Thursday, October 11, 2018

September's Rainbow Scrap Block

Somehow I don't think I posted about the September block, dark blue month.  With nine of these blocks made now I'm considering setting options as this makes a nice alternate block with an Irish chain vibe going on.

Also on the drawing board... or rather design floor is the Timeless Traditions BOM.  This was broken up into 8 months... although month 8 looked like a lot of work.  I have been completing blocks in my own timeframe, but following the same order as the BOM.  Getting to month five I figured it was time to lay out the blocks so far and see how the colours were balanced.

And of course I also decided to cut the star points... because they are a colour factor too!

At this stage I changed the order of blocks and made one from month 8 to be the centre block.  As this is the only non-star I felt this was best in the middle and chose a relatively neutral but still strong colour scheme, then chose fabric collections for the missing blocks.

Friday, October 5, 2018

School Holidays

Week one of the school holidays and it's been nice getting a bit more sewing done.  Now that all our visitors have left I'm free to spend time chilling and sewing... my kind of holiday, although I have spent two days so far at work.

I had a bit of catching up to do with the Patchwork City sew along, but I am now all up to date... awesome!

And so we have W3


And W5

These blocks just happen to fall alongside each other in the quilt layout.  As I am using a solids FQ bundle from Elizabeth Hartmans Aviatrix quilt kit, they are somewhat rainbowish... but not really.  There is no easy step from the apricot/blush block to the tropical yellow block.  But I also remind myself that I really liked the bundle when it was still all packaged up in order... and I am using the fabrics in the same order... so it will all be good.

As the blocks go together, I am also piecing the Timeless Tradition BOM blocks and adding to the ever-growing collection.  This 12in block is particularly pretty and went

And the 6in cutie was fiddley but turned out so well!  In the end the pressing went exactly perfect so it was simple to put the units together.  I love it when the butted seams work in your favour.

The tease of the Unicorn Whispers fat eighth pack and the mixed low volumes finally proved to be too tempting.

More Patchwork City blocks in a different colourway and setting.  This wee project is going to just creep along in the background, and I'll add blocks every now and then.

Monday, September 24, 2018

September creeps along

With visitors arriving... getting the house into tip top condition (or as close as in this housework optional house) has been a top priority.  Unfortunately, the sewing shed has been converted into guest accommodation - so sewing has now been put on hold for a week or so.

The Patchwork City sew along has been cruising along.  I wasn't sure how the "one block a week" goal would pan out - after all, each block is really three mini blocks - and Elizabeth Hartman's blocks are sometimes quite complex with lots of pieces so mini really describes the size - not the time and effort involved.  But, so far... so good.

Block Two was a citrine sort of yellow... and it wasn't until I laid it out with the orange block that I realised it mysteriously a different size.  It took me a while to realise it didn't have the central sashing strip!  Duh!  After I had problems matching up the seams and had to resew some to get it perfect... then I had to unpick it anyway!

This striped Lotta Jansdotter fabric is the exact same yellow.  Funny when that happens.

It obviously looks much better with that extra separation.

I decided to use foundation paper piecing to make the small star blocks.  The book refers to using templates to cut the pieces, but from previous experience I knew this was not going to work for me.  Usually I just photocopy the pattern onto regular photocopy paper, but since it was just a small piece and I had it handy - I decided to use lunch paper to trace the templates.  OMG - it makes everything so easy being able to see through the paper!  And the lunch paper tears out so much easier.  I suppose it depends how many you need - as tracing around the pattern could get old quick - but this was a great resource for a small project.

Week 3 is this sort of peacock colour... I was super surprised to discover that I DON'T have a huge stash of this colour.  I am currently waiting on a US fabric package with a mix of different pastel tones to blend with some of the other colours in my solids fat quarter bundle.  Pastels are not my go to colour... and it is taking forever for the package to arrive.  Anybody else having issues with NZ customs??

And I've got one section of the block finished, with the second section cut out.

A couple more of the Timeless Traditions blocks have been finished also...

This 12" star is so SHARP!

And the 6" blocks are just too CUTE. 

I tried experimenting with using the same colour but light and dark tones with this one.  Not sure if I was entirely successful but it is small enough that it doesn't really matter.

Although my to do list for this month was relatively tame - I have left the RSC double nine patch block until last... even though it only took about half an hour to find and cut a multitude of dark blue squares, plus the white and black squares I needed.  Oh well, this will give me a leader/ender project as I put together some of the other projects.  I really should make this my focus for the BEGINNING of the month, instead of the END!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

September catch up

Today I spent some time looking at the Month Five Homespun Tilda BOM - the central block of the nine patch.

Looking at the instructions briefly, it seemed to be mostly embroidery.  Gasp!  That could not be good.  I made up the pieced background per the instructions, and started laying out some applique elements based on the embroidered designs instead.

Keeping it fairy simple, and after a few tweaks, and shifts around - I have ended up with a design I really like that shows off the fabrics as much as possible (after all, that background is pretty full on) and it is all fused down.

I still have the blanket stitch to do, but overall I think it looks very happy in the centre of the design.

