Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (51)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have had a good week and you will have time for a some creativity over the weekend. Bring along your project(s) and share in the latest quilty conversations across the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do use the comments box at the bottom of this page to share your projects and add your thoughts and reactions to what has inspired you and caught your attention this week.

I’ve been busy preparing for the third class of the Beginners Course at Purple Stitches. This, the penultimate class, is all about basting and quilting. I’ve pin basted my Dashing Stars quilt ready for the quilting demonstration.

Dashing Stars (2) basted by Allison Reid

I decided it would be a great idea to use another quilt top to demonstrate basting. I could have picked any number of completed quilt tops from my UFO pile but no, I chose to use the #scrappytripalong2019 – the blocks needed to be sewn together, borders measured and stitched in place, the wadding cut, the backing fabrics chosen and pieced together… Oh! And a label made too! Well! It may have been a good idea… But…It took me all day Thursday to piece the top and faff about putting the backing together. Thankfully I had a piece of Quilter’s Dream Poly wadding just slightly larger than required. I pushed through, not only making the label but also machine stitching it to the backing πŸ™‚

Blocks stitched together and borders added.
Backing for Scrappy Trip Along Quilt by Allison Reid
#scrappytripalong2019 backing
Label made and stitched in place.

I’m really pleased with the pieced backing. It looks so simple yet it took me well over two hours to select the fabrics, cut them to size and stitch those l-o-n-g seams! I had a thoroughly satisfying day moving on the #scrapytripalong2019 blocks from the design wall to having a quilt top ready for basting although it really struck me just how long it takes to make a quilt! I guess when we make a few blocks here, a few blocks there and complete a quilt in our ‘free’ time we very quickly lose track of just how many hours it takes? I was amazed how the hours ticked by that day and by my consistent underestimating of how long it would take to complete each step!

We have a houseful of guests this weekend so my sewing room has morphed into a guest room. Once home from Purple Stitches I’ll be turning my hand to some hand stitching πŸ™‚ As luck would have it I started a little Blackwork bookmark project on Monday at our monthly craft group.

Blackwork bookmark by Allison Reid Elizabeth 1 wearing Blackwork by Allison ReidI like Blackwork, I first learned it as an off-shoot of cross stitch (my go to craft before I discovered patchwork). Blackwork (essentially filling stitched outlines with repeating patterns stitched in running stitch) has a long history and was particularly popular in Tudor times. Look at this portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, her sleeves and the bodice of her dress are covered in Blackwork. I found this portrait in a great book by Becky Hogg, published by the Royal School of Needlework in their Essential Stitch Guides series.

And moving smoothly (or should that be ‘seamlessly’?) into this week’s links:

I read in the March edition of ‘British Patchwork & Quilting’ magazine that the Royal School of Needlework have published embroidery courses online. Find out more at www.rsnonlinecourses.comΒ 

Christa Watson has been sharing how she plans out the quilting designs she stitches over her quilts. This is a really comprehensive guide given as a guest post on Amy Smart’s blog, Diary of a Quilter.

Shannon Brinkley loves to talk fabrics and colour. In this blog post she explains the virtues of ‘monochromatic prints’.

Bobbie’s post has lots of handy piecing tips. She shows us how to make the first block in a sewing themed mystery quilt. The first block is a sewing machine.

If you are in the USA and could be inspired to create a quilt to donate to one or other of the charities supported by Hands2Help you can find out more information from Sarah at her blog, Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Bernie gives a moving description of the work carried out by a hospital Palliative Care Team and the use they make of donated quilts.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (50)

Welcome to the fiftieth edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share! I feel like there should be some sort of celebration… Anyway! It’s very good to have your company on this virtual sewing day πŸ™‚ Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the news and inspiration doing the rounds of the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do share links and news in the comments box at the end of this blog post. Thank you!

My projects for this weekend are: 1. To baste Dashing Stars ready for quilting

Dashing Stars ready for basting by Allison Reid
Dashing Stars quilt top, backing, cotton wadding and pins…

And 2. Piece the Scrappy Trip Along quilt top. I finished the final blocks last night and just had time to put all of them up on the design wall.

