Friday, 13 January 2017

En Provence parts 6 & 7 - the final clue

Bonnie Hunter posted the last clue for her mystery quilt "En Provence" on New Year's Day, which took me completely by surprise; I hadn't expected it for another 5 days. Fortunately Dasha, in Australia, alerted me and I've been crazily sewing every free minute since. This is the sum of my progress to date:

and two blocks partly chain-pieced.

I only made half the number of units in each clue, which should be enough for eight blocks but I need nine. I do have some units left, but some are almost finished. There will be one more set to be completed this week. then I'll move on to the rest of the sashing, and the border.

When I join the blocks to make a top I follow Bonnie Hunter's webbing method but I'd like to show how I join the units together in such a large block. In order to avoid inadvertently changing the unit's orientation when walking from design wall to sewing machine I made a couple of design boards from a piece of wadding stapled onto the side of a cardboard box (I didn't have to drink the wine first!).

block laid out on the design wall
I start in the top left-hand corner of the block and stack the units of the first column in order behind it.
column 1, row 1
pick up column 1 row 2 behind the first unit, and so on
until all the units in column 1 are stacked, in order, under the first one ...
... and put on the design board, without changing the orientation of any of the units
I do the same with the second column, and so on.
Finally I have five stacks of five blocks each with the top row visible on the top of the pile
I repeat this process for a second block and then I'm ready to start sewing.

Block 1: I pick up the unit in row 1 column 2 and lay it face down on its left hand neighbour (row 1 column1) and sew these two together. Without breaking the thread ...

... I stay with these two piles and repeat until each unit in pile 2 has been chain-pieced to its neighbour in pile 1.

Block 2: then, without cutting the thread, I join columns 1 and 2 of block 2 in the same way.
When I've done that, I separate block 1 from block 2, which is still under the needle.

the first two columns of block 1 joined and ready for column 3
Back to block 1: I then add the units in pile 3 to columns 1 and 2.When that pile is completely added ...
Back to block 2: ... I separate block 2 and add pile 3 to columns 1 and 2 of block 2.
the third pile added to block 1; time to start adding the third pile to block 2
I repeat until all the units of both blocks are joined in rows.

Then it's time to press and to join the rows of each block.
two blocks with the units joined horizontally into rows, with not one unit turned or twisted.
It isn't possible to alternate the blocks here, but I've been using the sashing units as leaders and enders between joining the rows.

(I'm much quicker joining the 50 units of two blocks than I've been in writing all this!)
I hope you can follow my process! If you have any suggestions for improvements I'd be happy to read them.

Finally, a word about leaving a comment. I really enjoy reading comments from other quilters, and in my three years of blogging almost all have been positive. I would like to reply to everyone who comments on my blog. However over the past few weeks I have received comments from "no-reply bloggers" In such cases I always check the commenter's  profile, but sometimes there's no clue there. Then I'm afraid that's the end of the line. I really would like to reply to those who comment on my blog posts, especially if they ask a question. On the tabs at the top of my posts there is one called "no-reply status" which gives instructions for rectifying your blog settings. Usually it's your Google+ settings which block the return contact but as long as your email address is in your Google+ profile I can find you, after a bit of sleuthing. If you've been wondering why no-one writes back perhaps it would be a good idea to check if your email address is somewhere in your profile. However, if you don't want a reply, that's what you'll get - NO-REPLY!

Have a nice weekend; I just read there's quilt-cam on Sunday.

I am linking up to 
Quiltville's Quips & Snips
Hop over there; more than a hundred links have already been posted.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Arrivals .. of a crafty nature!

Not one, but two new arrivals in my sewing room, and its annexe, the living room, this week.

Firstly some fun fur yarn from Lee Anna .

She had lost interest in knitting it and was looking for a new home for it. Now I often wear black or dark green and enjoy bright accessories and this is right up my street. I was really surprised when I found I'd won the giveaway. I've never knitted anything fluffier than mohair so this is going to be a new experience. I can't wait to get the needles clicking! I'll shortly be dazzling everyone around me, literally. I can't get over how generous the quilting community is, so big thanks again to Lee Anna.

Secondly a Q Frame quilting frame, which is small, but still too big for my sewing room.

This I bought about a month ago, but only put together yesterday evening. The whole thing went together surprisingly easily (compared to IKEA furniture); you can see the clamps next to it. They are off at the moment because I took a break from pinning to go shopping and to take a photo. I also bought an extension set to increase the length of the back legs to make quilting more comfortable. I'm using it in the horizontal position to sandwich Allietare!; it's about time I did something with that top that was finished almost a year ago! I shan't be hand quilting it but once it's ready for quilting on my domestic machine I shall load my appliquéd circles quilt, because that I am going to quilt by hand. Crawling round on all fours to sandwich a quilt had been becoming very difficult over the last couple of years and, even after my hip operation, is still a trial. The only crawling  done yesterday was to cut the wadding to size and even then my husband had to help me stand up afterwards.

I'd like to wish you all a prosperous and healthy 2017. May the new year be full of interest, and friendly faces; may we all face the challenges with optimism. I am ever grateful that I have control of my own life and am not dictated to by anyone. Not everyone in the world can say that; may 2017 bring more freedom to the oppressed.

Happy sewing


Quilting Goals for 2017.
Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl is holding a link up for 2017 goals. Click on the button for the link.

