Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Another tick of my Finish-Along list ....

Well that was a little break wasn't it?!  Isn't it funny how sometimes blogging comes so easily and sometimes it doesn't!  Recently everything has seemed to be hard .... from sewing, blogging to home ed.  In fact I had totally lost my sewing mojo .... where did it go?  That's never happened to me before. 
 
However, with deadlines coming ever closer I realised I just had to get in my studio and start ...... So with the end of Quarter 1 in the Finish Along fast approaching I have managed to get another project ticked of my list.  That's 8 out of 17 and I am still hoping to get another couple done just in time - fingers crossed!
 
This top was pieced by someone else for Project Linus and I had been waiting for a suitable large enough piece of fabric to use as the backing.  I was able to load it onto my frame last week and quilted a geometric square type pattern all over.  Just the one pic to show which was taken yesterday in a break in the rain but it was still very windy!


If you follow me on instagram then you will see that I have been busy the last few days on a Polaroid block quilt.  It's going really well and the top is now almost done.  But that's for another blog post! x

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The story of a quilt ..... in pictures!

My Rainbow Mini quilt started with an evening making scrappy stars from fabric scraps with dots - my partner specified she liked dots!  There was no further plan than that.
 

Playing with the stars gave two options:

Layout 1


Layout 2


Luckily I noticed that the rainbow colours were in the wrong order before I stitched the stars together.  I opted for Layout 2 for my partner, but think I will make another one for me that is based on Layout  1.


Each finished square is 1".


Now what to do .......

 
I had some other star bits on my design wall so put them together so they would fit in the bottom left hand corner.

 
Lots of angles and bias edges to work with ...


I was very happy when it got to this stage!


Tiny little stars!


Now how to quilt it?  It sat like this on my frame for over 2 days!


I decided to be brave and try some ruler work to pick out the step like effect of the stars.


I was really happy with how this turned out and may, just may, become a convert to ruler work!!


I echoed the first step line and then walked away not sure what to do next.  In the end I decided to go for some feathers as a contrast to the geometric shapes already quilted.


Something different on the other side or a mirror image?  Well not an exact mirror image but similar!  I quilted a copy of the star in the bottom corner into the top and then put in another long feather.


Each time I did another portion of quilting it amazed me how it changed the quilt.  I thought I would then do pebbles between the feathers and the straight lines.  I started at the top of the quilt, did about a dozen pebbles and then the thread broke.  I am really glad that happened because I totally changed mind ....


I quilted horizontal matchstick quilting between the feathers and the central panel and vertical matchstick quilting between the feathers and the outside stars.  I also went back and put in another couple of feathers fronds in places where lines weren't easy to fill in and where it just appeared to puffy!


The outside stars were again quilted with a ruler using echo quilting.


All the quilting in the negative space left the central star panel rather raised.  I wasn't sure what to do in it.  I had a couple of ideas but because the stars were scrappy several of the designs I thought about would have looked funny and inconsistent.  In the end it was more step lines and then echoing.


So close - I love it when a quilt gets to this stage!!


And the end result - I really liked how this turned out in the end and was quite sad to have to package it up.  I haven't yet started on the one for me but I hope I do!


This was sent off last week, so hopefully will soon be with my swap partner over the ocean. x

Thursday, 3 March 2016

And the winner is .....

or should I say 'The winners are'?!  The giveaway has now closed and I have drawn the two winners:

Option 1 - winner is Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs

Option 2 - winner is Claire Davies of Aisling Designs

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and, in fact, everyone who visits and comments on this blog.  There is such good support, encouragement, motivation and inspiration to be had by being part of this blog world - thank you! x

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Work in progress (or lack thereof) ...

I haven't been in my studio since Friday ..... having had 5 whole days in there last week it's like I am having withdrawal symptoms over here!  So not so much going on here for this week's Let's Bee Social ......
 
