Saturday, December 4, 2021

Just a little bit

 I haven't really been doing much sewing... Xmas activities have started already and the tin shed I sew in has started to achieve height of summer temperatures (not a good mix with hot flushes!!).

However I did manage to finish the Amsterdam Star quilt top.  It's either bigger than I thought or our new clothes line is lower...


A close up of the wonderful bird print.  I had bought 2.5m with the intention of cutting the borders along the length... It worked well with a generous 10" wide strip.


And I found enough bits and pieces to make up a pieced backing.  Cunning plan: when I bought the feature fabric on special I also ordered coordinating background, fat quarters and backing that were all on special too... It turned out that I didn't use the fat quarters that were chosen (they coordinated but were quite heavy in appearance) but this turned out to be the most cost effective purchase.

I haven't gotten any further with this project but at least I know what the next step is (I just can't face it at the moment 😞).

Needing a small quick and easy little something something I pulled out all my star blocks so far for The Scrappy Star Quilt Adventure.


I though I'd try laying it out alternating the 12" blocks with the smaller blocks so that I wouldn't need to do sashing.  I don't like it!  Plus I would need a 7x7 layout so that the corners match.

Then I made a few of the stars for the months I was behind with.



Then I tried laying the blocks out again with space for sashing and making the placements more random.  This was always my intention and I'm glad that I like this layout much better!  And i can go back to a 6x6 layout so less blocks to sew... Yay!


Still a few more months to collect and sew (the joys of a BOM) but definitely making progress.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Design process

 Changing the quilt pattern can be a bit like opening Pandora's Box... You never quite know what the outcome is going to be.

I eventually chose this soft grey and white print for the sashing for Amsterdam Stars... It is a wide back so a great choice for those long lengths of sashing and inner borders. 


Initially I was going to do patterned cornerstones...


But the final choice of the grey setting triangles meant that grey cornerstones fitted better with the overall picture.


Even now I am still not 100% positive about the mix of white and cream backgrounds.





As I put together the last few sections I realized that I had rotated one of the sections incorrectly so will need to correct this before I go any further.


Today I have been working on quilt maths to work out the length of the outer edge of the half triangle blocks and the setting triangles to be able to cut the first border pieces.  Google makes this maths a relatively easy process but getting very precise decimal figures does not help with the conversion into fractions for the inches measurement.  I have got a pretty close match to the measuring tape backup measurements, so tomorrow I fix my incorrect block and can start the inner borders.  Guess I was wrong when I announced at school that we would never have to use this maths in real life 🤣.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Amsterdam Star WIP

 Sometimes it just needs one thing to make you look at an old WIP in a new light and before you know it you have it all pulled out and back on the cutting table.

I recently bought a new quilt pattern, and inspired by it's on point layout thought about some of the projects that have been tucked away for way too long, and realized that my Amsterdam Star blocks project (of which I had sewn 4 of 9 blocks) would work perfectly in a similar setting.  Bonus, I would have less blocks to sew.

Photographic evidence seems to suggest I was last working on this around March 2014 and when I got to the end of the pieces I had cut out, the whole lot got put away.  Right, I found my handwritten notes and away I went.  Well first it took a while to work out what my notes meant 😂😂


Fours blocks...


Became five and I drafted a half block



Mid weekend progress... I've got two half blocks pieced and two half blocks cut.  This is the basic layout.


The pattern used as inspiration has background triangles in the corners but I might see if I have enough fabric to piece corner blocks.  Time will tell.  More fabric needs to be purchased for sashing and inner borders.

I still really like the inspiration pattern and will one day make the original design.  But it's also been satisfying to work on an older project which I still love (and rue ever putting aside 🙈).

Monday, October 11, 2021

Lockdown... Again

 It's been ages since my last post.  I have been plugging away at my Sweet Escape log cabins and finally finished the last block on Saturday, and pieced the rest of the top on Sunday.  Patchwork takes time but persistence and patience do pay off in the end.  This is 80" of lusciousness.



I have a Spotlight wide back in Charcoal ready to back this but am stumped for quilting ideas.  I think it would be stunning hand quilted but not sure if I'm up to the challenge.

As I often do, I have used this scrappy version of the Brightly quilt as my leader/ ender.  The blocks have a similar number of seams as the log cabin so for every log cabin block there is another Brightly block to add to the collection.  I've ended up sewing more of the square blocks, and now just have two of these to make before getting back to the star ones.  Then only 10 more stars and it will be time to put this one together.  It is a 7x7 layout with 12" blocks.  So huge 😂.


