Saturday, 25 June 2016

Turquoise in June, and not much sewing done!

Each month Angela at Soscrappy gives a colour and a lot of quilters round the world look out their scraps in that colour and make something with them. This month's colour is turquoise, and most people will have just about finished their scraps by now. Not me, however, this is as far as I've got.

I looked out these pieces in the first week of June, but two weeks ago I had hip replacement surgery and haven't looked at the sewing machine since. It's not that I'm bed-ridden, but my machine is in a cabinet and there isn't enough space to put my foot up! I'll have to give turquoise June a miss, and work twice as hard in July! Instead of my sewing machine being my best friend, this has been my constant companion!

I was in hospital for just two and a half days and in that time used some other blue/ turquoise scraps to make this

I thought it would be useful to carry bits and pieces around while I was using crutches, but, apart from practising going up and down stairs with the physiotherapist in the hospital, I haven't used them. Moreover I don't crochet as fast as I thought I did, and the bag wasn't finished until the day after I got home!

I'm doing hand sewing , and have done three Quilty 365 circles this week, but my goal of one a day, has not been met. I have a few more prepared and they will be the focus of my attention for the next week.

I was back at the hospital for a check up yesterday morning, and everything is healing perfectly. The dressing came off, and stayed off - hooray! I can walk very short distances without any support which is quite a relief as manoeuvring the walking aid in my tiny kitchen was a real challenge. My return to the sewing machine is not far away!

I'm linking to


so pop in there to see what all the super active quilters have produced 
with their aqua coloured scraps in June. 

Happy sewing


Saturday, 4 June 2016

Quilty 365 May circles

Since 1 January I have participated in the Quilty 365 Challenge set by Audrey at Quilty Folk. On the first of each month, a group of quilters world-wide share their circle blocks of the previous month.

My May circles in chronological order: not all sewn down yet.
The circles are appliquéd onto squares, and there are no rules about the type of fabric we use, nor the appliqué method we use. Some of my circles are just one fabric, but many now are randomly pieced form my scrap bin. Most of the circles are 3" in diameter, and yet one has 21 pieces!

Until May I didn't have much trouble in keeping up, but this last month I somehow didn't manage. One evening last week I was so tired I fell asleep with the needle in my hand, and woke up with a start when I dropped the needle. Fortunately, I was still holding the thread! Definitely a sign that it was time to call it a day!

I've chosen to do needle-turn; a technique I'd never tried before. The only preparation I do is to draw a circle on a piece of fabric, cut approximately 1/8 to1/4 of an inch around it, and then sew! As I go round the circle I turn the next 1/4" under (up to the circle line) with my needle, hence needle-turn, and sew it down with an invisible ladder stitch about 1/16" long. At first that was very laborious, but I find it much easier now. I learnt how to needle-turn following a Google search and watching several videos. What would we do without the Internet?!

What would we do without the Internet? Not much new I suspect. Aside from the fact that I'm going to publish this on the Internet and someone, I hope, is going to read it, there wouldn't be anything to write about if it weren't for Audrey and her challenge, and her decision to do her circles using the needle-turn technique. Her decisions triggered me to take part and learn a new skill. You're never too old to learn, and there's nothing like a challenge for beating old age!

I'm linking to 

 Grab button for

Hop over there by clicking on the button, and see the great variety of 
styles and materials that are being used in this challenge.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 28 May 2016

Improvisation progress in May

This week I did a little work on my improvised quilt inspired by Piet Mondriaan's "Composition in Red, Yellow and Blue".

Last month I showed some red half rectangle triangles I wasn't satisfied with. This month I sewed the red triangles together along the short side; that really did seem to be the best arrangement. The yellow and blue I cut as flying geese right from the start. I didn't manage to work out how much extra I needed to cut for the seam allowance, as a result most of the geese have been beheaded!

This week I'm going to make two more blue "geese" and continue to make my Mondriaan inspired block. Then it'll be time to think about the other corners - more triangles? more squares? And it needs more fabric on the left hand side, probably empty space, but I just don't know yet.

I've been trying to make a circle a day in the Quilty 365 project, but I've fallen behind. Here are this month's improvised circles as of last Wednesday. I'll be showing all May's circles here on Tuesday.

I've recently learnt how to make free-hand curves; I bet you'd never have guessed! Even so, this one, with all straight lines, is my favourite:

with 21 pieces. cut-offs from various farmer's wife blocks, and they are tiny pieces to start with! Although it will look better after pressing, it's not a very circular circle!

I'm linking to the Ad hoc improvised quilting link up hosted by Kaya and Ann

Click on the button to see more improvised patchwork quilts.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 21 May 2016

May greens for RSC 16

Each month Angela chooses a different colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and this month that colour is green.

I'm making bears' paws this year and here are my four green ones. After stepping in green paint these bears have all painted their nails black and white for a change! an idea I copied from @hoosiertoni and Jessica at Quilty Habit.

I've been making the HST's as leaders and enders while making other things, mainly 1930's Farmer's Wife blocks. I seem to be forever cutting black and white triangles, but all the rest is pretty effortless, unlike the FW blocks!

