Friday, 27 March 2015

RSC 15 week13: The final yellow



Each month Angela at Soscrappy gives a colour and some sampler patterns and lots of people round the world use that colour: some to make the sampler blocks, others to work on other projects. This month the colour has been yellow. On Saturdays we link up to show one another what we've been making in the last week

I sewed some 1.5 inch squares into nine patches; I don't know what for, but just because they were there. I was going to use nine patches in the border of the 2014 RSC quilt, changed my mind, but kept on making nine patches.


Last week I posted about this:


and asked you what the smallest size is you think worth saving. The answers ranged from:

  • 0.5" square to 2" square, or
  • 0.75"wide by 2.75" long, or "anything with a seam allowance"!
I'm amazed! I hadn't expected anything less than 1" wide.


I also asked what you do with really tiny scraps. Here is a summary of the answers I received:

  • spread out on the garden as mulch
  • donate to junior school / child care institution for craft projects
  • save for appliqué
  • use the tiniest pieces under tulle in appliqué
I don't have a garden any more, and I'm not sure if (excess) dye in fabric is good for plants, nor how quickly it rots away. If I still had some land I would try mulching the neighbour's hedge! Just testing, of course!

The other three ideas I found very encouraging. 
I've just put a bag of scraps (mostly from dressmaking) together for my granddaughter who, according to my daughter, is always cutting and gluing. 

The other small pieces I'm saving for appliqué.

Last week a no-reply blogger asked how I sewed the crumbs together. Now I don't know about everyone else, but I start with an irregular pentagon and just keep adding pieces round it. Just like a log cabin, a wonky log cabin that is. When I need a longer piece than I have in the bin, I just sew two or three together until I have a long enough piece. I don't use any foundation fabric or paper. I try to straighten up the sides by cutting off as little as possible, but if I need to cut off a large piece I make it really large and it can be the start of the next crumby block. So far it seems a lot like crazy quilting, except the pieces are much smaller, and there are no embellishments.

The other sewing this week was quilting my 2014 Rainbow quilt which came to a stop on Monday. Can you see what's missing?


A trip to the LQS on Wednesday remedied the situation and the last quarter is quilted and the quilt is being assembled. I'm putting it together by QAYG, I don't know yet how successful that will be, but quilting the smaller pieces (approximately 42" square) was much easier than holding a full-sized quilt under the needle of my machine,

I saw this afternoon that Angela has changed the background colour on her blog, so it looks like April's colour is purple. While I was pulling fabric for my granddaughter I kept all purple crumbs for myself and even found some purple blocks in there already made.

On Saturday I shall be linking to
RSC 15

so hop over there to look at more scrappy sunshine.

Happy sewing

Marly.

PS What's missing? I ran out of wadding! But you all saw that!!!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Camera Challenge 2



Littlest Thistle Camera Challenge 2015

Katy, at the Littlest Thistle, is holding a Camera Challenge.

The second assignment was about understanding aperture.



This was an assignment and a half!

I took hundreds of photos of  objects all lined up:





But rejected them all!

Until this morning, when I hit on the idea of lining them up with the focus points on the camera, and then manually changing the focus point from one to the other as I moved through the series. That way I didn't have to move the camera, just the settings.

The only setting I changed in each photo was the aperture priority.
I labelled each photo with its colour (for identification) and f number. Violet is on the left and purple on the right. I won't bore you with red and green; they don't add anything.

Here are nine photos, plus a bonus!



What are those mysterious light spots on the purple spool?
Reflections from my watch, necklace, wedding ring ...?
The other settings, constant in all photos:
Camera: Canon EOS 450D
Lens: EFS 18-55mm
ISO: 200
Exposure adjustment: +1 (a mistake, but I'm not doing them all again!)
Light balance: auto
focal length: 18mm 

Interesting is that the exposure times increase as the aperture value increases. (Good job I have a tripod!)



There are the mystery spots again.




