Saturday, June 28, 2014

I'm really hooked!

I can't even tell you how excited I am to be finally getting along with my sewing machine. I was looking forward to playing with it today, and I haven't felt that way for a little while. I wonder if some of my piecing slump is related to my machine and I not entirely getting along so far? Anyway, looks like all is forgiven :-)

Do you have an abundance of scraps? I really do, and here you see my leftover 10in square tub, and my 2in strip tub.

Because I usually bind my quilts with 2in strips, I end up with a huge amount of scraps in that tub. This project requires a small amount of 2in scraps (they can be used for the shoo fly HST's with the use of an easy angle ruler) and the light squares are 2in cut - but mainly it uses 1in strips. I've never collected 1in strips, so to reduce the huge amount of fabric in the 2in tub I decided to start cutting them in half. It's likely I could construct most of the quilt from this tub!!

And here is a selection of the components I've already started piecing - they're waiting to be made into nine patches/four patches and other assorted bits and pieces ...

I'm trying to get as much variety into each block as I can, so I like to be able to choose little strip sets that don't contain fabrics already used in a block - but it's early days and I haven't done a huge amount of cutting, so it's not always possible ...

And here are the first six blocks that I've made. I'm really excited how it's coming together. It amuses me that some of the fabrics stand out so much more than the others - like that cheddar there - it really pops doesn't it? I'm not going to start sewing blocks together until I have a whole lot more made, so even though you see the same fabric repeated many times in these six blocks, hopefully the fabrics will be spread out in the final quilt top.

In stolen moments I've also been appliquéing on the Montmellick project - I'm still loving it so much. I'm working on the second of the four borders. I don't mind if I get a little behind, it looks like the next border will be much easier, so I'll be able to catch up in the next two months.

Well, that's it from me, I'll be back with more blocks soon, I'm sure :-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

And I'm hooked!

Even though I'm uber tired, I have been dying to piece a little more on the Omigosh! quilt. I have lots of cutting ahead of me, but I have enough bits and pieces done that I can piece a bit with a little variety. Here's the end result of piecing from last night and tonight (I did manage to make more elements, but these are two blocks that I've completed):

I can't even tell you how pleased I am that I'm finally satisfied with the accuracy issues I've been having with my new machine. I'm using the 34D foot with the needle stepped over to position 4, and I'm no longer having trouble with the fabric trailing away at the end of a piece, and the 1/4" seam is exactly where I want it. I'm thrilled to no longer be having that feeling of fighting my machine.

And just a little tip for any of you that are thinking of working on this project: I found it so very helpful to use best press when pressing every seam for these little blocks. It really helped me keep the small pieces stable, and I press after every single seam I sew. Don't skip these two things - they were really important.

I've deliberately left the markings of the board visible there so you can see the size of the blocks - they're 5in at this point, and will be 4.5in finished - that makes most the smallest of the pieces 1/2in finished! You can see why I'm striving for accuracy! These blocks are addictive, and I'm itching to make more already! I'm going to pack it in for the night now though, and do a little hand work in front of the TV while watching Wimbledon. I do love my tennis :-)

And because I promised, I've taken some (poor quality) pictures of the patterns I purchased from Sue Garman:

These two are going to be great for scrap busting - and I have more than my fair share of scraps to bust. Don't we all?

And my massive love of appliqué led me to purchase the Lily Rosenberry pattern. I will love working on this one, though I can't imagine when I'll get to it. I have a list of 'must make' quilts as long as my arm ... and more than enough fabric to take care of them all!

Well, the tennis is beckoning, so I'll catch you all soon! xox

Monday, June 23, 2014

You cannot handle the cuteness ...

Early last week my pattern order from Sue Garman arrived - OMG, I was so excited and tore into the mailer - I couldn't wait to check them out! I should have shared a pic of the patterns with you, but for whatever reason I was too flaky to take that picture, so I'll save it for next time. But let me tell you that I was so excited to get working on Omigosh! that I started cutting immediately:

Those strips you see are 1in wide, so when all seams are done, the pieces will be 1/2in finished. Yes, you read that correctly. Isn't the quilt so aptly named?? Omigosh!

And of course, I couldn't stop at cutting, I had to try a little piecing. I'd had some advice from Otto recently that was going to help me with accuracy and the new machine - I'm trying a different foot - just not happy enough with the quarter inch foot. Happy days, things seem to be going okay at the moment ...

So, those little cuties that you see there are 2in at the moment ... and they'll be 1.5in finished - aren't they adorable?? A real test for accurate machine piecing. So far so good ... and I'm thinking if I keep going with this, it will be a real scrap eater!! Until now I had never saved 1in strips, nothing smaller than 1.5in strips actually, so I guess I'll have to add 1in to the rota too!

Also in the picture above, a little tin that I purchased while working at Hetties Patch. They always have the most adorable things, this combined with my complete lack of self control meant it had to come home with me. I can see myself using it for stitching hexies while I'm out and about.

