Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Starting off behind the door - this bookshelf is a work in progress - lots of juggling things about as items return to the room and I choose their new locations.
To the right you can just see my 'design wall' (a fleece on a pole) .
One day there will be a sofa bed on the back wall, with a quilt hanging above it.
You can see the flattened boxes that I've emptied and you can see the bookshelf lying down that won't fit in, and drawer units that were on their way to under my sewing table.
When you are re-sorting it always looks like such a mess, doesn't it?
Difficult to tell from the photos, but the room is a stubby L shape. The tables are a total of 2.8m. The opposite wall is just over 2m.
So my WIP is unpacking, sorting, organising. Its going to take a while!
It feels good to be able to do even just a little back in here.
Hope that you are enjoying your summer too!
Friday, 7 August 2015
I'm not trying to compete - just to put this where I can always find it after I spent a few minutes wondering how to replicate a block that I'd made some time ago (and wrongly thinking that it started with a pinwheel block!).
Cut them across both diagonals (and I'd recommend carefully pressing them open at this stage, although I rarely follow my own advice!).
Tricky business, getting block names right!
Sew together and press again.
Slice into thirds in each direction (so for this size, 4 1/4" per slice).
I didn't have enough blue with me to make the nine blocks that I wanted to, so make the rest with a blue backed floral, which wasn't quite as close tonally as I'd hoped!
I might be putting this back on my list of things to make more / make again. I think that it would work really well as a scrappy quilt and I'm pretty sure that I already have some 10" squares cut and in my scrap drawers.
This will make a reasonable baby quilt, though. about 32" finished size.
Layering, basting and quilting next on my list of things to do!
It was then folded up, bundled into a bag and stuffed into a crate with my other sewing supplies so that it could come on holiday with me!
I tried out several patterns on a sample sandwich and decided that I'd give the 'flame' pattern (difficult to see here, but it's on the right hand side) a go as an all over pattern.
Never mind, it's quilted, by me, and ready for trimming and binding when I get back to my largest cutting mat at home!
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
I've had a good run of quilting over the last few weeks - concentrating on my UFO's has been a good way to make progress for me - until this week when life (and holidays!) got in the way of sewing time!
A couple of weeks ago I went to an entertaining talk by Jo Avery at my quilt group, Richmond and Kew Quilters. Pretty much defining what makes a 'Modern Quilt' with lots of examples to show us. Her work is always fun - you might have seen it in Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine - but you can also see some on her blog here.
I bought a book that she'd co-authored too: 50 Fat Quarter Makes. Lots of small projects that look perfect for my DD's and I want to sew over the holidays!
Just as well, as I've only managed two small sewing tasks this week: patching a hole in DD2's leggings (!) and making a small zipper pouch so that I could walk DD2 and one of her friends through how to make them. I managed it and the girls were very pleased with their pencil case sized pouches, even if I did forget to take a photo of them before they were whisked away!
This was my version - which has already found a purpose, housing my 'power block' (remote charger) and various leads when we went away for a few nights.
Not big, not clever, but a zipped and lined pouch is quite a good little sewing project to have under our belts, so to speak!
I hope that you are having happy summer sewing too!
Next week I hope to have made more progress on my Dear Jane again.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015
Like this micro quilt - just 3 1/4" square, with an improv 12 patch middle, fully bound. Fun to do to and inspired by Amanda jane at crazymomquilts.
I expect to make more over the summer - they are a good way to use a tiny bit of scrap stash with a fun result.
Thanks, Benta, for the original idea for the zipper purse and tea towel use, though!
These two I took photos of, the other ones, errrmmmm......no. It turns out that I didn't!
I also failed to take photos of another couple of personalised covered notebooks and tissue holders - last minute end-of-term stuff!
In between these I've been sewing a few of my little storm at sea blocks.
Now that the school holidays have started in earnest it's more difficult to work on larger projects but at least I'm getting my sewing fix in other ways!
Saturday, 18 July 2015
I decided that it would be nice to have a quilt on display that fitted the space, so after some deliberation, and knowing the width of the space, decided that I would change the layout.
I knew that if I had the blocks just 10 columns across that they would fit in the width of wall that I had available. Great! So I would remove the other three columns and use them to create four more rows, with just one more block needed in order to do that.
I created this block. Totally unlike the Dear Jane blocks in execution, this is fusible applique with a little FMQ 'embroidery'.
I'm happy that it shows something that represents my family (I was pregnant with my first daughter when I started this quilt, now I have two wonderful girls of 12 and 10). It records the time that it took to make the blocks on the front of the quilt not just on a label on the back.
I sashed around this block with new sashing fabric to denote that it was different to the others. I re-jigged the other blocks to make my new rectangular quilt.
Just one error. You are probably familiar with the phrase 'measure twice, cut once'? Unfortunately, in my head I knew that the new wall under the window was HUGE, but the problem is that in real life it's not as huge as my quilt!!! Doh!
I'm still laughing at myself!
I've carried the quilt top around the house, and I still haven't got anywhere else big enough to put it up!
I'm going to end up with a 'Jane in Two Parts' - there will be two rows above the new window, 15 rows below. It is, I admit, an even more unconventional layout than I was thinking of earlier in the week (!) - but at least I get all the blocks on one wall.
Rods and brackets are ordered - I just need to get on with unpicking a seam and adding some more border strips so that I can get my (two for the price of one) quilts backed, basted, quilted, bound and finished!
