Quilting from Little things · Uncategorized

At the End of a Long Week

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

Quilt-a-Longs

Share Jane Has Landed!

Two blocks finished, posted, and now residing in the Netherlands with Jeltje Van Essen of 100 Roses quilt Shop. Jeltje is running the European part of the Share Jane Project in conjunction with Kim Caskey of Edmonton, Canada who is in charge of the North American group.

Share Jane is…’an international project to showcase the power of working together, share ideas and enjoy results’ You can find the Facebook page here

I only made two blocks as I was unemployed when I volunteered but then got a job which made me fall asleep nearly every night after work! I’m not used to working – well I am now, but I was running out of time so I posted the ones I completed and returned the extra fabric.

There are 3 quilts to be made; one each for Jeltje and Kim to use as teaching samples and one for Moda’s travelling booth. I wonder which ones my blocks will end up in.

I thought B12 was an easy block but it was more fiddly than I thought it would be, in particular the central piece. The points are not exactly the same but Jeltje was pleased with the star flowers and that is what counts.

I really should start my own Dear Jane now but I am still undecided about the colour let alone the fabric!

Also I only recently realised the Share Jane is a pun of Chere (dear) Jane. Oh dear, I am a bit slow ha ha

Quilt-a-Longs · Quilting from Little things · RSC15

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?

 

 

Uncategorized

Sunday Stitching and Snitching

Do you recognise this place?

Lacock Abbey cloister

Is this a better clue? Or the title of this post?

The Warming Room

We went to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire today which was used as a location for some of the Harry Potter films. A beautiful place, formerly an abbey until it was dissolved by Henry the VIII and turned into a family home. In Victorian times it was the home of Fox Talbot who invented the first photographic negatives so the more than one copy of a photo could be produced

This was after completing a couple more fans for the Fanfare pattern. We also visited Newark Park yesterday and visited Dursley village (a name familiar to Potter fans!) where I found a charity bookshop with patchwork and quilting books – usually rare to find. I behaved myself and only bought two!

fan

I will be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching, pop over and see what everyone else is up to.

 

Quilting from Little things

First Fan

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.

Fanfare first fan

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!

RSC15 · The Global Quilting Project

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.

 

The Global Quilting Project

Slow Stitching Sunday and TGQP

We have confirmation that another member has pulled out of The Global Quilting Project and that another is definitely staying in so I am busy making a second block. I have nearly finished and just need to complete two more yellow applique ‘suns’ to mirror the applique blue/green ‘earths’. Other members of the Balkan Puzzle group have also made an extra block to boost numbers so I am doing my bit too

Applique for TGQP

I may even get to post them tomorrow but I have an interview so they might have to wait for Tuesday – we’ll see!

Quilting from Little things · Spring

Spring Cleaning

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!

IMGP4368

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

Uncategorized

The Global Quilting Project

I have been a part of The Global Quilting Project for the last eight months. It has been a long process as it was more than the usual block swap where everyone exchanges a known block. For this we had to design our own.

I won’t go through all the steps as the teaching programme belongs to Kim Andrews who organised the whole massive project, what I can say is; that it stretched the capabilities of all involved. Many dropped by the wayside when they realised that it wasn’t a basic block swap. Others dropped out due to family problems, lack of time or lack of confidence in their designs. The ladies in my group – The Balkan Puzzle Group – have been very supportive but we dropped from twelve to eight members. I wish they hadn’t chosen the most difficult (for me anyway) design to make ha ha. I shouldn’t have given them a choice of four

This is basically wedges but cut into a curved design and hand appliqued. I need to pick which colour Suffolk Puff looks best and attach them. Next remove the basting stitches and parcel them up for posting and waited with for the others to arrive from around the World!

End date to make a quilt from the blocks is December – so watch this space

Now I am off to see what everyone else at http://www.kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/ is up to for Slow Sunday Stitching

Quilting from Little things

Fanfare

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!