To be honest, I know there's a difference, but find it hard to see in this format. Probably because  of the lens but maybe because the purple spool is only 14 cm/ 4.5" further from the camera than the violet. Maybe it's .jpg format that's the problem.


And finally, by way of contrast, this photo I took after a heavy shower last September with my zoom lens:


Canon EOS 450D
Lens: EF 75- 300mm
ISO: 800 (set on auto)
Evaluative metering
Aperture value: f 5.6
Focal length 210mm
The leaves are close together but the lens is different and the camera was much further away.


I'm linking up to 
Littlest Thistle Camera Challenge 2015
so go and visit Katy and see what others have done this month.


Happy snapping everyone

Marly.



Saturday, 21 March 2015

RSC week 12: crumby yellow

Each month Angela at Soscrappy, who is hosting the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, gives a colour to use, and a lot of people world-wide use their scraps in that colour to make Angela's sampler, or anything else that takes their fancy. This month's colour is yellow, and having made my sampler blocks a few weeks ago, I've turned to sewing crumbs.

Crumbs no more!

Many of these pieces were only an inch wide, some strange shapes left from cutting hexagons. This whole piece is now about 9"wide; I can get one 4" square or two 3" squares out of it and use the leftovers to start the next piece of made fabric. I shan't though, yet. I don't have any more crumbs, except a few solids, and anything larger than 2.5" square I'm saving for the alternate blocks in the sampler. I wonder how small a cut-off has to be to be too small to reuse. I'd love to hear your ideas.

I also made my first sewing machine a very pale yellow, for the Quilt Doodle quilt along. The machine wasn't really yellow, more beige, but there's no beige in my stash, so yellow it has become.

My first sewing machine:
a Helvetia my mother bought in the mid 1950's
I need to embellish it more using buttons for the controls, but I'll only add those when I quilt it, and I think there should be some thread coming off the reel, don't you?

So that's all my yellow for this week.

I'm linking up to Soscrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Hop over there for more of this week's yellow happiness.

RSC 15
Happy sewing

Marly.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

RSC 15 week 11: sunshine

It was a really sunny week here with temperatures shooting up to 15°C on Wednesday. Of course that was because I made not one, but two yellow stars!

When I'd made the pink blocks, I found the dark background in the lady of the lake block disturbing, probably because the placement is asymmetrical, and the dark blue gave too much contrast. I'm not going to unpick it: it is as it is. But when I made the air castle I chose a light yellow for the background within the small block, and then thought later this could well have had a dark blue background (which is when the symmetrical/ asymmetrical issue hit me!)

Air Castle in Sawtooth Star
So I returned to the dark blue background in the Monkey Wrench, which I like.

Monkey Wrench in Sawtooth Star
 And so we learn!

I also made two pieces of alternate blocks, at least sewed the 4-patches and the twosies. I'm still not sure how many of these part blocks I need to make to go with each star block - one, or two, or maybe even four. I've read Angela's posts and understand how the alternative blocks are built up, but I'd be grateful for your thoughts on how many four patches there should be to match the colour in every star block.

part of an alternate block:
one large unit
two 4-patches
and a twosie

part of another alternate block
For both January and February I made two such part blocks but forgot to show them.

I'm linking up to SoScrappy for
RSC 15

so pop over there for a viewing of lots more beautiful sunshine yellow.

Happy sewing

Marly.


Saturday, 28 February 2015

RSC 15: week 9: the last of the pinks


Each month, Angela, at Soscrappy, chooses a colour, and a lot of people make blocks in that colour. She also gives directions for sampler blocks, and in February there were two:
Lady of the Lake in Sawtooth Star

Marley in Sawtooth Star
After making those I cut some small pink pieces into 1½" squares and and added to the left over sashing strips from my RSC 14 and Little Letter quilts to make 9-patches:



From the pieces that were too small, or not straight enough, I "made" fabric. Not much yet, but I just found another bag of off-cuts.


I have no idea what I'm going to make these into, but I think they'll come in useful some day. I plan to do this each month in the colour of the month.

