Saturday, 10 August 2019

some pale blue bow ties

For August the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is pale and bright blue. I only had two pieces of pale blue large enough to make these two 6" blocks.

They look so washed out, and that isn't because it's raining so hard the whole world looks washed out from here, but because there isn't enough contrast between the pale blue and the neutral fabrics (and the weather doesn't help!). Maybe I'll only have two representatives of pale blue in my quilt.

I have some bright blue, but I used that in the "dark blue" month.

Are the two blocks on the right of the bottom row "dark blue" or "bright blue" ?

I also have these blues:

which I would have used in June, but find the print too big for these 6" blocks. They are bright in my opinion, but the print is still as large as it was in June!

And finally, still hot from the iron, my first 4.5" unfinished shoo fly block for the 2019 L&E challenge:

I'm linking up to: 

SoScrappy   Quilting is more fun than Housework

 Click on the buttons to see more scraps at work.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Happy sewing


Thursday, 1 August 2019

One montly goal for August

This month I hope to make progress on quilting my Circles Quilt, made during the Quilty 365 QAL hosted by Audrey in 2016. I didn't make 365 ( i.e. one a day) circles, as I ran out of room on my design wall in the middle of August, and decided it was large enough. Up until then I had been adding circle to square using the needle turn appliqué technique every evening. The first, on 1 January 2016, took me 3 hours to complete; the last, on 17 August less than half an hour. Practice makes perfect! and quicker!

180 4" (finished) blocks joined in three sections ready for quilting.
Photo from August 2016.

As the circles are all appliquéd by hand I decided to hand-quilt it too. It's taking forever! That's not really surprising as I've only being working on it one evening every two months at the Bee meeting. So far I've only quilted a dozen or so blocks.

although I did stabilise the quilt by machine quilting in the ditch first.

So this month will see a blitz on this quilt. Let's hope practice makes perfect in the hand quilting department too. It's rather too warm at the moment to sit with so much fabric on my lap but I intend to persevere, if necessary sitting on the balcony with the weight of the quilt on the bench next to me. At least the light is good there.

I'm linking to

Click on the button to see more August goals.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 27 July 2019

The last of the pink.

July has been in the pink for the participants in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. In just a few days Angela will reveal the colour for August.

In attempt to use some of the scraps in my stash I made these ten pink bow-tie units:

Each unit finishes at 6" square. Most of them were made as Leaders and Enders, but yesterday I cut off the bonus triangles from the last four and put those bow-ties together. Now I'm wondering what to do with 1.5" unfinished HSTs. Any ideas?

and these are just the pink ones!

I'm linking up to

SoScrappy    Quilting is more fun than Housework

Click on the buttons to see what other people are making.

Happy Sewing


Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Clam-Up Pouch

 finishalong logo 125px

This is my second finish for the 2019 Q3 FAL, and the third on my list. My projected list of finishes can be found here.

I started the Clam-Up pouch at a workshop at Quilters Palet in The Hague. The pattern is by By Annie. I almost finished it at the workshop, did a little more when I got home, and then left it to mature for ten days before sewing down the bindings on the inside by hand - 15 minutes work at the most! I think it's a useful pouch, one that really opens wide.

It has a light fabric for the lining; I really dislike bags, of any size, that have dark linings: I can never find anything, and what you really need is always right at the bottom in the darkest cavern.

I shall be linking this to 

finishalong logo 125px

at the end of September.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 20 July 2019

Overlapping Octagons is a top!

In January I started making this following a suggestion by Sujata Shah. I've forgotten where I first read about it, but immediately found it intriguing. The U&UQAL uses the photos in Roderick Kiracofe's book, "Unconventional and Unexpected, American Quilts under the radar." This book is a history of lesser-known American quilts from the first half of the twentieth century; there are no patterns just excellent photographs. Every participant in the QAL chooses a quilt from the book to copy. The puzzle is to work out from the photo exactly how the quilt was constructed.

While we know from the notes that the original was pieced by hand I chose to piece using the machine. Not a fast task as only the strip sets could be pieced easily. Assembling the octagons requires y-seams everywhere. I did wonder near the beginning if piecing by hand might not be faster, but persevering with y-seams has paid off, and I got both faster and more accurate.

My plan was to use 19th Century reproduction fabrics in red and blue and finish that stash. Unfortunately the reds were largely almost brown and didn't contrast enough with the blue, so I introduced flashes of other colours from the scrap bags to liven things up! When I finished those blues I had to use other, modern fabrics, and added modern reds too.

I tried hourglass blocks in the small squares between the red centres, but wasn't happy with them: they detracted from the octagon effect, and they made for excessively bulky joins. Removing them made it possible to continue the last strip into the triangle which gives less bulk, and enhances the octagons. Hourglass blocks would have made quilt assembly more straightforward, but they were giving a sashing and cornerstone effect - emphasising the squares, and not the octagons. More photos of the process can be found in my posts to A Basket Full of Scraps

Now I have to decide on the quilting, and having pieced by machine I think I'll quilt by hand. I would like to try doing Baptist fans, spaced fairly widely, maybe as wide as 1". But first I have to reduce a few wobbles in the piecing:

The joins above and to the right of the dogs in this photo are just refusing to lie flat. I will try pressing them again so that they do lie flat, and then sew along those creases by machine. If that fails I'll try by hand, and otherwise rely on the quilting to fix it. Not very scientific!

Have a good weekend.

I'm linking this to:
Needle and Thread Thursday        Quilting is more fun than Housework        
Click on the button to join the party.        

Happy sewing


Monday, 15 July 2019

Two crocheted cuddly toys

 finishalong logo 125px
This is my first finish from my FAL list for 2019 Q3.

For my new-born twin grandchildren I wanted to make something special. They are no longer new-born but seven months old and the toys are only now finished! I hope they haven't outgrown them already.

The pattern is a free one from the online yarn shop Hobbii based in Denmark.

I had a problem with the hats. The pattern suggested finishing off with a pom-pom but in my experience babies (and toddlers) pull pom-poms apart and eat them! I don't want to be responsible for that kind of mishap! It took me quite a while to think of an alternative that could be safely anchored. Now they have a sort of rosette in a contrasting colour to cover the finishing hole at the top of the hat. They don't have mouths, so they won't be answering back!

I shall be linking this post to

finishalong logo 125px

at the beginning of October

Happy sewing, and crocheting


Sunday, 14 July 2019

Finish Along 2019 Q3

My list for the FAL in the third quarter is:

1. Crocheted cuddle cloths 

 This looks finished, but only one arm is attached. And then there is the one for her twin brother!

2. Sweater for DH 

 Just needs sleeves and the neck ribbing

3. Clam-up pouch

 I only have to sew a binding down on the inside.

4. Sewing machine cover

using these blocks:

5. Cats and Dogs wall hanging

 - secret sewing -

6. Overlapping Octagons

All the vertical columns are joined, as are columns 3 and 4 to one another. Here is a detail from columns 3 and 4:

I'm linking up to Sandra Jansen at Studio Sew of Course for the FAL Q3 planned finishes link up.

Happy sewing