Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Buckwheat and bias edges.

Buckwheat block.

Here are the two little blocks I made today. One for me and one for Ruth in her 1930s colourway. This is a rather challenging block as there are lots of seams to make the sizing tricky and of course template cut triangles have lots of bias edges!

It isn't a bad idea to make one for yourself first as a practice!!

The cat has just brought in a mouse - for the second time. We shouted at her and she took it out but she brought it in again and it's currently cowering behind the loo!

I often catch them and put them out in the shrubs by the front door, but there is often a little body, or pile of innards on the doormat in the morning.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Home again

Here's a picture of the little Japanese purse I have been making for a friend's birthday present. It has been my take-along hand sewing for quite a while so I am glad to get it done, and it's late for the occasion...

The buttons in the middle of the appliquéd flowers on each side are Japanese Kurumi buttons which are like those you cover yourself, but without the teeth to grab the fabric and without the button back too. The project had stalled because I had covered one and sewed it on with beautiful tiny stitches and then realised you could see the metal button form shining through the cotton fabric. Well I have now taken it off and put a small circle of blanket under the fabric. I am really pleased with the result. Just hope the recipient will like it - it is a few hours of hand stitch which is difficult for me!

Lovely to be home again and in time to spend half an hour in the garden tidying up, and to enjoy the bright crab apples against the green background. My Red Sentinel tree had grown so huge I cut it back quite severely earlier in the year so there are not nearly as many little apples this year as before, but there were so many two tears ago that it broke one of the main branches and I had to tie it back together with clingfilm!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Hoar frost

Yesterday I travelled down to Hampshire to sew with buddies. It's a long way but it was good to see the hedgerows and seed heads adorned with hoar frost where the sun hadn't reached for several days. Pity I couldn't stop to photograph it.

All gone today, dreary rainy day. Perfect for sewing though. I have been working with my embellisher with dyed scrim and threads on hot-washed blanket.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Mad, bad cat.

Early this morning there was a huge crashing noise outside the bedroom door. The mad cat Lucy had got her head stuck into handle of a stiff paper carrier bag and flew down the stairs, straight back up again and then shot under the bed trying to escape it!

When she recovered enough to eat breakfast she disappeared and I found she had got into the guest room and was laid out on the white quilt with a "don't think of moving me" expression on her face!

I am fond of this quilt - you can see why I wouldn't want muddy paws on it!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas is coming

Here is the little embellished angel I made last week at Embroidery Group. Printed 6 to a page they make nice Christmas cards. I took some back to group today and they were much admired.

This morning we made button necklaces which was great fun and I really enjoyed my morning, but now need to get to work and get the cards written - Christmas is catching up with me and the only one I have sent so far was to the USA..

Sorry about the scary photo!  I am gobsmacked by how like my Mother I look...

Friday, 7 December 2012

End of Day.

End of Day is the name of the block I made today. But it is beginning to get dark as I write this and I'm yawning!

I thought it would be easy to make this one from strips joined together first, and so it is - except that you only need one side of the pieces you cut! Inevitably you make enough for two blocks. . .
  Because I really hadn't thought it through, on my first attempt I made enough parts for four blocks, as I cut the strips all on the same diagonal and then had to make more as you need mirror images.

Have a look at the picture of four and see if you can spot the differences!

It then transpired that they were too small! I had started with 2" strips, joined them and then cut squares before cutting on the diagonal, but when I came to join them they had shrunk!

Cut like this!

Well after that I remembered the blocks I had made on retreat from Jelly-roll
Strips for the baby quilt as these are the same design with the corners rotated; and tried some with 2 1/2" strips. These will make a 7"block, but can easily be trimmed to make a 6" block for the Farmer's Wife sampler. Join the two pairs of strips and press, then place them RS together dark on light, matching seams. Cut into 4 1/2"squares. Draw the diagonals and stitch either side, cut on the drawn line and press open. For details of how to trim these, contact me as I have now made a crib sheet for it!

 Rotating the corners of the block before assembly makes the Double Pinwheel I used in the baby quilt. I should have remembered they were a challenge to put together as some were clockwise and others anti-clockwise!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Experimental piecing

While I was on quilt retreat I spent some time making these tiny experimental blocks. Every so often I revert to free piecing and am constantly attracted to Contemporary work where colour and contrast are important elements in the design. Although unplanned these have quite an architectural flavour.
They were completely addictive and I am quite anxious to find time to make some more, and have spent a while today considering how they might be finished.

Back to preparations for class on Saturday. My students are studying Log Cabin and Pineapple blocks, and the fun Woodpile block too. After Christmas we will be playing with Curved Piecing.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The pictures!

The dark Pineapple quilt:

I am now wondering if the centres might be a bit bright and need toning down a bit perhaps by tea staining?
I am very pleased with how this has come together and it will have a wide medium blue border, and then go off to be quilted.

Many of the fabrics in here, which are left-overs from other projects are now going into my Farmer's Wife blocks.

The Wonky Log Cabin blocks:
 The Baby quilt with double pinwheel blocks made from Jellyroll strips for my nephew Carl and Agnieska.

The Farmer's Wife blocks:
Noon and Light and Fruit Basket
   Broken Dishes and Peace and Plenty 
   which both use 16 half-square   triangles.

which both were made from the templates Gilly sent

Chequerboard and  Storm Signal which were made from the Fiddler's Jig templates on Marcia Hohn's site here as the square-on-point is a strange size
and below is Whirlwind which is straightforward to make.

Little Angel

I went to the Monday embroidery class and made a little angel with my embellisher. Perhaps she will  make a nice Christmas card design.

Time now to get out the sewing machine and get the tidy dining room set up again as a workroom!
I have yet to make a F W block for yesterday or today, and need to get on with prep for my class on Saturday too. I'll put up some pictures of my retreat work next.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

More Farmer's Wife blocks

I have been testing Gilly's templates today and they are spot-on! I've made both Day and Light and the Fruit Basket which turned out well. I have also had a look at those blocks that have squares on point in them as these are awkward sizes. I found a block with templates to print out on Marcia Hohn's site quilters called Fiddler's Jig which gives the square, half and quarter square triangles and they printed out to size for 6"blocks. I have used them to make Storm Signal and Checkerboard, and they have worked out fine too.

I have spent most of the day finishing the baby quilt I started yesterday and it just needs the binding stitched down now.

This afternoon I worked on the quilt as you go bag that I'm making with the bright jelly roll I won at quilt group in the draw in the summer.