Sunday, March 12, 2017

Things to do and think about

We have been having absolutely disgusting weather the last few days... or is that weeks... so it has been very conducive to sewing shed activities.

After work I like to piece... and piece... and piece... I finished another Starburst Cross block

I also finished up one of the Block P's from my March RSC project... 1" squares.

And since I'm two months behind with starting the RSC, I figured I should try to catch up with those months, because they are pretty important colours.  Somewhere between blue and green is the Feburary colour selection.  These squares are cut 4 3/4".

And I've got plenty of smaller scraps for one of the blocks with smaller pieces.  When I say it is a scrap challenge... it really is scraps!

January was purple, and look... purple scraps!

For my dedicated weekend sewing, I figured I should concentrate on the blanket stitch for My Tweets before it got out of hand and I found myself three years down the track with nothing done [like that's ever happened before :o)].

Block 10 had those pesky little circles to get finished.  DONE!

And Block 11 needed the works.  DONE!

I'm already thinking about sashing and setting designs... but more about that later.

Now that there are only THREE blocks left to piece on the Starburst Cross quilt, I have laid out all the completed blocks and started to consider placement and setting.  The pattern has the blocks set with no sashing.  So first I tried alternating dark and light.  Lets call this Version A.

My black and white version shows that really, there is not a huge amount of contrast in a lot of these blocks.

Then I tried graduating the background colour from a light/light in the top right, through to a dark/dark in the bottom left.  Lets call this Version B.

Again, the black and white version throws up some booboos, but it is an interesting experiment.

Then I just tried mixing them up so that the yellow and dark blocks were spread out... and the florals given a bit of space to breath.  I'm still not sure whether there is any improvement.  Lets call this Version C.

Another setting option would be to use grey sashing between the blocks.  This would allow the fabrics a bit of space, and emphasize the "cross" part of the design.  Unfortunately, without cutting all the sashing strips, there is a bit of creative visualization required!

So what do you think?  Version A, B or C... or grey sashing?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tillies Lane - Block 4

I had a quiet Saturday at home, with the rest of my family out at a farming Field Day.  I enjoyed my quiet time - sewing and cleaning... not a perfect mix, but achievements were made in both areas, so I'm calling it a win :o)

To start with, I wasn't sure what to sew first.  All the options!  So I started with the easy... my Tillies Lane BOM.  Since I had already chosen the fabrics, it was a simple matter of tracing the pieces onto fusible, wielding my iron and scissors and BAM!  We have two blocks ready for blanket stitch.

I would so buy this watering can!

A little mini 3" block full of colour
 Once these were done, and I felt a bit more settled, I assessed what sewing jobs I had lined up, and worked out that really I needed to focus on my Sugar Club blocks.  Doing the final round of triangles means sewing 40 half square triangles, then sewing them together into rows of 10 triangles, before any progress is made on the block.  This became my priority, and I sewed some hour glass blocks as leader enders, and started the basic piecing on the RSC block - the little 1" fourpatch blocks are so cute.

Just because this was taking up way too much room on the floor, I also pieced up the last few seams on the Stack, Shuffle, Slide quilt and I've just got borders to add now.  Looking GOOD!

All in all, a pretty constructive weekend.  Linking up with Lyn at BOM's away...

Friday, March 3, 2017

New Scrappy Project - Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Since succumbing to the rainbow side... I have been eagerly awaiting the new month to find out what colour this months blocks would be.  You can read more about So Scrappy's rainbow scrap challenge here.  Basically, following the colour of the month, you complete whatever scrap project you have chosen, although she has some great ideas (along with a whole heap of linky inspiration).

I have chosen this particular quilt as my rainbow challenge.

It is a design by Weeks and Ringle, and appears in the 2017 Modern Quilt Calendar.  Although I desperately hate the quilt, am not fond of the fabric aesthetic...  I am confident of the basic quilt design and layout, and I'm sure with a little bit of "all the good ones" magic it will all turn out perfectly.

I decided to stick with a selection of black/grey prints as the alternate square in all the blocks...

 ... and worked my way through a pretty meager selection of red scraps.  I must admit, red and yellow are my least purchased fabrics... hence the decision to chose Block P which consists of 1 1/2" squares.  My red selection went from a very brown rust, and something a bit coral like, right through to a solid barn red.

So all ready to start sewing!

This week has been a bit cruddy as far as sewing time goes.  But I have set aside time for cutting new blocks, and choosing fabrics.  So I still feel like progress is being made.

For the Tillies Lane large applique block this month (the watering can)...

I've set aside this interesting selection of fabrics.

And the mini block...

Will be sunglasses required eye popping.

While sorting through the red scraps, I cut a few more of the hourglass blocks from those fabrics large enough to cut 2" squares.

And I've cut up the remaining Starburst Cross blocks.

So now I am all ready to start sewing over the weekend!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

End of Month Goals Achieved

I can't believe it is almost the end of February!  I'm not going to bombard you with all the photos of the achievements this month... because it was only the last post that detailed the rest of the achievements this month, so after reading... please scroll down for further photos if required!

