Quilt-a-Longs

‘Pottering About’

A few more photos from the trip to Lacock Abbey used in the filming of Harry Potter. We were there at Halloween and lots of children were following the Potter Trail and trying out games inspired by the book. The very last room on the tour is actually the entrance but the best is kept til last.

Entrance Hall Lacock Abbey

It is one of the strangest rooms I have ever been in and is decorated with terracotta figures of wizards, knights and skeletons. The meaning of them isn’t known but the children are all convinced that one of the sculptures is Dumbledore – for obvious reasons!

The sugar cube was put on the goats nose in 1919 by an American student and as the owner, Matilda Talbot, found it amusing it has been replaced ever since!

I managed to prepare a few fans for applique while I was away and finished them when I got back home. Not many left to do now

Four Fans

Now I am getting a good idea of what it will look like when finished. The sewing machine wasn’t neglected either as I made the penultimate block for the RSC15 sampler quilt AND finished putting all my tumblers into strips ready to put the rows together. I was chuffed to see how the colours are working out together as they were ironed ready for the next stage. They were a mixed bunch of fabrics; some I wasn’t keen on, others that were odd colours put in fat quarter bundles and others that didn’t seem to go with anything else – yet here they are, all together and I love it!

It certainly is a mixed bag colour-wise but some key fabrics, like the blue and orange flowers, and a rainbow stripe (not shown) seem to pull all the others together.

Time to post to Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy’s Quilts, why not take a look too and see what everyone else is working on

RSC15

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

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.

 

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?