Friday, January 18, 2019

Loosely Woven and Timeless Traditions

My big goal for January is to finish piecing the king sized top that I have been requested to make, using the Loosely Woven pattern, and using a mix of purple fabrics to achieve it.

Surprisingly... it has been a lovely top to put together.  I changed the construction of the blocks as it was a stack and whack pattern, with organically spaced strips cut from squares.  But, knowing the intended recipient, I chose to have regularly sized strips and alter the size of the blocks to suit.

The blocks kept growing, until finally there was enough!  And I started sewing them into large chunks.

And finally all together!

The subtle changes in colour really do add to the illusion of woven strips.

I have started putting together border strips and all going well I should meet my target by the end of the month.

Taking advantage of my empty design wall I started placing the completed components of my Timeless Traditions BOM, to see how it was looking.

And get that next little bit of sewing completed!

Happy to report that it is looking Fine!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Progress and progress and progress...

Sometimes it's about jumping in and holding on until the end!  Whether it is technically on your list or not!

Finishing the ruler work FMQ on the Cross Tile quilt, I had a quick audition of a couple of free hand designs using some lightweight clear plastic to try out some fillers emphasising the Ohio star outlines.

Which morphed into a wishbone sort of pattern in the points and stipple in the centre square.

Similarly to the straight lines quilted, this could be achieved with just the one start and stop.

This one shows the mix of quilting techniques used!

It was also relatively quick so I was keen to keep the momentum flowing and chose this uneven organic stripe for binding out of my stash.

Although the colours are not exact... they are close enough considering there is a plain border between the outer blocks and the binding.

Before I could change my mind... I got the 9 strips cut, sewn and pressed ready to machine stitch.  Ideally I would have done the whole pieced binding/flange/machine applied binding... but there were too many other roadblocks.  I would have needed to clear my floor of the other two quilts already laying on it to trim the quilt edges so the binding could get sewn onto the back.  Not happening!   (Regular binding I attach to an untrimmed quilt).  And, I would have needed to find two fabrics suitable for each component of the binding... and that didn't seem to be happening either!  So a regular binding it was going to be.

And, I've started hand stitching the binding to the back and adding a touch of big stitch quilting roughly 1/4" from the binding.

Really happy with how this is turning out.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Cross Tile Quilt... Progress Is Happening!

Sometimes it is the weirdest things that create creative roadblocks... preventing you from making progress.

With the Cross Tile quilt, I had made a good start with the quilting - edge stitching in the background around the tile shapes with my walking foot, and had started hand quilting around the crosses in the sashing.  BUT because I didn't know what I was going to do next, I just stopped working on it.  Weird!  So it has just sat there for literally months as a constant reminder.

Part of my planning process for this year is to push myself past these roadblocks and just get things moving again.  After borrowing the Westalee quilting foot and ruler from a friend, I spent a bit of time familiarizing myself with the feel of the product, trialled a couple of ideas... and away I went.

My design is neither amazing or perfectly executed, but I can complete each tile in one run... with only one starting and stopping point and as a learning experience it is good because there is movement in every direction.

Working my way around the quilt in columns, I quilted the first two columns  (starting from the far right hand side) of this 5x5 grid as my first target.  Then after rotating the quilt a quarter turn, my second target was 6 blocks in the new far right two columns... and now I'm working on the next quarter turn 6 blocks.  Just quietly... this means its not that far from being finished!  Roadblocks are NOT my friend!

I'm not sure whether I will add more quilting to these designs, I quite like the idea of pebbles or small spirals highlighting the small star in the centre... but that's thinking for another day... and that's OK!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Beginning

Pulling on my big girl undies... I ratted through my old unused scrapbooking supplies and found a little set of papers and stickers that would be perfect to start the personalisation of the most perfect diary/planning system in the world (no pressure there Suzanne 😕).  Unfortunately I also discovered the old unused scrapbooking stickers can lose their stick resulting in hundreds of little alphabet stickers raining down like glitter... and getting everywhere.  Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a generous application of gluestick and away I went.

The little dots down the right hand side read QUILT...

and these little word stickers were probably intended for some sort of mushy journaling but they also represented some of the things I love about quilting... so they got stuck on too!  Friends, dream... create!

Why I hope this whole experiment will work is that I know I achieve a lot more when I write a list of intended tasks... this was a list from June showing a variety of projects; quilting and clothes, with a bit of brainstorming, quilting designs and flow charts all in one.  I decided I quite liked how organic it was, and that it was a shame to throw these things away at the end of the month, and that I should embrace the creative nature of them, which obviously reflects something about me too.

