Monday, 11 December 2017

Marly: On Ringo Lake part 3

Part 3 of Bonnie Hunter's 2017 Mystery was posted on Friday and I spent most of Friday evening trying to work out how to cut the diamonds without loosing triangles. Unsuccessfully! On Saturday I worked out how to cut with the Easy Angle Ruler; the diamonds are good but I couldn't avoid making a large number of (waste) cut of triangles. I haven't thrown them out though; I already have plans for them, small as they are.

Work in progress

already completed: 50 rectangles
I'm only making half the number of blocks at the moment, so I should manage to complete part 3 by the end of this week.

Later this afternoon I'll be linking up to 
Quiltville's Quips & Snips
so hop over there to see more part 3 progress.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Monday, 4 December 2017

On Ringo Lake part 2

This Year's Quiltville mystery is "On Ringo Lake" ; click on the link to read all about this project.

On Friday Bonnie Hunter posted the second clue setting off a cutting and sewing frenzy round the world. My weekend was quite busy so once again Monday is here and I haven't nearly enough pieces, even for the half size I'm aiming for.
a fraction of the number of geese I need


These look like orange geese in the photo; in fact they are an orangey-pink. I tried adjusting the brightness, but none too successfully! I'm afraid the colour distortion caused by a warm glow light bulb is irrepairable. I couldn't take photos outside yesterday; it was too wet.
Now back to the sewing machine to conjure up more geese!

I'm linking to the Quiltville linky party.
If you'd like to look in on the gaggle of geese just click on this photo:

 Quiltville's Quips & Snips


Happy sewing

Marly.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Floating Squares is a top ...

or maybe a backing.

Floating Squares: score 1 in The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood

Don't get me wrong; I love how this has turned out, so why it's a backing will depend on how you look at it! (literally). I'd rather think that this will become a double-sided quilt. I was ready to start quilting in the middle of last week, except I couldn't find suitable backing fabric in my small selection of yardage. It is all too regular, too traditional, and didn't seem to be a worthy partner for this as a top. I hope you understand what I mean.



I could buy a solid fabric, and that's sold locally. I have decided, however, to continue with the scores in Sherri Lynn Wood's book and use the next one or maybe two combined as the other side of this quilt. Who is to decide which side is the top and which the backing?

Anyway, now something about the process and what I learned.
  • Firstly, setting the limits in each "block" was not difficult, and nor was cutting freehand or inserting filler fabric. I rather enjoyed not having to worry about matching points, and, in fact, after a few seams neatly pressed to the dark fabric I scrapped that and pressed everything open. After all there's no knowing what is going to be joined on next!
  • Secondly, instead of following the score which was simple, I decided, after making about a quarter of the quilt, that I wanted the colours to flow across the block edges, so there are no defined blocks. This was a decision made on route, as it were; not part of the original plan, but a spontaneous decision made during the process. Unfortunately, from that moment I lost the playfulness, I started thinking too much! 😔 and worrying, and that held me back. This project was spontaneity over months! and that's impossible, right?
  • Thirdly, it's never too late to change! Having been searching for the way forward on this project for months, I thought "What the heck!", cut a few squares and went on. The last quarter of this was done in two days, including joining all the separate "blocks" and getting it more or less rectangular. Those two days I really enjoyed!
  • Lastly, and this flows out of the previous observation, there seems to be a sort of improv fatigue, a variation of writer's block: a point where ideas dry up and where transferring to another creative project posing other problems, asking for other decisions can enable you to return later with rested eyes. From this experience I think it's unwise to fight improv fatigue, or writer's block for that matter; it's just "check", not "checkmate".
To conclude: I enjoyed the experience, didn't really suffer from redefining my limits partway through, and am totally satisfied with the result.
That's the end of my lecture!

Some quilt statistics:-
  • 59" x 42"
  • all Bella solids
  • all pieces cut freehand with a rotary cutter - although is it really freehand when the cutting mat has squares printed on it?! Hmm! 
  • Machine pieced. 
  • I'll be hand-quilting it with 12 wt. thread in an all-over pattern, probably Baptist fans. But I'll quite likely change my mind when I have the other side!
I'm linking up to 
Grab button for AHIQ
Click on the button to see more amazing improvisation.

Happy sewing

Marly









Monday, 27 November 2017

On Ringo Lake: Quiltville mystery part 1

I fell for it! Once again I've succumbed to the temptation to take part in Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt along! Looking through my scraps over the last month made me realise there were nowhere near enough browns so I took advantage of the quit show in Nieuwegein, near Utrecht to add to my stash, and not only browns!

The first clue came Friday lunchtime so cutting time began on Friday afternoon and the first brown, teal and neutral 9-patches rolled from the machine on Friday evening.


