It has been a long week at work as I have been covering for the manager and there has been a lot to do, add to that, the absence of a couple of volunteers and I am exhausted. However there has still been time for a little sewing, on three projects no less; the RSC16, Fanfare and another star flower for grandmother’s flower garden. sometimes it is better to relax by ‘doing’ not just ‘sitting’
Looking a bit wonky on the inside of the fanfare block but now it’s time to stitch the centre and cover it up!
I wonder how busy everyone has been over at Kathy’s Quilts? Time to pop over and have a look
After all the terrible events that have been happening around the world in Paris, Beirut and Syria to name a few, I didn’t feel like posting anything about patchwork squares or crotchet as it seemed so trivial. So many lives lost and so many lives altered forever. But then I thought back to a few decades ago when the IRA had ceased bombing mainland Britain for a while so I booked and paid for a theatre trip for a large group of family and friends in London. Then the bombing started again. I thought nobody would want to go and phoned everyone. Not a single person refused to go.
The comments were along the lines of; ‘Hitler never stopped us by bombing ‘ (from someone who survived the Blitz), ‘When your times up, your times up wherever you are’, ‘Nobody is telling me what to do’ ‘Don’t let them win’ and so on. Nearly everyone had worked in London during other bombing campaigns so this was no different.
The moral really is ‘Keep calm and carry on’ (WWII poster). The objective of terrorism is to stop you living a normal life. The French Tricolour is flying at half-mast on our town hall to show solidarity with Paris and in honour of Nick Alexander a resident of Colchester who died in the Bataclan attack. Remember the dead and those affected by these terrible events.
But do not tar everyone with the same brush. Nobody attacked me as a catholic when the IRA killed innocent civilians and nobody should attack Muslims for this atrocity. That is what Daesh want, don’t play into their hands.
To carry on as normal then; swamp angel star completed
A few more alternative blocks and the top will be complete.
The applique fans are also nearly ready – just the inner circles to add once I have decided on the layout. For now I have been playing around with the composition, but might stick to the one in the ‘Quilting From Little Things’
The tumbler quilt top is nearly complete but still waiting for one more block for The Global Quilting Project. Four projects are nearing completion and my thoughts are already turning to the RSC16. What are you working on?
My first fan – not on the blog but for ‘Fanfare’ in Quilting From Little Things by Sarah Fielke. This is a weekend of firsts as I also completed the first row for the RSC15 challenge too.
Now I only have 15 more to go. They are 6″ unfinished and I will add a few plain squares for a different configuration to the one in the book. Sarah encourages you to experiment so I did.
The background is lighter than the photograph and I will use more than one shade of purple and perhaps mix them up so the inner circle – to cover the inner raw edges – is different to the main square. All of the ‘fans’ are different colours pulled from my scrap bag. I have been using my scraps a lot lately but they don’t seem to be going down much!
I am trying to finish off all the UFOs that are languishing in bags or boxes and this little dolly is one of them. Instead of making the dolly quilt ‘Peaks and Troughs’ I decided to make a section of the larger quilt that is paired with it – ‘Stars in Your Eyes’
The purpose of both quilts is to teach you how to do ‘L’ and ‘Y’ seams and I should have read the beginning of the chapter where it says ‘L’s are easier then ‘Y’s but I was entranced by the lovely stars on the full size quilt so bypassed the dolly to make a star – intending that it could become a cushion cover. The first lot of photos are over two years old which tells you something.
The first part was easy enough – strip piece five fabrics, fold in half and cut out triangles with the widest part of the triangle ruler on the fold line. When opened out you have diamond shapes to play around with, which I did
The next part involved making a diamond-shaped template for the inset piecing, cutting the fabric and then attaching using Y seams and that is where it started going wrong. I found it in a bag with only one piece set in, rather badly, and a second piece attached by one seam and the inner corner slightly chewed…..It was obvious why I had set it to one side for so long.
Still I had to finish it and it wasn’t so bad this time round. It definitely helped having a better machine and after one false start it was done. No great dramas; the key was ignoring the dots that marked a quarter inch seam and feeling where it was and then marking it. Also I left the needle down the whole time when repositioning the fabric contrary to Sarah’s instructions
Stars in Your Eyes
On reflection it was on the large side for a cushion cover once squared off so I bound it as it is. A certain furry someone certainly appreciates it!
Now, where are those little fans for ‘Fanfare’ hiding…..
I thought drawing the spiral on the fabric in pen could go horribly wrong – even if it does have 2 sides! An easier and less fraught way is to iron it into place and reposition as needed. After that I put it on the glass table top and tacked it on with very large stitches; simple.
The second difficulty I had was doing the needle turn applique partly because the fabric glue I bought was useless so I used a quilting pin to hold the leaves in place. This didn’t really work as it didn’t hold it flat enough to the fabric. The ends of the leaves, I found particularly fiddly and I did not want to use the freezer paper method. The precision of this method doesn’t go with the naïve style of this quilt.
In the end I tacked the edges under and once the end of the leaf was attached to the spiral there was no need to glue it in place, I just held it with my thumb which allowed for some manoeuvring if need be. In the end I made too many leaves but I squeezed them on anyway!
When it came to quilting, I had lots of embroidery thread but only a couple of spools of perle cotton. I am following Sarah on Facebook so I emailed her to ask if embroidery thread was ok. She kindly replied the same day and said that the stranded embroidery thread would split and to stick with perle. An order on EBay sorted that out.
I enjoyed the handwork for this project and remembered how much I used to like embroidery – I got grade A for ‘O’ level embroidery – don’t know anyone else who has it. Most people don’t know it exists!
This is a very enjoyable project for hand sewers just right for Slow Sunday Stitching, but not if you love your machine.
And the title? Originally this was on a page but I tidied up the page to change this to a link
I have neglected my ‘Little things’ challenge as I have been concentrating on the RSC15 rainbow quilt. I started late and have a lot of catching up to do but thought late last night that I would try to get back to my original challenge.
Sarah Fielke’s little dolly is in red, white and blue and is reminiscent of a rebel flag, hence the name. I didn’t really want one that looked like a flag but the diamond shaped blocks made me think of a trellis so I decided to do a flowery theme. I used some fabrics that have been languishing in my stash forever – which is usually a sign that you don’t like them that much! Two of them originally formed a border for the Botanical Gardens quilt but I removed it as it looked better without them.
A few people have observed that there is no ugly fabric if you cut it small enough. Tonya Riccuci has written an amusing post about the quilt she is making from donated ‘ugly’ fabrics here After making this mini quilt I am inclined to agree as I love them all together. I liked them so much I made a scrappy little border to finish it off which is not on the original quilt – a border goes with a trellis don’t you think?
To carry on with the scrappy mood, encouraged by Angela’s quilt-a-long, I rooted out a little bag of left-over binding and found a yellow stripy one that was perfect to complete this little project
I must say that I didn’t take enough care with my piecing as it was late and it was intended for the cat! She has a habit of visiting me when I am sewing and sitting on the fabrics I am sorting through so I thought a little quilt for her to put on the desk (so that I will have something nice to look at too) might keep her out of the way. It is on the desk now and she has decided to sit on my knee!
A little label on the back to finish off. I never used to label quilts but I think I will go back and label the others too as it is easy to forget the details
Well maybe great is a bit of an exaggeration. My other half asked to borrow a tape measure as I was sitting in my sewing room and as he went downstairs I said “while you are down there can you measure the Ikea shelf unit”. He paused and replied “you are never going to believe this,,” But I guessed straightaway that he was going to measure it for his office.
It would fit in both office and sewing room, but he just wanted to get it out of the kitchen where it was in the way; I wanted it to sort out my out of control WIPs. They are being shunted around my desks as I cut and sew fabric for the RSC15 and the #fw1930sqal so as I had a particular use for them I got them!
So this is before and after
They were unpainted but as I wanted to use them straightaway I had to do something to cover up scuff marks where they had been in storage. A root around in my little plan chest turned up some scrap-booking paper.
I don’t actually do scrap-booking, I bought the paper because it was in a sale and I thought it would make nice wrapping paper. I was a bit to enthusiastic with the craft glue and it went a bit wobbly – the paper not the shelf unit
Fortunately, as it dried, the paper flattened and now it looks much better.
The drawers are now filled (already) with WIPS or rather the small WIPs as there are others to big to fit in, but it’s a start to organise my tiny sewing room so I actually have enough room to sew
On the left; RSC15 and a partially finished purse
Two projects for Quilting From Little Things; Star and Fanfare
I even inspired me to sort out my Grandmother’s Flower Garden too. I am now thinking of getting another one as I like small projects on the go to take a out with me or when I sit downstairs to watch TV. It’s all part of the Slow Sunday Stitching too.
I love these little fans, I almost feel like leaving them as they are but they are for the next challenge from Sarah Fielke’s book ‘Quilting from Little Things’; the dolly quilt called ‘Fanfare’. It is rated three stars and so far it has not been too difficult, I think that will come in the next few stages; applique and piecing the little blocks.
I had fun scribbling alternative layouts before I had made all the fans and then more fun as I played around with the placement using actual fans. The template is very small so I was able to get most pieces from my tiny scrap bag (the scraps are tiny not the bag…) which I keep mostly for applique. As I rummaged through the scraps, all the colours turning over and jostling for attention I decided to use all of the colours and have a different fabric for each fan blade
Piecing doesn’t take long and it was easy to draw on the seam allowance as a cereal bowl happened to have the exact curvature I needed to draw it. The squares for the background are cut waiting for their fans now all I need to do is attach them
I will have to put them on hold for a short time though as I am taking part in The Global Quilting Project. I am more than half way through completing the blocks ready to post to the other members of my group – The Balkan Puzzle – but more on that later!
What a sweet little dolly is this little silhouette. Rated 2 stars I would agree. I had practice on the smaller shapes for Spring and which was good practice before tackling this one as the piece is larger and the shaping more difficult. I was tempted to do a cockatoo instead but thought the plumed feathers on the top of a cockatoo’s head might be too fiddly
I really enjoyed the quilting and used different blues, getting lighter the further away from the eagle. I love the look of the close quilting lines and how they almost look like a landscape when viewed close-up.
I also loved the simple small squares of the background and am keeping a bag of small squares ready for another project – not that I have decided what it is – I just love the look of them
There was no real problem with this dolly as I had already completed needle-turn applique for ‘Spring’ but I would recommend that they are completed in that order if you are new to this type of applique