Scrappy Trip Along blocks on design wall by Allison Reid

When I began the trip along my intention was to piece the blocks in this repeating diamond design but I’ve seen so many lovely variations at #scrappytripalong2019 that I’m all of a dither now! Here are some possibilities I put together on EQ7. There must be many more variations….

Scrappy Trip Along chevrons by Allison Reid
Chevrons 4 x 6 setting
Scrappy Trip Along traditional by Allison Reid
Traditional setting for Trip Around the world quilt
Scrappy Trip Along zig-zags by Allison Reid
Zig-zags

My actual design wall setting and these ideas drawn on EQ7 are based on block layouts of 4 horizontal and 6 vertical (although my design wall photo shows the quilt on it’s side – sorry to be confusing!). This does make for slightly odd proportions – the quilt would measure approximately 48″ x 72″ – a bit too long and narrow maybe? To correct this I tried a 4 blocks by 5 blocks layout on EQ7 (which would measure 48″ by 60″).

Scrappy Trip Along original 4 x 5 by Allison Reid

To my mind this would be better proportioned BUT I don’t like the way the patchwork pattern loses it’s symmetry with that top row of blocks not being reflected in the bottom row.

So, an alternative would be add wide borders to the long sides of the 4 x 6 setting to give a slightly better proportioned quilt (say 60″ x 76″):

Scrappy Trip Along original with borders by Allison Reid

Or I could play around with alternative layouts which I can be handle being asymmetrical :-D:

Scrappy Trip Along two squares 4 x 6 by Allison Reid
A 4 x 6 setting…
Scrappy Trip Along two squares 4 x 5 by Allison Reid
…Or a 4 x 5 setting

So much to think about! I wonder if such an indecisive person as myself should be working on projects that allow for so many variations?? I shall leave the blocks up on the design wall, within eyesight, while I baste the Dashing Stars quilt and, who knows, I might make up my mind about the layout?

Here are a few of the blog posts and articles that have provided welcome distractions from the whirl of options in my mind this week:

How do you stitch down the binding around your quilts? Do you cut your binding on the grain or the bias? Yvonne gave her thoughts on the subject of the durability of binding. The contributions in the comments section are very interesting. My thinking has changed… I was advising students that machine stitched binding is more durable than hand stitched binding, but now…

Melony was surprised to find that internet searches from an insurance company were finding their way to her pattern shop. It is a strange/funny/mind-boggling story! She also regularly posts about quilts popping into shot on TV – this month an episode of the Waltons got her thinking…

Here is a great picture tutorial: make a little sensory play blanket for a baby. The tutorial by Julie Herman aka ‘Jaybird Quilts’ is great but oh! my goodness! the photos of baby Nate, the blanket tester, are just so cute!

Leah Day has produced a detailed tutorial describing how to piece a Square-in-a-Square block. This simple looking patchwork unit is the basis of the Economy Block and takes a bit of care in the making to keep all the sides consistent.

I wonder if you ever get to sew with your Mum or another member of your family? Rebecca shares how her Mom has come to the rescue on more than one occasion πŸ™‚

Happy Stitching!

Allison

PS. I’m very happy to say I will running the Scrap Buster Workshop at Purple Stitches in May. See my Workshop page for details πŸ™‚

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (49)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend and have some time set aside to bring along your project and share in some of the news and inspiration doing the rounds of the WorldwideΒ  Quilting Community. Please do use the comment box at the end of this post to join in the conversations and share any quilt related links that have caught your interest this week. Thank you! πŸ™‚

Most of my stitching has been centred on my second version of the ‘Dashing Stars’ quilt, designed by Viv of Purple Stitches for a Beginners Course. In the first of the four classes we concentrated on rotary cutting and quarter inch seams. We made Courthouse Step and Strip blocks. For the second class, held today, we turned our attention to Churn Dash and Sawtooth Star blocks, making two at a time Half Square Triangles and four at a time Flying Geese. Earlier in the week I made all the blocks for my quilt bar two – a Churn Dash and a Sawtooth Star kept back to be my demonstration blocks.