Not many 9-patches, but I do have a few strips joined


and more strips waiting in the wings.



I should be getting all 50 finished by the end of this week, in time for clue number 2.


Click on the link to see more of Ringo's 9-patches!

Happy Sewing

Marly.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Some Improv, some foundation piecing, and some mindless sewing.

To start with the improv piece I'm making following the first score in Sherri Lynn Wood's "The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters". Although I've been working on this for what seems like ages I haven't posted a photo since July; other projects got in the way, the fabric in a particular colour ran out, or my inspiration dried up! This week I added the section on the right, most of the part with navy in it and I'll be going further when I've finished this post.

Improv lap quilt following score 1 from The Improv Quilters' Handbook
Improv should be spontaneous; it should grow as you work and just develop within the limitations the quilter has set. I don't think months of deliberation are part of the picture.

Foundation piecing, on the other hand is strictly organised. To start with there's a pattern so designed to ensure perfect points - forget that in my case. At least with this pattern from Make Modern magazine  I didn't make my usual errors of cutting the fabric back to front. That's something I always do at least once, which would be fine if I wanted to use the back of the fabric!
4" Rainbow pincushion top: pattern by Angie Wilson for Make Modern issue 18
There are some missed points, all in the final joining stage; the sections themselves are fine. Does anyone have any tips for keeping the presser foot on track when sewing through so many layers of fabric and paper?! It was like a doing a skid course! In spite of the points I'm satisfied with the result, and it was a good learning experience.

After all that concentration I was ready for some mindless catch-up sewing in aqua which was February's colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Each month from January to November Angela gives a colour to work with. This month's colour is brown/black, so I'm taking the opportunity to catch up on my projects.
 

I still have to do green, yellow and orange. If I don't manage to sew them this year there's always next year!

I am linking up later today to 
grab button for SoScrappy
Click on the button to view other catch-up and finishing projects.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Modern Pink

Each month Angela at Soscrappy gives a colour and a lot of quilters focus on using their scraps in that colour: the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. October's colour is pink.
I've made two pink blocks this week for the "make a block a week challenge" for the Dutch Modern Quilt Guild.



The block patterns have all been submitted by guild members. Some are traditional but most, I believe, have been specially designed.

These are both foundation paper pieced, and far from using up scraps, generated them! I'm useless when it comes to foundation piecing! Enter Mr Murphy and his famous law: it can go wrong, and it does!! So for all the fabric you see in the photos there's an equal amount reclining in my lovely new pink basket!

I made some progress on my improv floating squares quilt this week too, until I ran out of navy solid. Not only did I run out, but the LQS had also run out! That's life! Fortunately they agreed to give me a call when it comes in, so I'll be spared another trip for nothing. No recent photo yet of the floating squares quilt which is approaching lap size.

I'm interested to see which colour is coming up for November. I've got way behind with my sewing this year, and I really need to catch up with the missed colours, so maybe I'll be concentrating on them.

I'm linking up to the RSC link-up where there are already a lot of pink beauties to admire.
 SoScrappy
Click on the button to join the party.

Happy sewing

Marly.


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Starry pink

October's colour in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is pink.


Cutting 2" squares to make this generated some more scraps for making the basket. As I still need to make a blue version of this block I also cut blue squares and started joining them in pairs as leaders and enders while I was assembling this one. I'm learning!

This week I also decided to cut a 2" strip and a 2.5" strip from every FQ I buy, as these are the strip sizes I use most. I'm not sure that this is a wise step; I don't want to find myself running out of fabric partway through a project! Only time will tell!

And here, finished this afternoon, is my pink basket:


I love seeing all the baskets lined up, and they are SO useful! How did I ever manage without a scrap saving system?! Finally I think I'm getting organised!

I'm linking to
 grab button for SoScrappy
Click on the button to see more pink delights. 

Happy sewing
Marly.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

September was the orange month ...

... in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and I have just caught up with two of the rainbow projects I started in January.

I showed the orange basket last week:


and this week I finished an orange 7x7 patch with wonky star.


I made a few at the beginning of the year but work got very busy in the spring leaving me very little time for sewing. I shall be picking up the projects in 2018 and hope to have more success.

I also made an orange wonky star for the Dutch Modern Quilt Guild block-a-week project. (I'm way behind with that too!)


In the meantime pink (October's colour) has now taken over my sewing room. I'm heading off there to start sewing my pairs of 2" pink squares together for the next 7x7 patch.

I'm linking up to 
grab button for SoScrappy
Click on the button to visit Angela where everyone else is in the pink!

Happy sewing

Marly.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Orange basket

 September in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge was coloured orange.
 Last week I showed my few orange scraps:


 I  started by joining the little pieces together:


This was the result, although one or two (for example bottom right) still needed to be straightened. It's definitely easier to join the larger  patches when they are all some sort of rectangle.


