Monday, 11 December 2017

Marly: On Ringo Lake part 3

Part 3 of Bonnie Hunter's 2017 Mystery was posted on Friday and I spent most of Friday evening trying to work out how to cut the diamonds without loosing triangles. Unsuccessfully! On Saturday I worked out how to cut with the Easy Angle Ruler; the diamonds are good but I couldn't avoid making a large number of (waste) cut of triangles. I haven't thrown them out though; I already have plans for them, small as they are.

Work in progress

already completed: 50 rectangles
I'm only making half the number of blocks at the moment, so I should manage to complete part 3 by the end of this week.

Later this afternoon I'll be linking up to 
Quiltville's Quips & Snips
so hop over there to see more part 3 progress.

Happy sewing


Monday, 4 December 2017

On Ringo Lake part 2

This Year's Quiltville mystery is "On Ringo Lake" ; click on the link to read all about this project.

On Friday Bonnie Hunter posted the second clue setting off a cutting and sewing frenzy round the world. My weekend was quite busy so once again Monday is here and I haven't nearly enough pieces, even for the half size I'm aiming for.
a fraction of the number of geese I need

These look like orange geese in the photo; in fact they are an orangey-pink. I tried adjusting the brightness, but none too successfully! I'm afraid the colour distortion caused by a warm glow light bulb is irrepairable. I couldn't take photos outside yesterday; it was too wet.
Now back to the sewing machine to conjure up more geese!

I'm linking to the Quiltville linky party.
If you'd like to look in on the gaggle of geese just click on this photo:

 Quiltville's Quips & Snips

Happy sewing


Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Floating Squares is a top ...

or maybe a backing.

Floating Squares: score 1 in The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood

Don't get me wrong; I love how this has turned out, so why it's a backing will depend on how you look at it! (literally). I'd rather think that this will become a double-sided quilt. I was ready to start quilting in the middle of last week, except I couldn't find suitable backing fabric in my small selection of yardage. It is all too regular, too traditional, and didn't seem to be a worthy partner for this as a top. I hope you understand what I mean.

I could buy a solid fabric, and that's sold locally. I have decided, however, to continue with the scores in Sherri Lynn Wood's book and use the next one or maybe two combined as the other side of this quilt. Who is to decide which side is the top and which the backing?

Anyway, now something about the process and what I learned.
  • Firstly, setting the limits in each "block" was not difficult, and nor was cutting freehand or inserting filler fabric. I rather enjoyed not having to worry about matching points, and, in fact, after a few seams neatly pressed to the dark fabric I scrapped that and pressed everything open. After all there's no knowing what is going to be joined on next!
  • Secondly, instead of following the score which was simple, I decided, after making about a quarter of the quilt, that I wanted the colours to flow across the block edges, so there are no defined blocks. This was a decision made on route, as it were; not part of the original plan, but a spontaneous decision made during the process. Unfortunately, from that moment I lost the playfulness, I started thinking too much! 😔 and worrying, and that held me back. This project was spontaneity over months! and that's impossible, right?
  • Thirdly, it's never too late to change! Having been searching for the way forward on this project for months, I thought "What the heck!", cut a few squares and went on. The last quarter of this was done in two days, including joining all the separate "blocks" and getting it more or less rectangular. Those two days I really enjoyed!
  • Lastly, and this flows out of the previous observation, there seems to be a sort of improv fatigue, a variation of writer's block: a point where ideas dry up and where transferring to another creative project posing other problems, asking for other decisions can enable you to return later with rested eyes. From this experience I think it's unwise to fight improv fatigue, or writer's block for that matter; it's just "check", not "checkmate".
To conclude: I enjoyed the experience, didn't really suffer from redefining my limits partway through, and am totally satisfied with the result.
That's the end of my lecture!

Some quilt statistics:-
  • 59" x 42"
  • all Bella solids
  • all pieces cut freehand with a rotary cutter - although is it really freehand when the cutting mat has squares printed on it?! Hmm! 
  • Machine pieced. 
  • I'll be hand-quilting it with 12 wt. thread in an all-over pattern, probably Baptist fans. But I'll quite likely change my mind when I have the other side!
I'm linking up to 
Grab button for AHIQ
Click on the button to see more amazing improvisation.

