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 8Β½” 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 8Β½ 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 πŸ™‚ 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? πŸ˜€

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

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

 

Building a Log Cabin Workshop

The Log Cabin block is one of my favourites to piece. I find the huge range of layouts that can be made just by re-orientating a few of these blocks quite fascinating. So when a quilt group friend expressed an interest in learning how to make a Log Cabin quilt my little brain cogs starting whirring!

Whirligig Log Cabin by Allison Reid
Log Cabin blocks arranged in a ‘Whirligig’ pattern – I made this quilt way back in 2015
Another of my Log Cabin quilts. The blocks are arranged in a ‘Fields and Furrows’ layout

First of all I gave some thought to the skills and techniques I could teach using the Log Cabin block. I decided to teach a basic square-in-the-middle block using speedy strip piecing techniques for part of the workshop and then switch to the slower, but more precise, individual rotary cut piece technique to make curved Log Cabin blocks.

Log Cabin Class Quilt (1) by Allison ReidNext step was to draw up the blocks and play around with layouts on EQ7…

The blocks are 10″ finished and the quilt top with borders measures 68″ square. Once I started getting down to the nitty-gritty math of the quilt I was pleased to find this pattern will be ‘Jelly Roll friendly’. I was even more pleased when I found a Moda French General Jelly Roll listed on Lucy’s ‘Secret Garden Quilting’ website that looked to have the limited colour palette I had in mind for my sample quilt πŸ™‚

And whoopie-do when the Jelly Roll arrived – and I did that brave thing and unrolled it – I found just the right number of blue strips and red strips required for the quilt top πŸ™‚ There are a few beige strips too and theseΒ  can be used as background. The beige strips helped me to colour-match low-volume fabrics from my stash to make up the 2m of background fabric I’ve calculated is needed to complete the design . We shall see! Obviously making up a sample quilt is a good and necessary part of testing a pattern but it’s fun too; seeing an idea move from paper or a screen to being realised in fabrics.

Stars and Moons jelly roll by Allison Reid
Moda ‘Vive La France’ Jelly Roll
Stars and Moons jelly roll strips by Allison Reid
Vive La France Jelly Roll strips decorating my design wall πŸ™‚

This morning I spent a couple of hours making a start writing the pattern on my lap top. It takes me quite a while to do this. As I’m writing I think through the logical steps in choosing fabrics, cutting the fabrics, making the blocks and putting the quilt top together. I enjoy teaching workshops using my own patterns as I get to see them being used and I learn more about the different ways patchwork quilters read and interpret patterns.

I’m planning to schedule the ‘Build a Log Cabin Workshop’ for early in the New Year. Keep an eye on the Workshop of this blog for a date and venue πŸ™‚

While the Log Cabin workshop pattern has some way to go before publication you can find my other patterns by clicking on to my Etsy Shop, www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AllisonsPatchworks . Most are available as instant download PDFs, a few are hard copy paper patterns for sale in the UK only.

Linking with Judy for Design Wall Monday. Judy has a teeny-tiny Apple Core quilt in the making. Also linking with Beth for Monday Making, she shares the beautiful square-in-a-square applique quilt she has been busy working on the past week.

Allison

Blue Monday and the latest Just A Card campaign

The countdown to my ‘Into the Woods’ foundation paper piecing and crazy patchwork workshop is well underway. The 12th July really isn’t too far distant now so I have a build-up of nervous energy to tap into as I prepare for the big day! I’ve made a start on a monochromatic version of the Into the Woods runner. Raiding my colour sorted STASH (stash = pieces of fabric larger than a fat quarter) and my colour sorted SCRAPS (you won’t be surprised to read: scraps = pieces of fabric smaller than a fat quarter) made me realise that I have a LOT of blue fabric pieces so the colour choice was already shouting at me!

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My first Trip Around the World Block

Over the snowy ‘Winter Wonderland’ weekend I persevered with the task of hunting through my stash (defined as any piece of fabric larger than a fat quarter) and my colour-sorted scraps (any pieces smaller than a fat quarter!) in search of fabrics to use for Gnome Angel’s #scrappytripalong2019.

Strips for Trip Around the World Quilt by Allison Reid

I now have a collection of 144 strips, 16″ x 2Β½” ready to piece into 24 scrappy Trip Around the World blocks. Well! That’s not quite true… I have already made one block, so only 138 strips left! πŸ˜€ Having cut out all those strips I was keen to test the strip piecing method in the Bonnie Hunter tutorial Angie advised we use.

Here are some photos to show how I made my first block. I enjoyed the tube method of strip piecing, making these blocks will be good practice for the Bargello quilt I hope to make one day! πŸ˜‰

 

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