Friday, 26 June 2015

Lozenge EPP - finished!

Hooray for a Friday finish!

Although I have not had a lot of sewing time recently I have been plugging away at my EPP project whenever I had a few minutes, usually watching (not actually watching much, you understand) my son do sport.

I started this some years ago on a very long train journey to Scotland.  Making the hexagons, out of scrap taupe strips from another quilt, was the easy and addictive part of the process, and I put them to one side while I pondered what to do with them.

I decided on the lozenge shape in preference to the more usual Grandmother's Flower Garden setting and first blogged about this project here.  So I am counting this finish as from September 2014 rather than from whenever I first started the paper folding of hexies.  Quite speedy by my standards, as you will see when I show you the next hand quilting WIP which will shortly take over from this one as my take along project.

I always think handquilting takes forever but in fact this wasn't too bad as it was not too large a piece (40" x 42").  It's hard to beat the broken, dimpled line you get with the running stitches, even when like mine they are far from perfect.  I cut my binding strips only 2" for the usual doublefold binding, so that it would be quite skinny and not overpower the fairly narrow border.

Couldn't resist showing you this picture of an unimpressed dog: quilts aren't really his thing.
Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

More scrap vortex progress

I hope you are not bored with my Scrap Vortex reports: I am loving it so much and at the moment it is just about all the sewing I can manage (though I hope to have a finish for Friday this week).

If you haven't had a look at Amanda Jean's really helpful posts and you have a bag of scraps (anyone out there who doesn't?), follow this link, which includes the previous posts, and have a go; it is really good fun once you get over the initial shock and into the groove.

The process does make a bit of a mess, admittedly, but I like to ignore the mess on the floor and focus on the wonderfully neat (once you have squared up) blocks which you will have made from scraps which many people would have thrown away.

I have layered my larger pieced blocks on my design board to give an idea of how it will look once they are all joined together - not quite at that stage yet.

I am thrilled at how many of my scraps have been transformed and made to live a useful and beautiful life as part of a wonderful quilt: what more could a small piece of fabric aspire to?  It's a sort of immortality...

I am also progressing my Scrapper's Delight quilt and using up the bigger strips now as the blocks grow.  Even better working on two quilts at a time, and you won't be surprised to hear that I am chain piecing everything!

Still very much work in progress, but I do feel there is real progress now that the pieces are bigger. Linking to Lee at Freshly Pieced: WIP Wednesday.  A Kaleidoscope Quilt like hers is on my to-do list but it will have to wait a while longer...

Friday, 19 June 2015

Scrap Vortex progress

Quick post only, I'm afraid - family illness and associated running around have put paid to much sewing, but I have done a bit of scrap busting as therapy at the end of each day.  Too late for a WIP Wednesday link and I definitely don't have a finish of anything to link up - sigh - but at least this blog has made me do something this week.

Here is my progress on the Scrap Vortex QAL mentioned last week:

I have given you the link to the third instalment but it is not too late to join in.  Amanda Jean's directions and answers to questions are really helpful, and there are lots of photos which say it even more clearly.

And I did manage to start on some Scrapper's Delight blocks alongside, making use of the larger strips.  The pattern  is in Sunday Morning Quilts.  Lovely book, clearly in much demand judging by Amazon's premium price.  You may be able to hunt it down elsewhere for less.

My efforts so far:

I have decided that what I really love about Amanda Jean's quilts is her palette - I want HER scraps, not mine!

All for now.  Imagine me in this happy place whenever I have 10 minutes to spare.

Have a great weekend and I hope you manage to sew as much as you'd like, as well as enjoying some fine summer weather.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Scrap Vortex QAL

My WIP today is the very beginnings of a Scrap Vortex quilt.  I have decided to join Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts in her QAL - the second instalment was today, though I only started my first stage last night!  Behind already...  I have always loved her Scrap Vortex quilt but I would never have the nerve to jump in and tackle one on my own, as I have not done much in the way of improv piecing.  I am hoping that having Amanda Jean as mentor and guide every step of the way will really help.

