Dashing Stars and a Moravian Star

Hooray! For finishing projects! And Hooray! For sharing a creative hobby with like-minded people – a great way to find inspiration and grow friendships 🙂

I’m fortunate enough to participate in a monthly sewing day in a warm hall in the middle of the beautiful Candover Valley, Hampshire. Yesterday was the last Thursday of the month, the date of our regular gathering. Surrounded by like-minded ladies, good conversation and the gentle whir of sewing machines I made steady progress on not one but three projects 🙂

First up: I machine stitched the binding to my third version of ‘Dashing Stars’, the pattern used in the Beginners Course at Purple Stitches. It feels great to have another finish under my belt 🙂

Dashing Stars 3 finished by Allison Reid

Next: I turned to the log cabin project. This began in response to a request for a Log Cabin workshop. A few weeks ago I worked out a pattern using two methods to make a Log Cabin block. I then set-to with a Moda Jelly Roll – ‘Vive La France’ – and my low volume stash to make thirty-six Log Cabin blocks. I enjoyed myself, writing out the methods and pattern as I went along but had to admit that making two sets of 18 blocks would be too much to do in a time-limited workshop….  Back to EQ7 and my design wall … I decided on a more manageable workshop-friendly design using just sixteen blocks.

Log Cabin Workshop quilt top by Allison Reid

Yesterday I stitched my sixteen blocks together to make the workshop example. I’ve ordered some plain Moda fabric for the border and I have several strips left over from the Jelly Roll – enough to make a coordinated scrappy binding.

IMG_4276And my third sewing day project: A Moravian Star. I started this on Tuesday evening at a meeting of Roundabout Quilters. One of the members of the group kindly prepared templates and demonstrated how to paper piece this rather spectacular decoration. I’m using five fabrics from my Christmas stash and some scraps of wadding. It’s a long, long time since I’ve embarked on a English Paper Piecing type project and I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying it.

(The image to the left is from a free Moravian Star tutorial on the AQS website. Unlike the pattern Roundabout Quilters are using, the AQS pattern does not use wadding to pad out the diamond shapes).


Moravian Star segments by Allison Reid

Twelve of these five-piece segments are needed to construct the Star. I’ve decided to give this decoration to a friend as a Christmas gift – a decision that should spur me onto a finish rather than the creation of yet another UFO!

All-in-all a very enjoyable and productive sewing day. Linking with Alycia for Finished Or Not Finished Friday – she’s been working on a modern version of the Log Cabin block.

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (78)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. So lovely to have join this virtual sewing day. Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the conversations and inspiration being discussed in the Worldwide Quilting Community. Please do leave your thoughts and links in the comments box at the end of this page. Thank you!

This weekend I shall be out of my sewing room for much of the time as we have a Church family event to celebrate and this is the weekend of my local quilt group’s show. We set up the quilts yesterday and are hoping for many visitors to come gaze at the quilts, sample the homemade refreshments and enjoy a bit of retail therapy at the trader stalls. More details here.

Square in a Square ready for quilting by Allison Reid

When I do get a few minutes at my sewing machine I will be starting to quilt the second Square-in-a-Square quilt. I made the binding some time ago, the label is part of the pieced back so everything is in place for a smooth finish 😉 I’ll be posting progress pics on Instagram @allisonreid.neweverymorning

And so to the links into the Worldwide Quilting Community… You can find more links to useful patchwork quilting tips and tutorials by clicking onto my regularly updated Pinterest board, Pins of the Week.

Do you have ‘orphan blocks’ hanging around in your sewing space or buried in your scrap baskets? Orphan blocks = those blocks left over when projects finish, test blocks and the like. Cynthia takes us through her method for rescuing her orphans, bringing them together and lovingly adding a few new fabrics to make a little quilt. 🙂

Amy’s use of co-ordinated fabric scraps in this version of her Dart quilt pattern really appeals to me. The use of black & white fabrics in each of the 6″ blocks makes for an eye catching patchwork.

Stephanie is giving us the heads up re. a Quilt-A-Long to accompany the release of Lori Holt’s latest book ‘Farm Girl Vintage 2’. The picture blocks in the book look great, all around the theme of countryside and farming. See a video featuring the blocks and quilts here: https://youtu.be/STndcqJzrwE

Carole Lyles Shaw’s improvised curves technique looks like a lot of fun and she shares her students work to illustrate that curved piecing can be a stress-free experience. I want to have a go…

Suzy initiated a thought provoking discussion on Instagram under the title ‘I can’t Even Tell It’s Handmade!” – A Makers Dilemma’. The comments she received in response to publishing this reaction to a piece of her work form an interesting discussion. In her blog post Suzy generously concludes ‘As makers, we must forgive our awkward fellow humans with questionable craft education and forge on, bringing more and more beauty into the world! But when in doubt, even if it’s hard, take it as a compliment!’

