Sunday, 28 April 2013

Advice needed and stocktake results

First, advice:  does anyone know if you can stop those nasty blogs piggybacking  to redirect to them?  It has been happening for a while (from Russia) but today I have had 25 hits!

I have had a look at 'settings' but I can't see how it can be stopped (:¬/

Anyways: a bit of a tidy  up over the last couple of days.......

I made enough blue nine patches for the potential baby quilt and a 6 x 7' bed topper, all pressed and waiting now, about 270 altogether. I couldn't believe how quick these were.  It helped that they were already cut and paired, of course.


I had some leftover pairs of blues which I was going to sew up into four patches, but I left them as they can be used for a border as they are.


All 244 'big green one' blocks are pressed.


 To get a good mix in the four patches I overdid it a little (surprised?!):  I spent about three hours whilst watching a film yesterday spinning the seams and packing them away-I estimate there are 500-600 spares-a flying start on a new project later, yay!  These finish at 3".


There are also some paired triangles that I'm thinking will be used for my churn dash that is in the WIP in my head list (yes, I have one of those too!); these finish at 3".


There are lots of leftovers that are unmatched/paired as well.


I had a rummage through the pinks too, in case it's a pink quilt event, not a blue one and put some sets together from 2" pre-cut squares.  I cut a few 2 x 5" strips and had a play........

These finish at 7 1/2".  I must stop NOW as I don't want another UFO.  These will make a much needed cushion cover or join the 'orphans' if not used for a cot quilt.

More work needed on the border accuracy on these.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

WIP update

I tuned out and sewed and sewed blue on blue yesterday evening.   Then I thought to count what I already had before that-126 blocks-more than enough to make the baby quilt already!  I have a sneaky feeling that I will be well on the way to a bed topper by the time the 2" squares are sewn up!  I will  put on a film and press them later.

I have 224 patches for 'the big green one' to press ready for top assembly too.

One of these days I will follow a pattern and cut enough to make one quilt at a time.

I have the bug now.  And a lot of pinky orange squares already cut......I could use these as churn dash centres maybe....or a top for a Christmas gift......

Friday, 26 April 2013

I feel another WIP coming on.......

This is Bonnie's current quiltcam project, a baby quilt.

Whilst I was tidying up I found this old leaders and enders project that took over as 'a not too much concentration' sewing afternoon about a year ago and hasn't seen the light of day since as I had no object in mind.

You know where this is going don't you!

I have two baby quilts to make..........I don't know the sex of the babies yet, but by sashing the blue blocks with a bright pink I think they will do for either.

I'm going to sew up the blocks this weekend and wait for a coupe of weeks to find out about the babies and then choose the sashing.

I have hundreds more 2" blocks cut, so I can make a pink one if I find the parents would prefer that without too much trouble. 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Weekend roundup

I sewed up 224 blocks for 'the big green one'
It will be a while before I piece this top though. 

I made about 50 bow ties too.

I undid machine quilting on this three times!

Stock take for Darwin's Flower garden:
I have all these rosette sets spare!

Looks like I did  it again......

Friday, 19 April 2013

Flimsy construction complete with dubious photos!

I have been asked how I put together the crumbs flimsy.

First make some quilts and have lots of leftovers!  Don't throw any of it away.  You often have ends left from cutting squares/triangles from strips, these were the basis of this quilt.  Also those blocks that end up irredeemably wonky can be sliced up and put in. I have a few of those!  And some of those 'uglies' that leave you awestruck at your mindset when you bought them.  Slice them up.

Here you can see leftovers from 4", 2",
2 1/2" strips and brown angled ends from cutting hexies.  I cut my selvedges off at about 1 1/2" and they go in too.
And wonky triangles, old shirts, anything you can scrounge.
 I sewed similar size bits into pairs, then joined the pairs, then the sets of 4 etc, until I got strips around 13" long.  This is the maximum manageable length I think as it becomes uneven the longer the strips are. 

I had a mannic couple of weeks a year or so ago at this, but in future I will do them in smaller batches as I go.  I won't need to worry that similar colours are together as the strips wont get joined for a long time, until I have enough for a whole quilt.

Then steam your strips from the back with the seams all going in one direction, pulling out the  strip gently so you open up the seams; iron again from the front, then trim to size along the longest edge.

Put the strips together until they measure about 13" square.    Press from the back,  easing out the seams, then the front, and trim to 12 1/2".  I chose this size for ease as it fitted my square ruler.

Then join your squares.   This will need some close quilting I think, as there are thousands of seams that can unravel if given too much room for maneuver!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Crumbs, its a flimsy!

