Quilt-a-Longs · RSC15 · WIPs

Redo on the Blue, plus a couple of Yellows

Blue and Yellow

Four more blocks completed and on the line – not far behind the rest of the group considering I started in August and not January. It was quite breezy but I managed to get a few shots in between gusts

I returned to the Whirling Geese block and used darker blues, as my mid-blue version was a bit too light. I used the inner block from the orange month to do a second mid-blue block too which is a Twirling Four Patch.  It’s more like a pinwheel than the block that is called a pinwheel!

Whirling Geese Pinwheel

I finished the yellows too. Monkey Wrench is in the original list, however, the second paler block should have been Air Castle but I substituted this block whose name escapes me.

Monkey Wrench

Yellow block

As you can see it is another lovely sunny day which is a welcome return after the last few days which have been cold and grey

Next job on the list was chain piecing the squares I had prepared earlier in the week for the alternate blocks

All the indigo, pink, red, yellow and orange are now in little four or two patches. The good thing about all this piecing is the amount of tumblers that were sewn together too.  All are at the very least paired up and about half of those are now in fours. It’s surprising how quickly this Leaders and Enders project is going. It may even be finished at the same time as the Rainbow Scrap Challenge! Now all I need to do is keep up with the Quilting From Little Things and they will all be wrapped up by the end of the year – nearly forgot the Global Quilting Project! Just waiting for one more block and then assembly can begin. Perhaps I will have three full-sized quilts for New Year

WIPs

Are You Ready to Tumble?

This is the title for Bonnie K. Hunter’s Leader and Ender Challenge 2015 and I am now ready having calculated and cut nearly 300 tumblers using my Dear Jane triangle ruler. I didn’t want to buy a new ruler and it works just fine

I love the look of the tumblers all stacked up ready to use, almost like a treble sized layer cake. The striped material came in fat quarter bundle and I didn’t know what to do with it but now it is perfect for this project as it unites the colours in the rest of the tumblers. Many of the fabrics in this quilt will be orphans from bundles I thought were out of place, or others that I bought when I first started quilting and really bought because they were cheap to get my stash started – not because I loved them! Some are the last pieces of fabrics I did like and all of them are more muted than I usually go for now, but…. I am on a mission to use up any fabrics that have been languishing in the stash otherwise it is a waste of resources. The once tidy stack is now jumbled up ready for piecing

Tumblers ready to be pieced

 

Bonnie’s Leader and Ender Challenge is also about cutting down on waste and she clearly explains her motives in this post. She is also re-purposing a ruler – using a Dresden plate ruler to make tiny tumblers from a 2.5 inch strip! Mine are cut from a 4.5 inch strip so I will finish fairly quickly.

The idea, in brief, is to use the tumblers as bridging pieces of material between your projects when you are chain-piecing instead of a thread bunny and to avoid leaving long tails of thread that can clog up your machine. I have been making blocks for the RSC15 ChallengeThe Block Lotto and improvised log cabin blocks for my second entry for The Global quilting Project 2015 so I have already put together nearly half of my tumblers.

It is going to be a large lap quilt for the settee as the one on there at the moment is a lightweight summer quilt in bright colours and I want a heavier warmer one in more muted shades, I have bought an old but good condition wool blanket from a charity shop for the wadding.

So I am using up neglected fabric, saving thread by using the tumblers as leaders and enders, re-using an old blanket, re-purposing a ruler, having a warmer quilt so I don’t put on the heating unnecessarily and making more than one quilt at the same time. If only I hadn’t given away my Nan’s treadle Singer sewing machine I could have saved electricity too!  I think that covers ‘Reduce, Re-use and Recycle’ pretty well, don’t you?

Quilt-a-Longs · RSC15 · WIPs

A Couple of Oranges

There are three orange blocks for this section, yesterday I posted the ‘birds in flight’ block and it’s significance. The two blocks today have no significance other than I wanted something simple.

