21 March 2017

Red Strips and Blue Stars

Every month I deliberate over what to do with the Colour of the Month over at SoScrappy, usually ending up by just sewing strata of strips, and hoping that some inspriation will come in the future!  Well, until this month when Angela announced that March would be Red (that stirs my Welsh blood!), and when I espied the wonderful scrappy blocks of Wanda's, there was no hesitation!  I started 20 blocks, and 16 are trimmed to 9.5".  I have almost depleted my box of red strings which is a good feeling.   I started the centres with small crumbs, adding the shorter strings first and then the longer strings, and finally dug out 2" and 2.5" strips to finish off, but also needed to actually cut some more strips from well matured reds.  They are much brighter than this indoor photo.


And these are my blocks for the March Block Lotto  They are 8" finished. Keeping my fingers crossed to win this month!

12 February 2017


I was surprised today to see that this will be my 200th public post - that took sometime to get to after nearly 8 years!  I started writing early in 2009 with the intention of just sharing with my sister in Australia, after a trip there to visit her.  But down the line there were others family members that wanted to see the pictures as well.

All that has been sewn in the last couple of weeks are these three 8"" blocks for the February Block Lotto   The top two blocks have the same green fabric, yet they look like slightly different shades of green.

I am in a serious state of  "count-down hours" - my daughter Terri will be here from Wales this time tomorrow - it's been about four years since she we saw her last.  She can't wait for the hot weather and I am really looking forward to having her here, and we both will be busy with a new-baby quilt for my first Great Nephew, born just last week.

18 January 2017

January Block Lotto Blocks

The Blocks for the January Lotto are red String pieced Hearts.  We were asked to share how we make the blocks so I took some process photos.

From the box of red strings selected a range of longer ones.

Then decide which to put next to which -  ummm, that usually gets mixed up at some stage of the sewing!

Picked up first two and stitch, and then chain-piece each of the other pairs.

I cut apart the pairs and lay them down again.   I now sew these pairs into fours, but I sew from the other direction - this means that I have sewn half the seams in one direction and the other half in the other direction and this sort-of keeps the slabs of strings from curving too much.   I try to align all the ends on one side.

I press all the seams in one direction.

For the heart blocks we had to cut two rectangles - look! bits left-over to start the next one!

We added the white squares on the corners, but I like to sew another seam and keep the extra half-triangle squares for a some-day project.

On the left is the final Heart Block.
I followed the same process for one below.  The one on the left I made by adding smaller then bigger red triangles in a circular arrangement until the made fabric was big enough.

And then stitched up the extra made HST squares into little wonky windmills to add to the growing pile!   The blog header picture shows lots of green and white wonky windmills bordered with scrap purple strips - but that's as far as those have gone!

14 January 2017

Mid January plans

I hope to be more successful than last year with finishes, so to get off on a positive start I am linking up today with the 2017 Finish A  Long with Mrs Sew and Sow... more of that after some good news!

I was very pleased that P finally agreed to have aircon fitted, not only in my sewing room, but in the lounge as well.  I had to pull the frame away for the wall and cover everything with drop cloths.... but still the dust from drilling gets into places you least expect!  Upshot was after one day beforehand of moving things, two days of installation, and two days of scrubbing floors and cleaning dust (and accumulated fabric dust!) off all surfaces, rearranging... yay! a lovely cool tidy space!

And with a nice clean space in which to work I finished piecing this back for the Pat Sloan's 2016 block of the month quilt top.  I took all the leftover bits and added only three more fat quarters.
Lots of fun, and plenty of partial seams!

So last Thursday while I was waiting for the workmen to arrive, I made a list of my projects in progress and what needs to still be done or the next steps at least... somewhat more projects than I thought!   So from this long list I've picked a few that could/maybe/possibly get finished this quarter, and if life gets to busy, never mind, they will wait patiently for me!  I was pleased when looking for these photos to find I had finished four of the quilts listed this time last year.

No 1:  Colourwash - needs to be quilted and finished

No 2:  Allietare -  it's further along than this, needs borders, backing, quilting and finishing

No 3: En Provence:  every 3" unit is cut and sewn, and all these 841 units need to be put into blocks and sashing, then quilt etc
No 4: Old MacDonald Mystery Quilt - Put together the few blocks that are done and maybe add a few more:

 No 5:   The Birds - find a backing, quilt, finish:

No 6:  Split Triangles:   Play and sew blocks together, quilt,etc

No 7:  Lovely, Lonely Blocks:   add border, quilt etc  This is not one of my tops, but some of my fabrics were used to put the blocks together at a quilt group meeting - destined to be donated in June:

No 8:  One-patch Hexis:  I had a stack of these larger circles folded into hexagons from a demo I did at a Guild meeting.  They are stitched together - need quilting and finishing!

