Sunday, 6 June 2021

One Monthly Goal for June

June's goal for Patty's challenge at Elm Street Quilts is to finish this small version of "Follow your own path", the Quilt Along held recently at mmmquilts


All it needs is the quilting.

I started free motion quilting it with the stitch regulator on Friday, but the result was DREADFUL! (Sorry, no photo) It absolutely did not enhance the piecing. Yesterday morning I spent some time unpicking three lines of quilting. Maybe you can see a trace of them in the fourth row, between the yellow and green arrows. Unpicking quilting is normally something I just don't do. Unless the tension is so off that I have loops on the back (happened once!) I leave it be; the chances are that I'm the only one who'd notice. but now: regulated nothing! Some of the stitches were more than a quarter of an inch long, and others less than one sixteenth. 

I haven't used the stitch regulator for some time as I've been following Lori Kennedy's online course in FMQ, and chose to do the course using my darning foot. Now, with the darning foot my stitches are not always the same length either, but are much better than this was, and I feel more in control of the machine.

So my goal is to get this labelled, quilted an bound before the end of the month. Let's hope a trip to the dealer for a machine service doesn't throw a spanner in the works!

I'm linking this to:

Click on the button for links to more June goals.

Stay safe and healthy

Happy sewing

Marly.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

May's OMG - Good Fortune

Moving Good Fortune on has been the subject of my goal this month, and not a comment on my progress. Unfortunately, most of the time the activity was mental: thinking about what to do with these blocks.

Good Fortune blocks on 2 May

In the photo they look good together, and probably the more there are the better they will blend together. However, close-up these just do not rock my boat!  In addition to these blocks I found these pieces and partly assembled units. Not enough to make a quilt, so what then?

2 May

 There were enough block units to make two more blue/green blocks and one red/orange block:

19 May
which left these pieces:
 
19 May

which can all go to join my orphan blocks, or back in the scraps.

More than two weeks had passed with no more progress than three blocks assembled, giving twelve blocks on my design wall. But then, 23 May, came the Zoom meeting of the Dutch Modern Quilt Guild, at least of half a dozen members. One asked what the project was on my wall, and then followed a brainstorm session on what I could turn these blocks into, and how. Aren't quilting friends wonderful?!

I decided I didn't want to make any more blocks, but would use what I had along with denim from old jeans to make a project bag. It is large enough to carry a cutting mat or a quilting hoop along with the fabric supply and box of sewing tools to bee or workshop. I've no idea when I'll be able to use it: whenever the Covid restrictions have been lifted. 

The next days I was cutting the jeans into strips, piecing odd pieces of wadding (after all, this is a scrap project):

25 May

and preparing to quilt:

25 May

Having free motion quilted the patchwork blocks I'm now quilting straight lines along the borders and base with the walking foot.

30 May

30 May

I have just finished the quilting, 

 

30 May

30 May
but I still need to close the side seams, box the corners, make handles and attach the binding. That will have to wait until tomorrow, because now I'm going to sit in this chair in the sun and knit! 

I think that qualifies as reaching my goal this month; I aimed to decide what to do with the Good Fortune project and move it on. I have certainly done that, and come so far that the end is in sight.

[Interesting phenomenon: my Fitbit recognises quilting with the walking foot as WALKING: 40 steps taken just now during 2 minutes quilting!! 😄]

I'm linking up to:

Click on the button to see other reached goals this month.

Keep safe and healthy

Happy sewing

Marly.


Saturday, 29 May 2021

Red table scraps

The Joyful Quilter has a challenge, linked to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, to use scraps to make something for a table in the colour of the month. This month's colour is red, and my aim has been to use some of my red crumbs to make a place mat. Crumbs, by their nature are very small, and my chosen method is more labour intensive than I anticipated.

At 12" x 4" this is hardly a placemat!

 

I'm joining the pieces by a technique Debbie Jeske called "fine line piecing" in a blog post earlier this month.

