Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I've been jealous of Keryn finishing her old projects, so I thought I'd tackle one of mine. I hadn't really decided what I was going to do with these rail fence blocks that I made some time ago, but I was sick of them taking up space in my project drawers. I made another ten or so, and now I have enough for a charity quilt.

They are ready to be sewn together but I got sidetracked by the four patch blocks I'd been making at the same time and suddenly I had piles of them, and thirty blocks made for another quilt.I'm never quite sure how I manage to get so far off track sometimes, but I don't really question myself. If I'm enthusiastic and want to keep sewing, that's enough for me. I never know where I'll end up, but I'll probably have enough bits and blocks for three donation quilts, so it's all good.

This is another log cabin made from 1 1/4" strips, and it's queensize.
I just love it, and I've been pulling out my container of strips this size and rummaging through it, wanting to start one of my own. If I was honest I'd admit that this is my second drawer full of 1 1/4" strips- when you cut scraps down to the very dregs you end up with a lot of these little bits. They are calling me quite insistently, but I want to do the charity quilts first.
Patience, my little strips, patience...

Pippi's trying to be patient too, but it's sooo boring when I sew. She flumphs into this chair and groans and sighs theatrically. Every now and then she comes and stands on her hindlegs next to me, so that she can lay a beseeching paw on my arm and whine "Can we go and play with Dolly now?!!" Then trails back to the chair again, sighing. It's quite heart-warming to see how well she and her big sister get along, it would have been catastophic if they hadn't liked each other!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I've started a Scrappy Trip Around the World, using Bonnie's pattern, and as usual I think it's just great.
These blocks are so easy to whip up that I'm finding it hard to stop. I'm using deeper toned fabric, no lights and shirtings here, and it's going to be quite intense. I want to donate this one too, and thought it would be good for a guy quilt, not florally and sweet like the Scrappy Bargello.

I have the strip sets sewn for ten blocks and I intend to sew the last long seam to turn them into tubes and then leave them for a bit while I go on to other stuff.
I can slice them into 2 1/2" strips later and sew one block at a time when I feel like it, whenever I can.It's so annoying when you want to push on and finish a project and then other stuff, (like earning a living) gets in the way.

But I have twenty blocks finished or in construction, so the remains of this group of fabric can be packed away and the table cleared up, that always makes me feel good.

I quilted this little Log Cabin this week and the strips are 3/4" finished. I'm itching to start one of my own, this is the third one I've done for other people and I just love them.
This one has clever sashing to make those stars, a really cute idea and so effective.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

The other day I investigated strange sounds in the garden and came across this.
AWWW, isn't she cute?A Pippi in a Pot. Just ignore the sad remains of the plant that she'd chewed earlier in the day, stuck hopefully back into the pot next to her.

But the sounds had included splashing and snorting worthy of a small hippo....
Whaat? Disgusting gross stinky black water and my puppy smack dab in the middle of it.
Sigh, another bath coming up. If she wasn't so darn gorgeous....


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When I decided to use my strings I looked through my photos and found this one. I can't remember if it was from ebay, or a blog, but I was immediately intrigued with the possibilities. I decided to make it from the "strata" I was constructing , sewing the strings into larger pieces of fabric.
This maker has thrown in some crumb type piecing as well, but I didn't want to confuse myself too much.

I began by cutting the strata into strips, in this case 4 1/2" wide. I just cut until I couldn't get anymore, and then set aside whatever was left. It helps to make several different strata pieces before making the blocks, and then you run less chance of having the same fabric combinations show up together.
I tidied up the ends of the strips so that they were straight- this meant I could sew them together to make longer strips as needed.
I had a selection of 4 1/2" squares already cut, and I sewed one to a strip; in this case I jogged the ends a bit so the seams wouldn't fall where I wanted to trim them up square.
The smaller cut-off pieces can be sewn together to make more strips; this is useful at the start when you only need the piece to measure about 5" anyway.
Sew another strip onto the other side to make the centre of the block and trim. It will be 12 1/2" by 4 1/2".
I made several at once to simplify the process.
Then you can add a longer strip across the top and bottom, trim and square it up, and that's it. You can move the strips along to make sure fabrics aren't repeated top and bottom, and flip them around to distribute lights and darks in a pleasing arrangement.
The leftover bits can be sewn together for more blocks and to add more variety, turned into a strippy border or just go back into the string box as 'seed' material for the next top.
I enjoyed making these and once the strings are sewn into one piece they're really simple to put together. I'd like to try and make them more wonky and perhaps put some crumbs and tiny bits in there too. I'll definitely go back to this method, but I've made twelve so far and the strings have run out. I'm too impatient to wait for more to build up, so I'll probably set these as soon as I get the time. I don't think I'll use the strip around the outside of the block, as the original quilter did, but you'll have to wait and see.

Keryn was looking at some blogs the other day and said "Oh look, there's your block". She was reading The Root Connection and Sujata has a beautifully pieced block as her profile picture. It's much more vivid and contemporary than mine, and dare I say made out of nicer fabric than the old scruffy stuff I used, but the method is the same. And I pinched it from the older quilt, it's amazing how these things go round and round.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I've been without an internet connection for weeks, and I'm just about going crazy. I have 862 unread posts in google reader and I feel like I'm totally out of the loop. I'm working on a solution, but it's not straightforward when you live in the boondocks, as we apparently do. And Keryn has been little better off until just recently, so we felt a bit deprived of our technology.

We were in an op-shop the other day, shamelessly eaves-dropping on a conversation between two of the staff. A man was bemoaning the fact that he and his wife had bought an electric mixer, and the first time they'd used it they couldn't get the beaters out. So they'd taken it back to the shop to complain about it being broken, and blow him down, if the girl didn't tell him there was a button to push and the beaters just fell out. Like that! Well, he hadn't known about it, that's for sure!
The woman listening had been making tsking noises and muttering in sympathy, and finally she said bitterly "That's Technology for you! It only makes things more difficult!" Keryn and I immediately tucked this phrase away, and now when either of us fumbles with things, or we can't get a package of biscuits open, we trot it out..."That's Technology for you!"

But we love our interwebs and the blogging world and instant downloads, and I miss the ease of a good internet connection, sigh. Hopefully I can sort it out soon.
I have a post partly constructed about another block to make with my strings, but there are far too many photos to load now. The container is nearly empty, and I'll have to hunt around for some bits and pieces if I want to keep making string blocks, which is quite encouraging; I thought there was never going to be an end to them!


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