Saturday, 25 February 2017

RSC 2016 finished top and a start on RSC 2017

Each month Angela gives a colour and worldwide lots of quilters start sewing their scraps in that colour. February's colour is teal/aqua. I wonder what next month's colour will be.

I finished the Bears Paws blocks and have started on some nine-patches in aqua/turquoise/teal

and in purple (January's colour):

Most effort this week, however, went into putting my blocks from last year's challenge together. I decided last week to add "frames" rather than sashing, and give the blocks a frame of in total 6" if you add left and right together: 4" on one side and 2" on the opposite side, or 3"on both sides.

Thus each block went from 14" square to 20.75" square. I changed the relative positions of the wide and narrow pieces in each block. I had intended to put those larger blocks together randomly, but was afraid the empty spaces would become too unevenly distributed. So began my planning headache! The only constant is in the corners; a two inch frame in the corner to help define the whole as a square and hopefully to prevent the appearance of sagging. (I wish that was always so easy!)

Now I have to think of a name. Hmm ... Rainbow Bears?, ... Multi-coloured Bears?, ... Bears in the Paint pot? Any ideas?

I'm linking up later today to
SoScrappy    and Sunday to    Quilting is more fun than Housework  
Click on the buttons to admire all the scrappy goodness others have created this week.

Happy sewing


Sunday, 19 February 2017

RSC 16 The last of the Bear's Paws

Each month Angela gives a colour and worldwide lots of quilters start sewing their scraps in that colour. February's colour is teal/aqua, and as I only needed two more bear's paw sections to  finish my RSC quilt from last year, aqua they are!

Here they are with the two remaining purple paws from last week:

The block that didn't make it into the quilt top, but will be incorporated into the back somehow.

And here are the other nine blocks, not yet in their final placement:

These blocks measure 14" square as they are; 13.5" in the final setting

I got so much advice last week about the sashing colour, for which I'm very grateful. Here's a peek at the final block, not with sashing as I suggested last week, but framed.

Maybe there'll be a finished top before the end of this month.

I'm linking up to:

SoScrappy      Quilting is more fun than Housework
Click on the buttons, to see more scraps made beautiful.

Enjoy your week, wherever you are.

Happy sewing


Monday, 13 February 2017

En Provence top

Since November I've been working on the 2016 Quiltville Mystery quilt, "En Provence!". Bonnie Hunter published the last clue at New Year and throughout January this was all the sewing I did,
with this result:

Somehow I managed to make more patches than I needed, and to cut more triangle-in-a-square pieces, so at present I'm making a panel to use in the backing in an effort to shift some of the pieces already cut. I know if I put them away "in a safe place" I won't be able to find them when I need them, or, even worse, I'll forget I ever had them!

left-over pieces getting ready to become a panel the length of the quilt back.

I'll use a solid fabric between these blocks and at the side so I can make the backing from one and a half times the height of the quilt, instead of having to buy twice the height and have a lot left over (this measures 69" square).

I hope I did the maths right!!

This is what I was looking at on Saturday, but then decided the large chevrons would be too wide for the space, or too cramped to be effective.

Furthermore I like Friendship Stars; I'll use one of them to make the label.

I'm linking to Bonnie Hunter's blog, Quiltville for the final link up of the En Provence Mystery. Why don't you hit the buttons below and see what other scrappy and mystery quilters have produced?

Quiltville's Quips & Snips

And with
 Quilting is more fun than Housework
  for more fun scrap projects
Happy sewing


Saturday, 11 February 2017

RSC 17 January was purple!

Each month Angela gives a colour and worldwide lots of quilters get sewing their scraps in that colour. January's colour was purple, but the month was past before I got my purple bear's paws finished. You can see other people's purple patches here.

Although this month's colour is aqua I'm showing my catch-up purple efforts. January was a very dull and gloomy month, with very little sunshine, and, one way or another, a lot of purple. It seemed to be taking me ages to get these four pieces sewn. Work was exceptionally busy, and then there were other sewing projects calling to me!

January's purple pieces (made mostly in February!)
Finally I got these finished. Then while I was at it, I went on to complete the block; thus bringing a little warmth (at least colour-wise) into my life.

Two of the purple pieces sewn into their final setting. (Better light today: it's snowing and the reflected light is wonderful!)
All the blocks I made last year I sewed together in November, but didn't get round to posting about them. Here are four of the eight, photographed when I was trying to decide on the sashing colour.

medium grey sashing ...
or dark grey? Choices, choices!

What do you think? Which shade of grey would you choose?

Here is the reason I took so long over the bear's paws.
Something else with a lot of purple
The Quiltville 2016 mystery "En Provence!" which kept me (and some of you too, I'm sure) busy through December and most of January. The top is finished and I'm trying to make a panel from the left-over pieces to use on the back.

the bears crashed the photo!
This was the situation a week ago and it's taking shape with a total of seven blocks so far.

I'm linking up to 
Click on the button to see how well the other participants are doing with aqua.

Happy sewing


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