My first attempts were not successful (fine lines not fine enough),


but narrowing the "sashing" and making a strip worked better and I managed to move it all along much more quickly. 

 

Unfortunately, not quickly enough to meet this deadline, but I shall probably get a top finished in the next few days. 

I'm linking this to:

 2021 TABLE SCRAPS Challenge     

Click on the buttons to see more scraps in use.

Keep safe and healthy

Happy sewing

Marly.


Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Follow your own path

I've been following along with Sandra Walker's QAL: "Follow your own Path"

This is the top of "My path up", ...

... I hope, all our paths up out of the pandemic.

The last set of instructions for the piecing was given yesterday and I chose my layout and finished the piecing this morning. Well, I say finished, but I may add borders, I haven't yet decided. I'm not really a borders person, but this could become an exception.

The coloured fabric all came from my scrap baskets, the two greys from yardage. Initially I bought the Color Weave medium grey (the shadows) to use as background, but when I saw it in reality I found it rather dismal - the problem with ordering fabric online. I had just 0.5metre of the Color Weave light grey, and hoping this would be enough started using that as the background fabric. All that's left from that half metre is 2.5" x WOF.

Half a metre is nothing like the 1.5 yards specified in the pattern, so I reduced the block size to 5" x 3", half that of the pattern size. This has resulted in a wall hanging of 18" x 21". Making the quilt smaller was not my original intention, but a question of "Needs must!"; the alternative would have been waiting even longer for more fabric to be delivered.

I'm linking to:

grab button for SoScrappy

Click on the buttons to see others' current handwork progress .

Stay safe and healthy,

Happy sewing

Marly.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

May’s One Monthly Goal

The FMQ practice is still going on, but is not this month's goal. I’m going back to my year plan which is to attack my UFO’s. In January I gave each UFO a colour, and when that colour comes up as the colour of the month on the RSC I try to move that UFO on.

This month’s RSC colour is RED so the UFO is “Good Fortune”, from Bonnie Hunter’s mystery QAL from 2018 - 19. I haven’t looked at it for more than two years and I’m interested to see how far I actually got with those blocks. 

Now to find I've found the finished blocks so far: 


and the units: 

Fortunately the cut pieces and the units were in little bags and labelled (!) so it shouldn't be too difficult to see how many of each unit I planned on making. Unfortunately, I haven't found a note anywhere as to what proportion of Bonnie's total of units I was making - slipped up there! However I probably wrote about it here, so my next task is to check through old blog posts.

I'm linking to:

 

Click on the button above to see more of May's goals

Keep safe an healthy

Happy sewing

Marly.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Free Motion Quilting improvement

My goal for April was to practise and improve my FMQ with Lori Kennedy's QAL. This has now been going for 6 weeks, and I've been quilting every day, well, almost every day for the last four. Some days I spent so much time doodling motifs that I didn't get to doing the real thing! According to Lori, doodling is an important prelude to quilting, and I agree! (Who am I to disagree?) 

I didn't set a landmark date for this goal as the course is due to continue for another couple of months and I plan on continuing the course right to the end, even if it takes all year! For this month I have achieved what I set out to do: improve my FMQ

I'll spare you the doodles, but here are my quilting attempts so far, in chronological order:

1.  starting point: no lessons yet, just quilting and tension check (31/03).


2.  1st assignments: loops and scallops. Also general practice for following assignments.


3.  Assignment: Sailing boat sampler. This took several days; 2 rows per day


4.  A posey, in a frame with text (W.H.Davies)

I see some progression between 1. and 4. What the photos don't show is that I no longer finish a row with my shoulders hunched up by my ears; that's progress too.

Anyone who is not satisfied with their attempts at FMQ should definitely try following this course, for free on Lori's blog. She also explains a lot about related topics, like choice of needle, adjusting tension, choice of thread, and, most importantly, she explains why they contribute to a good result.

I'm linking to

Click on the button above to see more goals achieved.

Stay safe and healthy

Happy sewing

Marly.

