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 very honoured to accept this award – don’t worry no long speeches!
I was recently kindly nominated for a Leibster Blog Award by Eleonora from Coastal Crochet. It’s a lovely idea to nominate blogs you enjoy that have a small readership as they may have only been blogging a short time (me!) or have a niche topic.
The idea is to answer between 5 and 10 questions about yourself so others can get to know you and to nominate 5 or more other blogs that you enjoy
1 What is you favourite crafting tool?
I was tempted to say my brain ha ha but I think it is my sewing machine although I do love to sew by hand too. I have two machines; a Pfaff Ambition 1.0 and a Britannia Instyle16
2 What is your favourite craft book?
Difficult to answer but Quilting From Little Things by Sarah Fielke inspired me to challenge myself to make a quilt or a dolly quilt from each chapter in her book, which is why this blog started – to chart my progress and keep a record. It’s a lovely book and teaches a different technique each chapter. I only have three left to make
3 Do you have a project you have made time and time again?
No as I have too many ideas in my head to repeat things, although lap quilts are probably the size I make most. I like to crochet which I learnt about a year ago; knit which I learnt from my Mum about 40+ years ago, she also taught me embroidery. Plus I paint and draw too. In the past I have made jewellery and I would like to learn etching or lino print making but not in this room as they are too messy!
4 Where do you get your best ideas?
Anywhere really, which is why I always try to remember to take a notebook out with me. I should keep one next to the bed as I often wake up at night with ideas – which can be a bit inconvenient to say the least!
5 Where do you sit to do your creating? Is it possible to share a photo?
I have a sewing cupboard room upstairs. It is about a eighth of the size I had in Australia but at least I still have one. I have taken over an Ikea bookcase in the hall to use as a cutting table as there isn’t enough room in here and the light is better too. I am thinking of getting locking castors to make it a bit higher.
The three dolly quilts on the wall are all from Sarah’s book, the cats are a present from my youngest from a school trip to China, the dog and purple pot are from charity shops, the wizard and dragon bookends are a present from my best friend Julie who sadly passed away from a brain tumour last year (I still think about her everyday as she was such a big part of my life for more than thirty years)
I have squeezed in various drawers and little shelves to keep track of the many WIPS I have
I have actually finished the star and the purse – it pays to be organised! That partly answers the next question
6 How do you store your WIPs and what do you take projects out in?
I also have a bigger set of plastic drawers for bigger projects in my (mainly) sewing room and I take EPP projects out in an old iPad cover in zip lock bags. My crochet and knitting live downstairs in a free bag that came with a magazine and an old wicker picnic basket from a bootsale.
Don’t forget to visit Coastal Crochet too! Thank you for nominating me and happy blog hopping to you all.
Questions and instructions for nominees
What is your favourite crafting tool?
What is your favourite craft book
What is your all time favourite yarn, thread or silks.
Do you have a project that you have made time and time again?
Are you hoping to make gifts for Christmas this year and if so approximately how many?
What is your favourite handmade gift that you have received from somebody else?
Where do you get your best ideas?
Where do you sit to do your creating? If possible could you share a photo?
Have your creative hobbies changed over the years or do you stick to the same ones?
How do you store your WIPs and what do you take out projects in?
As an award winner you must:
Acknowledge and accept the Liebster Award by leaving a comment on the blog where you were nominated.
Copy and paste the Liebster Award medal (logo) onto your own blog.
Link back to the blogger who awarded you and give thanks.
Answer the questions put to you by the person who nominated you. This is a great way to get to know the people behind the blogs. The number of questions have vary from 5 to 11 depending on who is asking.
On your blog nominate and link to your 5 favourite blogs(or more) that you enjoy but have a small readership (the rules have varied from less than 200 to less than 3000 readers). It could be that they have only been blogging for a short time or have a niche interest but are worthy of gaining more attention in the wider blogging world. That means the blogs of large, commercial enterprises are not eligible for nomination; nor are blogs that are well publicised in a variety of media and established with tens of thousands of followers.
List your questions for your Liebster Award nominees on your blog.
Inform your nominees by leaving a comment on their blogs.
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
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