Last Friday I took the short walk to our local Hobbycraft. There were several reasons – I needed some fresh air; I needed to stretch my legs; my Craft Group needed supplies; I was on the look out for a quilt magazine; and, hep-hem, I didn’t half fancy a bar of chocolate for lunch 😀 It was a beautiful day, I felt a lot better for the walk, I made some purchases for Craft Group and treated myself to a copy of Today’s Quilter and a bar of Cadbury’s finest 🙂
The free gift on the front of the magazine caught my eye: a set of templates designed for making Orange Peel blocks.
Of course, I had to have a go … And I was pleased with this first attempt at piecing an Orange Peel block – no wrinkles in the seams and smooth looking curves 🙂 There is a page in the magazine giving a few instructions, hints and tips as to how to use the templates. Yesterday I took the templates, my background fabric and some fabrics from my stash to the monthly sewing day at Brown Candover. Several happy hours were spent creating Orange Peel blocks in the gentle company of friends.
If you are curious about curved piecing here is a little photo tutorial of how I made the Orange Peel blocks along with some of the handy tips I picked up along the way.
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. It’s lovely to have you join this virtual sewing day 🙂 Bring along your project(s) and share in the quilty conversations buzzing around the world-wide-web. You can always share links in the comments box at the bottom of the page – links to your project or to something quilty that has inspired you this week.
Welcome to another edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. If you are anything like me you will be in a dilemma about which of your current projects to bring to this virtual sewing day! (See below for a little round up of the works in progress (WIPs) scattered around my sewing room). I have been enjoying catching up with some of the quilty conversations bloggers have been sharing – there is a selection below and you can find more on my Pinterest board ‘Pins of the Week‘ 🙂 Dive in!
It has been a funny old week. It started at 4.30am on Monday when we roused ourselves from restless sleeps to travel to Heathrow Airport. Our youngest son is off on a big adventure: he’s spending this, the third of four University years, studying at Heidelberg Uni, Germany. He is studying Liberal Arts, majoring in German. He’ll be taking all his chosen modules in the German language – history, philosophy, film…. He was only ten years old the last time he flew with us so you can imagine he was a little nervous about negotiating the airport on his own. Glad to say he managed the whole journey to the student accommodation in Heidelberg without mishap – plane, train, bus and tram!
On a side note, we could not believe how much traffic there was on the motorways leading to London, even before 6am. We were driving east, just before sunrise, and the four ribbons of red tail lights ahead of us showed us unbroken streams of vehicles heading towards the Capital. We are so grateful not to be faced with that journey as a daily commute.
The poor night’s sleep and the early alarm call made me feel very tired for a couple of days. I stuck to the more straightforward tasks on my to-do list – ironing, cleaning, and fabric cutting. (I did try to do something on the computer and discovered pretty quickly just how low my resilience levels were!). Nevermind, I’ve caught up on sleep now, worked on a patchwork pattern without throwing the computer across the room or bursting into tears and have had a fairly cheery WhatsApp chat with the young man in Germany 🙂
So to my projects:
Something I’m calling ‘Hidden Stars’ is up on my design wall at the moment. The blocks are large at 16″ and I’m thinking a 3 x 3 setting with a border… I do enjoy these richly coloured Moda fabrics with their subtle sheen.
I’ve fussy-cut two sets of novelty print 5″ squares ready to make at least one I-Spy quilt. I have the fabrics for the sashing and borders. The plan being to make the quilt as a means of prompting revisions to a partially written pattern…
I will be teaching another Beginners Course at Purple Stitches this term. Actually the first session is this weekend. I’ve checked through and printed out the first handouts for my students and prepared some fabrics for my SIXTH version of the Beginners Quilt! I’ve decided to use up more of my 1930’s reproduction fabrics, setting them in a plus-sign design. One of my too-tired-to-think jobs earlier in the week was to sort through the fabrics cutting them into 5″ or 2½” squares. I’m not decided what to do with these left overs. Perhaps it’s time to remove them from my stash? I have listed a few stash fabrics in my ETSY shop – sometimes it’s time to move on and accept that enthusiasm for certain projects has waned and the fabrics bought in anticipation are now surplus to requirements.
And this week there was one small but welcome finish! I had another go at making a crazy patchwork basket. This time I increased the size of the piece of Bosal ‘In R Form’ to 14″ x 12″. I think for the ‘Using Up Scraps’ class in November I will recommend students start with a piece measuring 16″ x 12″ just to make sure it’s not too much of a struggle turning the basket inside out after joining the outer layer to the lining.
Finally, but by no means least, here is my selection of the conversations being raised in the worldwide quilty community this week:
Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs has recently released a Jelly Roll friendly pattern called ‘Winter Wreaths‘. It looks effective and Cheryl says there are very few seams to match so it would be ideal for a beginner and/or a quick project.
Jessica makes very colourful quilts – in her on-going series about quilting modern quilts she has shared ‘All Squared In’, a clever, simple design that shows off the ‘modern log cabin’ squares and her marvelous quilting.
