Snapshots and Snippets Part 2

2019 Beginners Quilt Blocks by Allison ReidContinuing my attempt to catch up with quilty goings on and other stuff in no particular order:

I’m keeping the quilty momentum going through a nicely balanced week. Yesterday evening I made the final blocks needed for the 2019 Beginners Class sample quilt. It has been a real joy to cut and piece the very pretty Serendipity fabrics. I think the colours will look particularly appealing in the New Year when grey skies abound and the trees and flower beds are bare.

This is a photo of my sewing space set up for cutting and piecing. Everything within easy reach.

Sewing room - cutting and piecing by Allison Reid

The swivel office chair is really useful and the folding table is lightweight but sturdy – a good rest for the little ironing board and my coffee mug 🙂 My cutting mat is on the folding, gate-leg table which when fully extended becomes my basting table. I am on a mission to find a proper place for everything in my sewing room. The wooden ruler rack my Dad made for me is just wonderful. I so enjoy reaching for rulers as I need them and slotting them back in place after each use – no more scrabbling around on the cutting table to find a ruler or trying to ‘store’ them leaning against the legs of the table!

Wooden ruler rack by Allison Reid
The wooden ruler rack has six grooves and currently holds eight rulers.

Workstation tidies by Allison ReidNot nearly as elegant as the handmade ruler rack but just as practical are these re-purposed washing tablet containers. A couple of these on the cutting table or next to my sewing machine help me to keep all my supplies within sight and easy reach. And I’m forming good habits, putting items back in the containers straight after use – less time searching for mis-placed items is more time to be creative 😉 What measures have you taken to make more efficient use of your creative space and time?

 

 

Today I would like to stitch the Beginners blocks together and complete the quilt top but I know quilting the current Beginners quilt is a more urgent task. Time to rearrange the furniture for quilting…

Ready for quilting by Allison Reid
Tables rearranged to support the weight of a quilt whilst machine quilting.

Fabric Bauble by Allison ReidIn my previous post I mentioned a couple of crafty projects I had been working on for events at our Church. Our monthly craft group received a kind donation of a box full of polystyrene balls. Humm! What to do with them? A quick search on-line and I found this excellent tutorial on You Tube – how to make a fabric covered bauble by Big Dreams Embroidery.  The tutorial even includes a very helpful demonstration showing how to make the double bow that sits atop the completed bauble. My daughter and I spent a morning experimenting and made a bauble to use as a sample. I took along a pile of my Christmas stash fabrics to the Craft Group meeting on Monday and the bauble making was a big success 🙂

The second craft I’m working on also involved looking on line for inspiration. A tea-light holder. Members of our Church congregation have responded generously to a request for empty preserve jars. I’ve had a search through them all and brought home a few that need more than a scrub with wire-wool to remove the last traces of the label glue. This is a job for solvent…

Sticky jars and solvent by Allison Reid

The weather has been so mild this week that I’ve hung washing out to dry in the garden! Last week and over the weekend we did have some very heavy rain. I’ve been aware that the seed in the bird feeders had got very wet and was looking distinctly moldy, not to say manky. Making the most of the dry weather I dismantled the feeders, gave them a soak and a scrub in hot, soapy water before leaving them to air dry in the warmth of the sun. It was very satisfying to get on and do one of the many ‘I must get round to doing that’ jobs dotted around my house and garden!

I hope you will bear with my snapshots and snippets – I am so happy to be capturing some of my whirling thoughts and bringing them to the blog at last 🙂 I’m afraid it all reads as a real jumble of random thoughts and activities but maybe I’m not alone in jumping about from one crafty/home activity to another?

Allison

 

 

 

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (36)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (even though it is Sunday 😉 – it’s me who’s late not you!). Bring along your weekend sewing project and share in some of the quilty conversations that have caught our attention through the week. Add links to your project posts or add to the conversations by using the comments box at the bottom of this page.

My projects this week have been all about teaching and learning. I’ve had fun experimenting with foundation piecing Pineapple blocks before teaching the technique at Purple Stitches’ Quilt Club. Here are my versions of the 12″ Pineapple and Old Maid’s Puzzle blocks:

Pineapple and Old Maid's Puzzle Blocks by Allison Reid

The Orange Peel blocks are still on my design wall. I need to spend a bit of time with pencil and squared paper figuring out how to enlarge the blocks to give the effect of leaves drifting across a blue blue sky…

Orange Peel blocks by Allison Reid

But I’m in deep danger of being completely distracted by this little pile of fabric happiness…

Serendipity by Minki Kim for Riley Blake Designs from Purple Stitches
Serendipity by Minki Kim for Riley Blake Designs from Purple Stitches

Viv has come up with a fresh design for the Purple Stitches Beginners Course quilt. I’m the lucky one who gets to pattern test the design and fondle these new fabrics (available from the shop website).

Here are just a few of the blog posts that have caught my attention this week:

I like that by writing my blog and using social media I am part of the Worldwide Quilting Community (could WQM become a recognisable abbreviation? :-D). Quilters from places across the globe share their love of patchwork and quilting and also give glimpses into events in their lives. Kristie shares her experience of living through Hurricane Michael and how this massive storm has affected the rural community around her home.

I think Avis must have the patience of a saint! She is making the Loyal Union Sampler Quilt designed by Jennifer Chiaverini (she of the Elm Creek Quilt novels) . Avis’ latest blocks look so neat and they showcase several different piecing techniques.

Have you ever wondered why quilt patterns cost what they do? Kirsty of Bonjour Quilts has written a very candid blog post about the costs she incurs in producing and selling her patterns. The short version is that as buyers we can provide designers the best remuneration by buying patterns direct from them. She explains clearly why paper and PDF versions of a pattern have the same cost and reminds us not to break copyright either by copying patterns we have bought or by accepting copied patterns from well-meaning friends.

Do you have fat quarters of large scale prints that you are feeling reluctant to cut into small pieces? Leah Day has a video tutorial using the stack ‘n whack method to create large ‘fractured quarter’ blocks that allow you to showcase your fabrics 🙂

Is it too early to be writing our Christmas gift lists? Maybe not! Alyce has been testing the advantages of using a wool ironing mat as opposed to a conventional ironing board. She found the wool mats are winners!

If you’d like to find more links into the quilty world try my ‘Pins of the Week‘ board 🙂 I refresh the board every Tuesday (sometimes Wednesday ;-)).

Happy stitching.

Allison

PS. Bearing in mind we live in a town and have a small garden, it was a big surprise to find a rather handsome pheasant paying us a visit from the countryside this week!

Pheasant in my garden by Allison Reid