Saturday, 30 April 2016

Scrappy orange; yummy orange!

Yummy orange

Last week I wrote that Wednesday was the King's birthday. Unfortunately the weather was really not what we expect for the end of April: 7°C, rain, thunder and high winds, so I stayed at home, and didn't see more than three people with orange hats and scarves! I guess everyone else stayed at home too! I had ventured out the day before, however, and bought these:

of which I had one with my morning coffee!

It's a fairly ordinary cream slice, but with orange icing. Unfortunately, only the colour is orange, not the flavour; that would would be really special. It's also a calorie bomb, so strictly rationed!
Late in the afternoon we joined with other residents in the central hall in toasting the King, and one another! I'm not in the photo, but my husband is, and two of my grandchildren who acted as waiters!

Scrappy orange 

orange crumbs, and a few narrow strips.
is all used up!
I've been working on 1930s Farmer's Wife Blocks this week and making black and white HSTs as Leaders and Enders.

2.5 inch HSTs

Here they are waiting for next month's colour to be announced. That's all the RSC sewing I've done this week, and no orange at all! My orange blocks were finished (and shown) last week.

I'm linking to 
Click on the button to see orange scraps in beautiful projects.

Happy sewing


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Improv composition in red, (yellow and blue) in progress ...?!

Kaya and Ann are giving hints on improv patchwork on their sites as they host the Ad Hoc Improv Quilter's link up.

In January's linky party Monica enthused about the book "Cultural Fusion Quilts" by Sujata Shah which had been the inspiration for much of her own work. I agree, it's great to see haw Sujata has taken the patterns presented by everyday images and turned them into quilts.

Sujata Shah's work as well as that of Kaya and Ann is very inspiring and has given me lots of ideas, but last week I was quite suddenly hit by the work of Piet Mondriaan. Not really HIT you will understand, although I live within ten miles of the largest single collection of his work in the world, but such close proximity to a masterpiece would have got me arrested. Inspired by his famous Composition in Red Yellow and Blue (there are several of the same name) I added red, yellow and blue solids to my FQ collection (white I already had, but I forgot the black!) and got cutting. Hmm!

Using Sujata's method of stack and slash, but going for straight cuts, I cut white and red 8 x 4" rectangles diagonally. The result was disappointing really as I was going for arrows, so I cut the next two pairs of rectangle in half vertically to 8 x 2"

The narrow points won't do! (on the left) They curl outwards and when they are joined it's even worse (on the right): all that fabric coming together at the point, just wouldn't come together. Nor would it lie flat.

I haven't tried joining the wider ones, but expect that those bulky seam ends will be just the same.

Rather than go on with yellow and blue I tried some other arrangements:

I quite like this one; this afternoon, at least

and ended up with this:

which looks highly conventional!
Feeling somewhat disheartened I made some highly conventional HSTs (as opposed to HRTs) to get myself back in balance.

I haven't given up on this project, but don't want elongated pinwheels. So it's back to the drawing board for me and into a little zip-lock bag for  the fabric! It's still on the cutting table so not shelved yet, but I need to decide on what sort of triangles, and how to construct them. As this is my first improv attempt I'd welcome any ideas on how to go next. Perhaps I should have tried a wonky log cabin first!... to be continued ....

I wrote this post a month ago, but missed the link up by a week! (Wrong Tuesday - silly girl!) In the meantime I've done nothing with this project except think about it now and again.

The Quilty 365 project is proving an easy project for improvised piecing as the scraps in my scrap bucket are getting smaller and in March I pieced more circles (although one is not improv!)

And pieced more circles in April, although not so many:

Not to happy with the fabric repetition there, but they won't be together in the final layout.

I'm linking to:

Click on the button for the link to more amazing improvised patchwork.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 23 April 2016

More bears' paws

Angela at Soscrappy has given us orange as the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour for April. The month is almost over, and I'm interested in which colour we will be moving on to. In April I have made four orange units and two have already been included in a finished block.

Here's my first bear paw block completed:

I've paired two of the orange units I made this month with the two brown units I made earlier in the year. The bear paw units finish at 6" each and I added a 1" wide sashing within the block. I haven't yet decided on the sashing for between these 13" blocks.

I made two more orange units, and here they are on the design wall, temporarily paired with the two blue units I made earlier. I'm not joining these yet; I'll wait until I have more options.