I might just go and measure that wall again before I set to, though!
Wish me luck!
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Naturally I found that I hadn't got enough of the sashing fabric to add the last two narrow borders to frame it, so I went and bought something fairly similar, but still different. All in the spirit of this scrappy creation.
However, I have a dilemma. I have the (almost) perfect place in mind to hang the quilt when it's finished. It's the *almost* that's a problem. The space (which is nearly finished - the window should go in later today) isn't *exactly* perfect.
Should I do the nearly unthinkable and shuffle the layout so that I have a rectangular quilt? It would mean losing four blocks from it, turning the quilt into an 11 x 15 block quilt. It feels wrong to be doing that in one way (the 'rule keeper' way) but right to make something that fits my space (the pragmatic, excited to display way). What would you do?
Wednesday, 8 July 2015
I started it on 28th January 2003, just over 12 short (!) years ago.
I've worked on it in fits and starts. The last blocks I made were in August 2014, but I feel that the time has come to buck up my ideas and finish all the square blocks. I never intended to make the triangles, as I only have limited space for the quilt.
These are the four that I've made this week, and I'm planning on making the final six next week.
I'm hoping to finish it completely before October. Wish me luck!
This is my finish! My 'Military Wives song' Round Robin quilt!
Difficult to photograph at 72" wide, but this was my best attempt. The bulgy bit on the LHS is where it is hung over a wall light.
The top strip is the 'made up' one from bits and bobs and scraps by me to balance the top.
The second strip is by Nerida - the purple square represents a travelling soldier, always part of the family unit but not always in the same place.
The third strip was my 'starter strip'.
The fourth strip by Karen who knows one of the military wives choir members. There is a Southern Belle block to represent her, chevrons to represent her recently promoted husband and the three purple accents representing their three children.
On the right hand side from the top down I have Jane's block which represents the blue airmail letters being a bridge of communication - squares for the letters, triangles for the questions and answers that they contain.
Then there is Benta's extra strip - some of the text of the song embroidered.
Third down I have Marjolyn's pieced strip, including a star of destiny, interlocked squares (representing families together) and delectable mountains for the ups and downs of life.
Finally I have some of Benta's hexie work - representing the heads of the choir from a high shot taken of them singing.
I'm so lucky to have such beautiful work from my quilting friends - it's been a pleasure to bring this quilt into a whole piece.
I should also remember to say 'thank you' to Benta's friend 'Willit' for her inspired idea to add some orange flashes to the binding to help balance it. They only just show up in the photos, but there are there and definitely add to the whole. I let them fall at random around my binding (good for overcoming my control freak instincts!) and I'm pretty happy with how that worked out.
So, big thanks to Nerida, Karen, Jane, Marjolyn, Benta and Willit for their contributions to my completed quilt hanging. I can't wait for the builders to complete their work (just three more weeks, I hope!) so that we can hang it in it's destination wall space!
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
No 'proper' photos of the whole thing, as it's about 72" wide, so hard for me to get a full shot without involving two people to hold it for me!
What you can see here is one of the diamonds that is filled with quilting.
Each diamond is 15" square and each one took about 2 hours to quilt.
I started off with a couple of circles in each square but it was pretty difficult to see the blue wash out pen on the blue fabric, so I only used a circle construct on the centre diamond, shown below.
It's just as well that my new spools of white cotton arrived, even at 50wt each diamond took at least a bobbin full of thread, showing just how dense it is!
As you can see, I just used 1" wide parallel lines aside from the FMQ panels.
Next I'll be adding the binding and the hanging sleeve before washing out the blue guide lines.
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Party cake was a replica (well, almost, my family pointed out all the errors like missing a crucial gap / obstacle) of the floating obstacle course that she and her friends had traversed for the first part of the party.
It seemed to go down well, and, of course, we have another set of Playmobil swimmers to add to our large stash of playthings!
The birthday went well, with friends, family and fun all day long.
here if you feel inspired to make your own).
I'm delighted with how it looks! 60" square is as big as I want to deal with when I'm quilting something though!
Its been such a lovely project and a good way to use some of my blue scraps!
You might just be able to make out the different scale of the quilting in the scallops and hearts border - much smaller and tighter. It makes the applique shapes stand out a little, which is what I want.
This is my 'round robin' quilt - laid out, basted and ready for me to start quilting. The ruler, plates and bowls were all to help me make some marks to guide my quilting. I'm planning to start with a some walking foot squares and than add in some free motion quilting.
This plan might have to go on hold for the moment, though, as I've just discovered that I'm almost out of the white thread that I'm planning to use. Perhaps I'll start and see how far I get!
Hope that you are having a good week with your chosen craft too!
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Another finish for my Project Linus pile and a little more out of the scrap drawers! Almost completed in March.....but I'm happy to have finished it now!
Once I'd hit on my size and shape (I've decided on a wall hanging for above where a new sofa bed will go once the building work is complete) it was straightforward to decide on a layout for the existing strips. I just needed one more strip to complete it. So, by next week I hope to have completed the top, basted it, and perhaps even to have started quilting it. A girl can hope!
My other sewing project this week has been to make these 'anti-ouch pouches' - underarm cushions with a strap to hold them in place. If you know someone who undergoes breast cancer surgery please think about making one or two of these for them. They are fast to make (about 30 minutes including stuffing and finishing, I should think) and can make people much more comfortable.
I'm sending lots of good wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery to my cousin Jilly.