Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Kenny Rogers knew his stuff

I've been working on three different projects over the last week or so, where I have had to make the decision about whether to carry on as per the pattern/previous layout... or make the decision to change things up to suit what I like.  So where does Kenny Rogers come in?  Well, in the immortal words of The Gambler... you've got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em... know when to walk away... know when to run... and I am now super embarrassed to admit that I know almost all the words to that song and I blame my mother :0)

First project - the Bernina Zen Chic Triangle quiltalong.  I managed to get most of the blocks constructed, and started laying it out per the suggested pattern layout.  The instructions from the beginning have encouraged variety and spontaneity, and working with what you have - so I knew there was a good chance that I would be making alterations to the layout.  However, laying it out per the instructions seemed a good start.  It wasn't long before I was tweaking blocks - moving some of the more complicated or busy blocks away and replacing them with the simpler blocks.

I realised that for me it was about the subtle differences in tone, depth and texture, with a few key contrast areas... and that I wanted to emphasize this, not create disharmony.

Still a work in progress

There are some areas in the layout that has quite a lot of pieced blocks in little groups - sometimes the colours I had used worked out OK... like this little grouping...

Other areas I have removed the pieced blocks completely.  I also decided that this printed triangle fabric just creates too much action... There is also some fabrics with light purple tones that create too much contrast, so figured that this was the time to pull these fabrics out of the mix.

I chose a Robert Kaufman Essex yarn dyed linen in Indigo as my background which has a nice textural element.  The design keeps evolving, and I have added some dark navy triangles which I really like.  It will be interesting to see how this finally ends up looking.

The decision whether to replace the stripey block in the Cross Tile quilt finally came to a head.  Yes or No?  Nope... it had to go.

Once again... just too busy when I look at it at this stage.  I have chosen a more subtle stone coloured print and just need to finish that block up, before I am ready to join all these rows.  Exciting to get this project almost completed!

I finally started my Homespun Magazine 2018 BOM!  This uses a wide variety of Tilda fabrics... very floral.  I started laying out some of the elements, liking how it was looking.

However as it built, I felt that it was becoming just a little bit too floral for my liking.  Is it possible that there can be too much floral?

I wanted to add just a little bit of contemporary text... and this is my favourite print for projects that are neither white nor cream... subtle but definitely adds a bit of my own flavour.

The pattern has quite a bit of embroidery added.  I knew that this wasn't going to be happening... so I added some orange centres to the flowers in lieu of the embroidered centre feature. I also changed the tips of the butterfly to a plain pink.

Playing around with some of the leaf placements - I chose some in this lovely grey/blue linen... which I absolutely adore and hopefully will be able to add a little of this fabric to every block.

I'm happy that this block has turned out with a good mix of the original design, plus a healthy dose of me.

After all the fusing was completed, I started the blanket stitch.

While it looked perfect on the top... there were issues on the bottom!

After rechanging the needle, oiling, rethreading and finally changing the bobbin thread completely, I have got a better stitch... although it is still not right.  Any ideas?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Flittering between this and that

Another busy week with lots of little progress steps.

The second to last Cross Tiles block is causing me issues.  I knew that the colours were pushing the boundaries... the burgundy, green and mustard were in some of the other blocks, but not so much the pink and blue.

Forging ahead and knowing that it wouldn't be sorted until I laid it all out, I made the block and I'm still a bit undecided.  Located on the bottom left corner, I don't need to make a final decision until I have sashed all the previous rows.  At this stage, I'm considering replacing it.

And I've got the first two rows sashed and attached.  Definitely a quilt that you need to keep organised with.

More little jobs... I got the applique placed and fused on the March backyard birds block.

I'm just having fun choosing scrappy bits of fabric.

And I chose the block for April and made the background!  Choosing the pattern for the month leads to a LOT of dithering around, so getting that settled early in the month can only mean good things to come.

I even got the yellow April double nine patch block finished for the RSC colour this month.  Double whoop whoop!

And after thinking deep and meaningfully about the Bernina Triangle Quilt along since probably Xmas time... I finally pulled out the fabric and made some more blocks!  Two more blocks to do for Instruction sheet 5 and then it will be onto sheet 6.

