Monday, May 13, 2019

Almost All the things

I've been doing a little bit of not quite everything... but certainly lots of things.

Like Meadowland blocks...

Walking foot wiggly lines on my modern applique Buggy Barn Blooms quilt...

That was after this diy attachment of the seam guide to do my straight zigzags... good old sticky tape!

Then wiggle wiggle I went!  Discovered that your organic lines still need to be somewhat horizontal, resulting in some fix ups along the way 😤.  Also that while they may seem wiggly while you are doing them, sometimes they come out pretty straight.

 After that I developed a method which seems to have worked well for me, stitch lines that are relatively straight about 3 or 4 inches apart to use as guidelines, and work from the centre out to the edges (I did end up marking a starting line and using the seam guide to do these).  Then go back and fill in a straightish line between each of those lines, but having a lot of variety in their widths (this line I just eyeballed and didn't worry too much about)... then finally, doing wiggly lines in each irregularly spaced gap, using wiggles of different wiggliness!

I've only got a strip about 10 inches wide left to quilt on this... woohoo!!

And finally back to some good old free motion as I start the border on Loosely Woven.

With an 8in border, it is going to take some time!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Alert! Alert! Quilt Finish!

Super excited last week to finish the binding on my Sugar Club Sampler quilt, and get the makers label attached over the weekend.

Then it kinda rained and was gross... but today the sun is shining... the grass is dry and my kids agreed to hold it up for me!

I was trying to work out why this photo had a blue band across the top... its the sky!  Duh!  And today has been truly beautiful.

This quilt started life back in June 2014 as part of a BOM run by Amy Gibson from Stitchery Dickory Dock, and I used my stash of Bonnie & Camille fabrics with Bella solid 'Feather' and a beige Moda crossweave.

The 12 blocks morphed into a 9 block setting with this interesting half square triangle frame arrangement.  The blocks upsize from their original 12 inches, to a massive 30 inch with these additional frames.  Combined with sashing this resulted in a quilt close to 100 inches square.

I made the decision to have this long arm quilted by Leeanne from Quilt Me Kiwi.  She did a wonderful edge to edge design.

I also experimented with a flange binding using a mix of leftover fabrics, but instead of machine stitching along the flange, I used a large running stitch and 12 weight thread.  It is a subtle feature but I really like it.

Interestingly both children were wondering if it was there's!  So maybe not a totally feminine quilt 😄

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Modern Applique Quilt... quilting take two

Some quilts you know exactly how you are going to quilt them from early on, and that is exactly how it was with my Modern Applique Quilt (Buggy Barn Blooms blocks).  Vertical lines on the grey side... horizontal lines on the patterned side.

Unfortunately there were a heap of other things that caused hold ups in the process... deciding to hand quilt being one of them.  Fast forward several years... then the decision to unpick the hand quilting that was started and remove the backing fabric.

Back to an unfinished top I contemplated whether to make it bigger as it comes in under 80 inches and I felt it was too small to be useful, but it resisted all attempts to construct borders!

Then I considered whether to make a pieced backing... but that wasn't really happening either... so new backing fabric was purchased and sewn to size and the whole thing rebasted...

A nice mid blue chevron for the back...

And a small star/floral  (from stash) for the binding.

And the first few rows of machine quilting on the grey side... walking foot echoes.

Walking foot quilting is still a struggle for me, but with practice I am slowly getting better.  It is still a bit uneven and I struggle with pivoting in the right place, but "it will do Pig... it will do!"

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Steps in the right direction

Sometimes it just feels like you are getting nowhere... maybe even heading backwards... and then you turn a corner and think Yes... I can see that light at the end of the tunnel.

Last month was not so good in the ticking off of lists department.  Partly because of the items I had chosen on my hit list.  Really... make significant progress on two major applique projects??  Like was that ever going to happen.  After feeling like a failure for two seconds, then reassessing and altering my goals meant that I changed one of the overall block goals into just finishing sewing down the bias stems, and completely wrote off the second project.  Manageable chunks!

With this under my belt, April's goal was to get the fusing side of the applique finished for the second corner of the Timeless Traditions BOM and get two of the wreath blocks fused also.

So good to stick that smiley face on!

And I can already see next months goal will be to finish the blanket stitch on these sections.  I may not be whizzing through this process, but it is getting there!

Also progress has been happening on the Loosely Woven quilt.

Woohoo!  I have finished the quilting on the striped sections of the top.  Working these feather designs pushed my boundaries as far as the width of feather I am comfortable quilting... there are definitely some weird shaped ones in the mix, but luckily the worst are hidden in the most thread blendy areas.

And I actually got a small amount of tidying accomplished so I can once again see my cutting mat and surrounding area.

Partially due to packing this stuff away into a box.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

April? Really?

Just a few goals on the list for April:

Now that I have my thread sorted for Loosely Woven, my main goal for the month is to get some serious quilting done.

I decided to do large feathers through the striped sections, working the design to emphasise the woven effect.

I have a few areas where I have both the warp and weft lines quilted and it does kind of work.

In Meadowland news... I have a couple more blocks done...

And I had a play with alternative layout options.  I quite like how the blocks look on point, as they are almost unrecognizable from the straight setting.

But, to do this layout I would need to work with an uneven numbered grid to keep it symmetric, but a 3x3 grid is too small, and a 5x5 would be too big.  I need to keep thinking about this, but might just go back to the pattern layout, and consider this alternate layout with a smaller block size.

I'm aiming to get 2 of the Patchwork City blocks finished this month... only 5 left all up, so this project is getting closer to completion.  So far I have chosen and ironed fabric for the first block, and chosen which units to sew.

I would like to get some new borders sewn onto my modern applique quilt and possibly get it basted.  On the drawing board at the moment are which fabric where and how big decisions... and working out if I have what it takes for a pieced backing.

 And I really would like to get the 2nd applique corner fused on Timeless Traditions.  My applique has definitely taken the back seat in the last couple of months; so achievable goal set... and locked in.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Mid month catch up... chasing one's tail!

March is just one of those hectic months isn't it?  March is crazy month at my work, and although I am in a great place deadline wise at work, I am still finding the overall stress of the month daunting and it has affected my crafting life also.

I have been busily buzzing away at my Meadowland blocks and they are so addictive.  The cutting of one block results in cuting pieces for other blocks.... so it is always pulling you forward (or dragging you into a black hole depending on your perspective).  The QAL instructions require blocks to be completed over 4 weeks, so I was optimistically hoping to complete four each week.  Yeah... nah... not happening.  I have scaled back production estimates back to two blocks per week and this still feels like it is taking up all my time.

I am really enjoying the fabric combinations and simple large piecing though!

So today was a bit of a reminder that there are other things I am supposed to be concentrating on and that I hadn't really achieved much so far, so I removed the miscellaneous piecing from covering up my diary and reassessed the month so far.

Not a lot to report

One of my broken down tasks was to trace the applique design onto my Timeless Treasures half finished corner.  So right, I pulled it out and it took like 3 minutes.  Next goal was to get the small sections of bias stem sewn down this week.  Right... another few minutes and I had these pinned down, and a few more minutes and the first of three was done.  Ok... now we're getting somewhere.

I have set another goal of sewing two lengths of thread on the Sugar Club binding.  Although this is a bit of a slow process... it will eventually get finished.

I attached the flange binding per the Missouri Quilt Companys tutorial... then instead of machine stitching through the flange seam, I decided to use running stitch and 12wt thread to stitch it down.  It is quite subtle, but I do like it, and once I am more comfortable with the technique I would be more likely to use more contrasting thread.  Although this was using stuff I already had.

I am thinking that keeping my goals small and very task specific is the key... so I will see how this variation to the diary planning works out.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Keeping it real

Hard to believe is is March already.  What they say about time speeding up as you get older appears to be true!

The close of February saw a few unfinished items on my To Do calendar.

I never did finish my skirt muslin and I only finished 3 of the 5 Patchwork City blocks I hoped to achieve.  But February was also the first month back at work after school holidays and the hottest month this summer (so there was about a week in there where it was just too hot to sew)... So all in all still very happy with progress.

Anyway... a new month a new list and a chance to shake up some of those goals and revise whether they were too ambitious and how to prevent those projects from disappearing into the WIP pile of DOOM!

Back to some of the things I DID achieve:

I have one block left to make in the Tilda Homespun magazine BOM but had felt like I needed a break from this project.  Consequently I decided to work on sashing the finished blocks, and completing construction of the first two rows of this project.

While this wasn't hard or complicated, it was nice to sew some simple seams and start to see this project really turn into something.

I also pulled out this old Craftsy kit WIP which started the year with 4 completed blocks.  I think I've got 8 finished now... well on the way.  This is another good piecing project which I just need to plan the cutting for... to sneak through a few more blocks when I have a spare moment.

I am on a BLUE row for Patchwork City.

One more of these diamond shaped log cabins and I'll have another block completed.

And a new sew along started this week for the Meadowland Quilt.  Sometimes a pattern comes along that you just know will match perfectly with fabrics in your stash.

I started this bundle with the cute hedgehog print.  It has some very pretty colours in the background, with some awesome neutrals in the hedgehog...

It was ridiculously easy to amass this generous pile of fabrics!

And after much dithering about what fabrics to actually put together (very tempting to put into a bag and draw out randomly) I got my test block laid out.

And hot on its heels... block 2 because I wanted to have a go with a neutral block and some directional fabric.

And the two blocks full constructed and together.

I think March is going to be a lot of fun!