Saturday, 27 January 2018

Squared Away Blue

For the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Angela gives a different colour each month. This year she, together with Mari, is giving a different sampler block each month too: Squared Away.

This week I made two "Red Cross" blocks ... in blue! That sounds funny, but if you click on the RSC 2018 button below you will find a lot of blue "Red Cross" blocks!

and this is what they looked like yesterday morning:

They were neither square nor 10.5 inches!

I decided that what I had done wrong was not to think that a 5 by 5 grid might just go together differently than a 4 by 4, or 6 by 6! Using the "little grey cells" a little longer before I started sewing would have saved a lot of time. As it was I made all four 4-patches of triangles exactly the same, including pressing and then spinning the seam allowances all in the same direction. And then in both blocks, as I was making them simultaneously. However I tried to resolve the misalignment of seam allowances I got lumps that just wouldn't press flat. There was nothing for it but to take both blocks apart and fix the spun seams. While I was at it I fixed some of the triangle patches too. Lo and behold: two 10.5 inch squares that really are square! And all the intersections are spun, giving a nice FLAT block!

Spun seams. for instructions see Quiltville tips (click)

The moral of this tale: think before you sew, also about the back!

I'm linking to 
so pop over there to see this week's blue delights.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 20 January 2018

Blue Scrappy Scrap Bag finished

2018 FAL:

This is my first finish for the Q1 finish along 2018. I posted my goals for the first quarter here.

Each month Angela  gives a colour and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge participants use their scraps in that colour to make something new. This month the colour is light and medium blue. I have made a scrap bag from scraps to join the bags I made last year, but this time stepped outside the RSC limits to use all blues, and aqua and teal. These are colours I don't use much so they don't need a bag each; they can share!

This was also my January goal for "One Monthly Goal".

Pattern from Fiona at BubzRugz
The bag finished at about 8"x7" but, before I cut the pieces out to form the base, it looked like this:

 a rectangle ±16"x22".

I had fun trying out the techniques I have learnt in Jacquie Gering's Craftsy course, "Quilting with the Walking Foot". Even putting on the binding was easier following her advice on using the walking foot.

I'm linking to 


2018 FAL:

Elm Street Quilts

Click on the buttons to visit the linky parties.

Happy Sewing


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

2018 FAL Q1 list

Once again the Finish-A-Long is open and sewers, knitters and crocheters have been invited to submit their lists of ongoing projects they hope to get finished in this first quarter of 2018.

I don't have any ongoing projects that will be finished within the next three months, but I do have a number of completed quilt tops. If I can finish one a month that will be good going, so here is my list of three tops plus a small item I haven't yet started sewing:

  1. En Provence, Quiltville mystery 2016-17
  2. Bears' Rainbow Square Dance, RSC 2016
  3. The Sky at Night, RSC 2015, which is complete, there are no longer two missing blocks.
  4. Blue/aqua scrappy basket from a pattern by Fiona at BubzRugz     
1.  En Provence, Quiltville mystery 2016-17
2. Bears' Rainbow Square Dance, RSC 2016
3. The Sky at Night, RSC 2015
4. Scrappy baskets: waiting for blue
It is really shameful that these have been lying around for up to two years. I hope I can get this lot out of the boxes and onto beds and laps and in use!

I'm linking to Leanne at "She Can Quilt" where there are already more than 90 participants with a finish list.

Happy Sewing


Monday, 8 January 2018

Quiltville Mystery "On Ringo Lake" part 9

Each year Bonnie Hunter starts a mystery quilt on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. (Until I started patchwork and following her blog I had no idea when Thanksgiving was!) Anyway, I'm thankful to her for this opportunity to refine my skills as she doesn't just give the pattern, but gives lots of practical cutting and piecing tips along the way.

The last few clues to her Mystery Quilt "On Ringo Lake" came hard and fast over the last weekend of 2017, with the reveal on 1 January. So far I have joined the units to make six blocks and put them up on my design wall with the sections of pieced sashing and one cornerstone (the brown square in the middle of the middle row).

I like the pattern but I'm not really happy with my colour scheme; especially some of my coral-coloured pieces are too dark. I was actually more worried about the brown fabric, and in this photo above it looks as if it's a solid, but there are about nine different brown prints in here.

