Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Just a Little Improv

I’ve had a little experience in improv piecing with a couple of the bee blocks I’ve made but a full project? No. So I decided it was about time I had more of a go and what better project to take a foray into this technique with than a mug rug or two.

According to improv tutorials I read a common mistake is forgetting about the seam allowance and making the blocks smaller than you wanted. I made that one, and the whole mug rug could have been a little more generous in size if you ask me, but it still works and I’m using it *slurp* so it’s practical. They finish at around 4 inches by 6.

I’m a fan of Cindy Grisdela’s work so these pieces channel her influence and I quilted them in a fairly dense crosshatch with dark green thread.

After that experience I’m still keen to do more but it doesn’t really suit my control-freak-must-work-with-plan personality so the projects will likely stay small for a while.

What about you? Have you tried improv and what are your tips?

Till next time, enjoy your sewing


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

October Block Round up

Janice from Color Creating and Quilting was queen in Bee Inspired this month. She chose an unnamed block to be made up in colourful brights a la her bright and colourful style and asked for two. Being queen in Stash Bee this month as well means she has blocks rolling in and is making significant progress.

It turns out the block is very layer cake friendly and the back ground on my second block is from a Bonnie and Camille basics layer cake I picked up as part of a gift certificate I won for Lady Belle fabrics a little while back. It worked well in this block I think.

In Stash Bee, queen Kathy chose the Prairie Flower block from Missouri Star Quilt Co. She asked for autumn fall colours. Part of her sample fabric pull included fabrics that featured autumn prints of pumpkins and such so I thought this leaf print might be just right. I was surprised at how effective it looked once it was sewn up. This was a great block to sew.

Sign-ups for next year’s Stash Bee hives open November 1st if you’re interested. If you’re hesitant, when you sign up you can pick your skill level and style and the hives are sorted to suit. I really enjoyed my time this year. I met some new people, I learned some new skills and making blocks that are your best work makes you a better sewist all round. And I had fun!

I finished quilting the Modern Waves quilt and it’s ready to go for Christmas. I decided I would tackle making a couple of simple items for my summer wardrobe this year so that’s what I’m currently working on. I’m choosing quilting cottons for the most part and that’s working out great since any leftover pieces can be recycled back into my scrap stash. I feel just like a pioneer J!

Spring is at its floriferous *sneeze* best at the moment and this kookaburra and his mate decided to settle and hunt in my back yard for a few days. Usually they seem to sit at the top of a tree and make their signature laughing call but he was kind enough to perch in photogenic spots and I was able to get some good shots with my camera.

And this mud brick birds nest fell out of a tree at my work car park. It’s not often you see these up close and I was glad to see that it looked like it was abandoned before it fell. I think it is a magpie lark nest. Amazing!


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Space Time Continuum Top Finished!

Subtitled Whatever Happened to Dave the Engineering Quilt

Unbelievably I’ve had this quilt top sitting around for 6 months already. You might remember back in March I posted some blocks I was making for this and chuckling away to myself about the working title of Dave the Engineering Quilt. No? I won’t go into it here but refresh your memory by all means. I'll wait...

You're back! Anyway, I decided on the change of name because hourglass blocks, space ship fabric, how could I not. In my never ending series of lists I still refer to it fondly as Dave though.

The design for this may seem eerily familiar if you have seen Cheryl at Meadow Mist Design’s Chronograph block and I freely admit that it started from an idea simply to upsize that one block. Then I had to tweak it a little to make it rectangular and so we get the finished quilt top we have today.

Everything about this design seemed all good on graph paper. Construction provided a challenge when I realised I’d given myself a partial seam. I watched this video tutorial on sewing partial seams on YouTube by Donna Ward and it all turned out pretty well I think.

Still it wasn’t my only problem. I’d originally planned on making it bigger but part way through I ran out of background fabric. I should be able to get a bit more I thought so I headed up to the local fabric store and came home with what I thought was the same colour and sewed it in. It wasn’t until I took it outside in daylight to take these photos that I discovered to my horror that they weren’t a match. 

Looking at this photo that seems unlikely I know but it’s true! I think one’s white and one’s snow and different brands as well.

Anyway that meant I had to sacrifice some of my border fabric to finish the centre. I have since bought some more (and checked for a match in daylight… several times!) and I’ll be able to add extra length and width before I finish. And I’ve learned a lesson – I now label my whites so I can tell at a glance if they will match in or not. It also explains, if you look carefully, why the fabric print has changed in the block between the first progress photo and the second.

Here’s the stats so far: finished size is 56 inches by 69 and it took 1 metre of print fabric! Pretty good huh?

 ‘til next time