Six blocks of nine done!  Over half way!

Also on the agenda this week is a hmm... new project... if I say that really quickly will anyone really notice?

An insta-friend is running a sew along of the Patchwork City book by Elizabeth Hartman, and I decided to follow along.  With a few different options for final layouts in the book - I decided I really like the first layout which is a rainbow grid - and finding that I had a bundle of 25 solid fat quarters in a somewhat rainbow meant that half the hard work had already been done.

I numbered each of the fat quarters so that I could reference the progression of colour with the quilt layout - and found that pulling matching fabrics out of my stash was embarrassingly easy.

Having sewn a few Elizabeth Hartman quilts before I knew that there would be a lot of pieces - and that some of them would probably be quite tiny (this square in the middle is 1" x 1" cut).  Laying the bits out on my big square ruler makes it easy to cart them off to my sewing machine to sew.

And so the first block was sewn.  I managed to get really weird stretching with this one... even though all the pieces went together really easily and accurately.

Another couple of afternoons sewing and I had completed the full set of 3 multisized blocks that makes up the first week.

And completed with the Robert Kaufman Essex Linen "Black" sashing.

Luckily the sashing has helped to pull those distorted seams - and this black linen has such a great texture and provides ample contrast.

As these blocks require quite small quantities of fabric - I managed to mix in some of my scraps too.  Always a bonus!

The blocks sit a bit awkwardly on the design wall colourwise... but variety is the spice of life

And I have continued to play with the Timeless Traditions BOM blocks, starting the addition of the setting triangles around the 6" blocks.  And isn't this little coral block just the cutest?

I'm using one of the lighter neutral sketch fabrics - which is actually perfect! I wanted something that was similar to the Feather background - but provided a bit of contrast... and set off the colours in the blocks... couldn't be more perfect.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Another week of August!

*Gasp* does this mean I might actually get the rest of my To Do list finished??

For some reason I feel like I have a bonus week.  Another week of odd moments of sewing, plus a sewing day at my favourite shop The Country Yard, and I have managed to get the RSC Orange block completed...

And I *accidentally* did another months worth of blocks in the Timeless Traditions BOM, with the 12" block...

And the two 6" blocks...

Just quietly, I seem to be addicted to these blocks and I'm thinking that this project could easily push all the other projects to the side.

This weekend I even managed to get my sleepout/sewing space vacuumed and the bathroom floor cleaned and four loads of washing done!  What a bonus.  All that is left on my list now is to do the black outlines on three Backyard Birds blocks, and complete the hand quilting on seven crosses (Cross Tiles)... very do-able if I don't get distracted.

In a bit of an aside... I am currently trialing the "Flatter" solution which you spray on your block before ironing... to make the seams flatter.  After a few test sprays, I am thinking that it does actually work and they do seem to sit flatter!  Which is just really totally weird, but if it works... I figure go with it!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Additions to the To Do List...

Earlier in the month, I wrote up my new months To Do List, adding some cleaning jobs to attend to in the sewing shed... and a brand new project... to make up for it :0)

Before I could even contemplate starting that shiny new project, I promised myself that I really needed to get some of those jobs crossed off first.  So after cleaning off the sofa, I have been spending odd little bits of time getting the Month 6 of the Homespun Magazine Tilda fabric BOM finished. 

I really enjoyed this block as it has the perfect amount of simple applique and piecing... although some of those pieces were a bit smaller than I totally enjoyed.   This little saw tooth star was 4 1/2" - a bit fiddley especially with that linen background.

This has also been the first block that I made major fabric substitutions as there were a whole heap of fabrics in the lineup and I felt it was a bit unnecessary to have SO MANY and I was happy to choose some fabrics that gave a bit more contrast.  It is still very floral... and floral on top of floral... but at least the piecing is now visible.

So today was the day to have a look at the first months requirements for my new project!  The Timeless Tradition BOM by Bits n Pieces.  To be honest the cover design leaves a lot to be desired, however I had seen it made up in another colourway and loved the crisp colours against a plain background, the combination of pieced and appliqued blocks... and the neat setting.

The pattern comes with a few different variations, including different sizes, and applique levels.  No surprise that I'm going for the 90x90 version with applique elements in the corners.

Remember this assortment of stash fabrics?  All loosely chosen to match with the floral fabric on the right.  I chose a Bella Solid - Feather - for the plain background; it picks up the neutral tones in the floral although is slightly lighter and will look crisp and lovely against the mixture of coloured fabrics.

The hardest part of the day was choosing fabrics to make the first 12" block from.  It was just my luck that the only block that I really didn't like the look of was the first one!  So I decided to choose the most beautiful combination of fabrics.

And my block turned out beautiful!  I think choosing a mid toned fabric for the odd stripe element in the corners has helped with the overall look of the block.

There were also two 6" blocks to make this month... so I chose a green block...

And a red/orange one.

My accomplishments for the day... very happy!

I am loving returning to quite traditional patchwork designs... just updated a little with some fun fabric choices.  Don't know if I can wait until next month to do some more on this project.