Thursday, August 25, 2016

 I'm still waiting for life to settle into some sort of routine after 'retiring' from the postie job. We've gone back and worked odd days to help our friends out, we've been busy with the family social life and there's always the quilting to be done. I keep telling myself we're in a state of flux until we find new routines, but everything feels a bit chaotic at the moment. And I'm not revelling in  heaps of new found time either, which is a bit disappointing.

The chaos extends to my sewing room, where I seem to be very busy, but making little progress. I know I have to stop and choose one project to concentrate on, but I have so many ideas and if I start them, at least they won't get shuffled off to the back of the queue...Well that's my reasoning anyway.

The leader-ender remains Bonnie's Garden Party, but it needs to be sorted out again. Sooo many tiny bits to keep track of, my orderly piles have vanished and I'm scrabbling through the bits as I go. I think I'm halfway to the number of blocks I need with this.

My main  piecing are these Jack In The Pulpit blocks. I adore these even though I have no idea how they will be set. I'm just making thirty or so and then I'll start playing. Twelve finished, and another fourteen started. The centres look cute just as they are..making a mental note of that..(you can see why I can descend into chaos, every project sparks at least one other)

I love Jo's rail fence and I was cutting the 1 1/2" red triangles anyway. No reason not to start this and get all those scraps cut up and in a new home.

I won't be sewing this now, just making myself a kit.The 1 1/2" drawer is nearly empty. (Insert virtuous smirk)

I'm piecing leftover 3 1/2" squares into strips to be set into the backing for the English Squares top. I need two more of these 16 patches, and I have them laid out ready to sew. The rest of the fabric has been tidied and put away. Empty container. (Even more virtuous smirk)

Experimental blocks to use up mid blues and checks and stripes. I'm not sure about these, have twelve done but I don't know  where they're going. They were based on an antique quilt, but I'm having second thoughts. They might go away for now.

A border I'm working on for a UFO. I'm cutting the rhomboids with an accucut die which makes it very easy, as long as I remember which way up to place the darks and mediums. I haven't tried it on the top yet, but if they don't go with that I have heaps of other tops in need of a pieced border. I'm having fun with these so that's reason enough to continue.

This is some (not all, mind you) of the cutting cutting cutting I've been doing. I don't particularly feel like chaining myself to the sewing machine, so I'm going with the flow. Nothing has jumped out and cried "Me! Pick Me!" so I'm advancing slowly on all fronts; very slowly, but the pile of last snippets  in the bin is increasing daily. All that fabric gone, so I must be getting somewhere. A strange way to measure progress, but I'll take it.


Friday, August 19, 2016

 I found this small top while I was cleaning up the work room, made  a while ago when I was thinking about two colour quilts. I've attempted to work using just two colours before, but I always made things scrappy; lots of blues, lots of pinks or reds or browns instead of one fabric. I felt the tedium of cutting and sewing with just two main colours would be more than I could take. But I also love the simplicity of two fabrics, the pattern can really take centre stage. There are some gorgeous antique examples, surely I could grit my teeth and limit myself to a background and ONE contrasting fabric?

Hence the small quilt, just to see if I could do it. Surprisingly I didn't find it boring at all. The pressing of two larger pieces of fabric instead of multiple smaller ones seemed easier and the cutting went quickly. There were no decisions to make about what to put where, I just had to pick up each piece and sew. It was almost zen-like in it's simplicity and repetition.

Another advantage that I hadn't thought of was that I could begin setting the blocks together straight away. When I make scrap quilts I always do a pile of blocks, then lay them out to see whether I've got the colour and tone balance that I need. I never sew them together until I've finished all the blocks because I want to make sure that the fabrics are distributed around the top in a pleasing manner. Don't want all those darker blocks on one side, or the same fabrics touching!

With only two fabrics you can start setting blocks together straight away and build the rows on the design wall from the beginning. As someone who has multiple sets of blocks sitting around awaiting their final setting decisions, this was a novel experience for me. Far from hating the experience of using such a limited selection, I actually enjoyed the whole process, and now I'm seriously thinking about a larger quilt to see if that affects my findings. (I would still be using a scrappy leader-ender, so I could get my variety fix from that.) So this was a succesful experiment, I would say.

I've been a cutting fool in the sewing room, and I scraped up all the fragments on the floor to put in the bin. They made an astonishing pile, so I must have hacked up a fair swathe of material if this is only the trimmings. I don't measure fabric as 'used' until I finish a top, so I can't see any difference in my  tally, but I definitely feel as if I've cleaned out a few scraps and lightened the stash a bit.


Friday, August 12, 2016

I might have retired from the Postie job, but that seemed to be the signal for everything else to crank up a notch. We've been so busy running around  visiting family and finishing quilts and to top it off I developed the worst cold I've had in years and felt quite ill. I'm on the mend now, but I've still got four days of commitments before I can have a breather. I'd love to pretend it's Christmas and read some books, do a jigsaw and just potter around, but even now I can hear the quilts cracking their tiny whips, "Back to work!!"

I've been trying to tidy up the workshop and came across some of my quilts that need binding, so I got busy and finished three of them.

These were smaller quilts that I quilted some time ago- I think the blue and yellow one had been sitting there for five years!

I had the bindings prepared and stored with them, and somehow I just never made it a priority.

Now they are done, and can be used or sold or given away. I don't know why I put off binding, because I love that final step, and we've done so many over the years for customers (hundreds in fact) that it only takes me an hour or so for these small ones. I'm just a procrastinator I guess.

At least they don't have to live in the workroom anymore, so I've cleared a bit of room.


About This Blog

Lorem Ipsum

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP