Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sewing, Shopping and Scheming

This has been a special weekend, with it being my birthday... so I had an exciting time sewing at The Country Yard's monthly sewing day, and fun times opening my presents.

I really really wanted a new iron, and now I have a lovely weighted iron to smooth over those seams.

A visit to a patchwork shop is not complete without some special shopping.  My order of 28wt Aurifil thread had arrived, so I was able to ogle the beautiful colours I had chosen.

And a few fat quarters came home with me too...

... and a few more - one can never have enough spots, text or green fabric!

I concentrated on sewing a couple more TATW blocks... getting two complete:

And two in different stages of construction.

I am slowly getting larger portions of Tillies Lane put together - most of these blocks are sewn into four patches, with the centre bottom portion sewn into columns...

As for my goals for August, well, there will be more RSC blocks and Month Four of Carol's Quilts.  I would like to get the centre portion of Tillies Lane sewn together and at least some of the hourglass block sections sewn onto it.  I have four My Tweets blocks needing squaring, inner and outer borders.  And I have a couple more borders planned for the Orphan Applique block medallion quilt and I should be sewing four more TATW blocks each week, but if I was to keep to this schedule, it is unlikely anything else would get done.

Sounds like another busy month planned.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Unexpected Progress

Unfortunately my littlest munchkin was sick last night, so today was a stay at home day - offering drinks and small snacks, feeling foreheads and sneaking in some sewing.  BONUS!

This week I decided I really, really needed to catch up with my Carol's Quilts Mystery blocks for the third month.

There are actually two different blocks to make this month, but I seem to have only photographed one.  This block I have sewn in two slightly different fabric combinations.

Version One:

Version Two (just rotated to confuse you).

And look at the magic when you put the blocks together...

or alternatively...

With that monthly challenge completed, I spent a bit of time on my Orphan Block Medallion Quilt, making more butterflies until I had enough to complete the next border.

This is measuring 35" so far

I have been using Jen Kingwell's Midnight At the Oasis pattern as inspiration, so plan another round of Sketch, then the floral basket applique border. 

Then I'll have to see what happens next.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A little bit of progress

It wasn't that my maths was wrong when I worked out how wide my border needed to be for this orphan block, rather that I neglected to remember that the border would be on both sides... so when I added a border of 2.5" finished... really I increased the measurement by 5" (my border should really have only been 1.25" on each side).  So I went from having 4 butterflies per side, plus the corners with 1/2" strips inbetween... to 5 butterflies per side plus corners with no strips.

On the plus side:
  • I really like the blue inner border, it is almost the exact colour of the blue flowers, but it has a floral print.  
  • I like the width of the sketch black/white border - it gives a nice touch of neutral chill out zone.  
  • And I'm enjoying adding a few extra colours into the mix with the variety of the butterflies.

But I'm not too keen on the heaviness of this border now that they are all jammed up like this, so I think I'm going to go back to 4 butterflies, with a 1" strip inbetween.  Well, it all depends on whether I can find more of this fabric.  We will see what happens, in the meantime, I have more butterflies to sew.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Week Two, Day 6 - Saturday

I can't believe we have only got one more day to go, then it's back to work and school.

I got all my "just need to" steps completed on my VQR Blocks, and now I have a finished top!

In this photo I had only pinned on the side borders, but I assure you they have since been sewn on.
I already have backing fabric for this one and started thinking about quilting designs, but until the Stack, Shuffle, Slide quilt is quilted... it is just going to get added to "that pile".  

 I also completed my third TATW block for this week.  Not sure how this four blocks a week timeframe is going to work out once we are back into our normal work/school routines... but it is a chilled out QAL so I don't think that will be a problem.

I had a moment of "oh my god I am going to make a humongous quilt again" and sewed my fourth block as a partial block to see what it would look like attached with half on each side of the quilt.  Hmm, a bit strange.

So I finished sewing the block to make it complete and added it to the ever growing pattern.  A 4 x 4 setting would be nice and symmetrical.

Then I played around to make the layout five blocks wide... and not quite so symmetrical.  Somehow I don't think making a 5x5 grid would work.

