I’ve been doing bits and pieces all over the place lately. Between longarm quilting quilts for clients and sewing blocks for challenges and quilt-alongs, my time has been well used.
The blocks for this month’s do.Good stitches charity quilting bee was a fairly quick and easy one:
do.Good Stitches- Cherish group
The sewer who will put all these blocks together is planning on adding some cut-out silhouette-type figure of a runner on top. Should look very effective.
And then there are the blocks I’m doing for the Splendid Sampler Quiltalong. I’ve slowed down a fair bit on completing these blocks, but still trying to keep in touch and rolling them out slowly.
Block 46- Twirl Time
You’ll notice that with any of the blocks that require applique, I have chosen to use raw-edge machine applique, like in this next one. Of course, you can use any method you like.
Block 47- Circle of Love
I changed the next block a little by sewing some extra pieces of fabric into the pieces and also adding a little sashiko stitching to it.
I was reading an article the other day where a craft person was being interviewed, and one of the questions was about collections, and whether that person had ever collected anything. It got me thinking about what a collection is- how many similar items can be classed as a collection? I’m thinking more than 3- do you agree? I’m sure in that case, we would all have a collection of fabric, a collection of quilting books, a collection of scissors or collection of thimbles perhaps?
Besides those obvious ones though, I do have a few other collections. I have this little collection of teapots (which I know is not nearly as many as another local quilter I know ;)…
And then, there is my growing collection of giraffes:
I am still working on the blocks for the Splendid sampler so I’ve got quite a collection of them:
Block 39 Splendid Sampler
Some of them I add my own extra touches, such as the sashiko stitching on the hexagons, but I’m still sticking to the Japanese fabrics, taupes and indigo and cream.
I’ve been playing with scraps lately. Cutting up lots of pieces and sewing them back together, as we do. I started making these pieces of improvisation a couple of months ago, just constructing blocks of no particular size or shape and no design in mind.
When I got them back out again this weekend I put up on a board the bits I had already made, to get some ideas on how I want them to all be joined up together.
A very favourite theme of mine is cityscapes, so it’s not surprising that I finally decided on building a quilt around that idea- a view of a city in a sort-of deconstructed way. I have some lop-sided flying geese blocks, triangles and log cabin blocks which when put together resemble houses and buildings. I like that idea, and I’m on my way!
I am using lots of white with pops of colour, some greens and blues, a little purple and brown spots. I want it to be a ‘modern’ style quilt, so the aim is to have lots of negative space.
I’ve also made this month’s blocks for the Cherish do.Good.Stitches charity quilt that I contribute to: these are the Delectable Mountain block, or sometimes known by a few different names like Mountain Majesties, in black, grey and white:
What better way to spend a weekend- sewing and quilting to our heart’s content! This weekend was the annual sewing getaway for the Gatton Quilters group. We go up to Coolum on the lovely Sunshine Coast where we have a large room for everyone to spread out and do their own thing for the whole long weekend. We have our meals cooked for us, there’s no cleaning up or housework or interruptions. Yay!
My sister and I went up together and we had a lovely trip visiting a couple of quilt shops on the way and a great lunch at the organic marketplace at Forest Glen.
I took a few different projects to work on. I caught up on quite a few Splendid Sampler blocks,
and started piecing lots of bright squares together for a children’s charity quilt that I’m making with the group.
There’s plenty of room to spread out…
and big tables to lay out quilts when putting them together or preparing to quilt…
We get to see each other’s projects that in progress…
and some that get finished…
Colleen- started in a curved-piecing workshop
and this one also by Colleen- such great colours together..
Here I am working intently on a block…
and Amanda making great progress on her fresh colourful quilt for someone special….
There’s lots of consulting and advice given…
and we get to check out other’s sewing accessories and books and magazines..
and of course the group photo- I’m second from the left in the back row, and Amanda is in the front row, second from the left.
But, all good things come to an end, so back to work we go. Hope you all have a great week ahead!
Only a few things to show this week. I’m working on a few different projects all over the place – a couple of them are challenges so I want to get them finished before showing their final photos!
I’ve been continuing with the blocks for the Splendid Sampler. There are two blocks released each week for this quilt-along and it’s easy to get behind! I try to do one or two each week so I’m almost keeping in sight of the front runners.
This block is Block #28 called ‘Stitching Fashion’, a foundation-pieced block, designed by Charise Randell.. I didn’t include a little sewing reel and needle which was on the original pattern.
Block 28 Splendid Sampler
Quite a few of the blocks have a sewing theme to them which I think tends to make them too ‘folk art’ for what I would like my quilt to look like, so I have been changing some blocks just slightly to suit my own purposes. That’s the good thing about blocks like these- it is our own quilt so we can use and adapt as we see fit. I’m using taupes and creams and Japanese-type fabrics as well, which makes them a lot different to those using bright colours or making them scrappy-style, which is what I would normally do!
This next block is called Scrappy Happy Heart, designed by Christa Watson, and also foundation pieced:
Block 29 Splendid Sampler
We’ve had some lovely cold days to sew by- hope you are getting lots done- here is my sewing inspector who keeps me company:
I’m still continuing on with some blocks each month for the do.Good stitches Charity. This month’s blocks were string-pieced blocks in bright colours- any would do! The strips could be any width and were each sewn on to each other successively one-by-one. This is the first block:
and the second:
The person who is the designated quilter for this project will be cutting large leaf-shapes out of these foundation blocks to put together for the quilt.
I’ve also got a few more blocks finished for the Splendid Sampler quilt. I’m continuing on with using Japanese taupes and creams for most of these blocks.