This was supposed to be a 4' x 5' beach rug. I trimmed all the strips the other day that had been pieced for a couple of years, put them into 12'' squares and trimmed again and kept piecing. I will make this into a quilt, not a beach blanket, its 6' x 7'!  I had no idea that there were so many crumbs.  Just think, I could have thrown all this away! It will be a great one to practice my free motion quilting on as it won't be visible. 

I have just enough left for a mug hug rug!

I have got a little further with the 'real' beach blanket and papered some more hexies for 'Darwin's flower garden'.  These sets are almost done now.

Monday, 15 April 2013


Fabric used in completed quilts this year:  about 1.8m
Fabric purchased total: 12.5m

This sale items parcel included:
4m of yellow (I bought some before and it's good quality)
2 m of neutral
1m to bulk out my small purple stash
4m black and whites for the designs later in the year.

Progress in the last two days: 
A films worth of hexies  papered up for the 'random' box-see the sharks?

And several documentaries worth of sets for 'Darwins flower garden'
 And a deceased Kindle

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Black and white

I sat with the pad on my lap whilst I watched a film the other day and doodled for the 'Evolution' series.  I will create families of blocks with the same number of pieces assembled in different ways. This needs much more thought and doodling yet. It will probably be in black and white. Not sure if it's a wall hanging or bed size, depends on how many viable ideas I come up with. My ideas always reflect my situation-I will try listening to Mozart next time as I was watching  a rather dull film when I did these!

Sensory post

 We have a house guest, Bob, the Roborovski hamster. He is not tame and is very bold-my elderly cat is mildly interested, but she has seen it all before at 17.  Bob lives with a dog, so a mere moggy doesn't bother him at all.  He is a funny bug-eyed thing with big feet for his size.  He is the size of a large egg.  His wheel is noisy and he doesn't smell!

The roses that Linda gave me make me smile
She is a trained florist and her choices are always beautiful to look at.
Thank you Linda! xx

I am reading:
Xeelee by Stephen Baxter, the last book of four in this omnibus

I am looking forward to three days away in London at the end of the month, the first time I will have stayed there-I usually go for the day. And planning my itinerary (V&A museum is on the list).  I am staying in Kew and Docklands.

Yesterday I put together

some of these tactile strips


 some of these

and took it apart again!
  It just didn't look right.  So, there will be two beach blankets of different designs.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Oh crumbs!

I would love a pineapple quilt, but I know all that paper piecing isn't for me.

 I have lots of crumbs cut down for the 1/2" crazy diamonds English paper pieced quilt already.

So, what to do with the latest bunch?  I can't face trimming them and I'm tired of looking at them.  I cut some strips of mixed fibre neutrals and had a play, using up some polyester thread that has been hanging about for years.  No shape trimming, just applied to each side of the strips as it comes out of the box.   A bit of mindless sewing that requires no accuracy that can be picked up and dropped is just what the doctor ordered.

The idea is that the strips are joined (and maybe sub-cut, not sure yet), the whole thing is randomly quilted quite heavily and as it's washed, it becomes frayed and tactile.   I was going to do a small test piece, but nothing too drastic will be lost by going for it.  If nothing else it can be the car quilt, for chilly rides and summer picnics and the beach.   I will try to finish up the box of scraps that is here and if more is needed I will keep a strip by the machine to add to as crumbs appear.

 I just remembered these- half a box of paired crumbs

that I used to make these

 and these!

Now I know what I can use them for, this will add variety and intensity!

So, its win/win with regard to using it up

  • crumbs 
  • applied to random mixed fibre strips that wouldn't normally go into a quilt
  • with polyester thread that is  over 20 years old but still strong, which I wouldn't use on cotton fabric (my mum was a seamstress, so it's from her working days)
  • previously paired orphan crumbs, strips, blocks
  • the wadding will use up pieces
  • the backing will be some ugly dark mixed fibre curtains that I was given, perfect for an outdoor blanket!
Happy days, using it up  instead of throwing it out. 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Old Red Sandstone thread.

This is my spiritual home, Marloes, Pembrokeshrie
This is some of the fantastic geology in the area.  The fold is about 55 feet high.
This is Old Red Sandstone. The textures and colours are numberless.  The cottages built from the stone are chocolate box beautiful.  

I have been collecting red/rust/rock texture fabric for ages now, because the rocks in this area are so inspirational. These fabrics will be the background for my 'Evolution' wall hanging, still in the design stage but always at the forefront of my thinking (I have done lots of thinking in the last couple of weeks!) 

I did some playing a while ago with evolving prairie points.
 The reason for this post?  I found 5000 metre reels of rayon embroidery thread in the most perfect range of colours for this quilt on sale at Lords Sewing .

If you are a European machine embroiderer, check the site. 

This range is gorgeous!