Friday, 28 February 2020

Orange hour-glasses

After January's green, Angela gave orange as the colour for February. I like orange; it's such a happy sunny colour, and sunshine is what we could use here now!

I explained in January that I was combining several challenges so the hour-glasses for the AHIQ was combined with the RSC colour for January. And now February too!

Here are my improv hour-glass blocks:

The four on the left and right are 5.75" square, and the other four are 5.25" square. That will be an interesting jig saw! But that's improv! ūüėÄ

I really need to think about what I'm going to use as my RSC block this year. I don't intend making wonky hour-glass blocks next week, whether in red?, yellow?, pink? or ??.

I shall be linking this in due time to:
click on the button above to see more orange happiness!

Happy sewing


Thursday, 27 February 2020

My last two Summer Sampler blocks finished

My goal for February was to make the two remaining blocks of the 2019 Summer Sampler and to remake my "disaster" block. 

Here are the last two blocks I made: numbers 7, "Sparkler", and 21, "Summertime Star".

The focus in Sparkler was on creating transparency, but with my chosen fabrics it was difficult to really create a transparent effect; the fabrics were chosen for contrast rather than blending. I deliberately left this block until last, until I knew what was left to potentially work with.

Summertime Star
The focus in Summertime Star was on Y-seams, which weren't a problem. However the problem here for me was getting all the points to come together in the middle. After unpicking the last seam three times I decided that right or wrong the fourth attempt would be the final one. Those bias edges were not getting any better. Finished is better than perfect.

And then block number 9, Oasis: it's still as it was at the beginning of the month.

I've decided not to remake it, but to square it down to remove the wavy edges and then add a border.

I didn't fully achieve my goal, but at least I opened the project box and took stock of the situation. Trimming Oasis down to make it square and adding a border shouldn't take too much time, but then I have to think how I'm going to use the blocks. The projected layouts would result in a quilt that is far too big for my purposes. So what next? Two lap quilts? cushions? table runners? shopping bags? - not a good idea.

I'm linking up to
Click on the button to see other spectacular February finishes.

Happy sewing


Sunday, 2 February 2020

My One Monthly Goal in February

is to make the remaining two blocks of the Summer Sampler 2019: numbers 7, Sparkler, and 21, Summertime Star, and to redo number 9, which was an abysmal failure:

finishing a whole inch narrower across the middle than along the edges!

As block 7 is a transparency block, designed by Yvonne Fuchs, I left it until last to make sure I had enough fabric to make it in my own choice of colours.

I should be able to manage those this month.

I'm linking to

Happy sewing


Thursday, 30 January 2020

Green hour-glasses

I take part in several challenges, and they all come together in this week's post!

Firstly, and the longest running on my list: The Rainbow Scrap Challenge, hosted by Angela at Soscrappy blog, for which this month's colour is green.
Secondly the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters online community, for whom the challenge for the first six months of 2020 is Hour Glass blocks.
Thirdly the challenge this quarter of the Dutch MQG (#dutchmqgthemavandemaand) is Improv.

These hour-glass blocks were cut freehand, and then machine stitched with a quarter inch seam. The original squares which I cut into quarters were 2.5", 3.5" and 5.5". I didn't plan them that way, that's just how they came out of my green scrap bag.

I haven't decided on my RSC block for this year, but I don't think I'll be making improv hour-glasses in all colours of the rainbow. These pieces will be going into one of the other two challenges, probably the AHIQ's.

I shall be posting this post on the blog of the AHIQ -  AHIQ: Improvisational Utility Quilts, and linking to the RSC link-up on Saturday.

Click on the button above to see more Rainbow fun. 

Happy sewing 


Friday, 10 January 2020

Rainbow Bow Ties is finished.


Click on the buttons above for my posts about these projected finishes.

My third finish for the 2019 Q4 Finish A-Long is Rainbow Bow Ties, my Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2019. This is also my OMG goal for January 2020.

At something like the eleventh hour I finished sewing the binding down. I spread quilting the swirls over the previous two days. I used the design "swirls" from the book, "Stitching Pathways" by Wendy Sheppard. I found her technique of stitching a short distance and stopping to decide where to go next a real help and an eye-opener: "Why didn't I think of doing that?" instead of just letting the machine run on into increasingly  more hopeless places. This became a relaxed and interesting experience.

Close up of swirls; some more swirly than others, but we're getting there!
The idea for this quilt came from "Make Modern" magazine in 2018.

Fabric from stash, with some new neutral additions
Wadding 100 % cotton
Thread for piecing Aurifil 50 wt assorted colours
Thread for quilting Aurifil 50 wt colour 5011 (light khaki) 

I'm linking to


Click on the buttons to visit the link ups.

Happy sewing


Wednesday, 1 January 2020

My goal for January 2020

is ...

Rainbow Bow Ties, all pinned and ready to quilt.
to have this, my RSC quilt in 2019, quilted and bound. The label is already on the back; I didn't forget this time and had it attached to the backing before I started layering.

The coloured fabrics were all scraps, but I had to add to the neutral stash for the sake of variety. The  squares were cut at 3.5" and the sew and flip triangles at 2" which resulted in 12" blocks. When I first saw this block unit I disliked it, but must say it has grown on me in the last few years, especially when I saw it made up into a quilt like this in the digital magazine "Make Modern". Now I am trying to decide how to quilt it. FMQ still worries me so I'm trying to think up a walking foot design other than straight lines. Whatever I decide I'll be reporting back at the end of the month.

I'm linking up to

Click on the button to see more handicraft goals for this month.

With best wishes for 2020, and many happy sewing hours


Monday, 30 December 2019

Dancing Stars

In November I made a surprise quilt: a surprise both to me and to the recipient. I called it Dancing Stars.

Dancing Stars: about to be rolled up and taken to my friend
I heard in the middle of November that a good friend was to be operated on her back at the end of the month. Knowing that operations to the spine can require a long convalescence I decided to make her a large lap quilt to cheer her up and keep her warm during the process.

Not having much time I decided on a simple repetitive design and went into mass production mode first cutting all the pieces for the stars and then making all the triangle in a square units. Quite an experience for me to see all 64 grey triangles with their accompanying left and right side triangles stacked together to the left of my machine.

Most of the centre squares I cut from a single fabric with a large print to match the star points, but I didn't have large enough pieces of interest fabric in some of the colours, and so there are also 4-patches and hour glass blocks as star centres.

Detail, before washing
After completing the star units I added strips of background fabric to two sides of the units and arranged them as in Bonnie Hunter's pattern "Dancing 9-patches" , giving the stars room to dance while making the quilt big enough! The top was finished within four days of starting cutting! A personal record!

The quilting is straight lines, half a walking-foot's width from the seam lines in both directions. Extremely boring, but effective. This took longer to do than piecing the top, mainly because I didn't want to overburden my shoulders again.

All in all finished within the fifteen days; from buying the background and backing fabric to washing and drying the finished quilt. I gave it to my friend on 7 December which was in time, because her operation had been postponed for two weeks.
dimensions: 145cm x 145cm   (57" x 57")
star fabric: from stash 
background: Kona: Iron
backing: Free Spirit: Wales from Parson Gray World Tour
Quilting thread: Mettler 1358 50 wt.

Although his hasn't been my RSC project for 2019 (that is ready for me to quilt) 
I am linking up this finish using scraps. 


Click on the button to see more rainbow finishes.

Happy Sewing