Saturday, 31 October 2015

Browned off! RSC 15 October

I'm not really browned off, but brown is finished!

For October in the 2015 edition of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Angela at Soscrappy chose brown.

3" 9-patch blocks - leaders and enders
This was all the brown fabric I had; definitely not enough to make a 12" sawtooth star block. Instead of brown I used lavender and purple for the October sampler blocks (I showed them before)

During this past week I remade my January blocks:

in aqua.
I started putting the row together before I thought to photograph them; here they are with the adjacent alternate blocks
They are the last two blocks on the ends of the third row, next to the light blue.

Then I had some more 3" 9-patch blocks, made as leaders and enders with the smallest remaining pieces of aqua.

That was all the sewing I had time for this week: I've been busy at work, and it's been like a mad-house here at home too!

I shall be linking up with socrappy for the
RSC 15
 Click on the badge for real chocolate and espresso blocks there.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Brown October for RSC 15, and other colours

For this month's colour on the rainbow Scrap Challenge at Soscrappy Angela chose brown. I have practically no brown, and certainly not enough for a sampler block, or two. So ...

these are all my brown blocks to date!
Two 9-patches, 3"square
and here is the top row of my sampler quilt

Instead of brown I used lavender. One of the lavender blocks (the one on the left) I had already made in the "purple month", but after a bit of reworking the alternate block I'm calling it lavender and made this month's blocks in purple and lavender:

Kick in purple and Doris's star in lavender, both set in a sawtooth star.
I think I should have edited the colour balance on these photos, because the purple here is far too blue; the background blue is over-riding the red-purple.

Last week I received a package from Quiltmaker:

Quilty treats.

won in the Back to School quilt draw, and an email from Angela saying that an orange bundle was winging its way to me! And it's not even my birthday! Thank you Angela.

I've made no progress on the "Modern Maples".

Modern maples; pattern by Amanda Woodward-Jennings
After a journey to my LQS this week especially to buy Bella off-white for the backing, I returned with only some Aurifil 12 wt cotton and a book. They had run out of Bella off-white! I didn't have quite enough at home, and not enough light fabric for a patched backing that wouldn't show through onto the front. I think winter will be upon us before my autumn quilt is finished!

I'm using the 12 wt cotton  to hand-quilt my "Drawn Together" mini quilt:

Drawn Together; pattern Sarah Fielke
I must have been feeling rich this week, because I bought two new books: "A Quilter's Mixology" by Angela Pingel and "The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt". I can't think of  two more dissimilar books. The first after I saw Ruth Bourke's beautiful sewing machine cover and I've already fallen for the "Mod Garden Lap Quilt" as well as the "Ornamental Quilt" (Ruth's inspiration), although goodness knows when I'll be able to start making it!

The second book was the one I brought home from the LQS because I've signed up for their Farmer's Wife Club, and I will be following the online groups as well. I'm thinking of making the blocks completely in solids. Is anyone out there making these blocks? What sort of fabrics are you using?

I shall be linking up with 
RSC 15

so pop in over there and see those sampler blocks, and other things, in brown.

Happy Sewing


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

2015 Finish Along: Q4 proposed finishes

  2015 Finish-Along

My projected finishes for the last quarter of 2015 are:

1.     Modern Maple throw 

is pieced and assembled and waiting for quilting.

2.     Mini Quilt

pattern: "Drawn Together" by Sarah Fielke

The top is finished and waiting for quilting. This will be hand quilted with Yli thread, and Aurifil 12 thread to accentuate the stars.  

3.     Sew Together bag

Sew Together Bag
pattern by So Dememted; photo: Craftsy;
This has been on my list before, and the only thing preventing me from starting is that I need to buy fusible interfacing that is firmer than the type I have now. I need to make a trip to the city (which isn't far - that's no excuse!) and REMEMBER to buy it. Having written this the battle is half over!

4.     Mola cat 



Started in a workshop in September, I need to finish the sewing and devise some use for it. It rather depends on the latter whether  or not this gets finished.

5.     Origami flower

I started this in a workshop in August, and the same goes for the origami flower as for the Mola cat. Really it's finished except for finding a use for it, or a way to display it.

6.     Poinsettia table topper - Drunkard's path 

Drunkard's path QAL at SpringLeaf Studios
I have two of these 16" blocks made and another two to make, assemble and quilt.
Deadline: Christmas!

This all looks achievable within three months doesn't it?

I'm linking up with Adrianne On the Windy Side so click on the link to see what other projects should be finished before 1 January 2016.

Happy Sewing


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

UFO Emma

I started this three years ago, before I started blogging, when it was a BOM in the Dutch quilting magazine "Quilt & Zo". I posted about it several times at the beginning of  2014, but never showed a photo of the whole thing, as far as I'd got.

Well, to remedy that here it is after two years of solitary confinement in a cupboard.

Emma (the Queen Regent of The Netherlands one hundred years ago), crumpled straight out of the box.

It should be square. It looks square enough. But it isn't as I discovered when I sewed on the next border!

These four pieces (the star border)  have been on and off twice, and I don't know what's happened to the sashing pieces. They are probably still rolled in the box.
In desperation I tried to trim the completed section to square it up: BIG MISTAKE! They still don't fit, and what's more, they are no longer the same width.