Next up is another little thing I put together last week (or it could have been late the week before) I have totally lost track of time! It's just a little something I'm passing on to a friend:

It's always so nice to piece something small, and then quilt on it - you don't have all that bulk to deal with and it looks pretty without fail. I don't have a lot of batik fabric in my stash, and I really need to change that, as it's just lovely to work with.

And last up for today, Friday was my little man's birthday. Time is just going so fast, how can he possibly be twelve already??

He'll always be a tiny man to me!

Monday, June 09, 2014

More Broderie Perse

Though I haven't had much stitching time this weekend, I have had stolen moments where I've been able to put some more bits and pieces in place on my Montmellick project ...

I'm thrilled with how it's coming along. In the beginning I thought it looked so sparse, but each new piece really brings this border to life. Just a few more leaves and one more cluster of flowers and this border will be done.

I've also been looking at a picture that is on the Di Ford Mystery group on the Facebooks, trying to determine whether the next pieced border is 3" finished, or 2.5" finished. I'd love to get a start on it, but think I'm going to have to exercise patience - I just can't be sure and don't want to mess it up!

When I finish up with the applique this afternoon, I have a little job to do ... a sewing job, but not a fun quilting job:

I get to take the hem up on these jeans I purchased yesterday. I'm only 5'2", so I almost always have to take my jeans up, and I don't mind confessing it's not a job that I love.

There are many times when I can buy the petite size which is for us shorter folk, but when you see cute jeans like these ones that were on sale, you just have to grab them regardless of the length. I'm just loving all the checks and houndstooth styles that are going around at the moment. Hopefully they don't date so fast that I won't be able to wear them next year too.

Well, that's it from me - I'm off to get the last of the border appliquéd. And I'll be doing that in front of the heater ... it's COLD here right now!! Chatter soon :-) xox

Friday, June 06, 2014

Hexagons and Pentagons

Since I checked in last, I've been working on the hexagons for my Di Ford project. All the hexies are made (they're half inch!), I just need to stitch them into little flowers now. Being the impatient girl I am though, I wanted to see how one would look when appliquéd in place, and I love it:

I can't wait to get the others sewn in place, and then I can get busy with the rest of the broderie perse. Can I tell you how thrilled I am to be enjoying stitching for a change? It's a good thing :-)

And while at class on Thursday, I just had to get some happy snaps of my sweet friend Norma's recent (almost) finish, it's just delightful!

This is a pattern designed by the lovely ladies at Hetties Patch, I'm not sure of the name, but they kitted it up for Norma, and I just love how it looks. Norma has been both hand and machine quilting it, and she's on the home stretch now.

Can you see the big-stitch quilting on the pentagons there? It's done in a lovely deep red perle cotton and it's a lovely touch. I do love big-stitch hand quilting - I haven't done it for a long time, but long to do some again.

Well, that's it from me for now, I'm dying to get back to my little hexagons, so I'll check back with you soon! xox

Monday, June 02, 2014

Appliqué Vines

On Saturday it was our Guild's sewing day - always a super fun event, and though I'm guaranteed to get little done due to my excessive chattering issues, I thought it would be prudent to have some hand-work at the ready.

So, Friday night I prepped some bias strips, and packed up Montmellick ready for our outing. As predicted, I didn't get much stitching done (this was also hampered by the fact that I didn't manage to bring threads ... but I was able to borrow some), however I did manage to do a little ... and now I'm inspired to work on this project again ...

Here's where I'm up to as of today. Saturday saw me pin the bias strip in place, and I appliqued about one quarter of it down. Last night I started with a little of the broderie perse, and today I started working on the little leaves. It's not easy to see, but I wasn't happy with the placement of the flower there, so I unpicked it today while waiting at tennis training, and I'll hopefully re-position it tonight. If I can get all the leaves for this side done tonight, I'll start working on the little hexies for the whole of this border - they're super portable and I'll be able to take them to quilting group on Wednesday.

And in other news, I'm going to be excitedly watching the letter box for the next couple of weeks. I've ordered some patterns from one of my favourite designers - Sue Garman. She is the quilter I'd love to be. Her appliqué designs are sensational, and her piecing is intricate ... just how I like it. Be sure to check out her blog and her website, and you'll see what I mean. I always look forward to her blog post at the beginning of each month with bated breath - the eye candy she shares is just amazing and so inspirational.

FYI, the patterns I've ordered are: Ancient Stars, Omigosh!, and Lily Rosenberry. Those of you that know me well will see that they're right up my alley :-)

Last of all, I'm a little behind returning emails at the moment, so if you're waiting to hear from me, don't panic, I promise I'll get back to you really soon ... much learning of stuff going on here, I have new duties with the Guild as Membership Secretary - super fun, and super busy! Chatter soon :-)


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