Julie of Jaybird Quilts has just released her latest pattern. Called ‘Ribbon Candy‘ it is a very effective twist on the traditional Rail Fence Block. Well worth a look – even if it’s just to go gooey-eyed at the sight of her tiny baby, Nathan 🙂 modelling the quilt.
If you are the writer of a quilty blog then you’ll be interested to know there is a new Friday finish linky called Brag About Your Beauties hosted by Michelle of ‘From Bolt to Beauty’. A great place to share your finish, gain inspiration for your next project and generally share the world-wide quilty love 🙂
Carole Lyles Shaw has been at work in her sewing room de-stashing and de-cluttering. Her methodical approach to not only organising her fabrics but also her ideas and project priorities gives me hope that I could succeed in bringing my own clutter and swirling ideas under control. 🙂
Do you benefit from setting yourself goals and finding a way to be held accountable to those goals? How about posting your One Monthly Goal for October with Elm Street Quilts? Plenty of quilters already have. It doesn’t have to be a finish, it could be to cut out all the fabric for a quilt top, or piece ten blocks … Don’t hang about, the linky closes this weekend!
Welcome to Saturday Bring & Share, a virtual sewing day. Bring along your project and share in the latest news and views from the worldwide quilty community. You are very welcome to share links to your latest project or any of the quilty conversations that have caught your interest through the the past week. Just leave your thoughts and links in the comments box at the end of this page. Oh! And don’t forget to use the subscribe box to ensure you receive email notifications whenever I publish a blog post. Thank you!
I’ve managed a better balance between sewing machine and lap top this week. The lap top has mainly been used to add fresh items to my ETSY shop. Writing product information takes a surprisingly long time – and editing the product photos takes even longer! For the first time I’ve added some fabrics to my shop items. I’m in de-clutter mode at the moment – I think it is the changing season that has brought this about as Summer clothing and outdoor furniture is put away and Winter garments and occupations begin to take over. So even the sewing room has had a little declutter. It’s been good to finally give up some fabrics that I’d bought for projects I no longer have the time or motivation to pursue.
It’s been satisfying to do some sewing. I’m in the early stages of preparing a new workshop, ‘Using Up Scraps’. One of the techniques I’m planning to teach is crazy patchwork. Up till now I’ve only ever created crazy patchwork by using a stitch and flip method on a foundation fabric. Earlier in the Summer I was inspired by a friend to purchase a roll of stiffening material called In-R-Form by Bosal (although most sewists in the UK seem to be calling it by the manufacturers name rather than by the mouthful ‘In-R-Form’!). My friend bought her Bosal from Empress Mills and told me about the website’s link to a bag making You Tube video. I had to smile when I got home, found the website and clicked on the link only to find Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company with Vanessa aka ‘Crafty Gemini’ making a tote bag using a Jelly Roll and Bosal. What a fun pairing those ladies are! Anyway that got me thinking to try making a basket using Bosal decorated with crazy patchwork.
I cut a piece of Bosal, 9″ x 12″, and covered one side with crazy patchwork. It was very easy to stitch through the Bosal and it has created a firm but flexible basket. Unfortunately I made a bit of a boo-boo in choosing to make the basket fairly small. Once I’d made the lining I realised the side seams were less than four inches long. Of course I need to leave an opening in one of the seams to be able to turn the bag the right way out once the lining is stitched to the outer. But I think that opening needs to be at least three inches long in order to squish the flexible but bulky Bosal through the gap. Hum! I will have another go at making a basket but this time increase the size by a few inches…
We have been blessed with a few days of Summer in Autumn, clear blue skies and warm sunshine. On Thursday I was able to join friends at our monthly sewing day out in the beautiful Candover Valley, Hampshire. We meet in a village hall/come cricket pavilion next to the Victorian Church of St Peter. What a wonderful setting – so peaceful (well! apart from our chatter and the whir of sewing machines!). We took our lunches out onto the patio overlooking the cricket ground, basking in the sunshine, listening to the birds and just enjoying the treat of a warm day so late in September.
Before lunch I worked on my contribution to Roundabout Quilters’ raffle quilt. We will each make a house or tree block (final size 12″ square) which in the New Year will all be joined quilt-as-you-go style ready for the publicity shots for our group exhibition next September. I have pinned my block into it’s quilt sandwich and intend to add the quilting stitches this weekend.
After that lovely sunny lunch I went back into the hall and worked on another project. I made more half square triangles using some of my stash of Civil War reproduction fabrics. The rich, earthy colours of these fabrics are well suited to the rapid shift from bright Summer to golden Autumn that is taking place all around us. I’d like to arrange these HSTs into blocks and stitch them together over the weekend.
As usual there have been a whole host of interesting and inspiring blog posts to read over the past week or so. Here are just a few of the ones I have enjoyed and hope you will too:
Christa Watson has taken her quilt design process back a stage and has been designing fabrics. In this post she has lots of photos to show how a fabric design sketched on a piece of paper evolves into a real bolt of fabric. Fascinating!
I’m always on the look out for sewing room makeovers and Irene has posted the latest changes she has made to her sewing space – re-purposing IKEA units and other furniture from around her home. Ingenious and practical!