Firstly, a nine patch made from Happy-go-Lucky candy squares by Bonnie and Camille for Moda. I bought these at The Quilters and Embroiderers Store, Brisbane. Camille Roskelly was giving a talk and I bought her book Simply Retro and a few packs of these candy squares. Loved her talk and the quilts she brought with her!

orange 9 patch

Secondly, another simple patch which I made up. I don’t think it is an old block, at least I couldn’t find it. I was trying to think of a name. As it is an easy variation of a nine patch I thought Easy Kate but that sounds like it is named after a strumpet ha ha. Kate in the corner sounds like a naughty child so I’ll leave it as a nine-patch variation which sounds boring but accurate

orange star1

The little flower in the middle is from ‘Sweet Things’ by Holly Holderman for Lake House Dry Goods and has the  cutest colour chart on the selvedge of cupcakes instead of the usual dots. Another scrap from a scrap bag bought on EBay

RSC15 · WIPs

A Bird In The Hand And Why I chose This Block

Birds in Flight Block for RSC15
Birds in Flight Block for RSC15

Ode to Autumn; ‘Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness’…John Keats.

September’s colour is orange which is very appropriate for those of us in the Northern hemisphere as the trees will soon start their yearly change of clothes before flinging them off altogether.

The blackberries are ripening in the hedgerow in Essex so last Saturday we took the grand-daughters to the nature reserve to go blackberry picking. We should have taken a walking stick to pull down the highest runners which tantalised us with the choicest berries, even so we still managed to pick about three kilos in a couple of hours. That doesn’t include the ones the girls ate!

There were lots of different plants to see; instructions on which ones to avoid – like deadly nightshade, and birds intent on eating the blackberries that we were picking. When we were nearly finished we came to a fork in the path and I started down the left-hand side but my other half, who knew the woods better then me, called me to go right. How glad I am that we did.  As we examined one bush he saw a bird fluttering in a particularly dense patch and realise it was trapped! I couldn’t see it at first and when I did I was sickened to see it hanging upside-down, desperately trying to free itself from the thorns

‘I think it’s leg is broken’ he said.

I cringed as I have seen the translucent broken bones in the leg of another bird years ago and didn’t want to see it again but the bird needed rescuing and taking to the Wildlife trust centre. He pushed the tangled thorny runners aside and I reached in through the briars and put my hand around it’s frail, trembling little body. He snapped off the piece that held the bird so I was able to pull it out.

I couldn’t look as he gently pulled the plant apart to free the bird. As he did so the frantic fluttering stopped and the bird waited motionless in my hand; the quivering of it’s heart the only sign that it was still alive. I ventured a look and was relieved to see that it’s leg wasn’t broken after all.

Once it was free, the bird began to struggle again; we called the girls to come and see but only the oldest was quick enough to see the bird as I opened my hand to let it go. It disappeared in seconds and we were all glad that we had taken the right path!

So that is why my centre block is Birds in Flight

WIPs

RSC15 Indigo

These are the first blocks I have made for the RSC15 as I only came across this challenge recently. Indigo was the colour chosen for August but any other dark colour would do for those without the necessary scraps. I decided that I wasn’t going to use plain white I would use polka dot instead.

The Road to California came first, completed with polka dot

Road to California

I only had a little of this fabric and was contemplating buying more when I realised the whole point of the scrap challenge was to use up scraps not to make a scrappy quilt! There is a difference! Some buy fat eights to get the scrappy look but that isn’t the point here as that would only make more scraps. So I had a re-think and raided my scrap bag and baskets to find any low volume patterned/white fabric plus some plain old white after all. I love the indigo fabric which was a mere $7AU a metre from the stash builder basket in Spotlight, Brisbane.

