Sunday, February 26, 2017

End of Month Goals Achieved

I can't believe it is almost the end of February!  I'm not going to bombard you with all the photos of the achievements this month... because it was only the last post that detailed the rest of the achievements this month, so after reading... please scroll down for further photos if required!

My Tweets: applique block 11 achieved.  My March goal is to get this block blanket stitched, plus the little bit left of the previous months block.  Just two bunches of these little circles need the blanket stitch finished for Block 10 to be all done.

Adornit Starburst cross quilt: several blocks sewn... leaving me 3 fabric combinations to sew, meaning 6 blocks left... well, actually that's only 5 blocks because I'm doing an odd number of finished blocks.  Next months goal... I suppose getting these remaining blocks pieced would be nice.

Another finished block

I have definitely had fun adding my own stash into this fabric collection

Those combos still left to cut

I ordered some backing fabric, from a different line from the same designers... not quite the same colouring (I had hoped for more grey in the background), but I'm OK with still using it.  I was also slightly disappointed with the scale of the print... I had hoped for bigger, but this is the problem with ordering online :o(

And also a binding fabric... 

Sugar Club Blocks: yeah, I got all three of these blocks added to so that they are just waiting for their final round of triangles.  Goal for March... not sure how to split this up into manageable chunks. I have four blocks in total that are unfinished... these three plus another one with nothing done to it. The triangle production line always seems like so much sewing... not much progress.  So maybe get one whole block finished?  I already have some of the triangles pieced so I'll have to see how this pans out.

Vintage Quilt Revival: this exploding star block went together quite nicely.  I took the plunge and pieced it using templates instead of foundation paper pieced like the instructions.  It was great for using up odd bits of fabric... I did end up using starch and was very careful to avoid stretching while sewing and pressing.

And Monika's block.  I didn't check her blog for progress until after I had sewn my version... I had to laugh that we obviously had channeled the same colour palette.

March we are planning this block: yay, another pinwheel! (she mutters sarcastically!)

Tillies Lane: hourglass blocks just finished today... but finished on time!

And March will be Month 4 with a large applique, small applique and 24 more hourglass blocks to piece.

Does that cover all of last months goals?

I have also been plugging away at the Stack, Shuffle Slide quilt.  Just a few more seams on the fourth chunk and the bulk of it will be sewn.  I still need to decide what is going to go into the hole in the middle, around which the chunks will be sewn with a partial seam.

Then in the being lead astray section, there are a couple of blogs I follow that have been doing monthly rainbow scrap challenges... and I think I might be getting suckered into starting that too.  Do I actually have time to do it... no, probably not.  But, it would be a good way to get motivated into doing something with the never-ending mountain of scraps... and, I have found a quilt that could lend itself to this monthly challenge.  We shall see what happens.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mid Month Catch Up

Setting some easy achievable goals meant that jumping in and getting something done at the start of the month, was relatively easy.  Mixed in with the easy were some slightly more challenging goals... or more correctly, ones that I had been putting off for a long time.

I decided first up to jump into my Tillies Lane applique blocks.  These were so easy and fun, I don't know why I ever put this project away.

Month Three large block

Month Three mini block

And I've been plugging away at my little hourglass blocks (I've got 11 out of 24 sewn so far), using them as a handy leader/ender project.  This one I particularly liked using my Eiko scraps.  I can see this quilt being a great memory quilt highlighting little snippets of fabric from other projects.

I also have been playing with my Stack, Shuffle, Slide blocks - finishing up the last of the piecing, and deciding on how to lay the blocks out.

This is the quilt layout according to the pattern.  All blocks are trimmed to the same size, and aligned in the same portrait rectangular way.  Small blocks are added to the outer blocks to form a circle/frame.  I just didn't like it.

First up, I didn't want to trim all my lovely blocks.  Secondly, there were some blocks I wanted to lie sideways - courtesy of using a directional text fabric.  Thirdly, a rectangular quilt doesn't suit my bed so much, and it was a bit small.  So I laid the blocks out, and played with things to get a balance of colours and patterns... and figured I quite liked it being a bit random.

