Saturday, February 9, 2019

It's A Cross Tile Finish

Woohoo!  The Cross Tile quilt is all finished and the last thing to do is add a blog post before it can be forever ticked off my list.

Having a terribly lit, as well as small bedroom means you just can't get far enough away from the subject to fit it all into frame, but you'll get the idea.

These fabrics started life as a Designer Bundle of fat quarters from Stash Fabrics, curated by @misterdomestic.  There were a lot of prints that I never would have chosen (those deer heads!), but obviously the bundle intrigued me enough to buy it!  I love the challenge of finding a pattern to suit an eclectic mix of fabrics.  Adding new fabrics from my LQS The Country Yard and some from stash, I made a between size quilt with a 5x5 setting from 25 fat quarters.

The Cross Tile pattern is by Emily Dennis from Quilty Love.  I did a mix of walking foot, free motion with rulers, freehand free motion and big stitch hand quilting.

This is also the first quilt that I have hand stitched around the circumference to echo the binding.  I really like it!

I love the somewhat retro vibe of this quilt and the way the pattern encourages each different fabric to shine.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

New month New goals

The last day of January saw me finally finishing that last pesky task... the one that I had sort of started, but then just put off, and put off... and you guessed it... put off!

I had the goal of joining the first three rows of my Patchwork City quilt which has been run as a QAL on IG by Joe from @manhandledthreads

There are three main things I am calling triggers that encourage me to procrastinate on these sorts of projects.

First up, I hate dealing with long lengths of yardage.  This project called for 4 yards of background, and the Essex Linen is wider than standard width (double the stress).  I find folding the long lengths, then trying to keep it straight on my cutting mat, all while trying to cut accurate silly little measurements... I feel like I need to be an octopus.  And I put those cuts off like crazy!

It doesn't help that my cutting surface butts up to the wall, so you don't know how many times I have got everything perfectly aligned to find that my ruler doesn't have enough space to measure the required cut.

The solution was ridiculously easy... make a generous cut divisible by the required cut... as generous as my 16.5" ruler will allow, then move the subcut into the middle of the mat and cut into smaller strips.

Here's one I prepared earlier!

The second trigger is cutting long lengths of sashing... even though its really not that bad (repeat after me... it's not that bad), and I haven't magically found a way of getting around this, but cutting all the lengths at one time does help progress.

The third trigger is actually sewing all those long lengths of sashing.  Long rows of patchwork are not my favourite thing and I will often choose to change the construction to be able to sew the blocks together in chunks.  Because of the nature of these bulky blocks, I chose not to do this so that I could always press towards the sashing.  So my solution is to sew each row with its length of sashing, and in the case of the top row it's length of border fabric, so that there are really only two seams where I am dealing with cumbersome length and bulk simultaneously.

All that to say, I finally have the top three rows all attached!

And don't they look pretty?  They go so nicely with the multicolor drawers that used to be in Nadias room.  And only two more rows to go!

And onto February goals... First up is Block 16.  I'm hoping for 5 blocks this month so getting this first block out of the way nice and early can only mean good things.

With the weather being too hot to allow much afternoon or even evening sewing... I have been fitting in odd little moments throughout the cooler mornings.  With this in mind I have made some of my February goals relatively simple, and have covered a range of projects and tasks, including choosing fabric from the stash... always a fun task!

I want to extend this Courthouse Stars deconstructed quilt by adding new borders
Roll on February!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Almost mid month update

Progress has been cracking along in the All The Good Ones shed.

On my diary/calendar I have ticked off all of my monthly goals apart from one... and there's still some days left.

After listing out my goals for the month, I wrote in the calendar space some key tasks that needed to be done to achieve my monthly goal.  BUT, I haven't micromanaged every single activity, just those things that have been holding up the works.

After I finished the first grouping of mini tasks... I added in some more BUT those 8 odd tasks took a good two weeks to complete.  On the positive side... some of those goals have kept growing and I have achieved much more than I expected.

For example the Cross Tile quilt my monthly goal was to finish the machine quilting, which I did AND  I managed to get binding sewn on and three quarters hand stitched down! 

