RSC15 Quilt Top Completed!

I am so pleased that the top is complete – I did think about adding a border of flying geese but after putting it on the bed in the spare room I can see it is big enough as it is.

RSC15 quilt top

I have the batting ready and fabric to piece for the back then it is off to the longarmer to get it quilted. I haven’t decided on the pattern but not too fancy as this quilt is all about the colour

RSC15 right RSC15 left

I had a lovely trip to the quaint village of Wickham Market, Suffolk so I could visit Quilter’s Haven. What a beautiful shop and now I know where it is, the lady who owns it is retiring! The shop is up for sale so I hope it is purchased and continues  for many years. I bought backing and thread for my tumbler quilt, a couple of half metres that caught my eye and some Downton Abbey fat quarters that were on sale. All this while my other half was in Café 46

We had a lovely lunch in this vintage style, very relaxed café and the price was reasonable to – definitely recommended. Unfortunately the weather was not too good so we didn’t get to explore the village itself but what we saw was charming. Sorry for the lack of photos, but I didn’t take my camera as shopping was foremost in my mind!

Now the main part of the RSC15 is finished it is time to start on the RSC16!

RSC15 Final Layout

I have actually finished all the alternate squares and can add them to the star blocks

 

This isn’t all of the blocks as I have already sewn three rows together so they are not included.

I also had a couple of great buys on EBay. First up, 501 Quilt Blocks is a lovely book with a lot of lovely blocks I hadn’t seen before. Some of the applique blocks are a bit twee and the alphabet letters are distinctly underwhelming but the rest are great. I will spend many hours perusing this book

The second book, American Patchwork and Quilting, has more in the way of patterns and instructions rather than blocks. It gives it’s age away by the use scissors rather than a rotary cutter but it is very informative despite that. There are some inspiring antique quilts that might be the starting point for my next scrap quilt

I will be linking up with So Scrappy with everyone else who has joined in this years rainbow scrap challenge, why not pop over and have a look for yourself – and maybe join in next year!

 

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

Swamp Angel Star

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?

 

 

Lime for November

We are on to the last colour for the RSC15 sampler quilt and the colour is lime green. I am late posting as I fell asleep when I got in from work, but here it is

I used to look at the central fabric and wonder what possessed me to buy it but it fits here perfectly

Crumpled Star!
Crumpled Star!

This is what happens when you haven’t found a new place for your design wall so you use the bed instead. Every single block and the imprint of a cats paw on it but this was the chosen block for a nice snooze

Today is Remembrance Sunday when we remember the dead and all those who served in the Great War and those that came after –  is a topic that deserves it’s own post for later.

Second Row

Another set of alternate blocks completed and a second row finished. It departs a little from the RSC15 because I didn’t use brown or wrap around the colour from the other end. It was too rainy to take the photos outside so this is the best I could do!

Second Row RSC15

As you can see it is wider than the bed so I don’t think I will be quilting it. Fortunately for me Janette Chilver of J Quilts who happens to be the winner of Best in Show at the Festival of Quilts 2015 in Birmingham, lives a few miles away. You can see her beautiful quilt here

So much piecing also means a lot more work was done on the Tumbler Leaders and Enders challenge. Everything is joined up in rows of eight at least and quite a few in sixteens. I think this quilt top will be finished at the same time as the RSC15, but being lap-size will be quilted by me. It will be my Autumn/Winter quilt for the settee and the Simply Colour one will be put away until Spring

Do you have different quilts for different seasons?

First Row Completed!

RSC15 first row

I finally got to grips with my alternate blocks and finished the first row. I didn’t have much in the way of brown but lots of mauve and lavender scraps which are good companions for purple so in they went!