The clothes sewing force is strong...

I bought this hey June pattern a while ago... I'm a sucker for a raglan sleeve top, and particularly liked that this pattern came with several sleeve options, including banded and with thumb holes, as well as a curved hem or banded hem.

Buying some material that arrived in a lighter weight than anticipated, meant that if you've got t-shirt material... make t-shirts...

It really is just a bit of fun... and I wanted to check the fit.

I could probably grade the waist and hips in a bit, and take the length up a bit, but it is good on the bust and sleeves.

And from the leftover dots a free undie pattern experiment...

(sorry it's sideways)

And from the leftover birdie fabric, an altered Megan Nielsen acacia pattern... also free.  Here I have made the rise a bit higher.

I have actually finished the legs now... but haven't tried them on.  I'm hoping for good things.

If you've been keeping up with Instagram, you'll know that I put together this bundle of fabric based on this amazing feature print by Basic Grey - Biscuits and Gravy.  I seriously love this fabric!

And a quick whizz through the stash found plenty of fabrics that pull out the various colours.  I can envisage a mixed pieced and appliqued quilt - with strong contrast and relatively traditional.  Now I just need to find that perfect pattern.

Of course, I don't need any more projects as I have recently committed to the Homespun magazine 2018 BOM using Tilda fabrics.

So far I've been through and labelled all the fabrics...

And looked at Part 1 but not started anything yet.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Whoops, missed the end of March

April has somehow snuck in before I was quite ready to give March up.  Happy Easter everyone!  While on the one hand I feel like I have been quite busy... on the other hand I don't feel like I have achieved much.  The end of March is a particularly stressful time at work, and to be honest, I have found I have been incredibly tired by the end of the day... and not found the energy to spend much time sewing.  Blogging also falls somewhere into the background.  However, quilting on the 2017 RSC is still progressing at a snails pace.

You can see the places still with pins left to quilt.  Also the stripes and border sections need attention.

And I finally today finished the Green March block for the 2018 RSC which I am completing scrappy Double Nine Patch blocks... I like how the black centres create a really strong design feature that helps to hold the scrappyness together.

Don't they look pretty all lined up?  I have already decided this will be sashed with cornerstones... no way am I going to line up all those internal seams!

Backyard birds is also progressing slowly... first the background was pieced together from scraps, then the stems were hand appliqued on.  Just the leaves and birds to figure out now.  As March was green month I chose a block that was heavy on leaves... OK, we are at 99% imagination at this stage :o)

Although the quilt along for Emily Denis's City Tiles/Cross Tiles quilt has long finished, I am still plodding away.  Finished up block 23

And block 24 is well underway.  Just one more block to complete then I can start piecing this one together.

Going off the beaten path a bit, I decided to sew a long sleeved t-shirt pattern, and after constructing the PDF pattern pieces, laid out the sleeve and neck band pieces on my contrast fabric and cut them out.  THEN, I used the leftovers to cut and put together this Barrett Bralette.

It actually looks really good at first sight.  In the grand scheme of things, it was an epic fail because the lining fabric I chose didn't have enough stretch in it... so the bralette was a bit on the small side (I have read the term "negative ease" which seams appropriate), and almost impossible to remove (I did think I would need to resort to scissors at one stage).  I also used fold over elastic, when I should have used lingerie elastic, and a wide elastic band for the bottom... so needed to adjust the construction methods a little bit.  BUT it was a great learning curve and not totally exasperated. I used the last of my leftovers to trial a different free undie pattern - a boyleg brief style this time, and since it was all a trial I used the lingerie elastic I had been a bit scared of trying for the bralette.  Also a learning curve.  The undies turned out just fine... not perfect... and I am keen to try the bralette from a stretchier fabric with the correct supplies.  And I'm actually keen to try a mix of the two undie patterns I have tried to sew the Megan Nielsen undies with a higher waistband.  So there you go.  Returning to the start of the story... I still need to cut out the rest of the pieces for the long sleeved t-shirt but after my twisting and turning adventures I was a bit over clothes sewing!  Patchwork is so much more straightforward!  NEED to disappear into my shed and play with fabric!  I have a completely new project yet to be taken from its packaging... watch this space!