This week not just my sewing room, but the whole of  The Netherlands will be orange: more orange than usual, that is! It's the King's birthday on Wednesday, and for that we have a public holiday. Many people who follow soccer will know that the Dutch team always wears orange, but for other sports the national teams are also dressed in orange. Orange is the national colour. The national flag however is red, white and blue, but the royal family is the House of Orange, and their heraldic flag has a lot of orange on it. On Wednesday an orange pennant will be added to the flags flown on public and private buildings in honour of the King's birthday.

grandson escaped!
My 9 year old grandson is already wearing an orange, white and blue trainings jacket, and of course our patriotism is being encouraged by commercial interests:

King's day display in the supermarket: orange hats, scarves tee-shirts and tooters, beer in orange tins, cakes which usually have white, or pink or chocolate icing now coloured orange. All at "special" prices!

and if you drink enough Heineken you can buy a King Willem-Alexander tee-shirt!
I hope to have more orange festivity photos later in the week.

I'm linking to :

 RSC16    Quilting is more fun than Housework
(click on the button for more scrap quilting ideas)

And on Tuesday to 

Free Motion on the River 
(click on button on right side bar)

Happy sewing


Saturday, 16 April 2016

RSC 16 an orange bear

Angela has given us orange as the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour for April.

Last week I showed orange and black HSTs that I'd made as leaders and enders while making 1930's Farmer's wife blocks. This week, however, I haven't been using orange in my leaders and enders, but making black and white HSTs. 
Black and white HSTs: some made, some prepared for stitching

Then I put them together in a 16-patch bear paw. 

An interesting discovery was finding it easier to get a good square result when I first joined the squares and HSTs into 4-patches, rather than in four rows of four. I find it easier to trim a square than a long row.

I wrote the above while waiting at the hairdresser's this morning where I was surrounded by orange:

1970's retro orange; 2016 art with a dash of orange (one of a series called "through the curtain" - this one reminds me of a Goya veiled nude)

more retro orange
I'm linking with
Click on the button for more juicy orange.

Happy sewing


Sunday, 10 April 2016

RSC 16 April is Orange!

For those living in The Netherlands April is the Orange month! The King's birthday is 27 April and there will be a lot of orange on view. International football (soccer) matches also bring out an orange rash, but I don't know if any are planned this month.

For me April is orange because Angela chose it as the challenge colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I've been working on 1930's Farmer's Wife blocks this week:

bottom left is the frustrating paper pieced block, which with your help was finished in a few hours, as opposed to two days for the first quarter!
No orange here but I did make a few orange and black HST's as leaders and enders. They might just find their way into joining up with the orange squares sometime this month.

Last Sunday I wrote about some secret sewing for Merel, the owner of Birdblocks quilt shop in Amsterdam.She has been seriously ill, but her health is now improving and she is communicating with the outside world via Instagram.

Definitely orange: Merel likes bright colours.

This is my contribution (also orange!) to the bunting being made to decorate her room in the convalescent home. You can read more about her (in English!) on her Instagram account, @merel_birdblocks, and on my blog here.

I'm linking to 

 Click on the button to see more orange zest!

Happy sewing


Friday, 8 April 2016

Wandering Camera March photo selection

At Whims and Fancies Soma is holding a Wondering Camera  link up each month.

March has been a month of sharp contrasts in the weather: from snow showers to brilliant sunshine within two hours. Now the days are getting longer I'm no longer going to and from work in the dark which gives more opportunity for photography. Only three of the following photos were taken with my camera, the rest with my phone.

Here are my March photos.

3 a touch of Spring in the Office
7 and on the balcony: first sighting of the clematis this year
9 crocus and daffodils in a municipal garden

13 The Bradley Bunch performing at St Patrick's Day Celebration in The Hague
18 My granddaughter's phone case
23 Easter in the office
30 Wild rabbit in an urban garden, eyed by a crow.

I'm trying to take my camera out with me more this month and hope to have more to show next month.

I'm linking to

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

click on the button for more March photos.
Happy snapping!


Sunday, 3 April 2016

Geheim project op zondag / A little secret sewing on Sunday

Secret sewing: on its way to the recipient, but will be revealed in a few days.

Dit is wat anders; meestal schrif ik niet in het Nederlands, maar alleen in het Engels. Maar vandaag  heb ik er een goede reden voor.

