Dashing Stars unpicked and re-organised!

Dashing Stars mis-arranged by Allison Reid
Dashing Stars mis-arranged

Oh! Phew! Unpicking lots of seams takes lots of time 😉 In my previous blog post I shared my very silly decision not to label each of the 36 blocks before putting together my latest version of Dashing Stars. Having made one poor decision I followed it up with an even more misguided one: I choose to leave the blocks I’d misplaced in the first couple of rows and just rearranged others in lower rows thinking it would work out OK! Well! It didn’t! The inevitable marathon of unpicking followed (not so much a marathon as a endurance race with stages as it took several sessions over several days to undo all those pesky stitches!).

Anyway the blocks finally went back up on the design wall. I used my original photograph to guide me as I pinned a label to each and every block AND then, and only then, did I stitch them all together!

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (48)

Hey! Ho! It’s Sunday…. Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring and Share! 😀 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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙁 I will ‘get back on it’ this week 🙂 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 🙂

Happy Stitching.

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (47)

Welcome! To the forty seventh Saturday Quilting Bring and Share. Bring along your project and share in some of the news, views and inspiration circulating through the Worldwide Quilting Community :-). You are welcome to share links to your projects and add your insights to the quilty conversations via the comments box at the end of this blog post 🙂

Beginners Quilt 2019 fabrics by Allison Reid
Six fabrics ready for my second ‘Dashing Stars’ beginners quilt.

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Trip Around the World Block – Quick Tip

The collection of Scrappy Trip Around the World Blocks on my design wall continues to grow. I now have eight, just about keeping up with the schedule of the Scrappy Trip Along organised by Angie aka Gnome Angel.

Trip Around the World Blocks (eight) on design wall by Allison Reid

To recap: The blocks are made using the strip tube method shown by Bonnie Hunter in this tutorial.

I’ve found the tutorial easy to follow. My only sticking point coming when deciding which of the seams to unpick in each of the tube segments. I have now found a sure fire way of opening the tube segments so the fabric squares form the desired diagonal pattern.

Trip Around the World Block by Allison Reid

All of my scrappy strip sets have a dark pink strip at the top and a gold strip at the bottom. These two are sewn together to form the tube. My intention is for the dark pink squares to run across the centre diagonal of all of the Trip Around the World blocks.

Trip Around the World Block strip set by Allison Reid

 

Trip Around the World Block by Allison Reid
Six strips sewn into a tube ready to be cut into segments.

Segment 1: I always unpick the seam between the dark pink and the gold squares.

Trip Around the World Block first seam by Allison Reid

Trip Around the World Block second seam by Allison Reid

I then look to the bottom two squares of this open strip and note the fabrics – in this case the beige and the gold squares.

Trip Around the World Block pointer to second seam by Allison Reid

I then take the second tube segment and unpick the seam between the beige and the gold squares.

Trip Around the World Block third seam by Allison Reid

I lay the open second segment next to the first, look at the bottom two squares of the second segment (the blue and beige squares). I then know to unpick the seam between the blue and the beige squares of the third tube segment.Trip Around the World Block fourth seam by Allison Reid

And so I continue, always looking at the bottom two squares of the most recently opened tube segment to let me know which seam I need to open in the next tube segment.

Trip Around the World Block final seam by Allison Reid

Trip Around the World Block segments opened by Allison Reid

Works a treat for me! No more time wasted trying to figure out how to proceed 😀

Hope this might be of help to you. Of course, you may fix on another visual clue to aid you in sequencing the strips of a tube block like this. Do share if you found this method helpful or if you use a different way to figure out this little puzzle.

Linking with Lorna for Let’s Bee Social and Jennifer for Wednesday Wait Loss.

Allison