Monday, 21 May 2018

Quilting "En Provence": problems!

Finally I started quilting my version of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt well over a year after I finished piecing the top. I really love this quilt whose colours remind me of La Provence district of France. 

Layering and starting quilting was my One Monthly Goal for May which I posted about here.

Well, that was done in the first week. In fact I had quilted about two thirds of the quilt and thought this will be finished this month. The photo below of the back shows how far I got.

But then my Bernina Stitch Regulator started playing up. The BSR suddenly lost contact with the rest of the machine. The BSR no longer registered on the display screen and (this is the worst) the machine continued to run, at full speed. As the feed dogs were lowered the needle just went up and down about a hundred times before I managed to switch everything off. I tried to fix it myself: unplug and then reconnect the BSR, unplug and clean the plug with a piece of fabric, twiddle the plug a bit in the socket (you realise I'm grasping at straws here) and yes, there it was again - connection made and off we go again. For about five minutes. Then repeat ... several times!

It spent a week at the dealer's and the result was: a service and nothing wrong with the BSR! OK, maybe the service had fixed whatever it was that was causing the interference.

 No. This morning I tried to continue and after about 10 minutes it happened again. This time no cleaning plugs, no twiddling; first thing tomorrow morning it's going back to the expert.

 I met my goal for May as I started quilting my "En Provence". I'm frustrated as I'd hoped to have the binding on by now! 
As I probably shan't be able to post until the middle of June I'm sending a link to this post to Patty at Elm Street quilts, but won't be able to post a goal for June.

To see more May achievements click on the OMG button on my right hand side bar on or after 26 May.

Happy Sewing


Sunday, 20 May 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2018 halfway summary

Each month, for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, Angela chooses a colour and Mari chooses a block and gives the instructions for the Squared Away sampler. This month's block is Baton Rouge Square  in pink; I posted about my pink blocks here. As the RSC is running for 10 and not 12 months this year, May marks the half way point. It's time for a summary so here are my blocks so far.

 And here are my squares with wonky stars:

I just finished the yellow star, and the green one I made a couple of months ago. The others I made last year. These started as leaders and enders with 2" squares, and when I have enough of one colour I make them into a big square with the wonky star. Last year I had cut a lot of red squares apparently! Some months I just haven't accumulated enough 2" squares to make a square.

I'm liking up to:

Click on the button to view the display of RSC pinkness.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 12 May 2018

May pinks

Each month, for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, Angela chooses a colour and Mari chooses a block and gives the instructions for the Squared Away sampler. This month's block is Baton Rouge Square  in pink (with that name it sounds as if it should be red!).

I have done more pink sewing in the last month:

My starting block for the Dutch MQG (district West) bee round robin. I really made it at the end of April, and it's due to be passed on this Tuesday. I posted more about it here.

Soon I shall have more time for sewing as I have now finally retired. My first task, however, is to sort through, and largely throw away, my teaching materials accumulated over the last 43 years! It really doesn't seem that long. For most of that time I was working from home and visiting client companies which is why my materials occupy 4.5 metres of shelf space. Just imagine how much fabric and how many project boxes I can stash there! Even so, it feels like I'm taking my life to the paper recycling bin; so much effort went into those 4.5 metres!

Sewing has always been my hobby, and quilting since I officially retired 6 years ago. Everyone needs a retirement challenge: mine was to be patchwork and quilting. Unfortunately a few days after my "retirement" my boss asked me to return. It's nice to be thought indispensable, but I was finding the pressure increasingly difficult to deal with. Hopefully now I can pick up where I thought I would be six years ago.

I'm linking up to  
Click on the button to see more pink delights.

Happy sewing


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

My May One Monthly Goal

By the end of May I hope to have the my "En Provence" (Quiltville Mystery 2016 - 2017)  layered and to have begun quilting.

 At the beginning of April, the pieces I wanted to incorporate into the backing still looked like this (minus the bears' paws):

At present the backing is pieced and looks like this:

I'll cut the extra off the side while I'm layering. For now the first task is clearly a good pressing!

Good luck to everyone else setting goals to achieve in May; may your plans work out well!

Click to see other crafty May goals

Happy Sewing


Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Round Robin


This will be the first time I participate in a Round Robin and I'm nervous to say the least!
District West of the Dutch MQG  has a quilting bee - the Bee Zonder Naam (BZN) - which meets once in two months and is organising a Round Robin. The centre blocks are due on 15 May but I've finished mine already. (I don't know what came over me, I'm not usually that early with anything!)

