Patchwork Project Progress

As hoped I have been able to spend more time in my sewing room. I even missed the screening of The Great British Bake Off in order to progress my patchwork projects! (I know! The sacrifices made for this hobby of ours!). πŸ™‚

Breezy day!

I’ve completed the patchwork top of the Dashing Stars quilt. I think this is the sixth version I’ve made. As I had plenty of the background fabric to play with I decided to make an addition to the pattern. Note the narrow borders on the

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Puffy borders, ‘seamless’ joins and undulating lines

Last weekend I shared the three projects that were ‘live’ in my sewing room. Progress has been made on two πŸ™‚

First up is the Winnie-the-Pooh baby quilt panel. I’d already quilted around the printed patchwork blocks – pseudo in-the-ditch. Since the weekend I’ve made the binding – four 2ΒΌ” width of fabric strips were just enough :-). Before attaching the binding I thought it would be best to flatten down the ruffled fabric of the printed borders.

I could have done some quilting but the aim of this project was to ‘keep it simple’ so I opted to stay-stitch about 1/8th inch in from the marked edges. I figured anchoring down the puffiness would reduce the risk of the excess fabric being pushed to the corners when the binding was being stitched in place. This would have created edges that wouldn’t lie flat and distorted the rectangular shape of the quilt.

I increased the machine stitch length from 2 to 5 and began stitching from the corners to the mid-point of each edge.

Midpoint of the bottom edge. Stay stitching started from the corners meets in the middle, creating a pucker or two…

At the midpoint I stopped stitching, broke threads and went onto the next corner, stitching down to the mid-point and stopping again. This shifted the excess fabric to the centre of each edge rather than pushing it out to the corners. A few puckers were created but I figured these were a reasonable compromise in the pursuit of keeping the whole quilt flat and with 90Β° corners.

Once the stay-stitches were in place I trimmed away the excess backing and wadding before attaching the binding to the front of the quilt.Β  As for puckers and pleats I’m pleased to say there are so few I’m pretty sure they will fly under the radar of the Quilt Police! πŸ˜‰ I’m looking forward to hand stitching the binding to the back of this little quilt.

On to project number 2the Quilters Color Quest scrappy Bear Tracks quilt. First job was to ‘re-size’ the backing fabric. The fabric was much longer than the quilt top but not as wide. I decided to cut it in half across the fabric width and stitch two long edges together. The tricky bit was stitching the two pieces together so the diagonal stripe pattern appeared unbroken. Two attempts, a bit of fiddling and lots of pins produced a happy result!

Really close inspection would show the little patterns within the stripes not quite matching but over all the stripes look unbroken πŸ™‚

I pin basted the Bear Tracks quilt yesterday afternoon. It took me a while to come up with a quilting design. I decided the Bear Track blocks would be difficult to stitch around or integrate into a design, better to go for an all over design that doesn’t relate directly to the blocks. I thought about straight parallel lines (a bit like tracks?) or a grid, finally coming up with a wavy line grid. I used a Hera Marker to ‘draw’ two intersecting undulating lines (don’t you just love the word ‘undulating’? I think Miranda Hart would enjoy playing with that word!). Once I’d stitched over the indents made by the Hera Marker (using Yvonne’s tip of directing light from the side to create a shadow) I fixed the line guide to my walking foot and made a start echo stitching the curvy lines.

My echos are two inches apart – I could be quilting for some time… So far, so good.

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers.

Allison

(Should have been) Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (222)

Saturday is long gone so I won’t even pretend to make this post a regular Saturday Quilting Bring & Share but, never fear, at the end of the post there are some links into the quilty goodness shared by our Worldwide Quilting Community.

My blog posting schedule slipped as we welcomed family guests and enjoyed celebrating birthdays (two of our children have their special day in the same week!). Nothing makes me happier than having all three of our children together with us πŸ™‚ Monday was a Bank Holiday for most of the UK so that made for a relaxing long weekend.

