Saturday, January 28, 2017

I started a new quilt on January the first because I wanted to acknowledge that I'm not just going to finish old projects, but begin new ones too. Especially ones that I've been meaning to make for years and years.

I saved this photo in 2012 and every time I see it I think "Oh, that would be so easy, I must make that..." This time I took action and got out my grey scraps and yardage and started cutting.

Then all the madness of life intervened and  I've only managed to sew a few units and one completed block. A couple of days ago I got into the sewing room and decided I would cut out all the blue pieces at once, so that I could make blocks whenever I'd  finished a few square in square units.  That should move things along, alrighty!

Except...after I'd cut out enough pieces for fifteen blocks I suddenly thought  "Wasn't I making them three and a half by TWO inches ?"

I'd cut the whole lot 1 1/2" by mistake. Sigh, tiredness will muddle your thinking like that. So it was back to the fabric shop for more of the blue (luckily I'd got it from our little shop in town) and I cut out another pile. (and now I have to find a use for the miscut pieces!)

I have all the centres cut for thirty blocks and a pile of grey and cream bits, so hopefully I won't need to engage my mind too much when putting these together.(The virulent blue of my cutting mat throws the colour of my photos off so much, these units are actually a nice cream and grey)
I haven't decided on a pink setting fabric yet, but I'm hoping this project doesn't languish too long in the making. I need to get a finish for 2017- it's nearly the end of January already!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Here's my version of Bonnie's Garden Party, a pattern  I loved piecing. Sometimes I get sick of something half way through and it's a strain to keep working on it. This design was the opposite, I had to stop myself obsessively sewing it, so that I didn't finish it too quickly. I wanted it to be my Leader Ender for as long as possible, but I lost that battle fairly soon. Both blocks were a joy to make and if I had to make another one I wouldn't mind a bit.

The orange inspiration for the alternate blocks came from Gayle at mangofeet and even though I don't normally use much orange in my quilts I was captivated by the effect of it in her quilt. The orange makes it seems so fresh and clean and I found myself looking forward to working with a colour that is quite new to me.

I was a bit short on the orange border fabric and had to piece the last twelve inches to get enough for all sides. I have no memory of where this fabric came from, and neither does Keryn, probably a donation from someone, or an op-shop find. I used every bit, and have another unexplained orangey red length for the binding.

I had thought happily "This will use up whatever oranges I have lying around the stash!" but somehow I still have a box of fabrics, somewhat depleted yet still enough for at least another quilt. My future contains more orange projects, apparently.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

 The last week has been crazy busy, shifting not one but two family members to new homes. I haven't been able to sew or work on any project but I'm hoping that things calm down soon. I haven't taken photos of my Garden Party, which I want to post about, so I'll show this little top I made from string squares.

 These were made years ago from the offcuts of quilt backings and a half metre of blue and white plaid. I was going to throw these blocks out, but I'm glad I didn't after all. I love string piecing but I'm not comfortable with the process, for some reason. Too messy, too random, I don't know what it is, but it stresses me out after a while.
So there might not be too much string piecing in my future, but I love the results when I do try it.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I decided to participate in Judy's UFO challenge, and her first Quiltathon has just finished.I have an enormous number of things to work on, but I want to concentrate on fairly simple projects that would be quickly done, and ones that don't need agonising over. There's no sense choosing something that would need lots of thought and puzzling over decisions, I want to just put in some hours of concentrated sewing and really see some progress. That's the delight of the marathons for me, it's more about the actual sewing than the auditioning and doubting and second guessing that plague so much of what I do.

I chose these modified split nine patch blocks, which have their origin here, and a tutorial here. They are insanely simple to sew, and go together very easily- I finished twenty blocks in one night. I decided to finish the Barn Raising version, and this is how far I got, in between all my other numerous work commitments and chores.

The row at the top isn't sewn yet, and I will probably add another row to complete the pattern. It was a good effort, and I wouldn't have stuck at it if it wasn't for the quiltathon motivation.

These seven blocks were already sewn up before I decided on the Barn Raising set and I will cut out extra strips and get  ready to sew some more for next time. I'm all enthused about this pattern again, it's so easy to do.


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Here's another top I finished and didn't blog about.

I can't seem to get a decent photo of this one, and it looks too boring for words. In actual fact it's very soft and pretty, and would look lovely on a bed.

The border is just a simple frame around the outside, very unassuming and in keeping with the softness of the other fabrics. No stars in this top, no "Look at me!" areas, just a sort of subdued prettiness.

 It was a very easy pattern, and the fabrics were all nice, but I just fell a bit out of love with it in the end. Done now!


Saturday, January 07, 2017

 I have a few tops that I finished late last year and never got around to showing them on the blog. This is a green and blue 25 patch, that was meant to use up the remaining fabrics from my Scrappy Mountains quilt, which is quilted but not bound.

(I have this photo of it on the machine, but failed to take one of the quilted finish. I should get on and bind it...)

Typically, in the way of scraps, there are still some left, and I might piece a strip to go in the backing somewhere. The sashing seems very yellow, but in real life it's much paler.

It's very rare for me to be able to use up a bundle of fabric entirely, there always seems to be enough to form the kernel of yet another project. It's a strange alchemy indeed, that scraps beget more scraps and never completely disappear....


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

 Another year begins! 2016 went out with another very unwelcome storm and resultant power failure, this time for 36 hours. It was stinking hot, and very unpleasant while it lasted, and apparently we can expect more failures.

But we have power now and I can sew and have good lighting and make lists on the computer of all that I'm going to achieve this year.There are a number of UFO finishing schemes, and I'm going to try and make a big difference in my numbers. But I do want to start new projects, so I'm not limiting myself in that area, and on New Year's day I started a new quilt so I could begin as I mean to go on.

I keep track of yardage in and out, even though I don't report it on the blog, and I was a bit miffed to see that I added 44 metres to the stash in 2016. A 23 metre order of backing fabrics from Connecting Threads put paid to any hope of finishing in the black, and the madness of festivities meant I couldn't push through some tops that are so close to being done. That means they will be added to this year's finishes, so I could  see some decent numbers soon, with very little effort.

Alas, a nice gift from Keryn  meant that I was 8.5 metres in the red before the first day of the year was over! These will both be backings too, so they'll be very useful.

In fact I think the coral one will be the backing for Bonnie's Garden Party which is now completely done. I was so pleased with how this turned out and hope to get a good photo of it soon.

2017 will be a big year for us, with John and Liz moving house next week and the twins being born and lots of projects on the go. I'm looking forward to it all!


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