Shannon Brinkley is sharing her thoughts on creativity in a series of articles, ‘Awaken Your Creativity’, published in her email newsletter. The first in the series is entitled ‘Inspiration for Creative Work’. These words got me thinking:

“When you’re putting yourself in the way of beauty– when you’re seeking out inspiration, try to do this regularly outside of the quilt industry. 

The quickest way for your quilts to look like everyone else’s quilts is to only draw inspiration from other quilts.” 

To read the whole of Shannon’s email subscribe here.

I linked yesterdays post about my finished quilt ‘Coral Sea’ to Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty for her regular Friday link up celebrating finished projects. Her post was about her love of creating pieced backs for quilts. I received several comments about the pieced back I made for Coral Sea so thought those of you who missed the link might like to click over to Michelle’s post today 🙂

To keep with the pieced back theme here’s a sneak peak of a back I’ve made for a cot quilt. I’ll post more about the quilt once it has been gifted.

Snoopy Baby Quilt finished back by Allison Reid

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (68)

Whew! It’s the weekend! Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share: an opportunity to bring along your project(s) and share in the conversations, tips and advice doing the rounds of the Worldwide Quilting Community. Please leave links to your projects and/or the conversations that have caught your quilty interest along with your thoughts in the comments box at the bottom of this page. 🙂

First a big thank you to the ladies who came along to my Patchwork Workshop yesterday. It was a good day and everyone left happy with their completed foundation paper pieced and crazy patchwork blocks. I have posted photos of these lovely blocks on Instagram, @allisonreid.neweverymorning, and Facebook, www.facebook.com/NewEveryMorningPQ . Unfortunately I can’t post any photos here as I took them on my phone and have no idea how to transfer them to my laptop! (The one thing I did forget to take to the workshop was the memory card for my camera!).

Last week it was my intention to get the Square-in-a-square quilt tops sandwiched ready for quilting. That didn’t happen as prep for the Workshop and fiddling about with half square rectangles filled my sewing time. (And this little corner of England is bone dry – no rain for weeks – so watering the garden and allotment are becoming time consuming priorities).

Thankfully an email from Myra reminded me that I needed to complete the next stage of the Jelly Roll Waves QAL. This week is all about cutting up our fabrics. I’ve chosen to make the small lap top quilt using the strip piecing method. I’ve divided my main fabrics into lights and darks in the hope that my blocks will create an ombre effect across the quilt….

Jelly Roll Waves QAL cutting by Allison Reid

On Tuesday evening I attended the AGM of Roundabout Quilters. (It’s been a good year for the group with guest speakers, workshops and sewing days. Looking ahead, our biennial exhibition takes place through the weekend of 21-22nd September. Over the August break there will be lots of work being done to promote the event and ensure it runs  smoothly). At the AGM I spied a lovely work bag on the arm of one of the members. She gave me the pattern name and I am now the owner of a copy of the ‘Crafter’s Carry-All’ pattern by Quilters Trading Post.

Crafters Carry-All pattern cover by Allison Reid

The pattern arrived super quick through the post. Goodness knows when I’m going to make the bag…. But I especially like it as it doesn’t have any zips 😀 I guess inserting zips is something else to add to my long list of skills to learn? 😉

As for sewing this weekend….? Well! I’ve become one of those bloggers with ‘secret sewing’! Get me! I’ll even give you a ‘sneak shot’ 😀 of the gorgeous Oakshott Fabrics I’ll be using:

Oakshott Fabrics by Allison Reid

That’s all the bringing I’m doing this Saturday, now onto the sharing: I hope you find plenty to interest and inspire you through the following links:

Making a memory quilt from well worn fabrics holds challenges especially when those fabrics come from clothes worn by a much missed loved one. Bernie takes us through the making of a memory quilt with useful tips about choosing a design and stabilising and utilising the fabrics given for the project.

I know I’ve mentioned labeling quilts once or twice before… But Izzy has such a quick way to add a label to a quilt that there really is no excuse for missing out this step in the finishing a quilt 😉 Check out her tutorial here.

Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts has some handy quilting tips when using minky as the backing fabric for a quilt.

It’s a while since I’ve done any hand quilting. Wendy is making a beautiful job of stitching out the designs on a Sashiko panel. In her blog post she also shares photos of a quilt she made featuring Sashiko stitching in alternate squares – it really is very striking.

