph!).

I haven’t mentioned selling craft for some time. What I’ve learned is; it’s not in the least bit easy – down right discouraging at times – but can lead to unexpected opportunities – like teaching at local quilt shops or developing pattern writing skills. Sharing the ups and downs of selling craft with other makers I have met has made me much more aware of the existence of independent crafters in the retail market. Here in the UK a movement called ‘Just a Card‘ has really gained momentum. Started by Sarah Hamilton to make shoppers aware of the significance of each purchase made from an independent maker/retailer.

The campaign came about when Artist &ย Designer Sarah Hamiltonย saw the quote “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card‘ we’d still be open” by store keepers who’d recently closed their gallery. This prompted a call to action! Designer/Makers and independent shops and galleries need a voice. People seldom realise the considerable costs involved in exhibiting at design shows or keeping a shop open.ย Stand fees, power, materials, wages etc need to be met before even a penny of profit can be realised. Running a shop is often a labour of love.ย Without dedication and passion, and crucially sales,ย it would be another boarded up eyesore.

The campaign includes those of us who don’t operate through ‘bricks and mortar’ stores but do still incur retail costs (Etsy charges a small listing fee for each item in a shop and takes a percentage of each sale; to take part in a craft fair there is the stand fee plus the need to have public liability insurance as well as travel and other costs…) I’m not writing this to make you feel sorry for independent crafter/retailers but rather to do my bit for the Just a Card campaign and others who are raising awareness of the difference even the smallest of purchases can make to the survival of the ‘little guys’. Look out for the ‘Just a Card’ hashtag online and the ‘Just a Card’ stickers in shop windows.

I’d add to the above the importance of NOT copying bought patterns for your friends or, heaven forbid, for a whole class or a quilt group. The pattern writer has spent a lot of time and money in producing the pattern and will generally receive less than half the retail price of each copy sold. To stay in business that pattern writer needs you and me to be purchasing patterns. Include a purchased pattern for each individual in the cost of a class (and if you are taking part in a class make sure there is no breach of copyright to the pattern or instructions being used). Maybe you’ll be able to negotiate a bulk purchase/wholesale price directly with the writer – and remind the group NOT to be tempted to copy the pattern instructions for friends who couldn’t get to the class!

Time to hop off my soap box ๐Ÿ™‚

Progress is being made on my down-sized version of the MSQCs Christmas Tree Chevron Quilt. I’ve made a start on free motion quilting the background after echo quilting around the star. I used yellow and orange thread to emphasize the star and give the impression that it is radiating light. The FMQ design is a mass of curly meandering with a few holly leaves mixed in. I did have grand ideas of quilting some feather designs but a duo of fears – namely, stitching a mess and using such a bold design as feathers detracting from the simplicity of the patchwork tree – led me to the stitching I’m repeating throughout the background.

Linking with Connie for Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River.

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (38)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your current project to this virtual sewing day and share in some of the latest news, tips and trends doing the rounds in the quilty community. You can share links to your projects and community news in the comments section at the end of this post ๐Ÿ™‚

My project news: I’ve been making progress on the two projects designed to be part of the ‘from sewing room to guest room’ transformation due to take place in just two weeks time. With the countdown to Christmas well underway there is a bit urgency about these projects now! But I’m not panickingย  – they are providing a steadying influence to the Christmas preparation roller coaster!

Trolley covers on my design wall by Allison Reid

First: the scrap-busting covers for the storage trolleys are coming along nicely. All the piecing is done and I’ve bought a width of calico for the backing. Next step is to create the quilt sandwiches.

Pieced cover on trolley by Allison Reid

Chevron Christmas Tree ready to quilt by Allison ReidTalking of sandwiches, the Chevron Christmas Tree is now pinned and ready for quilting. I trimmed 3″ strips of fabric from the sides of the square quilt top and stitched one of the strips along the top and one along the bottom so the star and tree trunk are no longer right on the edges of the quilt. So, scary bit now – get my sewing space set up for quilting and go for it! I’m planning to echo quilt around the tree and star – partly to stablise the layers but mainly to stabilise my nerves before switching to free motion quilting :-O I’ll share my quilting ups and downs @allisonreid.neweverymorning onย Instagram.

Below are just a few of the blog posts, quilts and tips that have caught my attention this past week. You can find more on my Pinterest board ‘Pins of the Week‘.

Isabella’s new blog page ‘Then and Again Quilts’ is proving a really interesting place to visit. In this post she share’s what she has learned about the history of the colour-fast ‘Turkey Red’ dye.

The winners and runners up of the Fall Tips and Tutorials Festival have been announced. Click over and discover a bunch of really useful posts – you might find the solution to a quilty issue that’s been vexing you for ages!

Allison Harris creates beautiful quilts with modern fabrics, plenty of negative space but always a nod to patchwork tradition. Her latest, called ‘Pixel Chain’, is no exception ๐Ÿ™‚ and it’s jelly roll friendly.

Yvonne has issued an invitation to join in her annual Planning Party. It starts on 15th December and runs through to the last day of the year. A great opportunity to join other quilters looking back at 2018 and planning for 2019 – there are prizes too! Yvonne is a pattern designer and has a gorgeous quilt using shades of one colour on a white background, in the latest edition of Love Patchwork & Quilting

Fancy trying out a wonky-style technique on a traditional block? Carole Lyles Shaw shares her Improv Log Cabin tutorial using Island Batik fabrics.

