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

Dear Jane …Again

Share Jane

Dear Jane,

I am so excited to have been accepted to take part in an international project to make your quilt in a beautiful new fabric range. To quote from Share Jane‘s Facebook Page it is;

“An exciting, collaborative quilt project…..[which] came about from a new friendship with Jeltje van Essen and the good folks of Moda Fabrics. This innovative version of a Dear Jane quilt will showcase Janet Clare (new Moda designer) fabric – Wordsmith along with other bits of Moda fabrics. We will make 3 quilts in total – one for The Netherlands (Jeltje) for her shop teaching sample, one for Canada (Kim) for my teaching sample and one for Moda (to travel in their booth).

Here’s where YOU come in ….. if you are interested in making a block, please let us know. You will be sent a detailed kit with fabrics, block design, instructions, etc. and will be added to the documentation label. This will truly be a worldwide effort. So exciting!!!!”

Jelte van Essen is another member of The Global Quilting Project. I’m so glad I joined TGQP otherwise I would not have seen this! The intertwined hearts are a beautiful feature.

You can find out more about it here

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!

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?

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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!