Saturday, July 01, 2017

New blocks plus bits and bobs ...

I've really enjoyed being able to stitch at a much more leisurely pace now that I've met my deadline with the BIG QUILT. In fact, I've enjoyed it so much I've been making more and more of these darling little cross blocks. These 31 are finished and trimmed to size:

I've also made a further 18 that are yet to be pressed and trimmed:

The blocks finish at 4 3/4" and will make a darling little wall hanging or table topper. I'd like to get a start on putting them all together this weekend.

And when I'm done, I'll start working some more on these sweet things:

It's fun revisiting this fabric I've had in my stash for such a long time. I purchased it from Lincraft I believe, and because it was from Amy's baby quilt it would have been in the early 90's. I don't have much fabric from that era in my stash anymore!

There have been some other things floating around in my head that I wanted to catch up on here, and whenever I sit down and start typing, it's like my brain empties and I can't remember what they are. I'll do my best to remember them.

One thing I wanted to share is a darling knitting pattern I picked up on Etsy a few weeks ago. I stumbled across Mary Jane's Tearoom somehow on Facebook, and clicked my way through to her store and fell in love with her knitted bears, and also the sweet little cardigans that can be made with leftover sock yarn. Socks are pretty much the only thing I ever knit, so I had to make the pattern mine - I always have little bits of sock yarn left over. And because they're so sweet the bear pattern became mine too. Do go and have a look, but don't blame me if you fall in love with those sweet faces!! :-)

Also, I have some email comments to catch up on. I often get comments from people who haven't enabled their email address on their comment. It's truly much easier for me to respond to questions if there is an email address for me - but I don't mind posting answers here ... it's just that sometimes I forget to go back and see what needs answering. But anyway, here goes:

Paula and Lynn S left sweet comments on my last post, thank you so much for your lovely words xox

And a big Hi and thank you to Celiaquilter and Jocelyn Thurston, its so nice to hear from you xox 

I also had a message from Val Simms with a nice note about my blocks and asking where she could buy my patterns. My own patterns are available at my website or etsy store, both links are in the sidebar. But if you're thinking of the Caswell blocks, you can purchase that pattern at Threadbear. Corliss is just lovely, and her patterns are stunning!

My lovely friend Sue from New Zealand also asked if I would share more information with everyone about my process for marking my quilts, batting choices and washing. Of course I'm always happy to share!

I don't have a particular preference for batting in my hand quilted quilts. I've used a few different ones in my last three projects. For the Caswell quilt, I used a 100% wool batt, for the Montmellick quilt I used a cotton/poly blend, and for Mrs Billings I used a wool/poly blend. I can't say that one was better than the other for quilting, I quite liked them all, and I don't think there was any discernable difference in my stitches.

For marking, I always use the same products as I've never had a bad result. For light fabrics I use the Sewline blue washout marker. I believe I shared a picture of the packaging recently. On the darker fabrics I use the Sewline white ceramic mechanical pencil. The white pencil marks pretty much brush away, so you can't mark too far in advance - and that's fine for me as I mark my area while it's in the hoop. For the blue washout marker, even though it's claimed that you can spritz the marks away, I prefer to wait until the quilt is completed, and run it through a cycle in the washing machine. Because the ink is a chemical, I want to immerse the quilt fully and ensure there are no chemicals remaining that could damage the fabrics.

Sue also asked about my washing machine - I have an LG front loader. I can't answer anything about agitation, but I can tell you that I don't use any detergent, I use the gentle cycle and always include colour catchers in the wash. Colour catchers are little sheets you put in with the wash, and they attract loose dyes so they won't settle in your quilt. They're not a guarantee, but everything helps, right? You'll find them in the laundry detergent aisle at the grocery store. In my local store they're on the top shelf - not super easy to find. And you needn't put two whole boxes in like I did with my Caswell quilt, that was definitely overkill, but I was not taking any chances!

I hope this helps everyone. Do remember, I'm no expert, but happy to share what I find works for me.

Tonight will be an early night for me I think - I'm really feeling quite tired after an early start and a 5km walk this morning. Though that doesn't seem like much, I haven't been able to do much exercise at all after my calf muscle tear 7 weeks ago. I am amazed by how much it wore me out, and also by how quickly any fitness I had has dropped away!

So on that note, I'll end here with a promise to check back in soon! Have a great weekend everyone! xox


Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

Thanks for being so generous with your knowledge.

Lorraine said...

Thanks so much for that info sharing. And those sweet little cardigans. How sweet are they? I think I need to knit a few with my left over sock yarn.

Janet said...

Love the cross blocks. As always your fabric choices are beautiful. Thank you for all the information on marking and washing, very informative. What sweet doll blocks. You take care of yourself and don't over do on your activities.

Kyle said...

Great fabric choices for your new blocks and projects. It's nice to hear what other quilters use to mark their quilts. That part can always be challenging.


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