My belated ‘ta-da’. I’ve finally managed to put together a group of photographs of the quilt I finished last week. It’s definitely a tricky time of year to get accurate colours in photos, what with the reduced hours of daylight, grey clouds and low level sun.
This morning there was a slither of an opening in the clouds, just above the horizon, so I wrapped up warm and took my quilt out into the garden for it’s 8.15am, rising sun, photo shoot!
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I’ve got over the discombobulated feeling brought about by the imminent lock down and I’m now settling into the four weeks (or more?) of restrictions. I managed to follow a mini course shared by Elise & Emelie as a taster for their new course, Illustrator for Quilters (registration has now closed). I was certainly stretched by the Adobe software but having to concentrate so hard did my general mindset a lot of good. I still have much to learn before I’ll be producing a patchwork pattern using AI but I can now draw and colour quilt blocks (well! I could yesterday!). Here’s my first effort 🙂 Definitely counts as a tick next to my word of 2020, ‘GROW’.
In the sewing room I’ve been working on the Scrap Vortex blocks. I decided to add wonky sashing and borders. I’ve used a Royal Blue extra wide backing fabric to frame the scrap blocks.
The sun glowing through the fabrics of the quilt top puts me in mind of stained glass windows, in particular the huge West Window of Winchester Cathedral.
In December 1642, during the Civil War, a band of disgruntled Roundhead soldiers over ran Winchester, rode their horses into the Cathedral and set about shooting the Medieval glass out of the windows!
Local people managed to salvage fragments of glass and kept them safe until, several decades later, restoration work began. There was little chance of being able to piece together the glass into the original pictures , instead a stained glass collage was created and remains in place to this day filtering sunlight into a myriad of patterns.
Not so many links this week. What with feeling unsettled and spending hours practising Adobe Illustrator I’ve fallen a bit behind with reading blogs. Anyhow, I do hope you find plenty of interest through exploring these links 🙂 :
Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts has written a comprehensive tutorial to guide us through matching a fabric print for a quilt backing. I love her examples of matching the same prints in different colourways. Her method produces ‘seamless’ results – Well! the seams are there of course but only visible on very close inspection 😉
Fancy tackling a UFO with the support of the quilting community behind you? Then UFOvember could be just the blog hop to follow! A whole host of patchwork quilters are disclosing their UFOs and sharing tips and ideas for moving these projects forwards. There’s a hashtag to follow too: #ufovember
Leanne has made a very effective mini quilt depicting a pine tree/Christmas tree. In her blog post she includes a link to the free pattern and describes her method of ticker-tape patchwork and how she quilted the mini.
Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Alycia has made a quilt using Greek Key blocks – it’s the right colours to be a Quilt of Valor…. Which reminds me it is Remembrance Sunday tomorrow. We will stand on our doorstep at 11am to share in a socially distanced Two Minute Silence.
Yep! Here in England we are just a few hours away from the second lock down of the year. This was announced on Sunday so there’s been a fair bit of last minute purchasing going on before all but essential shops close for four weeks. Of course, online shopping and click & collect services will continue so really there’s no need to rush around in a panic…
I’m trying to keep common sense thinking to the fore but often failing. I’m very grateful that this morning happened to be the fortnightly women’s Bible study held by our Church (on Zoom, of course). It’s good to have the grounding of Biblical truths to dwell on and learn from in these times when it’s too easy to get caught up in the minutiae of the moment forgetting this is all happening in just a tiny fragment of eternity.
I have to admit my thought processes have been particularly scatty over the past few days. I’ve not been able to settle to sewing, yet in the wee small hours last night I found myself planning another patchwork project! At least figuring quilt math in the dark and quiet got me back to sleep in double quick time! This morning I went into my sewing room all set to work on this new project (like I need another project!) but got distracted straight away by the piles of fabric scraps left on the cutting table…
Well! That got me back to sewing anyways.
Before the Zoom meeting I got those stray scraps stitched together and added them to the partially finished Scrap Vortex blocks. My cutting table now looks more orderly and my design wall more colourful. For this week that counts as a result!
The project I lay awake planning revolves around a pack of eight fat quarters I bought online in the last lock down. I had an idea for them then which is no longer floating my boat.
In fact I wonder why I so often fall for the temptation of pre-cut fabric packs? I always dither about how to use such packs to best effect, so they tend to stifle my creativity rather than inspire BUT a curated collection of fabrics always looks so attractive on a shelf 😀 Is it just me or do you notice in photos of other crafters sewing rooms stacks of beautifully arranged fabric bundles glowing brightly among perfectly colour-matched notions and curios? To quote Queen, ‘Is this real life? Or just a fantasy?’
Oh! My goodness! My thoughts are flying around like I’m experiencing a prolonged caffeine rush! I will bring this stream of consciousness nonsense to a close very soon I promise! I feel so sad for young people who have had to postpone wedding dates, cancel much needed holidays or are struggling to find employment. For me lock down doesn’t bring many disappointments: the main one is not being able to have direct contact with my parents and other family members (no indoor mixing of households permitted 🙁 ); the final class of the Beginners Course has had to be postponed, I feel for the students who are so close to completing their first quilts and will now have to wait; I was enjoying the social aspects and sense of purpose working a few hours each week in Purple Stitches provided, hopefully that will recommence in December or the New Year.
On a final thought-flit: I would love to be producing more patchwork patterns. I have almost as many pattern UFOs as quilt UFOs. To write patterns more efficiently (I could hardly be less efficient!) I really need to grapple with Adobe Illustrator rather than getting frustrated with the limitations of Microsoft Word. Hum! Maybe it will do my flutter-by mind good to apply it’s limited capabilities to learning new software? Or maybe I’ll just end up eating a lot of chocolate and throwing my laptop out of the window 😀
I have a finished quilt to share after a deal of concentrated effort and a lot of fun in my sewing room over the past five days.
I’ve called this quilt ‘All The Pieces’. (If you’d like to know how I make and attach quilt labels then do take a look at my blog post ‘Homemade Quilt Labels – A Tutorial‘).
It’s been great to use up some scraps a la the Scrap Vortex tutorials by Amanda Jean Nyberg. It’s not just the quilt top that’s made from left-over fabrics. The pieced backing is all from my stash and the super scrappy binding is made from short lengths of binding saved from previous projects.
Even the wadding is part of the use it up/recycle vibe, as I made use of a pack of Quilters Dream Green batting I’d opened for another project. Did you know Dream Green is made from recycled plastic bottles? I really do enjoy using this particular poly batting: It feels soft and smooth (not rough and prickly like other poly battings), is easy to to stitch through and produces light-weight, cuddly quilts.
Adding the text print borders (all strips left over from extra wide backing fabrics bought at Purple Stitches) helped to stabilize all those scraps and their short seams. The quilt finished at 45½” x 49½”.