This block is a composition using the stitch and flip triangle technique, featured in "Quilting Modern" by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen. It is a variation on the traditional stitch and flip technique, and the result is similar to the points on the wonky star block. I really enjoyed making it and will certainly be using this technique much more in future. (By the way, I don't earn anything for recommending this book, I just think it's a really useful book on modern quilting.)

The block measures 10.5" square and was made using pink scraps and solid taupe by either Michael Miller or American Made Brand, I'm afraid I don't remember which.

Although I shall be working on this each month for the rest of the year at least, I won't be posting about it until I'm at the quilting stage.

This is my third finish for

which I wrote about here . Click on the button above to visit the party.

Happy sewing



This is my second finish for April's One Monthly goal, which I posted about here

The Dutch Modern Quilt Guild's theme of the month for March is "Orange" or in Dutch "Oranje" which is the name of the colour and of the Royal Family. The royal connection to the colour has given rise to the predominance of the colour orange in the clothing of our national sports teams. As it's the King's birthday the day after tomorrow shops are full of orange-coloured goods; everything from tee-shirts to pastries; I think this month's Dutch MQG theme choice was also informed by this week's event.

Anyway, I, being originally British, decided that "orange" is a fruit as well as a colour and made my representation of an orange, rolling down the drunkard's path! I think it will become the first of several blocks featuring complementary pairs of colours.

I added the name just in case it wasn't recognisable!
This was incidentally my first attempt at appliqué letters, drawn freehand, traced onto tracing paper and then traced again back-to-front onto Heat and Bond . It was much easier than I expected. The DP blocks I made without pins, following the perfect tutorial by Leanne at she can quilt.

This little piece of patchwork measures 13.75" x 15.5" and is waiting to be joined by more similar paired-colour pieces.

I'm linking this to

Click on the button to visit the party.

We have a public holiday here on Friday, in honour of the King's birthday; if you're in The Netherlands make the most of your free day, and for the rest of the world:

Happy sewing!


Saturday, 21 April 2018

Yellow for April

Each month Angela at So Scrappy gives a colour and Mari at The Academic Quilter posts a block pattern for the Squared Away sampler. This month's colour is yellow.

I made the 10" 4X Star block twice:

4X Star blocks

There is also a yellow wonky-star block on the go, but I doubt it will be finished by next Saturday; my day job is rather busy at the moment.
I'm linking up with So Scrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
Click on the button to join the party and see more sparkling loveliness.

Happy Sewing


Monday, 16 April 2018

Finish-Along list Q2 2018

2018 FAL:

In the second quarter of 2018 I hope to finish:

1.  my version of Bonnie Hunter's "En Provence". The top has been finished for over a year,

but I'm still working on piecing the backing: 

Pieces for the backing (except the bear's paws; they just crashed the photo!)

2.  April Dutch MQG theme challenge mini quilt - orange

3.  May Dutch MQG theme challenge mini quilt - Japan

Numbers 2 and 3 haven't been started yet, so I'm being optimistic, but they are in the planning stage, and both will be small!

Happy sewing


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Rainbow Bears' Square Dance - is finished!

 2018 FAL:

Here it is then: quilted and bound.

My Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt from 2016. The top has been finished for about a year, but now it's finally finished.

The quilting is quite simple: FMQ motif echoing within the "paws" and zig-zags in the block sashing, with gentle curves with the walking foot in the background space. I don't know why it took me so long to decide on that!

I like the whole top, but I think the back is the tops:

I just love the back! It makes me feel so happy!

Now just one more photo, over the railing:

Quilt statistics:
Size: 58" square
Fabric top: assorted scraps from stash
Backing: assorted solids, but mainly Bella
Pieced and quilted with Aurifil 40wt.: background with dark grey (2630), front with assorted colours to match the fabric, more or less.

2018 FAL:
This is my second finish for
the 2018 finish along Q1 which I posted about here.
this is my first finish for April's One Monthly goal, which I posted about here

 Click on the buttons to visit the link ups.

Happy Sewing


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

April's One Monthly Goal

I'm going to link up my quilting goals for March at Patty's "One Monthly Goal" at Elm Street Quilts.

Firstly, for the third month in succession, is this:
Rainbow Bears' Square Dance (my RSC project 2016)
It could be my only goal; will I get it finished in April? Hopefully! It's about time! So, just in case I do, I've added a few more goals!

Secondly, to make a theme block for the Dutch Modern Quilt Guild April Challenge. The name says it all doesn't it? It has to be finished this month! No pictures yet (no stitches either!) but the theme could be patriotic - or not!

Thirdly, To get started on my centre block for the Round Robin Challenge at the District West Bee of the Dutch Modern Quilt Guild. It's not due until the middle of May, but I've never taken part in a Round Robin before and don't know what sort of hidden pitfalls lie ahead, so I need to give myself plenty of time.