The next step was to sew the pieces to the wadding and batting, starting in the middle with a couple of "uglies" which won't be seen as they form the base of the basket. Then I went round log-cabin style adding strips of made fabric and strips from stash. On the left of this picture you can see all that was left of the pile of scraps in the first photo; these are the really smallest pieces, and now reside a polythene bag in the finished basket waiting to be used for appliqué.

basket fabric before cutting (two outdoor candles defying the wind and holding down the corners!)
Having cut out rectangles to form the base, joined the side seams and then the base seams, made and added the handles and added the binding, I had this:

Finished basket: pattern by Fiona at BubzRugz
This time I cut the binding at 2.75" which fitted more comfortably under the walking foot, especially when stitching across the handles where there is three times the normal thickness. I also reduced bulk by pressing the side seams open; just visible in this photo:


I'm linking up to
grab button for SoScrappy
so head over there and see what else has been made in orange this September.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

September is orange ...

in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and see here, what a lot of orange I've used!

EPP hexagons with 1" sides
When Angela announced the colour for September I was on holiday, and although I had fabric with me for making hexagon flowers, I didn't have enough orange for even one flower! Now I'm back home I went through some sorted orange scraps in a small zip-lock bag and found these:

orange scraps, mostly the ends of 2" strips
They are not enough to make one of these:
unlined scrap basket - pattern from Fiona at BubzRugz
There are probably more lurking in project boxes, so I'll get searching over the weekend.

This is all I have to show for September on the sewing front. Let's hope October proves to be more productive, especially as in addition to orange I still have to make an aqua and a blue basket.

I'm linking up to
SoScrappy
so head over there to see more (much more) orange delights.

Happy sewing

Marly.


Saturday, 26 August 2017

Neutral storage

The colour for August in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is Neutral. My scrappy project thie year is to use my scraps to make scrappy storage baskets and at the beginning of this week I was able to add another basket to the row.


All are in use, but have themselves depleted the scrap supply - what I wanted, of course - and are squishy and falling about. Maybe placing the quilting lines even closer together would have given more stability; maybe another type of wadding would have worked better. I have used what I had and the result tends to fall over somewhat when empty. Tough!


This basket has less "made fabric" than the others and more ends of strips and and long pieces from trimming backing. What all the baskets have in common though is that all are unlined. That's what drew me first to this pattern from Fiona at BubzRugz; it is quilt-as-you-go and then the sections are joined in the usual way for a bag with a flat base, with the backing serving as the lining. It's not as neat as it could be, but I'm not selling or even giving these away, they are solely for my own use and I'm not bothered about a lining; in fact I'd rather do without the hassle of turning the whole lot through a small hole in the lining.

I'm linking to
 SoScrappy
Click on the above button to pop over there and see more projects with scrappy neutrals.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Neutral basket in the making


Neutral is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour for August. I didn't think I had enough neutral fabric for a basket, and I didn't! Not strictly neutral, at any rate. Some of these look decidedly brown, but are a mix of beige and grey, and some are ecru and grey.


I deliberately avoided any other colours, even though I have a lot of "neutral" with some other colours left from making Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts. By her definition "neutral fabric" can have other colours in it, as long as they amount to less than 50%. This does give a more dynamic effect than solid white as here below where the neutral features orange hens, brown sewing notions, red lines, multi coloured polka dots and ecru buttons.

Allietare!
So my neutral bag will have some other darker shades in it, I could say for effect, but in fact without them I wouldn't have a neutral bag at all!

I'm linking up to 
SoScrappy

so hop over there and see more neutral projects.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Catching up with green and yellow

For the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) Angela at Soscrappy sets a different colour every month and for several years I've tried to make something in each month's colour. May's colour was green and June's was yellow. Here are my green and yellow scraps. Very late!

scrap baskets: pattern by Fiona at BubzRugz
When my laptop packed up in April this year salvaging what I could from it took a lot of time; time that otherwise would have been spent sewing. Instead of interesting sewing I was moving files to an extension drive or to the recycle bin. How boring! One thing that initially couldn't be salvaged was my camera software; officially it has to be reinstalled from the CD. An impossible task if your laptop doesn't have a CD drive! Fortunately my husband found a way of extracting the software from the old computer, but that was the last he did before wiping the laptop clean towards the end of July. So now I'm able to post my rainbow progress, such as it is.

Now I am no longer struggling with software and data I have time for sewing again and am now only two months behind with the RSC colours! I have no more Jacob's Ladder blocks to show, and no more wonky stars; to be honest I've been using scraps faster than generating them. I think those will have to wait until I've made more projects, but first I have more quilting to do

On Saturday I'm linking up to
grab button for SoScrappy

and on Sunday to
Quilting is more fun than Housework

Click on the buttons to visit there and see lots more beautiful scrappiness.

