Saturday, 23 July 2016

Playing catch-up - June's aqua blocks for the RSC 16

Angela at Soscrappy is hosting a rainbow Scrap Challenge again this year. I decided not to tie myself to her sampler blocks, but to use the colours each month in making a bear's paw block. I was occupied with other things in June, but this week I made the units of my bear's paw in aqua, which was the colour for June. (For more about this project click here)

June - Bear's Paw units in aqua
Now I've caught up on this project it's time to look out the other projects lounging in their boxes and give them a shake up! I guess Angela won't be announcing the new colour for another week or so; can I finish "Allietare!" in one week??!

I'm linking to 
so hop over there to see all the pink perfection 
other participants are making in July.

Happy sewing


Friday, 22 July 2016

Star Light, Star Dark QAL

Quilty Habit
Jessica at Quilty Habit is organising a quilt along in which the participants will be making a quilt of traditional blocks but in a modern layout. I liked the idea of this challenge as soon as I read about it, but it's taken me quite a while to pull enough fabrics together to meet the criteria: three colours, of which we need at least six or seven light fabrics and six or seven dark ones, while achieving enough contrast within the six colour-groups.

Here is my choice of fabric:

The three piles in the foreground are my ultimate choice and the two piles behind are the fabrics I rejected as being too yellow for the green group, and too red/pink for the purple group. The top of the purple pile is a difficult shade: here it looks blue, but with blue fabrics it definitely looks purple! As I'm not using blue I decided to leave it in for now and see how it goes. Not all the pieces here are full FQs I'm hoping that some of the smaller pieces will be large enough for the smaller stars.

I'm linking up to
Quilty Habit

so hop over there to see other participants' fabric choices.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 16 July 2016

July's RSC blocks: pink.

A short post this time as I finally got back to the sewing machine yesterday after a break of more than five weeks. My hip has continued to heal steadily, thanks to everyone's good wishes, and I can now walk without supports for short distances (like 50 metres!), but that's a start. However, I still have a rolling gait, as if I've just spent the last five weeks at sea!

Once at the sewing machine yesterday I sewed these bear paws:

Oops! Bottom left looks larger than the rest .. I didn't get round to trimming before the photo!

and then put everything so far up on the design wall.

Bear's paw blocks will finish at 13.5" square.

The block top left is the only one finished, and I'm thinking of unpicking the sashing and redoing it at 1.5" finished width, the same size as the squares. I shan't be joining any of the other units until I have all the colours finished and can make combinations I really like.

I'm linking up to
so nip over there to see masses of pink perfection!

Happy sewing


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Quilty 365 circles in June

Towards the end of last year Audrey at Quilty Folk offered a challenge to appliqué a circle on a square each day. My response to that was positive: that wouldn't take long each day, and I could teach myself (with a lot of YouTube assistance) to do needle-turn appliqué. I started on 1 January and for five months kept on schedule.

Then June was an eventful month in several ways, and this is literally all the sewing I did!

I crocheted a string bag (handwork, but not sewing) but no other sewing:

no 1939's Farmer's Wife blocks,

no improv, 

no Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 

Now you know all the projects I would have been working on, if ....
In my previous post I explained why. I'm now itching to get back to the sewing machine, but the "only sitting with my feet up" rule still applies. I can now stand for long enough to cut fabric so there's no valid reason for not making a lot of circles this month. I'm getting there!

That's enough time writing about almost nothing, so here's going back to exercise and then the needle and thread!

I'm linking up to 
Grab button for

so pop in there to see more - a lot more - appliqué circles

Happy sewing


Saturday, 25 June 2016

Turquoise in June, and not much sewing done!

Each month Angela at Soscrappy gives a colour and a lot of quilters round the world look out their scraps in that colour and make something with them. This month's colour is turquoise, and most people will have just about finished their scraps by now. Not me, however, this is as far as I've got.

I looked out these pieces in the first week of June, but two weeks ago I had hip replacement surgery and haven't looked at the sewing machine since. It's not that I'm bed-ridden, but my machine is in a cabinet and there isn't enough space to put my foot up! I'll have to give turquoise June a miss, and work twice as hard in July! Instead of my sewing machine being my best friend, this has been my constant companion!