I did receive a rather lovely email from Adrianne over at On the Windy Side saying that I had won a $30 voucher for Mad About Patchwork for a FAL 2015 Q4 finish - hooray!!  Even before the actual code came from Pam I was on the site deciding what I would like.
 
March's theme for Project Linus is also out - Disappearing 9 Patch blocks.  All the details can be found on yesterday's post.
 
Don't forget I have a giveaway running at the moment and there's still time to enter - two prize options up for grabs.  You'll find the giveaway and entry requirements at the end of this post from Friday.
 
This morning I took the plunge and entered some categories for Quilts UK, Malvern in May.  The closing date is 04 March 2016 so you still have a couple of days to enter if you like.  The piece doesn't have to be finished yet, in fact one of mine is not even started yet ...... yes, I did say one of mine.  I really bit the bullet and have entered into 4 categories!!!  There's nothing like a deadline to ensure that projects are finished in time.
 
 
 
Well, I didn't think I could have a post without a picture so I quickly popped into the studio and sewed the white borders onto some fussy cut squares for my polaroid blocks.
 

 
3 blocks wonky trimmed, 9 blocks with all borders added, 17 with just white borders and 17 squares cut out.  I think I need 60 finished blocks so there's still some way to go with this. Hopefully there'll be lots more to show you over the coming weeks. x

March blocks for Project Linus ......

On 01 February I put a call out for Heart Blocks which are to be made into quilt for Project Linus.  To date I have received 55 blocks.  Thank you to everyone who made and sent some in - they are really appreciated and will be shortly made into tops.
 
In the hope that some people would like to help, but can not commit to a whole quilt, I am going to request a certain block each month - for March the theme is a Disappearing 9 Patch block please.
 
I had never made one before yesterday, but they are quick and easy to whip up and you can get different patterns when you re-assemble the 4 patch.  I thought I may have done a tutorial but there are some great ones out there already so I will leave links at the bottom.
 
Requirements:
 
9 x 4.5" squares - the middle square of the 9 patch needs to be red, yellow, blue or green the other blocks can be whatever colour you like
 
I have asked for a certain colour middle square so that hopefully I will be able co-ordinate the resulting blocks that are made from widely differing fabrics!
 
Finished square will be 12"


Before I cut the 9 patch the middle square was blue on the top photo and green on the bottom photo.


Tutorials: (remember for these blocks please use 4.5" squares)

Missouri Star Company video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEjZOXxPazg

Nice and easy to understand tutorial http://www.stitcherydickorydock.com/scrappy-disappearing-9-patch-tutorial/

Simple photo tutorial - http://quiltstory.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/disappearing-9-patch-tutorial.html

Any questions please just ask and happy making!!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

February round up .....

Sewing wise it sometime feels like I am not getting much done and there were no big finishes in February.  But when I looked through my photos from February there was lots being made, including Bee blocks, two Secret Valentine's mini quilts,  here and here, a completed Rainbow Mini quilt (don't forget there is a giveaway running at the end of this post) and I even started some new projects.  I got my scraps under control and have slowly been working on a couple of projects using them - a vortex scrap project and quarter log cabin scraps blocks.



With regard to Project Linus 5 finished quilts were donated, along with lots of hearts and materials ....


and these two tops were put together by a group of Home Ed children.


On the Home Ed front there was ....

A bake off ....


which was delicious!


Lots of art and creativity ....


Den making when it was cold, wet and windy outside ....



Visits to Worcester Cathedral, Greyfriar's House and Charlecote plus Oceania; A Christmas Carol; ice skating; lots of reading and lots of playing!

There was great variety in my reading this month - recommendations from friends, daughters and blog posts and some just because they happened to be on my shelf!!


 
 
 



So March is here, usually associated with the ground warming up and plants springing forth.  Well the first daffodil I spotted this year was on New Year's Day, a lot of the blossom is all ready falling from the trees and I have even seen tulips breaking through the soil.  We have lots planned this month on all fronts so it will certainly be a busy one. x