Monday, April 4, 2016

Three together

I'm somewhat behind with posting about the Splendid Sampler blocks, having only just caught up with sewing the twice weekly ones and with list of possible bonus blocks to make.

The bonus blocks might become very important in the future as potential replacements for the not so very good ones.  Here's the latest three

I'm very happy with the birds in the sky, so good to be in my comfort zone with raw edged appliqué but, big but here, have spent most of today making the one with the yellow cross using a technique known as foundation paper piecing.

The result is accuracy, but oh thank goodness there only one block to cut and sew. And its not 6.5' square, no idea where the edges went but I'm certainly not making another one.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Hot cross buns and a checkerboard block

My first attempt today at baking some gluten free hot cross buns, so I've followed the recipe exactly - variations with the second batch maybe. While  the dough spent time in the warming drawer I sewed    the next Splendid Sampler block -  domestic to-ing and fro-ing as it were.

 Good to find some fabrics in my french stash that blend with the overall colours I'm using ... less chance of finding I don't have enough when I get to block 95!!

I'll have to make a few more with these two but probably not another one with one inch squares.

And here are the 14 made so far ... suggestions for the colour of the between the blocks sashing are very welcome.

James has just arrived so our family is all here for a few days. We're celebrating Paul's birthday with Sunday lunch at a new to us restaurant ... apparently its always very busy so fingers crossed.

Off now to inspect the buns and make the paste for the crosses.

Happy Easter all.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bonus blocks

Getting back into the routine of my other sewing space and the other machines with the SS bonus blocks.

Next task is to load a quilt top on the frame and remember how to swing the Juki to get even stitches.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Finished in warm sunshine

Another block! Pieced before I left England and embroidered sitting in the warm Le Gers sunshine.

I used more of the flax embroidery thread bought to blend in with the key fabrics. Its a nightmare to sew with - becomes very flossy after a few pulls through the fabric and is a pain to thread into anything like a decent needle. Probably won't buy it again!

I've just seen an extra block posted on the project website ... that's two extra blocks I've not made so far.   Rainy day sewing, I think.

PS In case you're wondering, and I'm not surprised if you are, the block is a homage to crochet and its a crochet hook on the right!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fussy cutting ...

...   is an exacting task! I decided to add something to the simplicity of block 10 of the Splendid Sampler project and, at times, regretted my decision.

Of course, using stitch and flip made it more difficult but here's the block, finished and dated. I'm hoping all the very small off cuts of the fussily cut fabric will come in handy in one or two of the next 90 blocks!!

I've also noticed that the different weight fabrics are not blending well in places .. looks like the yellow strips in this block might had shrunk slightly. Once the top is quilted those minor creases will disappear into the quilting pattern ... thank goodness for that.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This time its a quilt shop block

Speedy block to make and good to use the bird fabric I've bought for another project!! The suggestion from the designer was to embroider the shop signs but I'm busy with other embroidery at the moment so I used some words from a selvedge (always worth saving those edgy pieces) and added gold foil to bring a touch of reality to the door and window.

I was rather impatient with the pressure sensitive glue so the foiling is a tad messy ... gives it an old building sort of look ... maybe? It really is better leaving it to dry overnight.

I've spent the rest of my morning sending some poems out into the world. Such a tiresome task but was motivated by two very recent acceptances. More new on these later.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Big and small news

Happy Friday everyone, especially so as I'm un-bandaged, un-booted and have enjoyed a walk in the March sunshine. Not stretching the scar too much on its first outing but oh, it was great to be out in the fresh air, on my feet once again.

The small news is that Block 8 is finished, new fabrics alongside some I've used in the other seven and now I'm wondering if there will be enough fabric for the next 92.

As with each block so far there I learnt something making this one: always read the instructions carefully because in this instance cutting the inner square to a certain size was key to achieving a 6.5 by 6.5 block!  Also discovered that, with great care, it's possible to unpick and redo even when you've trimmed the edges. 

Back here soon, maybe with pics of new fabric -a quilting exhibition and fabric shopping awaits tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Controversial Block 7

Well, what a reaction to my adaptation of Block 7 for The Splendid Sampler ... you learn more than how to use starch being part of a quilting project.

Here's the block

and yes, it's different from the design given by the organisers, but I was inspired by that design, and have used some of its features ... the mini quilt and small animals, well, birds. I also saw someone else's washing line block and used the link for embroidery skills tips to find the bird patterns.

The result was different and for some, too different. I love living in a world with diverse views on these matters. 

I've learnt that the quilt police are not mythical creatures, how to make tiny birds from three different fabrics (thank you ELEFANTZ) and that it's very hard to embroider something to look like a clothes peg.

Can't wait for block 8 because I am, until Thursday, up to date with this project and can get moving with this week's poem for my Poetry School online course and maybe finish the left front of the cardigan I'm knitting. 

Off to play bridge in a while ... another kind friend giving me one more lift. Friday is wear my own right shoe day and Saturday see how I am driving day, I hope. 

Have a good day, lovely reader. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

6 made, 94 to go

Ideal weather (cold, wet, almost snowing) this morning for sewing ... so here's block 6 for The Splendid Sampler.

Really pleased with fabric choice, the finished block is the correct size and probably 8/10 for the points. Thank goodness for starch, used on the fabric and finished block and for Best Press, used on the seams. I think there's some shrinkage in the white fabric so need to watch how wet I make the pieces before pressing.

Lesson for this was the value of the diagonal line on the six inch square ruler. Now most folk will have been using it forever but it only just occurred to me this scorning how useful it was when squaring up any square block so the trim is taken evenly from all sides.

Finally,  I took photo of the 6 completed blocks to see how I was doing with colour choice. Looks like I need to remember about using a little bit of red occasionally.

Snow has stopped, still looks too cold out there for my recovering foot. See you here soon.