International Quilter’s Day overcomes social isolation

For me a sure sign we are moving into Spring is the arrival of rays of sunrise sunshine creeping into my North-easterly facing sewing room 🙂

Well! What a week! So many plans and events scrubbed from our diaries along with the pain of having to keep away from elderly and vulnerable family members and friends just when we most want to give and receive comfort from those we love. Here in the UK we have been told to expect this period of social isolation to last at least twelve weeks.

It’s been heartening to read positive blog posts written by other patchwork quilters adjusting to a change of life style and discovering silver linings. Bernie over at Needle & Foot has the joy of seeing photos of her new born Granddaughter, unable to visit her because of the restrictions Bernie is keeping busy delving into her UFOs to make charity quilts.

The online patchwork quilting community is a friendly place to be and a great place to stay connected with like minded creatives even in this period of physical isolation. This Saturday, 21st March, is (Inter)National Quilting Day. Many sewing get togethers will have had to be cancelled but do not loose heart, there are a whole host of quilt-a-longs and Quilting Day events being organised online. Anneliese Johnson is compiling a list of on-line

Read moreInternational Quilter’s Day overcomes social isolation

Quilter’s Color Quest: 1. Temperature

Last week Rachel Hauser posted the first in her series Quilter’s Color Quest to accompany her recent book, A Quilter’s Field Guide to Color. I used some Christmas gift money to buy a copy of the book. Rachel uses colour (I just can’t help reverting to the English spelling!) to very good effect in all her quilt designs. She deliberately doesn’t begin the book with an explanation of the colour wheel – that comes later. In the first section she directs her readers to explore colour through the subjective lenses of temperature, the seasons and our emotions. The Field Guide is designed to be a practical book. There are 150 colour swatches to cut out, these can be used to complete the challenges dotted throughout the book and also to select fabrics to make the Bear Paw blocks Rachel suggests we make to test our choices.

And so to the temperature challenge: shuffle the card swatches, select warm and cool shades of purple and green.

Read moreQuilter’s Color Quest: 1. Temperature

Working on two patchwork projects- piecing, backing and binding

Ooo! I’m sorry I missed the deadline for last weekend’s edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. It’s been a busy old time here and my laptop has been in a repair shop for over a week (battery issues) so everything has slipped. Anyho! You’ll find some links into the Worldwide Quilting Community at the end of this midweek post and I’m hopeful my laptop will be returned today. I sure will have a lot of blog reading to catch up on…

I have been busy patchwork quilting. Saturday I ran two Beginners classes at Purple Stitches. Week two of the course and the aims were to learn how to make two at a time Half Square Triangles and four at a time Flying Geese. I felt very mean giving a whole chunk of homework to the class members who had concentrated so hard to make their Churn Dash and Sawtooth Star blocks – all the blocks need to be made and the top pieced before the next class! In two weeks time I’ll be teaching the art of making a quilt sandwich and sharing quilting tips and techniques. I have to keep a step ahead of the class so I had my homework cut out too! After quite a bit of dithering and rearranging blocks I settled on a layout and stitched the quilt top together. This morning I pieced the backing and cut out a piece of Quilters Dream Green batting ready to make the quilt sandwich.

My third version of the Dashing Stars pattern – this time it’s a bit of a rainbow 🙂
A pieced backing with a blank rectangle ready to use as the label.

Keeping myself on my toes, I’ve been switching between the Beginners class quilt and my second version of the Square-in-a-Square quilt.

 

Thankfully I found my free motion quilting mojo and managed to stitch the feather swirls into the twenty block centres. I’ve also machine stitched the binding to the front of the quilt. Now I need to hand stitch the binding to the back of the quilt. My essentials for this job (apart from a sharp needle and good quality thread) are binding clips and Thread Heaven (a substitute for beeswax). I find the clips are so much more user friendly than pins and the thread conditioner certainly cuts down on the number of knots and thread twists that occur as I’m stitching. Do you have any favourite tools or techniques to use when you are hand stitching binding?

Here are the links I’d gathered for the Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post before my laptop had to go to to be repaired: 

Yvonne and her husband have arrived home after five months on the road. Among all the settling-back jobs Yvonne has found time to decorate and re-organise her sewing space (‘space’ is the operative word!).

As part of her Autumn Jubilee Carole has published a great tutorial on her blog page showing us how to make table mats that fit the Season perfectly.

Rebecca has taken on the challenge of completing half-finished, hand pieced Double Wedding Ring blocks for a client. She explains clearly how she is constructing two bed runners rather than one large quilt from the blocks that are all ‘slightly unique’! Hum! It looks like quite a puzzle… I am in awe of Rebecca’s ability to figure out what needs to be done to create a precious heirloom out of a collection of partially finished blocks.

Carole Lyles Shaw creates amazing modern quilts. In this post she lists her favourite quilting tools along with some handy tips on how to make the best use of them.

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers and Jennifer for Wednesday Wait Loss. Both blog link ups feature inspiring project ideas and are great examples of the friendliness to be found in the Worldwide Quilting community 🙂

Allison

From design to stitching (and a whoops)

First the whoops! I only discovered this morning that yesterday I accidentally published a draft of the next Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post. What can I say? Me and technology! Sorry if you received an email notification of the post and then wondered what on earth was going on.

Dashes, dots and crosses on the design wall by Allison ReidHo! Hum! Back to the sewing machine. A few weeks ago I designed a quilt and decided to delve into my stash of fabrics, first to make a test block and then to make a little quilt of sixteen 9″ blocks. On Monday I really got down to it – stitching all the blocks together and considering what to do about borders. I tried a few combos from the stash but none was quite right so I walked over to HobbyCraft and found a blue that would ‘do’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read moreFrom design to stitching (and a whoops)