9.  Curvy Squares - from a class taken, needs quilting and finishing:

10. Orca Bay...yes, again quilt and finish!

If you've read this far, thank-you.  If you are part of the 2017FAL, good luck with your finishes this quarter.

31 December 2016

A Year End Finish... well a top at least!

I think a week between posts is a good plan!   Let's see what the new year brings!

Managed to finish this quilt to, and although I normally veer away from light colours, the light sashing and borders make this work.  I am having fun piecing all the left over bits to make the back.  The fabrics were two specific ranges of fat quarters,so the bits left over are not very big.  I was going to use the narrow border green as the outside border, but my mother says she doesn't like green, so changed my mind!    After years of making long sashings and trying to align blocks (and avoiding blocks altogether because of this!), I've fallen in love with using cornerstones .. they just make it so simple to put together neatly.

24 December 2016

Midsummer update

Christmas Eve, and halfway through the summer staycation, and some sewing has been done.

These three 6-inch square string blocks for the December Block Lotto.   I can see more of these in my future as they are fabulous in the flesh!
I try to follow the colours that Angela at SoScrappy suggests each month to use the strings and scraps I carefully save from trimming new fabric and any projects, but this has been on the back-burner this year for me.  I sometimes mindlessly sew the strings into bigger slabs, but they just seem to get put into another box!  I think for 2017, I am going to make blocks like these.  Click on the link to see what others have been doing recently.

Having made the last two blocks for Pat Sloan's 2016 block of the month (stopped at 9) and sashed them together, now auditioning the two borders.  I enjoyed the self-imposed challenge of working only from the photos and a limited fabric palette.  I like the big 16-inch squares, but messed up with some of the contrasts.  The bright spots is from the sunlight coming through the blind.

 All the bits made for parts one to five of Bonnie Hunter's Mystery, En Provence.   I was challenged by a friend to make them smaller...but wimped out!  These are all 3.5" units (633!), and I've estimated that we have about three-quarters of the quilt so far, and we still haven't used the yellow and green fabrics!   Update:  Back link to Bonnie's Monday linkup - go and see the variety of fabrics in use!

 Well, Merry Christmas to you, it's time for me to see if the turkey has defrosted!  Otherwise we may be ordering pizza tomorrow, or only eating salads and chocolate!

28 November 2016

Mystery time again

I think I like doing mystery quilts because there is no preconceived ideas about how it should look!  Bonnie Hunter's quilts are big... and, although lots of fun, I want to make this one more manageable.  The first clue went live this past Friday, and I figured I should make 1/4 to 1/3 of each of the units (as a start!).  And, for this clue at least, I decided to try and limit myself to only using strips already cut.   I was able to sew up these 63 four-patches. Perfect!  I haven't pulled out any other fabrics yet, just going with the flow!

Bonnie encourages the participants to link up and go and see what the others are doing!  Click on this link  to week one.

20 November 2016

Weekend playing and sewing

Yesterday was my monthly quilt group meeting.  Each of the committee members runs one or two meetings a year...it was my turn (it seems to come around very quickly!), and I asked everyone to bring lovely, lonely blocks to meet other lovely, lonely blocks, and we had a great time creating fun quilts from these.  There were lots of interesting blocks... plenty for another playtime.  Some ladies were sewing, others trimming and pressing.  But lots of serious discussions!  And a chance to talk,especially with newer members of the group.

These were two sets of blocks that the makers didn't like anymore, the sixteen-patch sashed on two sides to enlarge.

And today, because I didn't sew yesterday, I finished Block number 7 from Pat Sloan's Mystery Garden.  I had forgotten I'd already cut some strips and had made the centre star, so that made it easy!  There are 12 blocks (each 16" square) in total, but I'm aiming for 9 blocks so that it will be square.

18 November 2016

Hexie progress

This is my Lifelong Project!  It gets worked on occasionally.  It is the first hand-piecing I ever started, but I can't remember exactly when, perhaps in 1977.  All  I know that it was already in progress before I met my husband, and that was in 1978.  I remember sewing on the train to and from work.  I have a set of aluminium templates (the only ones I ever bought), and originally used a craft knife to cut out the paper pieces... the Olfa rotary cutter was only invented in 1979, and I know where I was working when I got my first one, it came with a still in-use A4 cutting mat, sometime during 1980.  It was probably more than 25 years before I was convinced to buy a bigger mat!  The sides of the hexies are 1.25 inches.

This is where I am with it now, with about a third of the flowers stitched together....

... and where it was in October 2014, all loose.

16 November 2016

Another Wild Chicken

Well, I said, sew for 20 minutes a day...right!  Nothing for three days, but made up for it today with another Chicken Gone Wild Lotto Block...  took longer than expected as the tail was stitched on five times before I was happy, including chopping it off by mistake.

No picture of the progress, but I continue to work on the Lifelong Hexie Project at odd times.  Like yesterday sitting in a hospital room waiting for P to have another carpal tunnel surgery, which was over in about an hour or so.