Friday, 23 April 2021

Quite a blue catch!

My April table runner is as blue as the sea. Blue is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour this month, and the table runner is a response to the table scraps challenge.

My inspiration came from Nicholas Ball's "Shoal" quilt in his book "Inspiring Improv".  The fish were cut freehand from grey and white scraps together with blue scraps, and then more blue scraps were added to the fish blocks.

This measures 49"x13" (1.25m x 0.33m)

I have yet to quilt it. First I need to get backing fabric! Our lockdown is likely to finish next week; I know where I shall be going first! After 5 months of  shops being closed I'm tired of choosing fabric from a computer screen. I know how I'm going to quilt it, so that's one puzzle less.

I'm linking to:    

  

Click on the button above to see more table scraps.

Keep safe and healthy.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Fishing for blue

This month my blue scraps are going into a fishy table runner. The inspiration is from Nicholas Ball's book, "Inspiring Improv".

A couple more tails needed here, and the rest of the shoal.
I haven't caught many fish yet, but there are plenty more fish in the sea blue and light scraps where that came from.

blue scrap basket from a previous RSC project

Meanwhile most of my sewing energy is going into Lori Kennedy's current FMQ QAL.

(dreadful mistake in the bottom line there!)
 
This is nowhere near good enough yet, but I'm hoping, "Practice makes perfect"!

 

I'm linking to:

 SoScrappy   

Click on the buttons to see more handwork in action.


Stay safe and healthy. 

Happy sewing

Marly.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

One Monthly Goal in April

My goal for April is a change of focus from my year-plan. My plan for this year, as expressed in January, is to focus on shifting UFOs, either finish them or re-purpose them. March's goal hasn't moved anywhere, but January and February have both seen completed tops reaching the "waiting to be quilted" pile. There are quite a few more UFOs in that pile, so this month I'm deviating from my year plan.

I'm participating in Lori Kennedy's QAL based on her book "25 days to better Machine Quilting" and have decided that my goal for April is to focus at least 20 minutes per day on practising free motion quilting. 

Progress in my first week.
 

The stitches at the beginning were really uneven, but at the bottom they are a lot better, but still far from perfect. I certainly have more control, and I have learnt to adjust the top tension - never knew that - and the right tension has made a lot of difference. This was also my first try at FMQ using the darning foot and not my Bernina Stitch Regulator, which means I have to do more myself, matching the speed of my hands to that of my foot on the pedal.

With any luck, and enough practice, by the end of the month I'll be up to the challenge of dealing with UFOs again. With very little to distract me this month this looks achievable. 

I'm linking to:

 

Click on the button to see more monthly goals.

Stay safe and healthy.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Monthly goal for March - not reached

unsuccessful fabric trials

My goal for March was to work on a WIP, and I did, and I tried to create a background for my gypsy dancer collage, but have absolutely nothing permanent to show for it.  


Despite working on it I'm no further than I was at the beginning of the month. I failed to create a suitable background.

After about a week of frustration I turned my attention elsewhere in the hope that moving away from the problem would free my mind to find a solution. 

I sewed strings for an Ad Hoc Improv Quilters challenge:


I sewed trees for the Table Scraps challenge:

I practised free motion quilting in Lori Kennedy's QAL:

(definitely more practice needed!)

Together with friends at a distance I sewed some I-spy blocks for a secret baby quilt (secret! 😀):

Practice block
 

I even knitted the greater part of a sock:


Unfortunately, none of them helped, and the background to my gypsy dancer is still empty!

I shan't be spending any more time on it until the lockdown is lifted and the second part of this workshop (originally scheduled for April last year) can take place. I've come to the conclusion that I can't go it alone, and need some support from an expert.

So my goal for next month will not be the same as this month, although it may be one of these projects above. Whatever it will be, I hope to achieve more towards reaching my goal than this month.

I'm linking, even though I finished nothing, to

  

Click on the button to see other people's achievements this month.

Stay healthy and safe.

Happy sewing

Marly.