Now I’m trying to get my head round today being Wednesday. I finished converting the guest room back into my sewing room first thing this morning (a video on my Facebook page shows what the room looks like ‘mid-morph’). I haven’t been putting everything back into place though: I’m having a bit of a de-stash following on from the Quilter’s Color Quest stash challenges. I spent yesterday afternoon out in the garden photographing fabric – conditions were ideal, hazy sunshine and hardly any breeze πŸ™‚ Check out my Etsy shop, AllisonsPatchworks for the latest de-stash items.

Back to my sewing room…. First up on the re-hung design wall are the Bear Paw blocks made as I followed the Quilter’s Color Quest QAL.

I’ve put all sixty up in no particular order and will just leave them to settle, waiting to see if any are too dominant or distracting. It’s such a scrappy mix I figure most, if not all, will be fine. I am considering adding sashing between the blocks to give the eye a bit of a rest as it travels over the quilt top. What do you think? Rachel Hauser gives instructions for different layouts including ‘Flower Pod’ and ‘Modular’ which both involve grouping and separating the Bear Paw blocks with additional fabric. But these alternative arrangements are not on-point and I do like the blocks on point… Plenty to ponder.

Here are the promised links into just a little of what has been shared by our Worldwide Quilting Community:

I wonder how many Hoffman Dream Big panels are languishing in ‘must get round to that’ piles? The panels are available in many attractive colourways. Carole has been at work on two of the panels. In this blog post she shares her quilting plan for the second of her panels and shows us, with lots of clear photographs, how she executed the plan. The quilt is now hanging in a local quilt shop and makes a stunning display.

Christa Watson shares her method for creating wavy line quilting patterns in a video tutorial. She is also offering a free download of her patchwork pattern, Puzzle Box.

Re. The Quilter’s Color Quest, JanineMarie has written a lovely post describing what she has learned about her stash through the final couple of Challenges. Her Bear Paw blocks look great – she has given a lot of thought to her fabric choices.

Often times ‘simple is best’. Patty has used a Charm Pack and some background fabric to make a lovely quilt to welcome her neighbour’s new baby. It’s a great gift and can be made in double quick time… It makes me want to rummage through my stash for a charm pack!

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers and Jennifer for Wednesday Wait Loss. Both blogs have quilts and projects made by their hosts and contributors to the link ups – more inspiration!

Allison

 

Re-working a patchwork UFO

Encouraged by the recent finish of a long-term UFO quilt I reached back into the UFO Cupboard of Shame and brought out a large bag containing thirty-five 12″ blocks, left over fabrics, backing fabric and a large piece of cotton wadding. I was all ready for the challenge of finishing this project until I put three of seven rows of blocks up onto the design wall and took a moment to look over the magazine pattern.

With borders this quilt would measure a hefty 98″ by 68″. Way beyond the size I feel comfortable quilting. Would it really be worth investing time and effort stitching the top together when I knew I’d either get frustrated quilting it or, more likely, return it to the Cupboard un-quilted?

I posed the following question via Instagram and Facebook: ‘Is it OK to ditch a UFO?’ The responses were so helpful and encouraging. Ranging from ‘permission’ to scrap the project and move on, along with suggestions of how to use the blocks to make smaller projects.

With those suggestions running around my mind I began to feel much more positive about the UFO. I unpicked strips of three blocks from three of the rows and stitched them together to make a 36″ square.

I had a think, toyed with introducing other fabrics, finally deciding to add a border around the blocks to bring the flimsy up to a reasonable size. Looking through the bag of left-over fabrics I found a few partial strips of the feature fabrics and at least 1Β½m of the white on white background fabric. I decided to cut twelve squares of feature fabric and continue the patchwork pattern into the borders.

I’m pleased with how this looks πŸ™‚ The squares running into the borders create a large on-point square running through the patchwork which helps keep the eye travelling around the quilt (in my humble opinion!). The flimsy measures 46Β½” square so a handy size for a baby quilt, a chair throw or even a wall hanging. Just the remaining twenty-six UFO blocks to deal with…

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers. Susan is designing a camping themed quilt for her son.

Allison