So I moved one of the other blocks to make it six blocks wide.  The finished width.

I finished another Dash to the Finish Block...

And relaid out my Tillies Lane scrap quilt, because I just really, really wanted to see how it was looking now that the applique blocks for the centre were all finished.

But wait there's more...

I did a little bit more quilting on the bassinet quilt I had started as a class sample. 

The gist of this pattern is to quilt a spine within the shapes of the blocks in the quilt, and then using the spine as a guide, quilt a filler pattern either side.  So around the centre applique I quilted slightly wavy spines from the heart shape out to the edge of the square, then filled in around either side of the wave with mushroom shaped squiggles.

And then because I had nothing else to do (snort) I pulled out some extra fabrics for my orphan block challenge... luckily I have been adding a few purples and pinks into my stash over the last few months.

And drafted up a 5" finished simple butterfly block.

So things could start to look a bit like this.

I will need to frame the centre block with a 2.5" finished border to make the maths work, but after cutting this Sketch strip, realised it is too big to have as a single colour.

So now I've got that thinking cap back on.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Week Two, Day Three - Wednesday

The goal to blog every day pettered out a bit there... as I got distracted by other non-sewing related activities... but I'm back!

Amongst other things, we have been reorganising the kids bedrooms, evolving Dylan from a bunk set to a queen sized bed.  His room was never really decorated, it just had an assortment of furniture bought for other purposes that just ended up in his room.  Well, that hasn't changed, but for one day at least, his bed looked tidy!

  With it being winter time, he got several layers of blankets.  As the layers went on, I thought it was a good time to take a photo of his first bed quilt, before it finally wears out.  It also shows that even the single bed size quilts I make are BIG!

And he was lucky to get the Constellation quilt - I figured it was relatively indestructible with the dark background, but still bright and teenager like.  He has made no comment.


In other news, I had a couple of fabric purchases arrive...

A lovely floral

A wide backing

This photo covers roughly a A4 sized view of the fabric, so it's a large print as well as being a wide width.

Some remnants that looked usable to add to the stash

And I visited my absolute favourite fabric shop (The Country Yard) and came home with some black and white prints

which I hope to add to this orphan block to start the process of making it into something larger

...and some boring old Off White Bella Solid to continue with my TATW blocks.

Today I managed to actually sew and get another couple of TATW blocks sewn... I'm really enjoying this whole experience.

First up I choose the three feature fabrics, two florals and a darkish neutral/tone on tone that compliment each other.  This is the bit that takes forever.

It is starting to make an interesting pattern.  Because I'm choosing one lighter floral, and one darker floral, I'm getting a light four patch in the centre of the dark chain, and a dark four patch in the centre of the light chain.

Don't you just want to eat them (well, if you were a fabric eating monster that is)???

I wasn't 100% confident in this large spot as a low volume, but I do love the colours, so decided to just give it a go.  I think it is OK in the grand scheme of things and will include it in several blocks.

And I managed to get all the blocks sewn into rows for the VQR quilt, with sashing attached to two rows.

Now I just need to add a border sashing strip to the bottom... and then I just need to attach all the rows together... then I just need to  border the last two sides and it will be a finished quilt top... actually, that's quite a lot of just need toooos.

And I got my BLUE RSC blocks for the month completed.  Woot!

All in all... not a bad days work.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Week One, Day Six - Saturday

Today was my FMQ teaching day... who would have thought talking for hours would be so exhausting!

I had things organised so everyone had a booklet, to encourage practicing the techniques with pen and paper first, before committing to needle and thread.  I do think this is a worthwhile part of the process.

I'm pretty sure it was a success.  I wanted to inspire people who were disillusioned with FMQ in general, to convince them that "they could do it", and provide a technique that was both achievable and easily translated to a variety of pieced quilts.

I didn't get a lot of time to quilt on my own little quilt... but did get some done.  I used an off-white Invisifill 100wt thread in both top and bottom.  It has a lovely chameleon like quality... just seems to pick up whatever colour fabric you are sewing on, yes, this is all sewn with white.

The Front:

The Back:

Luckily my husband had dinner all under control - so I came home to a roast in the oven.  I think I'll have an early night tonight.