If you are thinking of using the services of a long-arm quilter to do the quilting stage of one of your projects Stephanie has some handy tips re. how to prepare your quilt top and backing as well as the options you will need to discuss with the long-armer (is that even a word?).

Seems to be a bit of theme running through this weeks links: Jen has some useful tips for piecing quilt backings and shows how she bastes a quilt sandwich.

Watching You Tube is definitely one of those occupations where ‘one thing leads to another’… I clicked on to the Creative Grids tutorial to find some tips for using my Perfect Rectangle Ruler… when the tutorial finished it ran onto an Angela Walters video… so I learned how to quilt Paisley Feathers too… 😀

Linking with Myra for the Jelly Roll Waves QAL.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Touring Quilter – National Quilt Championships, Sandown UK

I had a lovely day out on Saturday, visiting the annual National Quilt Championships at Sandown Racecourse. The sun shone but it was not too hot and although the traffic on the M25 motorway/carpark was heavy our journeys too and from the venue did not spoil the day.

Starting with lunch… We sat outside on the main stand of Sandown Racecourse and enjoyed the panoramic view of London.

Sandown 2019 View (1) by Allison Reid
If you look very closely you will see the triangular shape of The Shard between two tree tops to the right of the photo. The Shard is the tallest building in the UK.
Sandown 2019 View (3) by Allison Reid
Look closely at the horizon and you’ll spot the arch of Wembley Stadium gleaming in the sunshine.

As members of Roundabout Quilters we were keen to go see our Group Quilt hanging in the exhibition. Our quilt, along with all the others was displayed well and it was especially pleasing to see other visitors stopping to look and making positive comments.

Sandown 2019 Group Quilt (2) by Allison Reid
Roundabout Quilters entry with the winner of the Group Quilt category in the foreground.

Sandown 2019 Group Quilt (1) by Allison Reid

And look the quilt gained a Judges Merit! The first time Roundabout Quilters has entered a quilt in a show too! The Quilt will be first prize in the Charity Raffle we are holding as part of our bienneial exhibition in September (more details here).

Now for your delight and inspiration here are just a very few of the quilts on display at Sandown.

Sandown 2019 Quilt (1) by Allison Reid
‘Modern Quilt’ by Maureen Crawford.
Sandown 2019 Quilt (2) by Allison Reid
‘Tutti-Frutti’ by Pam & Nicky Lintott.
Sandown 2019 Quilt (2.1) by Allison Reid
‘Tutti-Frutti’ quilting detail

Part of the exhibition space was given over to Sandy Chandler’s huge wholecloth quilts. Here are close ups from two of her quilts:

Sandown 2019 Quilt (3) by Allison Reid
Detail of wholecloth quilt by Sandy Chandler

Sandown 2019 Quilt close up by Allison Reid

Sandown 2019 Quilt (4) by Allison Reid
‘Storm at Sea’ by Pat Coverdale
Sandown 2019 Quilt (5) by Allison Reid
‘Seaside Sewing’ by Gill Tilburn was hand pieced on holiday!

Of course, there was opportunity for retail therapy too. I had a good therapy session… picking up fabrics for Myra’s Jelly Roll Waves QAL starting in a week’s time; backing fabric for the Square in a Square quilt tops I made earlier in the month; a book about Bargello quilts (this is a patchwork pattern on my bucket list!); a couple of fabric pieces for my stash and a little collection of notions (I know, ANOTHER ruler! 😀 ).

Sandown 2019 Jelly Roll Wave fabrics by Allison Reid Sandown 2019 Notions by Allison ReidSandown 2019 Backing and Stash fabrics by Allison Reid

Roundabout Quilters met a few days after Sandown for a sewing evening. As well as being very happy with our first experience of having a Group Quilt hung in a national show we were in general agreement that attendance at quilt shows is declining year by year. I wonder if you have experienced the same? The biggest and most popular UK show is the annual Festival of Quilts held over a long weekend in August at the NEC, Birmingham. Perhaps there will have to be a reduction in the number of national shows held throughout the UK with the key event being the Festival of Quilts? As footfall declines and exhibition entries fall, vendors and exhibition goers alike may have to acknowledge that the number of shows on the calendar will need to be reduced.

On a positive note I wonder if a reduction in the number of national quilt shows will lead to a rise in the popularity of the exhibitions held by local quilt groups? Less travel and reduced costs for vendors and visitors alike, along with the pleasure of seeing quilts hung in a variety of spaces could be the way forwards. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on the present state and future options for quilt exhibitions.

Joining Lorna for the Let’s Bee Social link up at Sew Fresh Quilts. Lorna is sharing her latest animal pattern called ‘Lamb Chops’!

Allison