I don't know whether this was the final layout or not... but you can see the general idea.
 I decided to split out the layout into chunks of six blocks in a grid 36" wide x 24" tall, and fill in with my background solid (Bella Solids "Offwhite").

Chunk One

Every now and then I add a feature hit of colour, maybe to include one of the other fabrics that doesn't appear in this grid.

Chunk Two

I'm now halfway through the third chunk now... so great progress!

Bringing myself back to my goals... I added the first cream ring around the Sugar Club blocks.

Now I just need to cut the beige fabric for round two... and add the third round.
 I also cut some Starburst Cross blocks, and pieced a few of these in among the other sewing activities.

Love, Love the fabric!
Alrighty... what else have I done?  Well, was dreading doing the applique on the next My Tweets block because (a) I couldn't really remember how I was doing it before and (b) because the next block background is a woven plaid sort of fabric, it is hard/impossible to see through for construction/alignment purposes.  But, because I have my goals... and I'm being good... I got in there and got it done!

Blanket stitch still to be done
If anyone was really closely studying this project, they would know that this is actually block 12, but I swapped it's placement as I thought it would be easier to construct on the darker fabric.

I think the last major goal for this month is to do the next Vintage Quilt Revival block.  Which is another one I'm putting off.  But I'm sure it will get done by the end of the month.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A New Month - January achievements and February Goals

Wow, the beginning of a new month, and it is February already.

Thinking about my broad goals for the year, I had some mini goals set for January - which I think were achieved.

  • I caught up with {most of} my VQR sampler blocks:

I just have to add that pinwheel blocks are among my least favourite block.  Mainly because the center of the pinwheel is the focus point, and it is so hard to get really good points on this area.  So, to combat this I firstly chose two fabrics that were of similar contrast - with the idea of softening any less than perfect areas, and chose a stronger contrast fabric in the outer point position to lead the eye away from the centre.  Secondly I used a small amount of spray starch before sewing.  This helped it stay somewhat in place (not distort as it was being sewn) and I'm happy to report that I ended up with probably the best pinwheel I have ever sewn.  Still not going to make a whole quilt with these pesky blocks though!

  • I finished the binding on the Constellation quilt, and yes, it is on the bed!  Love.  Love.  Love.

  • 3 1/2 of the 4 My Tweets blocks had their blanket stitch completed.  I was hoping to get all four finished, but just didn't quite make it.  However, still happy with that progress.
  • Tillies Lane Month Two goals were achieved!

  • Beep Beep! was finished and gifted!  Plus I received a beautiful thank you card which was lovely.

  • I finished four more Starburst Cross blocks on the weekend, which makes 13 out of 25 completed.

  •  And got two more of the Sugar club blocks upsized.

OK, goals for February.

  • Month Three of Tillies Lane.  This involves one large applique block, one small applique block and twenty four small hourglass blocks - which are ideal as leader/enders.  I've started pulling scraps already.

  • VQR block - exploding star

  •  Starburst Cross blocks - I have 6 more fabric combinations left, which means twelve blocks to complete.  It would be nice to get 6 blocks completed this month, but maybe four would be more realistic?  I'll have to see how this goes.

  • Sugar Club blocks - upsize these three blocks with the plain strips so that they will just be needing the final round of triangles added another month.

For example:

  • My Tweets: cut and apply the fusible applique for Block 11.  Complete blanket stitch another month.

I did sort of start a new project - playing with this small fabric bundle.

I couldn't work out how to get this bundle big enough to make a quilt from it, because I just didn't want to add extra fabric.  What I worked out was that I didn't want to add any extra feature fabric, but more neutral/grey/low volume fabric was OK.

Once I had made that distinction, it was a small leap to find this pattern on the cover of this book.

And I'm already making progress.  The blocks are quick and easy to put together, although I'm not sure exactly how I'll set these blocks... as I have added a couple of extra fabrics compared to the pattern, and I want to make it a bit bigger, but it will come to me.

And today was Nadia's first day at college - Year 7.  She was all very excited and wow, how grown up looking flash in her uniform.