One of the first blogs I ever started to follow was Amanda Jean Nyberg’s ‘Crazy Mom Quilts’. She has a passion for using up scrap fabrics, has written patterns and books and produced many, many beautiful quilts – her blog posts always contain stunning photographs as well as measured, thoughtful reflections on quilting and running an on-line quilting business. Plus her regular post ‘Finish It Up Friday’ has been one of the most popular linkys in the worldwide quilty community. But families grow and times change, Amanda has decided to close her business and cease writing her blog posts at the end of this year, taking back patchwork quilting to be her hobby rather than her business. Her blog will be greatly missed but good to know she’ll still part of the quilty community over on Instagram ๐Ÿ™‚

If you are taking a break from your sewing machine you might like to try settling down with a new series of novels with a patchwork theme. The ‘Quilting Cozy’ books by Carol Dean Jones are reviewed by Bernie of Needle of Foot.

Time for me to carefully skip past the table of unwritten Christmas cards and head for the sewing room ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy stitching.

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (37)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. There has been rather a long break between no.36 and this no.37 post – not by design but just a touch of realism as busy weekends and numerous deadlines crowded in on me in November. Of course, in December things will be much quieter – who am I kidding ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway it’s lovely to be catching up on these posts. Just a reminder that on this, our virtual sewing day, you are invited to bring along your latest project to share with us and take the opportunity to share any quilty news you’ve picked up through the week. Please do use the comments box at the bottom of this page to add any links you would like to share.

I’m bringing along the Jenny Doan inspired Christmas Tree Chevron Quilt that I began earlier in the week. It has been such fun putting this quilt top together. I used scrap blue-green fabrics for the tree and a white-on-white star fabric for the background.

Chevron HSTs by Allison Reid

Five rows of Chevrons by Allison ReidAs I explained in my previous post I have reduced the finished size of the chevron blocks to 6″ and made just five rows rather than the seven rows shown in the MSQC tutorial.

FP Star for Chevron Tree by Allison Reid

Do you like the foundation paper pieced star? More fabric scraps! I was really pleased with this block – I used a Carol Doak pattern.

I popped into Purple Stitches this afternoon, intending to buy fabric for the quilt border but didn’t take much persuading to leave off having a border – I had been wondering about omitting the border but doubted myself – ‘if in doubt follow the pattern!’ Instead, Viv produced the perfect blue-green fabric for the binding … and a backing fabric … and some wadding too…

Pieced Chevron Tree by Allison ReidMinus the borders, but with some extra background fabric top and bottom, my Chevron Christmas Tree will measure approximately 36″ wide by 42″ high. I washed the backing fabric as soon as I got home so hopefully I’ll be making the quilt sandwich tomorrow. In the meantime I can be getting on with making more string blocks for the storage trolley covers ๐Ÿ™‚ (You might like to follow my progress on instagram, find me @allisonreid.neweverymorning ).

Four string blocks by Allison Reid

I must apologise for the rather grey looking photographs – I’m afraid to say bright daylight has been in short supply this last week in November. We did have one glorious day and fortunately it was a rest day from work so my husband and I enjoyed a trip to the seaside ๐Ÿ™‚ Chilly, but truly bright and beautiful!

Pieced Chevron Tree by Allison Reid
The view from Hengistbury Head (south coast mainland) out to The Isle of Wight, Needles Rocks and Lighthouse.

Here are just a few of the the quilty blog posts I’d like to share with you:

Lucie recently completed a project: a beautiful quilt using clever design, careful fabric choices, super-neat hand applique skills and steady hand-eye coordination for the custom longarm quilting. Well worth a click to see the finished quilt and a look through her previous blog posts to see how the quilt project progressed.

Do you use Instagram? I opened an account earlier this year and I do enjoy scrolling through seeing lots of lovely quilts and projects in progress. I haven’t taken the time to really understand how to get full use out of Instagram though – my love-hate relationship with technology continues…. Suzy has some interesting thoughts on social media and Instagram in particular.

Jessica helped her local community to put together a quilt. Such a great idea. A good test of ‘letting go’ and being ‘random’ as everyone who got involved picked fabrics for their very own four patch!

Jayne has found satisfaction in putting together a quilt really quickly. I enjoyed reading her post and the momentum she described as her plans evolved whilst putting together Christmas panel prints and making quick decisions about borders and sashing. Jayne reckons she had the piecing all done in 5 hours!

I like Shannon’s no-nonsense advice for picking fabrics for an Autumn colour palette – go out, pick up some leaves…. Of course there’s a bit more to it than that! ๐Ÿ˜€

Here is a great tutorial by Cheryl: how to match a fabric pattern for a pieced backing.

Need to make a gift in a hurry? Yvonne has been making hexie coasters and shares the link to Sharla’s neat tutorial ๐Ÿ™‚

Being thankful is good for heart, mind and soul. Bernie has organised for quilts to be donated to a hospital that has a special role in providing end of life care for patients and giving much needed support to their families. Read more here, including Bernie’s own experience of being well cared for when her first husband suffered a sudden, terminal illness. Her moving and uplifting blog post got me thinking again about the generosity of patchwork quilters and has decided me on my word for 2019 – COMMUNITY. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy stitching!

Allison