My goal for Timeless Traditions was to get the second corner section sewn together (which I had been majorly putting off) AND I managed to get this sewn as well as hand stitching a section of bias stem.  I have added a mini task to trace out the applied shapes, which is a nice job to do while suffering from the summer heat.  It has also been transferred to the design wall!

My super duper goal for January was to get the Loosely Woven quilt top fully pieced... and this got completed on Monday.  I added my own borders for this one, using off cuts from the strip piecing and it worked out perfectly for the king size required.

And the North Star borders that were giving me conniptions has also been finished!  Adding the pieced sections to extend the outer squares was not what I really wanted to spend my time doing... but I also knew it would be so worth it.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Loosely Woven and Timeless Traditions

My big goal for January is to finish piecing the king sized top that I have been requested to make, using the Loosely Woven pattern, and using a mix of purple fabrics to achieve it.

Surprisingly... it has been a lovely top to put together.  I changed the construction of the blocks as it was a stack and whack pattern, with organically spaced strips cut from squares.  But, knowing the intended recipient, I chose to have regularly sized strips and alter the size of the blocks to suit.

The blocks kept growing, until finally there was enough!  And I started sewing them into large chunks.

And finally all together!

The subtle changes in colour really do add to the illusion of woven strips.

I have started putting together border strips and all going well I should meet my target by the end of the month.

Taking advantage of my empty design wall I started placing the completed components of my Timeless Traditions BOM, to see how it was looking.

And get that next little bit of sewing completed!

Happy to report that it is looking Fine!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Progress and progress and progress...

Sometimes it's about jumping in and holding on until the end!  Whether it is technically on your list or not!

Finishing the ruler work FMQ on the Cross Tile quilt, I had a quick audition of a couple of free hand designs using some lightweight clear plastic to try out some fillers emphasising the Ohio star outlines.

Which morphed into a wishbone sort of pattern in the points and stipple in the centre square.

Similarly to the straight lines quilted, this could be achieved with just the one start and stop.

This one shows the mix of quilting techniques used!

It was also relatively quick so I was keen to keep the momentum flowing and chose this uneven organic stripe for binding out of my stash.

Although the colours are not exact... they are close enough considering there is a plain border between the outer blocks and the binding.

Before I could change my mind... I got the 9 strips cut, sewn and pressed ready to machine stitch.  Ideally I would have done the whole pieced binding/flange/machine applied binding... but there were too many other roadblocks.  I would have needed to clear my floor of the other two quilts already laying on it to trim the quilt edges so the binding could get sewn onto the back.  Not happening!   (Regular binding I attach to an untrimmed quilt).  And, I would have needed to find two fabrics suitable for each component of the binding... and that didn't seem to be happening either!  So a regular binding it was going to be.

And, I've started hand stitching the binding to the back and adding a touch of big stitch quilting roughly 1/4" from the binding.

Really happy with how this is turning out.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Cross Tile Quilt... Progress Is Happening!

Sometimes it is the weirdest things that create creative roadblocks... preventing you from making progress.

With the Cross Tile quilt, I had made a good start with the quilting - edge stitching in the background around the tile shapes with my walking foot, and had started hand quilting around the crosses in the sashing.  BUT because I didn't know what I was going to do next, I just stopped working on it.  Weird!  So it has just sat there for literally months as a constant reminder.

Part of my planning process for this year is to push myself past these roadblocks and just get things moving again.  After borrowing the Westalee quilting foot and ruler from a friend, I spent a bit of time familiarizing myself with the feel of the product, trialled a couple of ideas... and away I went.

My design is neither amazing or perfectly executed, but I can complete each tile in one run... with only one starting and stopping point and as a learning experience it is good because there is movement in every direction.

Working my way around the quilt in columns, I quilted the first two columns  (starting from the far right hand side) of this 5x5 grid as my first target.  Then after rotating the quilt a quarter turn, my second target was 6 blocks in the new far right two columns... and now I'm working on the next quarter turn 6 blocks.  Just quietly... this means its not that far from being finished!  Roadblocks are NOT my friend!

I'm not sure whether I will add more quilting to these designs, I quite like the idea of pebbles or small spirals highlighting the small star in the centre... but that's thinking for another day... and that's OK!