Fourthly, if I still have time over, to finish piecing the backing of:

En Provence (Quiltville mystery 2016-2017)

Some of the orphan blocks and parts to go into the backing.
I had quite a few parts that weren't needed in my final layout which was smaller than Bonnie Hunter's. The same happens every year - I have to frantically make extras of some units; and have too many of others! That's part of the mystery!

Now to link up to

Click on the button to see the handicraft plans of others.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 31 March 2018

March's OMGoal almost finished!

At the beginning of March I set trying to finish this quilt as my goal:

(and, incidentally at the beginning of February too!) Unfortunately it's still not quite finished. I don't know what happened to March, except that it quick marched all the way and April starts in seven and a half hours!

The picture below doesn't look very different, but appearances can be deceptive.

Rainbow Bears' Square Dance at the end of March.

The difference is in the detail:

All the rainbow blocks are now quilted, the label is attached (nearly forgot it!). The extra wadding and backing could now be removed and the quilt bound but I can't find the last piece of dark grey fabric to make the binding! If I find it, I'll try to finish it tomorrow evening, and otherwise it will have to wait until later in the week as the LQS is closed until Wednesday.

Guess what's going to be first on my list for April!

I'm linking to 

Click on the button to visit more finished projects, really finished, that is! 

Happy sewing


Saturday, 17 March 2018

Paper-pieced green

Angela chose green as this month's colour for the RSC. I showed my Squared Away and my wonky star block earlier but here are some paper-pieced blocks:

I have been making FPP blocks for the "Year of Scrappy Triangles" and incorporating green into most I've made this month.

 I think these three are my favourites from this month's haul.

I am still trying to catch up as 24 block patterns have been released and I have made 17

For anyone who hesitates to do Foundation Paper Piecing I can highly recommend Leila's tutorial.

I really disliked the frustration that occurred whenever I tried FPP.

Would you believe I used to trim after I had sewn, and as often as not trimmed so much off the newly added piece it was no longer big enough. What a dunce! I have to chant, like a mantra:


and then they turn out well.  Some are prettier than others! but all are very good practice.

I'm linking to 
grab button for SoScrappy
If you click on the button you will find more lovely scrappy green patchwork.

And now back to quilting my 2016 rainbow quilt.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 10 March 2018

Squared Away in green

For March Angela chose green for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and Mari chose a second Red Cross block for the Squared Away sampler. We made a different Red Cross block in January.

The recommendation is to make three blocks each month, but I decided to just make two finishing at 10" each, which will give me twenty blocks: a nice four by five block setting, large enough for a throw.

As I had so much to say last week about our freak weather, here's an update! The wind changed direction and the temperature rose 20ºC within two days: we're back to normal! Thank goodness!

I'm linking up to
Click on the button to see more green patchwork.

Happy Sewing


Saturday, 3 March 2018

Spring Greens!

As a child I hated spring greens! They were the thinnings from the rows of cabbage, spinach and broccoli seedlings and goodness knows what else besides. My father hated waste so after meticulous washing to remove soil, into the pan they went. A couple of minutes later they landed on our plates, an extremely strong flavoured sloppy dark green mess. Yuck! No waste, remember, especially not on plates!

As the colour for the RSC this month Angela has chosen light and medium green, to remind us that spring is on its way.

A nice thought Angela, especially as we had our first snowfall of the winter (all of 5mm!) last night. I need to explain (but you don't have to read; skip the rest of this paragraph if you're not interested in freak European weather!) that in a cool temperate climate snow rarely falls in flat coastal areas where the prevailing winds are warm. It just rains! For the last ten days we have been treated to north-easterly force 8 winds from Siberia bringing, for us, excessively low temperatures but dry and sunny; if it hadn't been for the force 8 part the weather would have been pleasant. These same polar winds, having frozen our socks off then crossed the North Sea, picking up moisture as they went, and dumping it on the UK which has had its heaviest snowfall ever! Last night the Westerlies blew it back, so we got a light powdering of the white stuff. Now its melting. The ground is still frozen, so it's not over yet!

OK, back to light to medium green:

I've been joining same colour 2" squares as Leaders & Enders. Yesterday I was sorting through the box of twosies (force 8 and -8 degrees C - not going anywhere!) and found I had nearly enough yellow/green to make a 49-patch. Quite a coincidence as I hadn't seen Angela's post then. So here we are: one green block already made! I've never been so quick off the mark!

Now to start cutting for Squared Away. Mari has already posted the instructions.

I'm linking up to 
Click on the button to join the RSC party.

Happy sewing