Here is the bag of scraps I started with: I will try and remember to take a photo at the end and see how much I have used.  I am thinking that I may make a second scrap quilt alongside the Scrap Vortex - as I will be making a mess anyway, I may have a go at Scrapper's Delight from Sunday Morning Quilts, another one of Amanda Jean's great quilt designs.  Tune in next week to see if I have followed through on that aspiration.

Not terribly much to show so far, I know, but I am still recovering from Sunday's Gardens Open event.  We had a glorious day of sunshine, with nearly 200 people visiting our not very large garden in three hours!  Over £2,000 was raised for our small village school so it was worth all the hard work.  I can now sit back and enjoy the garden for the rest of the summer - and get on with some sewing instead of weeding.

Linking today to Lee at Freshly Pieced: WIP Wednesday.  

Friday, 5 June 2015

Disappearing Hourglass - finished!

Despite having heaps to do outside I have managed to quilt this top which I pieced not too long ago (by my standards anyway), having started it here.

Completion was delayed while I mulled over whether to add a narrow white border to give the design a little 'room to breathe'.  They are smaller blocks (7" finished) than I've seen in other tutorials because I made them with 5" charm squares rather than from a 10" layer cake so the piecing is quite intense - I think it helps to have some calm space all around the edge.

I decided to do the quilting quite simply: straight lines an inch either side of the seams between the blocks and in the ditch through the centre  of the blocks.  Quick and easy, no ends to tie in and just enough for a relaxed texture.

I used a fresh pale blue and white stripe on the back to keep it light and summery and leftover strips for a scrappy binding.  The quilt measures 46" x 60" and I made 48 blocks, set 6 x 8.

I did think about joining the Scrap Vortex QAL over at Crazy Mom Quilts but I got no further than tipping out all my fabric scraps into a large clear bag so I could see what I have got.

  I am hoping to make a start next week.  I think I will have enough fabric...

Have a great weekend - it's our open garden day on Sunday so no more sewing for a while.  See you on the other side of the event.

Linking to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Ginger Bliss

A wet weekend meant I could not garden, so I sewed instead; not a hard choice to make.  I managed to finish this quilt which I have called Ginger Bliss, in homage to Kathy Doughty's quilt called Ginger Snap in the first Material Obsession book and Amy Butler's fabric line, Ginger Bliss, which provided the inspiration fabric (borders and setting triangles and diamonds) and some of the other fabrics in the quilt.

As usual I have gone off piste a bit and have made the quilt bigger (78"x 88") and changed the borders, but I have followed the same path in finding inspiration in Amy Butler's luscious fabrics plus a sprinkling of all sorts from my stash of some years ago.

I finished piecing the top in July 2011 and finally layered it and started the quilting before Christmas. Having been distracted (so often the case recently), the bundled up quilt sat on one of my chairs for 5 months till I decided last week it really was time to finish it once and for all.  As usual, I find I spend more time putting off than I ever do sewing, and the finish was much quicker than anticipated.

I love Kathy's handquilted circles, but chose to do the petal/flower continuous machine quilting which I wrote about here.  Although this is a much bigger quilt the principle is the same and I was able to quilt for a long time before having to stop - more often because the bobbin ran out than for any other reason.  This continuous line quilting limits the number of ends needing to be tied in, always a plus in my opinion.

The backing is (I think) Temple Flowers by Amy Butler and the binding which I absolutely LOVE, is a tiny stripe with a wiggle in it from Jo Morton, would you believe.  Despite Jo's fabrics mostly being in the reproduction style, this one works perfectly with the big modern florals - a lesson to me to keep on thinking laterally, and not to put fabrics into boxes by 'type', literally as well as metaphorically.

I also managed to progress my Quartet BOM and made this little stack of taupe beauties by the foundation piecing method.  Just finished trimming them today.  I have now done seven of the 9 blocks and am eagerly awaiting the remaining packs and sashing fabric from Pinwheels.


This is my WIP for today, linking to Lee at Freshly Pieced: WIP Wednesday.

As my garden is always a WIP, here's a quick blast of colour to end with.