Happy sewing


Monday, 27 November 2017

On Ringo Lake: Quiltville mystery part 1

I fell for it! Once again I've succumbed to the temptation to take part in Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt along! Looking through my scraps over the last month made me realise there were nowhere near enough browns so I took advantage of the quit show in Nieuwegein, near Utrecht to add to my stash, and not only browns!

The first clue came Friday lunchtime so cutting time began on Friday afternoon and the first brown, teal and neutral 9-patches rolled from the machine on Friday evening.

Not many 9-patches, but I do have a few strips joined

and more strips waiting in the wings.

I should be getting all 50 finished by the end of this week, in time for clue number 2.

Click on the link to see more of Ringo's 9-patches!

Happy Sewing


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Some Improv, some foundation piecing, and some mindless sewing.

To start with the improv piece I'm making following the first score in Sherri Lynn Wood's "The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters". Although I've been working on this for what seems like ages I haven't posted a photo since July; other projects got in the way, the fabric in a particular colour ran out, or my inspiration dried up! This week I added the section on the right, most of the part with navy in it and I'll be going further when I've finished this post.

Improv lap quilt following score 1 from The Improv Quilters' Handbook
Improv should be spontaneous; it should grow as you work and just develop within the limitations the quilter has set. I don't think months of deliberation are part of the picture.

Foundation piecing, on the other hand is strictly organised. To start with there's a pattern so designed to ensure perfect points - forget that in my case. At least with this pattern from Make Modern magazine  I didn't make my usual errors of cutting the fabric back to front. That's something I always do at least once, which would be fine if I wanted to use the back of the fabric!
4" Rainbow pincushion top: pattern by Angie Wilson for Make Modern issue 18
There are some missed points, all in the final joining stage; the sections themselves are fine. Does anyone have any tips for keeping the presser foot on track when sewing through so many layers of fabric and paper?! It was like a doing a skid course! In spite of the points I'm satisfied with the result, and it was a good learning experience.

After all that concentration I was ready for some mindless catch-up sewing in aqua which was February's colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Each month from January to November Angela gives a colour to work with. This month's colour is brown/black, so I'm taking the opportunity to catch up on my projects.

I still have to do green, yellow and orange. If I don't manage to sew them this year there's always next year!

I am linking up later today to 
grab button for SoScrappy
Click on the button to view other catch-up and finishing projects.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Modern Pink

Each month Angela at Soscrappy gives a colour and a lot of quilters focus on using their scraps in that colour: the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. October's colour is pink.
I've made two pink blocks this week for the "make a block a week challenge" for the Dutch Modern Quilt Guild.

The block patterns have all been submitted by guild members. Some are traditional but most, I believe, have been specially designed.

These are both foundation paper pieced, and far from using up scraps, generated them! I'm useless when it comes to foundation piecing! Enter Mr Murphy and his famous law: it can go wrong, and it does!! So for all the fabric you see in the photos there's an equal amount reclining in my lovely new pink basket!

I made some progress on my improv floating squares quilt this week too, until I ran out of navy solid. Not only did I run out, but the LQS had also run out! That's life! Fortunately they agreed to give me a call when it comes in, so I'll be spared another trip for nothing. No recent photo yet of the floating squares quilt which is approaching lap size.

I'm interested to see which colour is coming up for November. I've got way behind with my sewing this year, and I really need to catch up with the missed colours, so maybe I'll be concentrating on them.

I'm linking up to the RSC link-up where there are already a lot of pink beauties to admire.
Click on the button to join the party.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Starry pink

October's colour in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is pink.

Cutting 2" squares to make this generated some more scraps for making the basket. As I still need to make a blue version of this block I also cut blue squares and started joining them in pairs as leaders and enders while I was assembling this one. I'm learning!

This week I also decided to cut a 2" strip and a 2.5" strip from every FQ I buy, as these are the strip sizes I use most. I'm not sure that this is a wise step; I don't want to find myself running out of fabric partway through a project! Only time will tell!

And here, finished this afternoon, is my pink basket:

I love seeing all the baskets lined up, and they are SO useful! How did I ever manage without a scrap saving system?! Finally I think I'm getting organised!

I'm linking to
 grab button for SoScrappy
Click on the button to see more pink delights. 

Happy sewing