Also on the finished pile is this scrappy Transire Quilt which had the last few stitches of binding sewn down last weekend... This has been dragging on so I need to be more disciplined in setting goals and getting the binding finished in future.


A cute cot size the squares for the plus sign nine patches are cut 2".  Quilted with an allover stipple and some designs in the border using the fabric pattern as inspiration.



Rainbows... Orange binding... Label... Done!!

As we have now gone back into lockdown in Northland (until Tuesday but you know, could be anytime), it is time to have another look at my WIP list and see what takes my fancy.  Although I have a couple of new projects that are primed and rearing to go.  Moda Lissa is running a sewalong from her scrappy book... I am not interested... I am not interested.... (As she opens her stash cupboard to see if there is anything that looks promising 🙈)

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Still in Lockdown

 I have been getting some sewing done in small increments in between work activities, but it was nice to have a rainy Saturday that meant no work and little housework.

I got the Patchwork City top basted during the week, and quilting has started.


Just a simple geometric boxy design, with a soft grey Aurifil thread that blends into the background.  It gives lovely texture which really allows the piecing and colours to shine.  I have used a 80% cotton/20% poly batting for this quilt so that is a bit experimental for me.  First impressions are that it doesn't have the same cling that a cotton has, although no problems so far.  Fingers crossed for that to continue.

Quarter completed so far:


I had a long length of this butterfly print which I used for the back, you can see how it picks up the vibrant colours in the top, and is a nice contrast to the straight lines on the front.

Because this only covered the 40" width between selvedges, I added on this turquoise wide back that I had purchased in a really weird measurement that turned out to be a perfect match both colour and size wise.  I'll need to remember this trick again of combining a wide back with a normal width as it really suits quilts that are in that 80 - 90" group that is slightly too wide for two widths of fabric but doesn't utilise the full width of a wide back.


Once the design floor was clear I pulled out my neutral toned Sweet Escape quilt and made some decisions on what fabrics would go where for the last 16 blocks.  As I have limited fabric - placement is getting more interesting 😂


It didn't take long to get two blocks sewn (the bottom two).  I wonder if lockdown will last long enough to get these all pieced?



Monday, August 23, 2021

Woohoo! Orbiter is all in one piece!

 Sometimes it helps to NOT pay too much attention to what you are doing.  Or rather, not pay too much attention to how much is left to sew.  I finally got to the stage where I had just one more jumbo unit to sew... and then started sewing the jumbo blocks together into two patches... before sewing first a four patch, then adding a two patch to make a 6 block unit... then added the last three block row to make a whole completed Orbiter Quilt!!

I feel like I have overshared this quilt and everyone is probably sick of it - I haven't taken a photo of the final quilt top, but it doesn't look all that different from the image above, just without the gaps :o)

August has been the month of the Woven Star block for my The Scrappy Star Block Quilt Adventure.  First a 12" soft grey version:

Then a 9" low volume background with an improv log cabin centre:

Then a 6" block which I have added strips of background to make it measure 12".

And all three blocks together.  This has been a fun block to sew - a nice change from the 9 patch stars.


We are currently in Level 4 lockdown in New Zealand.  So a stay at home order has been issued - and we are only to leave home for essential things such as groceries or pharmacy requirements.  I have my work laptop at home to keep up with activities there - but I have been able to squeeze in a little more sewing than during a normal week.  

With the design floor now clear of the Orbiter Quilt, I have pulled out my Patchwork City quilt to baste.  Problem being that I'm not sure what fabric I intended to use as the backing fabric???  I have spent a couple of hours trawling through my blog posts hoping that I mentioned it - but no, it appears not (although I have enjoyed the trip down memory lane).  I have ticked the box on my recording sheet to indicate that the backing is "ready", but goodness knows what I prepared.  I have since found an alternative - so hopefully will get a chance to get this sewn together and the basting process started this week.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Bit by bit

 Patchwork happens over time, repetitive steps... Joining a whole heap of little bits into progressively larger pieces.

I have started the seemingly massive task of joining blocks for the Orbiter Quilt.  Each unit is 6" square.... Meaning there are a lot of units!  

I tend to start by piecing the units into four patches.


Then the four patches are joined to create 16 patches


Then I move onto the next group of units.

I have completed four of these 16 patches so far, and almost finished the fifth one this weekend.  This photo shows the fourth 16 patch partially sewn.


Once I have finished with all the units I will have a giant nine patch left to sew, which seems much less intimidating than sewing all these units into rows.