I'm linking to 
RSC16   and   Quilting is more fun than Housework

Click on the buttons for more scrappy surprises!
Happy sewing


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Quilty 365 scrappy appliqué circles May link, April progress

Audrey at Quilty Folk issued a challenge last autumn to appliqué a circle onto a square each day. I joined in on 1 January and  made these blocks in April:

April's blocks in chronological order, starting with the short column on the left: 1, 2, 3 April.
making a total of 121 blocks to date.

All the squares measure 4.5 inches, and most of the circles 3 inches in diameter. Special days' circles are 3.75 inches and there are three: family birthdays on 6 and 8 April, and a public holiday (King's Day) on 27 April. The pieced circles are all made from scraps, but I have cut into a few new fat quarters this month to achieve enough variety. Two of the squares are prepared, but not sewn yet! I hope to manage to sew three today, and be up-to-date by the end of the day!

I have been thinking about the layout and at present favour something like this:

most of the circles from the first three months

a rainbow arrangement of the background colours, although the regimented straight lines need some mixing up in the final arrangement. It definitely needs tweaking before I start sewing them together.  The main trouble with this layout is that I have to find a way to include these:
about 15 squares in non-rainbow colours

I've also started sewing the circles cut from behind the appliqué patches onto a 4.5" wide strip and

intend including them in the final quilt.

I'm looking forward to seeing more layout ideas.

I'm linking to:

Click on the buttons to see more quilt blocks from scraps

 Enjoy your Sunday everyone, and have a good week!

Happy sewing

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Scrappy orange; yummy orange!

Yummy orange

Last week I wrote that Wednesday was the King's birthday. Unfortunately the weather was really not what we expect for the end of April: 7°C, rain, thunder and high winds, so I stayed at home, and didn't see more than three people with orange hats and scarves! I guess everyone else stayed at home too! I had ventured out the day before, however, and bought these:

of which I had one with my morning coffee!

It's a fairly ordinary cream slice, but with orange icing. Unfortunately, only the colour is orange, not the flavour; that would would be really special. It's also a calorie bomb, so strictly rationed!
Late in the afternoon we joined with other residents in the central hall in toasting the King, and one another! I'm not in the photo, but my husband is, and two of my grandchildren who acted as waiters!

Scrappy orange 

orange crumbs, and a few narrow strips.
is all used up!
I've been working on 1930s Farmer's Wife Blocks this week and making black and white HSTs as Leaders and Enders.

2.5 inch HSTs

Here they are waiting for next month's colour to be announced. That's all the RSC sewing I've done this week, and no orange at all! My orange blocks were finished (and shown) last week.

I'm linking to 
Click on the button to see orange scraps in beautiful projects.

Happy sewing


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Improv composition in red, (yellow and blue) in progress ...?!

Kaya and Ann are giving hints on improv patchwork on their sites as they host the Ad Hoc Improv Quilter's link up.

In January's linky party Monica enthused about the book "Cultural Fusion Quilts" by Sujata Shah which had been the inspiration for much of her own work. I agree, it's great to see haw Sujata has taken the patterns presented by everyday images and turned them into quilts.

Sujata Shah's work as well as that of Kaya and Ann is very inspiring and has given me lots of ideas, but last week I was quite suddenly hit by the work of Piet Mondriaan. Not really HIT you will understand, although I live within ten miles of the largest single collection of his work in the world, but such close proximity to a masterpiece would have got me arrested. Inspired by his famous Composition in Red Yellow and Blue (there are several of the same name) I added red, yellow and blue solids to my FQ collection (white I already had, but I forgot the black!) and got cutting. Hmm!

Using Sujata's method of stack and slash, but going for straight cuts, I cut white and red 8 x 4" rectangles diagonally. The result was disappointing really as I was going for arrows, so I cut the next two pairs of rectangle in half vertically to 8 x 2"

The narrow points won't do! (on the left) They curl outwards and when they are joined it's even worse (on the right): all that fabric coming together at the point, just wouldn't come together. Nor would it lie flat.

I haven't tried joining the wider ones, but expect that those bulky seam ends will be just the same.

Rather than go on with yellow and blue I tried some other arrangements:

I quite like this one; this afternoon, at least

and ended up with this:

which looks highly conventional!
Feeling somewhat disheartened I made some highly conventional HSTs (as opposed to HRTs) to get myself back in balance.

I haven't given up on this project, but don't want elongated pinwheels. So it's back to the drawing board for me and into a little zip-lock bag for  the fabric! It's still on the cutting table so not shelved yet, but I need to decide on what sort of triangles, and how to construct them. As this is my first improv attempt I'd welcome any ideas on how to go next. Perhaps I should have tried a wonky log cabin first!... to be continued ....

I wrote this post a month ago, but missed the link up by a week! (Wrong Tuesday - silly girl!) In the meantime I've done nothing with this project except think about it now and again.

The Quilty 365 project is proving an easy project for improvised piecing as the scraps in my scrap bucket are getting smaller and in March I pieced more circles (although one is not improv!)

And pieced more circles in April, although not so many:

Not to happy with the fabric repetition there, but they won't be together in the final layout.

I'm linking to:

Click on the button for the link to more amazing improvised patchwork.

Happy sewing