January is probably my worst culprit for new projects. Having such a long holiday period... it is just so easy to start lots of things. But I promise they are all good :o)
I decided to keep with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year, and have been identifying all sorts of patterns that I like that would be great for this purpose. I finally decided to work with the Double Nine Patch block. This month is Light Blue month... and I finally got around to starting this project... yesterday.
I am cutting 2" little squares, using scraps for the coloured places, and the same white on white for the plain blocks, with black squares in the centres. So far so good... just need to get this block sewn together before the end of the month.
The second project I have started is a fun applique also using scraps and a pattern booklet by Piece o Cake Designs that I have had for ever. The pattern gives two variations of the quilt - one with a cute pieced background (which gave me the inspiration to push the concept just a little bit further)...
Working with the funky pieced background idea, I decided to try piecing together some of my low volume scraps and make irregularly pieced block sized chunks. These blocks finish at 12" square.
So the background and the foreground are all completed from scraps...
And I decided to use a free motion black outline to attach the shapes. Never tried this before and I am pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. It really suits this kind of scrappy/funky project. I did ponder whether to add several rounds of stitching in a sketchy kind of way, but chickened out and decided to just stick with one - which gives quite a clean finish.
As is my usual routine, I hand stitched the bias stems for the branches... but for a change tried this Wonderfil Invisafil thread... in a really unattractive apricot kind of flesh colour... and was amazed how well the thread disappeared into the fabrics! Although I have used this thread for FMQ (and also been surprised at how it absorbs the colour), I hadn't tried needleturn applique with it. I will definitely be using this kind of thread again.
In getting other things done news... I am still adding to the Whanau and Friends quilt blocks. I really like this 18" block and how it includes the stitchery... but in a very understated way. Although working with some of these wide stripes cut into jelly roll strips is a bit awkward.
The lower half of the quilt is slowly filling up.
And in other even better getting things finished news... I finished and gifted this lovely baby quilt.
Love how the stipple ties together the striped rows, and the edge stitching around the grey stripes and boxes gives it structure.
I played with a simple unembellished feather for the navy borders...
And repeated a similar sort of design in the blue accent blocks.
The magic flange binding is the only way for me to get binding sew on within a week, and although I had some wonky moments, I'm feeling like I can maybe conquer this technique.
From the back...
As the end of the month and returning to work draws closer, I have been thinking about my goals for this month and year. I read somewhere that the new year started on 1 February... January is just a trial free period... and I seriously agree with that sentiment.
Working on the Whanau and Friends quilt as a major focus means that an old WIP could actually get finished! This has been very satisfying, as has getting my RSC project underway... as I really enjoyed this process last year.
I realise that I have a huge amount of quilt tops requiring quilting... and I need to decide what else to focus on this year. I would like to make progress on the following to start off with:
*get last years RSC quilt quilted, finished and donated. First step is to construct a pieced backing.
*get the binding sewn on the Stack, Shuffle Slide quilt from last year and get this finished and on the bed. First step is to choose a binding fabric and start cutting.
*work out where the Bernina Zen Chic triangle quiltalong is up to and try to get back on track with this one. First step is to print out the missing instructions.
* continue with the Whanau and Friends and Cross Tile blocks as an ongoing process.
*complete blocks for the 2018 RSC and Backyard Birds blocks monthly.
Spelt out like that it doesn't look so bad? Maybe?