Even enlarged, and somewhat blurry, the depth of colour doesn't show, but you'll have to believe that there are subtle variations in each piece, with hints of orange and gold.

I set out to make half the number of units and did so in all the clues except the brown geese, of which I still have to make about 20, and the sashings. I've practically run out of aqua fabric, and will need to buy more to complete the quilt.

I'm looking forward to seeing other people's results. I'm always amazed to see the effects of using colours other than Bonnie's. There are always a lot of delightful surprises there.

I am linking up to
Click on the button above to visit the party.

Happy Sewing


Sunday, 7 January 2018

One Monthly Goal January 2018

This month I intend to make a blue/aqua scrappy basket for holding my blue and aqua scraps following the tutorial by Fiona at BubzRugz. Last year I made quite a few including these five

but I still need a blue/aqua one, and a black/white one. Before shaping them into baskets they all measured 23x17" (60x43cm) - the size of my cutting mat! I'm making them by QAYG: the backing is a linen canvas, the wadding is cotton, and the outside is pieced scraps. They are rather floppy when empty, so keep those scraps coming is the motto! A stiffer wadding would have been preferable. Here are the blue scraps so far, for starters:

I still have to dig the aqua pieces out out of the Tupperware bucket they're now in, along with a whole lot of assorted small scraps.

I'm linking to 

Elm Street Quilts

Click on the button to view this month's goals of the other participants.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 6 January 2018

RSC 17 Roundup and looking forward.

Each month, Angela at Soscrappy gives a colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and we work with scraps of that colour for that month. This month's colour is light/medium blue. The first two years I joined the challenge I followed Angela's sampler instructions and made a large rainbow quilt both years. Since then I've made my own project plan, but kept to her colour-using programme. This year there is also a rainbow sampler programme run by Angela at Soscrappy together with Mari at The Academic Quilter

To start with last year's RSC projects: 

I managed to finish very little in 2017. I quilted a couple of quilts made in 2016, made a small wall hanging, and some scrappy scrap baskets. 2018 will initially see me continuing with the same RSC projects:

Scrappy baskets: 

Since I took this photo I have added an orange and a pink basket.

I still have to make two: one for blue and aqua and one for back and white.

Large blocks 

I've been making one square in each month's colour with a white wonky star. I started this about half way through 2017 and will continue until I have enough for ... whatever! Lap quilt, baby quilt, who knows! These squares finish at 14 inches, so I won't need so many, once I've got the 49 2" squares joined, that is.

Jacob's ladders: 

I need to redefine this in terms of scrappy. I abandoned this project after a couple of months because it wasn't scrappy enough. Using off-white solid as background works, and using two other colours also, but not using just two other fabrics. This way hasn't been using scraps; I have to use more than one fabric in each colour for the triangles. It's not that I don't like the result, but it's not helping me reduce my scraps. I have the feeling that making these blocks will be more of a 5-year plan!

6"Jacobs Ladder variation

2018 RSC Sampler Quilt

I haven't yet decided, but by the time you read this I will know more about it and have made a decision!

Some more scrappy projects for 2018:

Trip around the world: 

I'm collecting 2.5" strips and will be joining them as L&Es. This could also take years! My plan is to make a block each month in the colour of the month. This won't be a scrap buster but a scrap builder, because I'll need to buy more fabric in each colour to get up to size!

Framed 9-patches 

I've started making the 9-patches as L&Es, using the ends of the 2" strips used in the Quiltville Mystery "On Ringo Lake".  I plan to collect a pile of 9-patches and will decide when I have enough for a quilt what exactly I do with them. This will continue to be a L&E project. So who knows when I'll have enough for a dancing 9-patch quilt.


Much as I love piecing I'm very reluctant to quilt. I never feel that I am in complete control of the machine when quilting. I have just bought a Craftsy class given by Jacquie Gering: "Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot", and am hoping I will gain enough confidence in the next couple of months to tackle these two:

2015 sampler. This is a completed top, I just didn't take a photo with the last 2 squares!
2016: Bear Paws
That's enough I think; I have to be realistic!

Best wishes everyone for a healthy, prosperous and productive new year.

I'm linking to:
Click on the button to visit soscrappy and join the party

Happy sewing