Sunday, 31 January 2016

January progress

 The first couple of weeks of January I spent catching up with Allietare! (click for information on the button to the left).  I chose to make a slightly smaller version than the official one  but after the reveal on 1 January discovered I hadn't made enough; now I'm making the setting triangles. I posted here about not having a suitable grey, but fortunately managed to pick it up the following day. I thought I had a photo on my phone, but I haven't got even one photo of the completed blocks. I'll remedy that soon when I'm ready to start joining the rows.

On 1 January I started with the Quilty 365 project which I had read about in November in  blog post from Deb. This project is being organised by Audrey at Quilty Folk and you can read about it here.
I decided then to wait and start symbolically in the New Year and to appliqué each circle using the needle-turn technique. This is a technique I'd never tried before, but after some You Tube tuition I felt confident enough to start! The first block took me 3 hours! Number 31 took 55 minutes! We're moving in the right direction! I really like the result so far.

January's blocks in chronological order, which will probably not be the final order.
At the start I thought I'd make the circles larger on "special" days; the first two (1 and 2 January) are larger circles: one for New Year, and one for my youngest Grandson's birthday.
At first I just picked matching pieces of roughly the right size from the scrap bin, but after about 10 days decided:
  • to cut some solid squares in different colours to make the daily choosing-ritual easier (and faster!),
  • to glue the circles with a smear of Sew Line glue in the centre,
  • to alternate light and dark backgrounds in the final layout (medium backgrounds will count as light or dark, depending on their neighbours),
  • and to experiment with colour.
My favourite block is number 15 (middle of the left-hand column): two purple fabrics joined in a curve on the machine, WITHOUT pins!!! You can probably imagine my surprise when it laid flat immediately! I learnt to do this from Leanne's video on sewing Drunkard's path blocks. It's brilliant!

As if this wasn't enough of a new project in January, I've also joined the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters (button on the right). This group has been going for about six months, so I'm a late starter, but have read up on improvised quilting on the sites of Kaya and Ann. Although I haven't started an improv project, I think the following three blocks could count as improv piecing.

As I'm not sure where the whole Quilty 365 project is going, maybe the whole project can be called "improv" too.

In total contrast to improvised patchwork I joined a club at my local quilt shop to make the blocks of the "Farmer's Wife 1930's sampler quilt". This is old style precision cutting and sewing, although I'm experimenting with colour here again.

top row: November, 2nd row: December (still 3 blocks to do), 3rd row: January (but it's not over yet!)
We are adding setting triangles and quilting as we  go, in theory. Everyone else is, so I shall have to cut the backing, wadding and setting triangles soon! I have until Tuesday week to fill these rows!

I'm linking up to:

AHIQ     Quilty Folk

Happy sewing



Kaja said...

I absolutely think that this whole project counts as improv, as well as the three lovely circles you pinpointed (I love that purple, curved one too). You have started with a basic idea and are tweaking it as you go along, constantly making choices. Thank you for joining up with AHIQ!

claire witherspoon said...

Your circles are wonderful and your Farmer's wife blocks! I like the way you set up some parameter for your circles, that's a really good idea! I have been toying with starting some many choices and obligations! lol! cheers!

Ann said...

I agree with Kaja. And I love the choices you're making in the circles - larger blocks for special days, and now piecing the circles. These changes personalize a group project, making it yours and keeping your interest piqued. It's so fun to see how differently everyone approaches these circles. Who'd a thought there were so many variations? Thanks for linking with AHIQ.

audrey said...

Your circles are wonderful! Love the improv. style ones. I can guarantee that the stitching gets faster with experience too.:) Great start!

Dasha said...

All of these projects are amazing. Love your Farmer's wife blocks, but then the circle are pretty good too.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

I'm loving your circles also. I've been watching all the circle-making from several bloggers who link up with AHIQ. They are all pretty awesome! I don't know how you keep up with all the side quilts. (Side quilts is what I call those quilts that get worked on every now and again rather than start and work to the end.) You definitely seem to have a knack for improv and, while I like all the circles, my fav is the purple one. Maybe you should tackle maybe a few more since they're so easy. :-)

Christine Barnsley said...

Some fabulous projects there Marly and you are already making great progress! I shall enjoy watching them develop through the year! Christine x

Lisa J. said...

I love your circles and may at some point do this myself. I've sometimes linked up to the Adhoc Improvers but I find it hard to keep up with everything.

scraphappy said...

Making great progress on the circles. Keeping everything going can be a bit of a challenge, but it is fun to try.

gayle said...

So much happy color!
I love all your projects - and those circles are extra fun with the added improv. Woohoo!

Vera said...

Looking good!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Good for you for learning something new (several somethings actually). I love the circle project -- and I love the variety of interpretations across blog land.

Angie said...

I love that your circle blocks have lots of "pop"!

Soma @ said...

Very pretty and great start! I think they definitely count as improv blocks.


Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Not to fret, Marly. I am new to Ad Hoc Improv, also. And I haven't even announced another something that I joined late. I tend to join gives me a chance to weigh whether I really want in. And I procrastinate. I'm really liking your circles. The colors are fabulous. Surely they are improv if you're making decisions as you go along.

Rosa said...

Fabulous projects.Your circle quilt will be stunning.