I am at a screen printing workshop today, so shall be linking up later than usual with

RSC 15

Hop over there, and look at all the pink delights made this month.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Camera Challenge 1

Katy at the Littlest Thistle is running a camera challenge, to help those of us who are photographically challenged to enhance our skills.

This month's challenge is to compare using automatic settings and using the pre-sets.

My camera is a Canon EOS 450 D, digital reflex, which I have had for about five years. All these photos were taken using the 18-55 lens.

Portrait

pre-set - portrait
auto 







 



The pre-set used the flash, even though this was outside on a sunny morning. The extra light minimised the shadow, especially noticeable in his beard. This would probably make a portrait more flattering by equalising skin tone and minimising wrinkles (I tried a self portrait, but flash and mirror don't mix!). I am surprised that the bush in the background is not more clearly defined in the automatic setting.

Landscape


auto

pre-set - landscape
The only difference I can see here is pre-set is lighter. I don't think this is the most inspiring landscape but the pre-set shows more contrast. 

Close up


auto

pre-set - close-up
Both photos were taken with the automatic flash which makes the background dark. Neither give the true colour. In the pre-set photo another orchid stem to the left of the subject is less defined than in the automatic, but that may be because I moved closer to the subject.

Action


auto

pre-set sports

I don't see much difference here either. However the automatic is lighter even though there were only a few seconds between the two shots. In both the drops are visible, which I hadn't expected from the automatic. I got a surprise, however, when using the sports setting because it's in continuous shooting mode. That's not necessary for a fountain, but I do use the manual setting "continuous shooting" when photographing my grandson's football matches; really useful for getting ball-on-foot shots.
Looking again at the original photos at 100% size, and not these .jpg versions, the drops are much clearer in the sports than in the automatic, where they are all elongated.

Well Katy has certainly set me LOOKING at my photos and also comparing the data. I hope that as this challenge progresses I'll know what I'm doing well enough to be less of a hit and miss camera junkie.

I'm linking now to

The Littlest Thistle

Click on the logo to see what fabulous photos other challenged photographers have made.


Happy snapping everyone

Marly.

PS

While I was crawling around photographing the orchid I couldn't resist taking a shot with a manual setting (Av 5.6) focussing on the very centre of the flower. No flash; the background is a net curtain and there's brilliant sunlight on the other side. The colour isn't right here either, but it's more realistic than in the two above.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Little Letters finished


2015 FAL at On the Windy Side


My Little Letters quilt, is finished. This was a QAL on the blog of  the Temecula Quilt Company last autumn, and while the letters were finished in December (see here) I have now got it finally quilted and bound.


I quilted the border with a mixture of flowers and leaves, without a real plan, but making sure there was  flower in each corner. There is also a Charlie's pencil (see here and here)in the border, next to the U.

Thank you to those of you who gave advice on the binding last week. I chose scrappy! I didn't have enough of any of the fabrics to use just one fabric, except the white background fabric. I generally cut my binding fabric 2" wide which gives a very narrow border to the quilt which doesn't finish as such an important design element.

Scrappy binding: the smallest piece is barely 3" long, the rest between 10" and 16".





I left the letters unquilted, only quilting in the white space between them. There wasn't a quilting plan as such, I just went with the space available, and really enjoyed the letters, like D, O and U with a single large piece of white.







        I really do have to practise STRAIGHT FMQ more!








































and now it's been washed; I love the crinkles! 


Quilt statistics

Pattern:
Little Letters by Temecula Quilt Company
Size:
34½” x 39½”
Fabric:
letters: scraps; background: Bella solid; backing: "Simple Pleasures" by Fresh Designs for Henry Glass & Co.

Wadding:
Cotton from LQS.
I'm linking up this week to:

   Freemotion by the River    Sew Fresh Quilts Needle and Thread Thursday   tgiffriday


and at the beginning of April to:
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side


So go and see what else is doing in the Quilting Community. And now I'm going to do some more sewing towards a finish.

Happy sewing

Marly.