Happy sewing

Marly.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Allietare! finished, at last



I have a second finish to report this week. This one was really a UFO, as it was the Quiltville mystery from December 2015 of which I finished the piecing well over a year ago. It took me another six months to get the borders done.



After my frustration while quilting Star Light, Star Dark I decided on simple all-over "circles-on-a-string" in the centre section which was so easy (but still with the odd pointed bit in a circle here or there!) and on a vine with leaves and bunches of grapes in the corners (a nod to Chianti here) for the outer border.



I could have used any colour thread on the border but because my quilting often has those erratic hooks in it I decided to match the thread to the border fabric. Have you ever tried sewing black on black? Well mistakes certainly wouldn't have been noticeable; when I finished the first leaf I couldn't see where it had begun. When you sew white on white the stitches have shadows; you can't see the shadows on black. It's a shame about the Chianti but it was not to be! More unpicking, and then I quilted "tramlines" with the walking foot - easy and .... boring!

Tramlines! Alas no Chianti!
I was really happy to have this finished and ready to be used this winter.

Fabric: assorted from stash, mostly scraps
Thread: Aurifil light grey (
Wadding: cotton from my LQS
Size 1.75m x 1.75m

I'm linking up to
https://kathyskwiltsandmore.blogspot.nl/2017/08/tgiff-august-4th.html?showComment=1501868172935#c6122758149277913040 
So pop over there and see what else has been finished this week.

Happy sewing

Marly.



Star Light, Star Dark finished





This is my variation of Star Light, Star Dark from the QAL at Quilty Habit last summer.  The challenge was to use only three colours, six or seven fabrics in light tones and six or seven in dark.
I finished the piecing quite quickly, but when I got to that point I still hadn't decided on the quilting designs. The only thing I was clear about was that it needed doing in two halves to be joined later. (On 1 October last year I showed this in more detail)

I started with the dark half and tried to use a different quilting motif in each section. Each section has six or seven different fabrics and I wanted to use a different motif on each.

The centre star (yellow) was done with the walking foot, and having only half a quilt to turn the whole time was a Godsend.
square stippling in the big star; dot-to-dot from Angels Walters surrounding it; orange peel shapes in the centre of the friendship star; stippling surrounding it; baptist fan centre right; vine with leaves top left
The green section went OK too, though admittedly with a few wobbles. Then I tried doing feathers in the large dark purple star. What a disaster! I just can't backtrack, so there was such a build up of thread along the spine of the feathers I thought, "this bird would never get off the ground!"

Then I decided that there was only one thing for it - unpicking all the feathers - which took me every evening for a week. Then I tried swirls, after all I would only have to follow the motif of the print. No! What a mess! Fortunately this time I decided after just a couple of minutes that it had to go. Out it all came! Totally disheartened by my failures in the dark half of the quilt I moved onto the light section until I got distracted by Bonnie Hunter's Mystery quilt. That was in November! That was how it stayed for more than half a year.

Matrix rays from Leah Day in the big star; dot to dot from Angela Walters surrounding it; McTavishing top left
Until two weeks ago when I thought of Leah Day and all her online FMQ videos. That dark purple fabric wouldn't stand another unpicking session so I needed something simple and foolproof. I chose Matrix Rays, and the quilting was finished in no time. All that remained was to join the two halves and then a lot of hand sewing to cover the join on the back, and to sew down the binding.

Square Flower from Lori Kennedy in the centre of the dark purple friendship star
I was pleased with how this square flower turned out. I quilted square flowers in all three purple Friendship Stars, but this one turned out best. In the green F.Stars I quilted orange peels, and in the yellow spirals.


McTavishing in the big star; fantasy leaves surrounding it; more McTavishing in the freehand drawn heart (!!); string of beads bottom left (from Pinterest: origin unknown)
In the light purple block I used more McTavishing;  I used this quilting style three times in this quilt. So much for using a different motif on each fabric. I really found it hard to come up with enough quilting motifs.

Fabric: assorted fat quarters and scraps
Thread: Aurifil 40 wt. in matching colours
Wadding: cotton as supplied at my LQS
Size: 1.75m x 1.27m (69" x 50")
Finally one more photo to show why all the photos were taken indoors this afternoon.


I draped it artistically over the bench, took two steps back and took a photo just as the wind caught it. As I live on the ninth floor I didn't want the wind carrying it away altogether: I'd never catch up with it!

I'm linking up to

https://kathyskwiltsandmore.blogspot.nl/2017/08/tgiff-august-4th.html
so go over there and see more of this week's finishes.

Happy sewing

Marly.