Thursday, July 29, 2010

For some reason I was a bit resistant to the idea of jelly rolls, and didn't succumb to their temptation until a few months ago, when Keryn and I bought three or four in rapid succession. Then mine sat on the shelf while I pondered what pattern to use and they became more and more precious and unable to be touched. I discovered I was making 'rules' in my mind about what I could and couldn't do- I must use ALL the strips in one quilt, I musn't add any other fabric that wasn't the same range, the pattern had to showcase all the strips, dark-light-medium and I would have to buy yardage from the same range if I wanted a border.

Needless to say I started to get a bit miffed with all these restrictions and all the patterns I found that could use the entire jelly roll seemed too simplistic or there weren't enough lights for the backgrounds of the blocks or some darned thing.

I realised that it was likely the jellyrolls would sit on the shelf, forever precious, untouchable and covered in dust if I didn't change my attitude towards them. So I examined how I like to sew my projects and decided I don't like to work within a single pattern range, I like to add material as the top develops and speaks to me, and I like to use unexpected fabric combinations and colours that don't necessarily 'go'.

With that in mind, and ignoring the 'rules' I went looking through my photo file of antique quilts and found this beauty. I added a cream fabric for the background triangles, and the rest of the block could be cut fron the 2 1/2" strips. So far so good, I had a pattern I liked and was finally ready to start sewing.
Then I found another thing that didn't suit my way of working... the measurements of the strips. Where do you regard the edge to be? From the points on one side of the strip to the points on the other was much more than 2 1/2". How do you sew an accurate 1/4" seam when you can't use the edge as a guide? What about sewing a straight cut edge to the pinked edge- which edge do you line up? Grrr, this is definitely not how I like to sew.
By trial and error I found I had to leave a little of the points showing as I lined the pieces up, but this really goes against the grain. I've worked on my piecing skills for decades, and now I had to fudge and disregard my own working methods. I'm not happy with this level of inaccuracy at all.

But I'm making the blocks and they are turning out nice and the fabric combinations are giving me a lot of happiness.(The range is Garden Party by Blackbird Designs and I truly love all the fabrics and the lovely colours)I'm finally enjoying sewing these, but I don't think I'll become a jellyroll convert.I know everyone else just loves pre-cuts and I'll probably get told there are lots of lovely pattern books out there for jellyrolls and I'm the odd one out... but I really think I'm happier playing with all my scraps and strips and making my own decisions about everything. At least I can say I've tried them now, and I'll know not to buy any more!


Monday, July 19, 2010

The paisley album finally has it's pieced borders attached, but it's not finished yet. I still have to add another black border (a fussy cut stripe) to frame it and then I might call it quits, or it might need something else. I've lost the photo of the antique quilt I based this on, and I can't remember if it had another border after the pieced one or not.
At least the hard part is done and I can go on to other things.

This is a pretty applique and embroidery quilt I just finished quilting- I don't make feminine dainty tops like this, but I get to enjoy the fabrics and patterns by quilting them.
It was beautifully done- makes me want to get stuck into my applique again.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We spent the weekend in Adelaide, catching up with Rob and Elisa, and John and Liz and it was lovely to see them all together.

Keryn wrote about the "Scroll -Off" here, and I must say it makes me proud that all of my sons can cook. As teenage boys with colossal appetites they always had a healthy interest in anything edible, but now they can produce the food as well as pack it away.
And the finished product....
John's batch is on the left, Rob's on the right. They were both delicious, especially warm from the oven. Yum!

Elisa and I went shopping together, to Hetties Patch, and bought a little bag of fabric, so that I could make a little quilt, which will eventually cover this little bump, when it makes it's appearance in September.
It's so exciting, I'll be a Granny for the first time! We worked out this baby will have 10 grandparents, and I haven't decided what I want to be called yet. Plenty of time to work that out....
Amazing, isn't it?


Saturday, July 03, 2010

Finally the Irish Waves is done, and I will never add a pieced border on the fly again. If I'd been sensible I would have asked Keryn to work it all out in EQ6 and tell me how it went, but it didn't even occur to me. I worked it out on graph paper, then impulsively decided to first add an extra border of squares, and then a solid border of mid blue. I didn't think at the time of how that would affect the corners, and I ended up just cobbling it all together.

I'm sick of thinking about it, and I've got all bogged down and I just want it finished. This pieced border has added nearly a thousand extra pieces to what was already a heavily pieced top. I need to closely examine my little exclamations of "You know what might look good.....?!" It turned out to be a lot of extra agonising in this case.

But I really like it, and I love the centre pattern which went together beautifully. I want to make another soon, but in a different fabric combination. I have completely used all my light and dark 1 3/4" scrap squares in this, so the drawer is practically emptied, which is what I set out to do. I used no yardage in this, it was all scraps and individually cut pieces. The pink setting squares were oddments of fat quarters left from our early quilting days, but sad to say there are still a few of them left. We did go a bit overboard on that dusty pink, which looks soooo dated now.

One top down, one more pieced border left to do and then I can devote my time to something else entirely.....


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