RSC15 purple corner RSC15 mauve and purple

I have made lots of four patches in orange, red, pink and yellow so it looks like I will be starting at the opposite end and eventually meet in the middle – only two more blocks to make. The other good thing is making so many little blocks I have also progressed very well on my Tumbler Challenge; all tumblers are in fours at least and some are now joined into eights. I don’t think it will take much longer to finish that quilt – so I should have two by the end of the year

The Global Quilting Project

What is it all about? I think when most of us saw it, we thought it would be a block swap on a grander scale than most block swaps. We signed up via Facebook and met Kim Andrews who was organising the project. She asked for examples of block names which we duly supplied.  I wondered if these were the blocks we were going to make but I was wrong.  More and more signed up and it seemed as though there was a new person and a new country to welcome to the group every day. Excitement and numbers grew until there were hundreds of potential participants

The block names; Balkan Puzzle, Bear Paw, Courthouse Steps and so on were to be the names of groups of twelve people from different countries – in the end all women. We would not be making these blocks at all! What happened next was exciting for some and a shock to others – we were to design and make our own unique block to be named after us! Some dropped out, not willing or maybe confident enough to take on the challenge. I thought it was great, but I have an arts (and science) background and even had the first part of the project hanging on the wall already – an inspiration board, covered in the things that inspire or intrigue me; pictures of friends and family, clippings from magazines of colourful things, postcards and fabric. This was to be our starting point and was posted on Facebook for all to see. Many took up the challenge and working in separate pages for each group or the main page we were able to get feedback, criticism and encouragement from everyone. Some were new to quilting and could learn from some very experienced members who were able to offer encouragement gained from years of teaching.

I won’t go into all the subsequent details, as the teaching program belongs to Kim Andrews, but suffice to say, it led those who had never designed anything like it before to a successful conclusion if they stayed the course. Some dropped out as they didn’t realise how long it would take and had to leave because of time or family issues, including  bereavements. There was much support in the groups and new friendships were forged. Some have even managed to meet up and share their stories with the rest of us.

Groups were collapsed and consolidated to try and get them back to twelve in number or groups made their own decisions after discussing the best way to proceed.  Poor Kim must have had a headache as she tried to do this all the while studying and working. My own group, Balkan Puzzle, decided to save her some work and some members said they would make two blocks to make up the numbers. I have most of them now and will show them off in another post. I showed four designs to my group and they chose this one and it is based on my love of colour and water. It is a river of colour flowing out from a single source in colours agreed by the group.

block 1

TGQP has created friendships around the World as well as many new quilt blocks. Parcels have been posted back and forth and soon the unique quilts will be made. Even if groups have the same blocks, the layout will be up to the individual. But it is more than that. The initial difficulties in attempting something new have been overcome and confidence has grown as a result.

The quilts will have individual labels for each block so that quilt historians will not have to write ‘maker unknown’! I am sure they will be treasured and kept for many years as the number old quilts from centuries past testifies. They are the very antithesis of our throw-away society where branding is the defining criteria for some to make their purchases. Quilts are often made with a particular person or event in mind. Most of mine have been for the birth of a new baby in the family, Christmas or birthdays. My Mum was adamant that her quilt should not go to the charity shop when she died as it was a family heirloom. I have that quilt now and will pass it on in time

This made me think about those women in ages past who made quilts sometimes from fabrics bought especially for one particular project or those who reused dresses, curtains, even sacking and old blankets to make something practical but still beautiful. My second block was more about our planet and how we can do our bit to re-use, recycle or re-purpose so the next block was improvised and used the scrap strips I keep from other projects. Consequently, each member will get a slightly different block. I balanced out the blue Earth with the yellow Sun – both are the same size, as to us they are equally important.

block 2

Even thread wasn’t wasted as in between each round I put together a few tumblers for my Leaders and Enders Challenge so that there was always something under the needle to continually chain piece. That particular quilt is made up of fabrics that had been in my stash for a while for various reasons as detailed here. The details of the challenge can be found over at Quiltville

There are two pieces sewn together under the needle right now from another project – the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2015. Again using up all those little pieces so there is little waste The details of how to join in are at Super Scrappy

Years from now will anyone have the bottle of perfume or aftershave you gave them for Christmas? If you make them a gift chances are that they will not only remember it they will still have it.