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring and Share (49)

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (48)

Hey! Ho! It’s Sunday…. Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring and Share! πŸ˜€ Well! It has been a busy week…. I hope you have found time over this weekend to do a bit of sewing? Bring your project along to this virtual sewing group and share some of the conversations and news doing the rounds in the Worldwide Quilting Community. You can use the comments box at the end of this post to join in the bringing and sharing πŸ™‚

For me the past week has included some seriously focused stitching, some sewing-related challenges and a day out with favourite daughter (I have just the one daughter in case that last comment worried you!).

First, the seriously focused stitching. I was absolutely determined to finish the ‘I-Spy Shadow’ quilt, photograph it and list it on ETSY before Thursday. Sometimes deadlines make me freeze but thankfully this self-imposed one did the trick and the quilt is finished and teamed up with a book pillow.

I-Spy Quilt and Book Pillow Set by Allison Reid

This is the third I-Spy Shadow quilt I have made. I am still writing the pattern…

Secondly, the sewing-related challenges. Humm! Machine applique! Troublesome, steep learning curve etc, etc! But some how or other I managed to get to grips with three methods and share them with some patient learners at Purple Stitches Quilt Club on Saturday afternoon.

PS Quilt Club Orange Peel test block by Allison Reid
Orange Peel Block. The test square, the actual background piece – grid drawn no orange peels in sight! – the book by Dawn Cameron-Dick that guided me through two methods of turned ‘invisible’ applique.

We also made a Bear’s Paw block – much more in my comfort zone.

PS Qult Club Bear's Paw Blocks by Allison Reid
Completed test block and nearing completion sampler block.

And finally, the day out with lovely daughter. We both journeyed by train to Salisbury in Wiltshire. The day dawned very foggy and the clouds did not lift until the afternoon but we carried through our plan to walk from the Railway Station to the ancient hill fort of Old Sarum. The walk took us along a river valley and it wasn’t until we reached the pretty thatched cottages of Stratford sub Castle that we were actually able to see the steep sides of the hill of Old Sarum through the fog.

Old Sarum from Stratford sub Castle by Allison Reid
Old Sarum emerging from the fog!

We followed the track up the hill and walked along the ridge of the lower side of the earthworks until we could gain access to the open grassy area at the top of the hill. Very impressive on so many levels. The earthwork ditch (‘ditch’ doesn’t in any way convey the size of the excavations!) that surrounds the upper levels of the hill was originally dug by Iron Age fort builders around 500BC making the ‘ditch’ 2500 years old!

The earthworks of Old Sarum by Allison Reid

None of my photos do justice to the depth and ‘steepness’ of the man-made defensive ditch that surrounds Old Sarum. I took the photo below of one of the notice boards so you can see the scale of the site.

Aerial view of Old Sarum by Allison Reid

The Romans and the Saxons refashioned the Fort in their turn before William the Conqueror in around 1090 topped out the centre of the hill with one of his customary castles. The ruins of the castle and the footings of the original Cathedral are on view and accessible to visitors but really its walking around the inner and outer rims of those ancient earthworks that gives an understanding of the scale of Old Sarum.

Back to the sewing room… My projects for this weekend involve: finishing the blocks from this months Quilt Club. In March we will make the final two blocks and then it will be time to add sashing and enjoy our sampler-style quilt tops; getting back to constructing blocks ready for next Saturdays Beginners Class; and making some more of the scrappy Trip Around the World blocks. The latter project had to go on the back burner this past week – I contented myself with playing with sets of strips on my design wall πŸ™‚

Scrappy Trip Along strips on my design wall by Allison Reid

It’s been encouraging to see so many Trip Around the World blocks being posted on Instagram – look up #scrappytripalong2019 to find them.

I’m afraid in all the busyness I have not been able to keep up with reading blog posts (my email in-box is bursting!) so very few links to share today πŸ™ I will ‘get back on it’ this week πŸ™‚ If you’ve read any posts that would be of interest do post the links in the comments box. Thank you!

Carole shares her painstaking efforts to restore a badly damaged heirloom quilt. Amazing work!

Jen Schaffer’s Monthly Colour Challenge is a great way to move out of a colour comfort zone and try working with colours inspired by a different flowers each month. The list of colours is available now but the block instructions are published monthly.

Linking with Whims and Fancies for the monthly Wandering Camera link up πŸ™‚

Happy Stitching.

Allison