At the eleventh hour I'm posting my quilting goals for 2017.
  1. Tidy my sewing room (aka guest bedroom), so that next year it might even be possible to see the guest beds!
    this was one year ago, and now it's even worse!
    And hopefully use them. And secondly (more importantly) possible to know what I have in my stash and where it is, in order to avoid spending an hour looking for "that dark purple with owls and spiders" which never did turn up! The current mess is thwarting creativity.
  2. Make a planner. I have an old filoFax, from the pre-digital planner days, I'm going to chuck out the remaining pages and repurpose it for a quilting journal and planner, with my own page layout.
  3. Continue trying my hand at improv.
    copyright infringement? - a view of a corner and it's been boxed

    Finished: Crossways QAL Instagram: #crosscutquiltalong 

    Score #1 from Sherri Lynn Wood's The Improv Handbook for modern quilters: "so far, so good!"
    This year I started three projects; one is finished, one is on-going, but the first one I started was shelved following an unsettling article in the Dutch Quilt Guild magazine about copyright law infringement. I hadn't realised that taking inspiration from a work in one medium could constitute copyright infringement. I shall finish it, but won't be publishing until I know it's safe to do so.
  4. Decide which of my WIPs are really UFOs, and make, or join in, a system for resurrecting  UFOs.
  5. Linked to no. 4 above: try harder to resist the temptation to start something new!!
  6. Try to find other, preferably "modern", quilters locally (area of The Hague, Netherlands) who would like to sew together with me on a regular basis. At the moment the world wide web is my quilting community, and much as I love you all, some face-to-face contact would be welcome.
I've been reading other posts on this link up, and some contributors have such detailed lists; they are already far more organised than I am. My list is a start and I'll be filling in the details in my new planner as I consider the items above more deeply.

Have a good Hogmanay everyone, and may 2017 bring everything you wish for.

Happy sewing


Monday, 26 December 2016

En Provence part 5

Friday's clue in the Quiltville 2016 mystery quilt was 64 HSTs. As I'm only making half, here are my 32:

32 x 3.5"square HSTs in purple and neutral
I found the last one on the floor this morning, unpressed and untrimmed. It was nearly too late for the photo shoot!

I have visitors arriving soon, so that's all for today.

Later today I shall be linking up to:
Quiltville's Quips & Snips
where lots more HSTs in purple and other colours are waiting for your viewing.

Happy sewing


Monday, 19 December 2016

En Provence part 4

For the forth clue in the En Provence Mystery Quilt, Bonnie Hunter posted another triangle in a square block, again with a neutral large triangle, but this time with mixed dark purple "wings". As I'm only making half the number of units as are in the original, my total for this week is 40. Here are the first 21 units.

When I've made 10 units I pin them together to make counting easier. That didn't work here though, somehow an extra 3" square got into one of my bundles! The other nineteen units are cut and waiting to go next to the sewing machine.

I'm looking forward to using yellow and green; so far my units are a rather dull and dreary lot - to match the weather of the last few days. I'd like to move away from lavender, much as I love that plant, and move on to bright sunflowers! It's time for a bit of sunshine!

I'm linking up to
Quiltville's Quips & Snips
where lots more quilters are displaying their purple (and other) triangle in a square units.

Happy sewing


Monday, 12 December 2016

En Provence part 3

The third clue of En Provence, Bonnie Hunter's 2016 Quiltville mystery, was posted last Friday. I started cutting on Saturday and sewed 32 purple 4-patches on Sunday morning.

32 purple 4-patches

Some of these squares look blue (even my white design wall looks blue!) in this photo. In reality they really do look blue, seen against the other purples, but lay them alongside blue, and they look purple! I need to make approximately 50 more to have half of the original number, which is what I'm going for at present.
Last week I managed to make my full quota of triangle in a square units, so the next 50 4-patches shouldn't pose too much of a problem.

I'm linking up to

 Quiltville's Quips & Snips

on Monday afternoon (Central European Time), so click on the picture to see more purple 4-patches.

Happy sewing


Friday, 9 December 2016

Poinsettia wall hanging

January 2015 I started this Poinsettia Quilt following the instructions given by Anne Deister (SpringLeafStudio) The idea was to make a Christmas quilt, but as I don't have any use for bed quilts I decided to make a smaller version - four blocks instead of Anne's nine.

Finally finished! It's not big; it wasn't difficult, but sometime in May, I decided to hand quilt it! That was not really so slow, I just kept putting it off.

Hand quilting: big stitch in red and green 12 wt cotton on the leaves and petals; regular hand quilting in Yli 001 Natural in the background and border

The photos are all of the same quilt; the first two in artificial light indoors, where the quilt hangs in the corridor which doesn't lend itself to getting a good angle for photos, but the weather has been grey and dark all week. All week until this afternoon, that is, when the sun just popped out to say hello before setting at about 4 o'clock.

Statistics: 36" x 36"
Fabric: from FQs from stash, from various fabric designers and manufacturers
Piecing thread: Aurifil 40 wt.
quilting thread: Aurifil 12 wt. 2260 (red) and Venne 12 wt.7-5002 (green) and Yli colour 001 Neutral
Wadding: cotton

I'm linking to 
where you'll find more of this week's finishes

Happy sewing