My Tweets: applique block 11 achieved.  My March goal is to get this block blanket stitched, plus the little bit left of the previous months block.  Just two bunches of these little circles need the blanket stitch finished for Block 10 to be all done.

Adornit Starburst cross quilt: several blocks sewn... leaving me 3 fabric combinations to sew, meaning 6 blocks left... well, actually that's only 5 blocks because I'm doing an odd number of finished blocks.  Next months goal... I suppose getting these remaining blocks pieced would be nice.

Another finished block

I have definitely had fun adding my own stash into this fabric collection

Those combos still left to cut

I ordered some backing fabric, from a different line from the same designers... not quite the same colouring (I had hoped for more grey in the background), but I'm OK with still using it.  I was also slightly disappointed with the scale of the print... I had hoped for bigger, but this is the problem with ordering online :o(

And also a binding fabric... 

Sugar Club Blocks: yeah, I got all three of these blocks added to so that they are just waiting for their final round of triangles.  Goal for March... not sure how to split this up into manageable chunks. I have four blocks in total that are unfinished... these three plus another one with nothing done to it. The triangle production line always seems like so much sewing... not much progress.  So maybe get one whole block finished?  I already have some of the triangles pieced so I'll have to see how this pans out.

Vintage Quilt Revival: this exploding star block went together quite nicely.  I took the plunge and pieced it using templates instead of foundation paper pieced like the instructions.  It was great for using up odd bits of fabric... I did end up using starch and was very careful to avoid stretching while sewing and pressing.

And Monika's block.  I didn't check her blog for progress until after I had sewn my version... I had to laugh that we obviously had channeled the same colour palette.

March we are planning this block: yay, another pinwheel! (she mutters sarcastically!)

Tillies Lane: hourglass blocks just finished today... but finished on time!

And March will be Month 4 with a large applique, small applique and 24 more hourglass blocks to piece.

Does that cover all of last months goals?

I have also been plugging away at the Stack, Shuffle Slide quilt.  Just a few more seams on the fourth chunk and the bulk of it will be sewn.  I still need to decide what is going to go into the hole in the middle, around which the chunks will be sewn with a partial seam.

Then in the being lead astray section, there are a couple of blogs I follow that have been doing monthly rainbow scrap challenges... and I think I might be getting suckered into starting that too.  Do I actually have time to do it... no, probably not.  But, it would be a good way to get motivated into doing something with the never-ending mountain of scraps... and, I have found a quilt that could lend itself to this monthly challenge.  We shall see what happens.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mid Month Catch Up

Setting some easy achievable goals meant that jumping in and getting something done at the start of the month, was relatively easy.  Mixed in with the easy were some slightly more challenging goals... or more correctly, ones that I had been putting off for a long time.

I decided first up to jump into my Tillies Lane applique blocks.  These were so easy and fun, I don't know why I ever put this project away.

Month Three large block

Month Three mini block

And I've been plugging away at my little hourglass blocks (I've got 11 out of 24 sewn so far), using them as a handy leader/ender project.  This one I particularly liked using my Eiko scraps.  I can see this quilt being a great memory quilt highlighting little snippets of fabric from other projects.

I also have been playing with my Stack, Shuffle, Slide blocks - finishing up the last of the piecing, and deciding on how to lay the blocks out.

This is the quilt layout according to the pattern.  All blocks are trimmed to the same size, and aligned in the same portrait rectangular way.  Small blocks are added to the outer blocks to form a circle/frame.  I just didn't like it.

First up, I didn't want to trim all my lovely blocks.  Secondly, there were some blocks I wanted to lie sideways - courtesy of using a directional text fabric.  Thirdly, a rectangular quilt doesn't suit my bed so much, and it was a bit small.  So I laid the blocks out, and played with things to get a balance of colours and patterns... and figured I quite liked it being a bit random.

I don't know whether this was the final layout or not... but you can see the general idea.
 I decided to split out the layout into chunks of six blocks in a grid 36" wide x 24" tall, and fill in with my background solid (Bella Solids "Offwhite").

Chunk One

Every now and then I add a feature hit of colour, maybe to include one of the other fabrics that doesn't appear in this grid.

Chunk Two

I'm now halfway through the third chunk now... so great progress!

Bringing myself back to my goals... I added the first cream ring around the Sugar Club blocks.

Now I just need to cut the beige fabric for round two... and add the third round.
 I also cut some Starburst Cross blocks, and pieced a few of these in among the other sewing activities.

Love, Love the fabric!
Alrighty... what else have I done?  Well, was dreading doing the applique on the next My Tweets block because (a) I couldn't really remember how I was doing it before and (b) because the next block background is a woven plaid sort of fabric, it is hard/impossible to see through for construction/alignment purposes.  But, because I have my goals... and I'm being good... I got in there and got it done!

Blanket stitch still to be done
If anyone was really closely studying this project, they would know that this is actually block 12, but I swapped it's placement as I thought it would be easier to construct on the darker fabric.

I think the last major goal for this month is to do the next Vintage Quilt Revival block.  Which is another one I'm putting off.  But I'm sure it will get done by the end of the month.