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

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (276)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your projects(s) and enjoy being part of the sharing going on within our Worldwide Quilting Community πŸ™‚ It’s easy to join in by clicking the links below and leaving your encouraging thoughts and ideas in the comments boxes of the blogs you visit πŸ™‚

I’m still working my way through finishing up projects. I made one of the four cushion covers and posted a tutorial sharing my method for making an envelope closure with button fastenings. I need to sew buttons to the remaining three covers and stitch them and the binding to the cushion fronts.

I’m making slow progress stitching down the binding to the UFO quilt. I have to confess to getting too absorbed in what’s on TV! I’m doing a bit of a binge watch of ‘The Good Wife’. I nearly gave up in series one but through series two I got hooked by some of the on-going story lines and here I am at episode 3 of series 3! Maybe I will have to switch to audio books if I’m ever going to finish the binding? πŸ˜€

What’s my next project? I’m warming to the idea of using a Suzy Q pattern I bought some time ago, ‘Modern Fans‘. At the time I bought a stack of pink and grey FQ bundles from Hobbycraft to use with this pattern. Over the intervening time I’ve snuck out a few of the FQs for other projects so maybe it’s time to make the quilt before all the materials disappear? I’m also feeling an urge to practice FMQ, maybe this quilt top with it’s curved piecing could be a good project to try out some new moves?

Here are the links into our Worldwide Quilting Community. Jump in and enjoy!

Melva continues to share Marian’s memories of life along the Santa Fe Trail in the mid 1800s.

Fancy learning how to repair old/damaged quilts? Carole has years of experience providing this service for customers. She is ready to teach the skills and refer clients as her workload is too great. Carole is able to provide the class to individuals or guilds.

Bear Paw blocks are high up on my list of favourite blocks to make. They are relatively quick; there aren’t too many HSTs to trim :-); and they can be arranged in all sorts of layouts. Wendy’s guild, Capital Quilters, has a Bear Paw block logo. In this post she shares some photos of the Bear Paw quilts made by guild members back in 2015. They are planning another Bear Paw QAL for 2022.

Following bloggers who make miniature quilts finally broke down Nancy’s resistance to making another little quilt. Click over to her post to find links to quilty bloggers who do things in miniature and see Nancy’s progress with her version of the Dear Prudence quilt.

Suzy shares a super quick method to make a table runner. It would be easy to apply this method to any sort of design, Suzy’s design is called Holiday Table Runner.

We know patchwork quilters are a bunch of kind, warm hearted souls, don’t we? Bernie has discovered a way to spread the warm hearted kindness by joining in with ‘I found a quilted heart’. Find out more by reading Bernie’s blog post.

Gretchen is expertly hand quilting a Welsh quilt. In her blog post she shares some of the detail and explains how her quilting frame works.

I’m looking forward to Angela Walters‘ next free motion quilting series, ‘Fabulous Feathers’. The first episode is due to go out on 16th November and is titled ‘Fixing Feather Frustrations’! Keep up to date with the broadcast schedule by subscribing to Angela’s email newsletter πŸ™‚

Linking with Michelle for the Beauties Pageant and Wendy for the Peacock Party. Michelle is sharing her methods and progress re. de-stashing while Wendy explains why she has had to slow down progress on her Pandemic cross stitch sampler.

Happy Stitching!

Allison