Unusually for me I'm writing my blog post in Dutch as well as English today. I have a good reason to do so: I read this week on Instagram that Merel van Looi, owner of the Quiltshop Birdblocks in Amsterdam is seriously ill. She has posted about her illness herself on Instagram: @merel_birdblocks.

Ik las namelijk van de week op Instagram dat Merel van Looi, eigenaresse van de quiltwinkel Birdblocks in Amsterdam (en die blogt als Mrs. Scissors) ernstig ziek is geweest. Je kunt in haar eigen woorden erover lezen op Instagram @merel_ birdblocks.

Lente in Zuid Holland / Spring in Zuid Holland
In de quilting blogging wereld zijn er een paar projecten gaande om Merel op te vrolijken: een gemeenschappelijke quilt vanuit America onder leiding van Hillary, die blogt op entropyalwayswins en daar kun je er meer over lezen. Maar ook vanuit Nederland heeft Marga Pieper die blogt als MarPie een oproep gedaan voor vlaggetjes om Merels ziekenhuiskamer op te vrolijken. Daar was ik vanmiddag mee bezig.

 There are several initiatives from the quilting community to cheer Merel up: Hillary, who blogs at entropyalwayswins (Instagram: @enropyalwayswins)has started a project to make a quilt for Merel. You can read about this initiative, both on Instagram and on her blog. Also in The Netherlands, Marga Pieper, who blogs as MarPie has appealed for bunting to decorate Merel's hospital room. You can read more about it on her site

If you'd like to do your bit towards cheering Merel up, read Marga's post and set to using those scraps! If you live outside Europe, maybe Hillary's project appeals more to you. You can always contribute to both; it's up to you!

Als jij wilt helpen Merel op te vrolijken, lees de post van Marga, en zet dan je lapjes er voor in! Als je buiten Europa woont is Hillary's initiatief misschien meer voor jou. Maar je kunt natuurlijk allebei doen! De keuze is aan jou!

In a couple of days I'll show more,

Over een paar dagen laat ik meer hierover zien.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 2 April 2016

RSC 16: April is the orange month; paper piecing

Firstly a big thank you to everyone who gave me advice on paper piecing last week. the consensus seems to be: "Don't worry too much about the grain, especially on the smaller pieces. Just keep the paper on as long as possible." The block hasn't progressed much over the last few days, but, following your advice I finished the remaining three quarters of the block on Sunday, doing more than on Thursday and Friday together! I used as much of the mis-cuts as possible and what was left went into a Quilty 365 circle (see my post of yesterday)

Each month Angela at Soscrappy gives a rainbow colour of the month, and this month's colour is orange. She also gives instructions for sampler blocks, but this year I have decided not to make the sampler, but to make at least one pair of bear paw blocks in each colour. Last month I made four purple blocks, but who knows how many orange blocks I'll come up with!

As yet, however, I've barely made a start.

2" orange strips ready to incorporate in the bear paw blocks
I've just pulled the orange strips from the 2" strip bag, but there are plenty more larger orange scraps and FQ's. When I have two blocks completed I'll try combining them with my two brown blocks, thereby fulfilling this month's colour instruction: orange with brown or black. It'll be more than a hint of brown though!

I'm linking to 


Click on the button above to see more orange loveliness, and some purple.

Happy sewing


Friday, 1 April 2016

More Quilty circles

Audrey at Quilty Folk started a project towards the end of last year to appliqué a circle onto a square each day. At the end of the year you have 365 (or, actually 366 this year) squares with a circle: Quilty 365.
I have, contrary to my own expectations, managed to stick to it for three months since I started on 1 January. I find it addictive, and my needle turn appliqué has improved no end!
Here are my March blocks:

The squares are all solid fabric and measure 4.5"; most of the circles measure 3" in diameter, but there are a couple of slightly larger circles on special days. It depends on how much time I have whether or not I piece the circle from scraps, some of which are really small.

circle 88: Monday 28 March 2016, made of the results of cutting mistakes of a very frustrating paper-pieced Farmer's Wife block which I posted about on Saturday. Every cloud has a silver lining!

I have now made 92 circles (that includes today's) and this quilt promises to be enormous!

You can still join in this project; there is no particular starting date. The only rule is to make 365 circle blocks in one year.

I'm linking up to 

Grab button for

so click on the button and see more appliqué circles, some of which are really spectacular. Maybe you'll feel inspired to sew along with us.

Happy sewing