The previous border (lozenges and triangles) didn't fit properly either, and had to be forced to meet in the corners:

the diagonal corner seam does not hit the outer corner!
So why after all that hard work English paper piecing and appliquéing is this a UFO in the first place?
  • I didn't pay attention to the quarter inch seam
  • Something was wrong with the tension or the needle or the thread (but I still use that thread) because at the end of every long seam the top fabric stuck out beyond the bottom by a good three quarters of an inch. So what did I do? CUT IT OFF! I was too inexperienced to recognise and fix the real problem.
This was all so discouraging that I had to put it aside and move on. Either that or remain stuck with this problem and never touch patchwork again.

Now, as Val asked about UFOs, I dug it out and had another look. I still don't have an answer, but maybe one of you does!

Please Val and linky party guests, give me some ideas.

I'm linking up to 
Val's Quilting Studio
Click on the button to see more UFOs, 
and give some encouraging suggestions for making UFOs into WIPs!

Happy sewing


Saturday, 3 October 2015

RSC 15: week 40: Farewell to Orange

Each month Angela at Soscrappy posts a colour and block patterns for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler. September's colour was orange.

Whirling Blades - the last orange block
I made this block to go with the other two orange sawtooth star blocks, and also the two alternate blocks which go between them. I haven't yet done the outer alternate blocks in the row. I didn't take any photos of the other blocks, I'm afraid.

We are experiencing an Indian Summer here, and took advantage of the warmth and sunshine to visit Zeeland (the Old one, not the New!) with two of our grandchildren. The purpose of the visit was to see the Storm Barrage at the mouth of the Eastern part of the River Scheldt.

Oosterschelde stormkering - East Scheldt Barrage Dam photo taken from the sightseeing boat
The construction was finished in the 1980s, but before the work proper could start an artificial island called Neeltje Jans had to be constructed in the middle of the channel to serve as a works site. Here the concrete piles were built and then towed out into the channel and fixed in the seabed - all 66 of them. Last time I was on the island, in the 1980s, it was a construction site, with a small visitors' centre, a necessary PR stunt as the project was slurping tax-payer's money!

Now the island is no longer an island as it is connected by the barrage dam to two of the real islands in the Delta. It has been turned into a water theme park with a variety of attractions for young and old:

art work from washed up rubbish - mostly plastic; here a giant jelly fish suspended from the ceiling

performing sea animals: here sea lions
which are so quick they're difficult to photograph!

and a water discovery area with different water management systems made simple

brother and sister "managing" water!

No rides as in most theme parks, but this wonderful hands-on learning experience, so children can learn about the various systems used to keep our country dry. As most of us live 2 to 3 metres (about 9 feet) under sea level, managing water concerns everyone.

The most spectacular aspect of The Delta Experience is a semicircular video screen with a reconstruction of the disaster of February 1953 when the dykes in Zeeland proved inadequate to hold back the North Sea during a north-westerly storm. The 10 minute film focuses on a farmer and his wife who are filling sandbags to raise the dyke next to their house while their daughter is in bed. They survived, but hundreds didn't. This disaster led to the resolve of the authorities to raise the dykes and construct new dams and sluices to prevent another such disaster. This barrage dam in the East Scheldt was the last link in the Delta Works - the major project to be able to close the Delta from the sea during a severe storm.

Not so much sewing in this post, but I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our modern Dutch heritage. We're not only windmills and clogs, you know!

I'm linking up to 
RSC 15
Click on the badge to see other orange goodness.

Happy Sewing


Friday, 2 October 2015

Modern Maples throw - top finished

Last weekend I finished the top of my Modern Maples throw. The pattern is by Amanda Woodward-Jennings, and was the first pattern I downloaded when I discovered the Internet was full of quilty stuff! I posted about it earlier here and here.

The next step is to quilt it on my Bernina 440 QE. I have decided to quilt maple leaves in the centres of the white space squares and was wondering how to do this when I read this post from Debby Kratovil.

I drew the shape of the maple leaf block roughly on freezer paper, ironed it onto the first block - bottom right in the photo above - and started to sew around it with a 3mm length stitch and the appliqué foot. Debby was using a long arm machine in the tutorial with a free-motion foot, but I was nervous of ironing the paper onto a quilt that had already been sandwiched; wouldn't the wadding loose its puff?

using the appliqué foot for better sight on the sewing line.
I'm not sewing the paper, just roughly around it, to make a perimeter line of the leaf for when I start free motion quilting the shape of the leaf. A washable pen would function as well, except their lines tend to disappear before you're ready, and sometimes not to wash out completely. These large stitches will come out easily, I hope, once the quilting has been done. This started off fine, but by the time I was half way round it looked like this:

the paper had come loose, and I had to pin it before  I could finish the shape:

the maple leaf outline, a little puckered  but no worries it's soon to be quilted
Debby's method is great if you are making a fairly small project which manoeuvres easily through the sewing machine and are doing FMQ. My adaptation didn't work!
My lesson learnt: next time I should sew the outline onto the 12.5" square before I add it to the top.

My solution to the problem was to cut a pattern from dressmakers' tracing paper, of which I have masses, and which, unlike freezer paper, is readily available here (and cheap!), and to pin that to the squares and sew round them. The freezer paper template I'm keeping for now, to use for another project I have in mind.

I'm linking up to
so hop over there to see what else has been achieved this week.
Happy sewing