So enters the new slightly formalised plan, starting with a monthly calendar sheet with space on the left to highlight key tasks and room on the calendar to identify steps to achieve those key tasks.  Stuck in with Washi tape, I have also left blank pages between the diary pages to allow for random additions.

Then I have a bit of a serious looking page of quilts to quilt.  Because these all have the same steps to finish... baste, quilt, bind etc... I decided to list these with the steps listed as tick boxes.

I have a page of WIPs...

Which then has a corresponding page with more details about that project (where it came from or what it was inspired by)... what is required to finish that project, and how far along I am at the start of the year.

... and any assorted planning paperwork also washi-ed into place.

I do have a page of new projects... although in my defense some of these were on my last list of WIPs which is now several years old... and I figured if these projects were still taking up space in my brain they deserve to be done.

Still to add is a page with an assortment of household cleaning tasks (like cleaning windows), and a clothes sewing page... and I'm sure I will add other pages as necessary.  I'm quite looking forward to 2019 starting so I can add my first month of tasks.  Looking down the track to December 2019 I am hoping that not only will I have a pile of finished quilts, I will also have a great visual reminder of those projects and how they evolved/changed and hopefully got finished!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas my Friend!

Is it even really Christmas without Snoopys Christmas Song?

Another Christmas morning of presents and afternoon of eating... a good family time, and we've still got pudding to go!  I've snuck in a touch of sewing... all's good with the world (well, apart from the weather).

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday time!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Planning and more planning

So, I thought I'd just go out and buy a diary, and off I'd go with my new planning activities.  I even looked into a Quilters Planner, but decided it was too expensive for an experiment, plus I didn't think I'd use all of the tools it provided.

But... could I find a diary I liked and wasn't horrifically expensive?  No!  So next best thing, I bought an unlined, hardcover notebook and printed some free calendar pages.

Basically, I'm going to use my Washi tape and stick in lists, photos and other pages as I make them up to create a visual journal of my year of progress.  Working with my master list of projects, I'll break it down into monthly focus activities in the notes section on the left hand side, and then work on weekly or daily activities on the calendar squares.  It is all about making progress and getting over some of the procrastination hurdles I always seem to throw up for myself.  Just like a kid I'm going to use stickers to reward myself for good work... I think it's going to be fun!

A few weeks ago I started a list of existing projects that I'd really like to work on again.  This list seems to keep evolving and looking back through my blog has only reminded me of more to add!

However, starting with Projects To Quilt, we have:

1. Finish quilting the quilts that are already started - Cross Tiles quilt and RSC2017 quilt.

2.  Sugar Club Quilt.  Made the huge decision to get this professionally long arm quilted in an edge to edge style.  Even just thinking about working with such a big quilt was getting me down so this is the perfect solution and I think the design will work well with a pantograph.

3.  2017 Summer Trip with Me Around the World quilt.  I have a quilting plan for this... always a bonus!

4.  Tillies Lane.

5. Vintage quilt revival sampler

6.  Bernina Triangle quiltalong.

7. North Star quilt

This is only really scratching the surface of the pile of tops I have to quilt.  And, I also know that this list is ridiculously long to complete in a year considering that I intend to do a whole pile of other sewing too.  But, pulling these out to photograph means I also had the opportunity to note down what other work was required on them, some need borders to be finished, others need their foundation papers removed... all jobs I can schedule.  I think this next year is going to be exciting.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Lists and Goals

Midway through December and it's not going to be long before this year is over and done with; time to reflect on what we've accomplished this year and think about goals, hopes and dreams for next year.

I started this year with the intention of focusing on my many sampler projects.  I did manage to get the Friends and Whanau quilt fully pieced which was  major achievement.

Unfortunately I started way more projects than I should have, but I have enjoyed each and every one so I don't see this as being a problem, but I do need to spend some time finishing things.

On the positive side... I got a few quilt tops sewn...

The Bernina Triangle sew along...

The Cross tiles quilt was sewn as part of a sew along also...

And I finished up this baby quilt...

That leaves a whole heap of WIPs.  Time to knuckle down and get some things finished!  To achieve this I am contemplating using a diary system, and using the good old List to get things moving.  I know myself that using a list helps me to focus on what I'm supposed to be doing, usually on a monthly basis (which is why I find sewalongs and BOMs to be so successful).  I'm thinking about breaking down my To Do List for next year into weekly challenges... and see what happens.

On my Overall List I have a variety of projects... including some commitments, finishing some BOMs and some quilts I'd like to finally get quilted and finished.  I keep thinking of projects to add... and I fully realise that I will never finish all those things on the list but that's ok... it is all progress.

I'd like to get back into a better blogging routine, so maybe this will work with my diary system.

What are your goals for 2019?