I was in hospital for just two and a half days and in that time used some other blue/ turquoise scraps to make this

I thought it would be useful to carry bits and pieces around while I was using crutches, but, apart from practising going up and down stairs with the physiotherapist in the hospital, I haven't used them. Moreover I don't crochet as fast as I thought I did, and the bag wasn't finished until the day after I got home!

I'm doing hand sewing , and have done three Quilty 365 circles this week, but my goal of one a day, has not been met. I have a few more prepared and they will be the focus of my attention for the next week.

I was back at the hospital for a check up yesterday morning, and everything is healing perfectly. The dressing came off, and stayed off - hooray! I can walk very short distances without any support which is quite a relief as manoeuvring the walking aid in my tiny kitchen was a real challenge. My return to the sewing machine is not far away!

I'm linking to


so pop in there to see what all the super active quilters have produced 
with their aqua coloured scraps in June. 

Happy sewing


Saturday, 4 June 2016

Quilty 365 May circles

Since 1 January I have participated in the Quilty 365 Challenge set by Audrey at Quilty Folk. On the first of each month, a group of quilters world-wide share their circle blocks of the previous month.

My May circles in chronological order: not all sewn down yet.
The circles are appliquéd onto squares, and there are no rules about the type of fabric we use, nor the appliqué method we use. Some of my circles are just one fabric, but many now are randomly pieced form my scrap bin. Most of the circles are 3" in diameter, and yet one has 21 pieces!

Until May I didn't have much trouble in keeping up, but this last month I somehow didn't manage. One evening last week I was so tired I fell asleep with the needle in my hand, and woke up with a start when I dropped the needle. Fortunately, I was still holding the thread! Definitely a sign that it was time to call it a day!

I've chosen to do needle-turn; a technique I'd never tried before. The only preparation I do is to draw a circle on a piece of fabric, cut approximately 1/8 to1/4 of an inch around it, and then sew! As I go round the circle I turn the next 1/4" under (up to the circle line) with my needle, hence needle-turn, and sew it down with an invisible ladder stitch about 1/16" long. At first that was very laborious, but I find it much easier now. I learnt how to needle-turn following a Google search and watching several videos. What would we do without the Internet?!

What would we do without the Internet? Not much new I suspect. Aside from the fact that I'm going to publish this on the Internet and someone, I hope, is going to read it, there wouldn't be anything to write about if it weren't for Audrey and her challenge, and her decision to do her circles using the needle-turn technique. Her decisions triggered me to take part and learn a new skill. You're never too old to learn, and there's nothing like a challenge for beating old age!

I'm linking to 

 Grab button for

Hop over there by clicking on the button, and see the great variety of 
styles and materials that are being used in this challenge.

Happy sewing


Saturday, 28 May 2016

Improvisation progress in May

This week I did a little work on my improvised quilt inspired by Piet Mondriaan's "Composition in Red, Yellow and Blue".

Last month I showed some red half rectangle triangles I wasn't satisfied with. This month I sewed the red triangles together along the short side; that really did seem to be the best arrangement. The yellow and blue I cut as flying geese right from the start. I didn't manage to work out how much extra I needed to cut for the seam allowance, as a result most of the geese have been beheaded!

This week I'm going to make two more blue "geese" and continue to make my Mondriaan inspired block. Then it'll be time to think about the other corners - more triangles? more squares? And it needs more fabric on the left hand side, probably empty space, but I just don't know yet.

I've been trying to make a circle a day in the Quilty 365 project, but I've fallen behind. Here are this month's improvised circles as of last Wednesday. I'll be showing all May's circles here on Tuesday.

I've recently learnt how to make free-hand curves; I bet you'd never have guessed! Even so, this one, with all straight lines, is my favourite:

with 21 pieces. cut-offs from various farmer's wife blocks, and they are tiny pieces to start with! Although it will look better after pressing, it's not a very circular circle!

I'm linking to the Ad hoc improvised quilting link up hosted by Kaya and Ann

Click on the button to see more improvised patchwork quilts.

Happy sewing