This first one below is Block #20. I changed it from the original, and instead of embroidering a sewing-themed picture, I added some Japanese characters, which I’m hoping mean ‘peace’!
This next block is called Hand-in-Hand, designed by Kari Carr. I really like this block so I’m sorry the photo is a little out of focus. The points of the star are formed by folding the fabric so they have a slight 3D-effect.
This is Block 24, called Inspector Sidekick, designed by Michele Foster
Block 26 is called Dreaming of Dresdens, and is designed by an Australian quilter Jane Davidson
I’m not always doing all the blocks in order that they are released, and plus I’m a little behind now, but that’s okay – I’ll get them done sometime! Hope you have a good quilting week!
I went to a quilting workshop recently. We all had to take our sewing machines, our irons and ironing boards, a cutting board…
a random pick of fabrics, including old blocks left from previous projects and sewing tools, but no rulers.
The day was spent playing with fabric, making free-form cuts in fabric and adding them to any other bits of fabric that your hand might fall on.
I decided to use a lighter colour scheme than I usually work with- some creams, whites, browns and muted colours. These blocks I’m showing here haven’t been trimmed yet.
I also took some old blocks left from a previous project and split them up, then added some slivers of hand-dyed colour.
Our tutor, Peggy Phelps, started us off with some ideas of blocks to start with using lots of techniques such as strip-piecing, wonky flying geese, chequerboard units and uneven log cabin blocks.
A few workshop participants took a little time to get used to ‘not being neat’ but soon got into the swing of it!
And Peggy showed us some of her quilts where she has used lots of lovely bright colour!
I find that any workshop you can do is worth spending the time to do it- there’s always something you pick up along the way- whether it be a new technique or even some inspiration to try something different of your own.
I’ve been keeping some of my projects ticking along, in between quilting a few quilts on my long-arm machine. I have always usually liked working on a few projects at the same time, because of the variety. You can switch between them when you might be getting bored with one, or if you have come to a part where you may be stuck and not sure how to progress. Sometimes I like to switch between machine-piecing and hand-work, or applique and quilting.
But sometimes I feel like I may have too many pieces on the go, like now! When that happens, I know I have to stop and evaluate what I am doing and look at what I want to get finished, and what I need to have finished for whatever reason.
One of the things I am doing is the monthly blocks for the do.Good Stitches Charity quilts. I got the block finished this week for the May challenge – a single-wedding ring block which had to be made in bright pinks and low-volume backgrounds:
My other big project I have still motoring along is the Bright Lights Big City quilt. I blogged about it in January back here, where I talked about making the pieced arcs, all 72 of them! I’ve now finished all the arcs, and am putting them together with the little melon pieces in the middle. As is my favourite way of making quilts, I am making it scrappy-style, so using lots of different fabrics and crossing-fingers that it will all come together in the end!
Here are some of the blocks:
I’ve decided to try for various greens in the melon pieces and for the end square pieces I’m using – well, trying to use- prints with small-scale patterns so they don’t clash with the arcs, where I used anything and everything.
Once I have all these blocks together, they will then be pieced with the large centre bits to make the ‘double-wedding-rings’.
The Splendid Sampler quilt blocks are rolling along merrily. I first mentioned them here
If you’ve been interested to go and have a look at the Splendid Sampler site, you’ll see that two blocks are released weekly. Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson are the coordinators of the project with lots of quilt designers contributing the block patterns.
Block 15 was paper foundation-pieced. Even though I have done a fair bit of foundation piecing I found myself unpicking parts of this a few times over- not paying attention to my colour placements!
I am staying with my theme of using Japanese fabrics and linens, aiming for a more muted-look than I normally sew with. It makes me have to think a little more about the fabrics I choose so that I’m still able to maintain contrast within the block, even if it is using creams, light blues and pinks, greys and greens.
This next one, Block 19, is called ‘Measure Twice, Cut Once’.
In the original pattern some printed tape-measure braid is used so that the block looks like the tape goes across the block, doubles back on itself at the end and across to the other side. Using that type of trimmimg wouldn’t suit the theme I’m working with so I decided to use some lovely braid I bought from the famous M&J Trimmings in New York last year (ok, I’m name dropping but I still look back on that trip with fondness! and I’m glad I have bits and pieces like this to use to remind me of it). That shop had so much to choose from.
However, I’m not sure whether it’s working in this block, only because it’s a different concept to the original.
Block 21: Sweet Candy (I’ve skipped Block 20 for now.)
Block 22 Goose on the Loose- another foundation-pieced block
I’m working on a few different things lately, so today’s post is a ‘progress report’ on where I am up to.
First up are the blocks for the Splendid Sampler.
Block 13 Splendid Sampler
Block 14 Splendid Sampler
For this block, called ‘Flying High’, I decided to cut the bird shapes out of wool felt and appliqued them down by free-motion sewing. Luckily I had a few scraps of suitable colours to mix in with my theme of using Japanese-taupe as inspiration.
Next up, I have made the two blocks for April’s do.Good Stitches quilting bee. These had to be a house block using bright colours and a pale ‘sky’.
I also had a sewing day with some friends where we each had a few finished projects to show and tell. Mine was just a cute little pouch, made from a Studio Mio pattern.
I made it in some lovely fabric given to me by a friend, and lined it with a blue and white spot.
It even has birdies on it!
This next one was Barb’s little bag with handles; it has a French-style look about it, yes?
And this was Trudy’s shoulder bag in that great colour combination of blues and browns: