Sunday, June 18, 2017


This month I had two VQR blocks to complete - to catch up with Monika... the last two from the book (20 different blocks).  One was the second block we were supposed to make... but I had problems with the paper piecing... and didn't like it, so put it aside and forgot about it for as long as possible.

Using some of my new paper foundation piecing experience (both from this quilt and the Sugar Club blocks), I re-printed the paper templates, and this time printed the template piece (which was only supposed to be a cutting template for the large fans), and attached it to my paper foundation.  Then I paper pieced four identical sections.  I also chose fabrics which would hopefully help hide any imperfections.

Woot!  We have success!

My join was still moderately dodgy... but those clever fabrics mean you can't really see it.  It was 100% better than my first attempt with different fabrics.

And the difference with Monika's block is amazing... you view it totally differently.

The second block I needed to make was another paper pieced one.  Great!  But actually, I really like it.

Because my ultimate quilt layout only needed 36 blocks (for a 6 x 6 grid with sashing), I didn't need to finish these particular blocks for my own quilt.  I am tempted to complete this last block for myself, but I don't even know if I have enough fabric to do the same layout.  And if I did make the block, well, I'd need to decide which block it would substitute.

It is so hard to get a good photo of these large layouts, but I'm pretty happy with things so far.  Now for the sashing!

I've also put a few more borders onto my My Tweets blocks, so now I've got the centre panel finished, and the two top blocks attached.  What a moment!

I must admit to being a bit scared of trimming the large centre panel down to size, but finally bit the bullet and just did it.  I did measure twice, or maybe three times before I cut though!  I wanted variety in my sashing - so that it was interesting - but still keep it relatively mid-toned. 

The fabrics I've chosen as sashing have all been used else where on the quilt... well, except for the outer border on the centre panel - that was from leftover border fabric from my Bluebirds and Berries quilt, but it fits in perfectly with this collection of fabrics too.

I have also had some sneaky packages arrive in the mail.

A sale at Grandmothers Garden netted the following metre pieces.  All interesting and useful... but of no purpose at this stage.

From left "Tangier"for Clothworks: different designs in Blue and Cream, African Sky Fabrics, A Quilters Garden by Bird Brain Designs

Fat Quarter Shop also had a sale, and I picked up these patterns.

And a new book which has some good ideas.

And a new solid - Essex Linen in Steel.

I'm thinking that Nadia is probably due for a new quilt at some stage, as although she still uses both her quilts, she's probably outgrown the princess one below...

And this one is just so faded it is almost impossible to photograph.

So the Frances Firefly pattern is looking tempting.  And the Urban Grunge pattern is just so blokey...

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Week that Was

Most of this week has been spent plodding along with my RSC yellow blocks, and making hourglass blocks for Tillies Lane, after completing the blanket stitch on my applique units.

This means my RSC blocks for this month are finished already!  And I've got 14 of 24 hourglass blocks finished.

We have Papa Bear..

Mama Bear...

And Baby Bear, with the rest of the family!

Carol's Quilts Mystery Month Two instructions came online... so I read through those, and started worrying about everything... as you do.

When in doubt, start with a small step.  On Saturday I made up the first section of the instructions, four blocks, and then just kept on going.

It's fun to play with the blocks as they come off the production line... this layout gives a nice diagonal stripe effect.

With alternate blocks half rotated.

All blocks with large square to the centre

All blocks with small green square to the centre

It will be interesting to see how these blocks end up working together.

And a bit of a close up showing the variety of fabrics.  I added a tartan style print to the dark mix... which worked well in the construction of this unit.

The second part of the monthly instructions was for the creation of some long pieced units.  I have been undecided about how scrappy to take this quilt.  I know that I don't have enough fabrics within each category to make it truly scrappy - more of a controlled placement of multiple fabrics.  I had pulled out some additional background fabrics, as I worried that the spot background might take over the subtle nature of the other fabrics.  Plus, big spots... not always a good thing.  But, it was a safe choice to keep the spots in all the background positions; being a mystery quilt makes the placement of multiple fabrics a bit of a gamble.   This months units meant that I had to make a decision - to go with just one background... or several...??

Multiple choice it is!  Units pieced but long strips still requiring sewing. It passes my "squint" test.  I guess I will just need to wait until the mystery pans out to see whether it really works or not.

I've added an old fashioned ledger type fabric...

And a fine grey stripe.

While I was at it, I added a small piece of brown spot into the dark fabrics... just because I could and I found it among my scraps.

Rock on next week, in which I will attempt to get back to my VQR blocks for Monika.  I have printed out the paper foundations, so at least the first step has been made!

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Benefits of a Long Weekend

Queens Birthday weekend means an extra day of weekend!  Terrific!  We also celebrated our 13th year of wedded bliss with a family dinner out.  Very Nice!

Charlotte (aka The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady) has had a couple of posts about various areas of her quilting studio.  A discussion between us about ironing stations led her to change her own layout, making use of space underneath a re-purposed ironing surface for storage.  My own ironing station came about because I just got sick of the weird space beneath the ironing board.  Hubby came to the rescue, cut the legs off my ironing board, and affixed it to a metal shelving unit.  It is perfect. The only adjustment I would make would be to put it on castors so it can be moved a bit easier.

And the home to a few projects at the moment :o)

I have a subscription to Homespun Magazine, which has a fresh and pretty Granny Square quilt in the current issue. OMG this is the perfect project for my collection of florals.

Putting them all together in one place has made me realise that I have way too many!  But I fall for these romantic blowsy florals every time.

And then I'm a sucker for the little ditzy floral print too...

And the subtle taupes, greys and creams...

This print is just so delicate.

OK so stacked up this pile measured almost 12".  That is scary.  And now it has all been moved to the side for another day.

I can blame Charlotte for another little project that came up over the weekend.  Infinity Scarves!  I had purchased this fabric a few years ago... and finally decided it was time to give this whole infinity scarf thing a go.

Reading the instructions... they are pretty fabric greedy.  Instructions that call for 2yards of fabric... for a scarf?  Seems excessive.  These patterns cut the scarf piece along the length, so gives you fabric for two scarves, with only the one join.  Of course, it is OK to cut it across the width, just means you need an extra join.  After a bit of experimentation I ended up cutting my fabric 16 1/2" wide x WOF because this was the width of my ruler.  It gives me a scarf that loops around the neck twice... and fits nicely with my body size.  I have a funny feeling this fabric is not intended as patchwork fabric, but it is similar in weight.

And today while I was *tidying* AKA finding all sorts of things I haven't seen in ages... I found this material and actually the pattern I was intent on making with it - several years ago.  But a scarf was so much easier and do-able.  Also cut with the same measurements as above, I can see this one becoming a favourite.

OK, the facials were a bit growly, I don't know that I'll ever get the hang of selfies, but this shows the length, and how it drapes.  This fabric is a soft knit, and it just sits beautifully.

Keeping with the clothes sewing progress, I cut and finished sewing the second dress/tunic.

 This was the pattern inspiration... and it is pretty similar.  My version is probably a bit looser around the hips than the model, but sits nicely around the neck and shoulders.  I just need to work on the attitude :o)

 I wore it out to our dinner... styled with my nice orangey red cardy, neutral slim pants with taupe boots, and a nice necklace with orangey and red-dy beads. 

While *tidying* I also found this block.  I have no idea what the plan was for it... but I do vaguely remember it, and isn't it cool??

I found these other two orphan blocks, but am not sure whether they "go" together well enough to turn it into something?  I think I was supposed to crop out the feet.

I also found this small cot quilt, which was made from my very first charm pack that I won online.

The quilting is really dodgey... probably why it was stuck underneath a whole heap of other junk.  I really should get this bound and given away.

And I did manage to get a small amount of applique ironed down.  This basket block is just so pretty.  Just the wreath bit to construct now.

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour for this month is Yellow.  I knew yellow had to hit sooner or later.  My yellow scraps are pretty dismal, but I was surprised by what I found... and in fact have enough cut for three blocks.  Squares cut at 4", 2 1/4" and 1 1/2".