The next block, the Bullseye block did have some sizing issues but all was sorted in the end (it comes up as 6 inches square not 6.5). This time a mix of plain white and I think it’s  Sarah Fielke’s On The Pond but it’s out of print now

Bullseye block

Last of all, and I think my favourite, is Mr Roosevelt’s Bowtie. A block I had never heard of before and for this I used the greatest variety of scraps, five fabrics in all.

Mr Roosevelt's Bowtie Block

Now I think I may have to ‘reverse sew’ the first block as I prefer the mix of background fabrics in the others. I will wait until I have made more blocks first though to see how they work together.

I have made quite a stack of ready cut squares to make the flying geese for the other colours so I hope to catch up soon

Quilting from Little things · WIPs

Great Minds Think Alike

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

no shelf 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

shelfFortunately, 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

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.

Lenin, however, does not seem to be impressed

DSCF4526

 

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Making not Buying

DSCF4513I felt guilty about posting so much about fabric purchases that I  thought it was time to post about something I am actually making. It is a new patchwork wristlet following a tutorial by Ayumi Takahashi from Pink Penguin. My old one is a little the worse for wear now and even the washing machine can’t restore it’s looks but it has served me well .

The new one is made from pieces of fabric from a scrap bag  bought at Peppermint Stitches. I have machined straight lines close together at the bottom but decided to do a little hand- stitching around some of the motifs at the top. simple stuff, just chain, stem, running and seed stitches. The pockets and lining are cut and stitched, the handle made and the zip ready to go. Now all that needs to happen is for my Pfaff to finally come back from repair or I get a new quarter inch foot for my Britannia Instyle 16, as it is bent out of true boo hoo.

I am not having much luck with gadgets at the moment as both the washing machine and hoover decided to go on strike too, but they are both working now. If only my sewing machines were

WIPs

Boot Sale Bargains

I love boot sales, charity shops, EBay and auctions but lately more has been coming in  the house than has been leaving it; time for a purge. However, I couldn’t resist this little tatty fold-up stool, It has clearly seen better days probably long ago.

DSCF4489 DSCF4491 DSCF4493

The paint is peeling, the top is warped and even Socks was unimpressed. I think a new coat of paint and a crocheted seat cover will make it into a lovely little seat for any small visitors we have as currently there are no tiny chairs for them and all children love furniture that is scaled down just for them

The best thing about the stool at the moment is the new bundle of fabric on top. I couldn’t go to the Festival of Quilts so I went to Franklins of Colchester instead and they just  happen to have a sale on with craft cottons at £3.50 m, it would be rude not to buy any!

I choose some fabric outside of my comfort zone as I am joining the Quilting Board QAL of the Farmer’s Wife 1930s quilt (not to be confused with the 1920s version)

http://www.quiltingboard.com/blocks-month-week-f9/farmers-wife-week-4-blocks-7-8-photos-t61215-2.html

There is no need to use 1930s style fabric but I like the look of them and wanted to try something different. I didn’t have much in the way of suitable fabric so I am already a bit behind, but there is no pressure. I ordered the book from Abe books where it was much cheaper than Amazon and came in two days! I think Dear Jane will have to be put on the back burner for now, as I am doing that on my own so the QAL will take priority

Not sure how soon the stool (or quilt) will be done as I still have a sideboard to finish. The main body of it has been sanded and re-stained – doors and drawers tomorrow if it is sunny. three coats are needed and they take 24 hours to dry, so it will be a long drawn out process but worth it in the end

WIPs

Dear Jane

Had a lovely day out with Mr ‘I don’t like cats’ and his friend as they looked for somewhere to play their doodle sacks. Doesn’t sound like fun but we stopped at another doodle sackers warehouse who just happened to sell haberdashery! I ended up getting two things. (I didn’t want to put Mr IDLC off taking me there again) Which means I now have another project to add to the list!

IMGP4968

This is definitely a long term one to go with my other long term project – grandmother’s flower garden. There is quite a bit of applique to do for this which I prefer to do by hand so it will take years ha ha.