Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Nine More FWQ Blocks and Monthly Round-Up

End of heatwave = more sewing.  Hurrah!  The cooler temperature, along with a couple of days of rain, has meant that I've been able to spend a couple of days at home just sewing.  As you can see from the title of this post I have completed nine more 6 1/2" blocks this week for my Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt.  One of these small blocks has 64 pieces!  Can you see which one?  I'm just loving making these.

#38 - Four Winds

#41 - Friendship Star

#48 - Homeward Bound

#54 - Kitchen Woodbox

#55 - Linoleum

#56 - Maple Leaf

#61 - Northern Lights

#62 - Old Windmill

#64 - Peace and Plenty

All made using the scrumptious 'Marmalade' by Bonnie and Camille.  My heart goes topsy-turvy just working with these fabrics; I love them so much.

My July output has been mainly taken up with making these FMQ blocks.  Here's all 22 of them spread out on my living room carpet.  I'd like to take them outside to photograph as the light is so much better out there, but naughty puppy would only run off with them.

I've also made a teeny-tiny needle case with scraps,

 and started a leader/ender project to use up the Chambray Rose leftovers. (see last blog post for these)

And to finish, Molly is four months old now and has very definite views on how my garden should look.

She has decided that I need a flowerbed around my washing line post and has made a start on the digging.

Hole?  What hole?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Using those Scraps

I only started this patchwork lark last August, but I've been avidly saving my scraps.  I love the idea of making 'something for nothing', or getting as much value as I possibly can from my expensive fabrics.  A couple of friends have donated a few dressmaking scraps, and I have cut up, and used, old cotton garments, to make items, namely my Scrappy Trip Around the World (read about it here).

When I made my very first quilt Chambray Rose

I had a lot of fabric left over.  I've used some of  it to make the blocks for my Starry Sampler quilt

but I still had loads of scraps left, and so what to do with it?  I hate waste, so this must be used in some way.

Browsing around bogland I came across Mazed by Kristy Daum.  Eureka!

This quilt is made using a very simple 6" block.  The way it is placed in relation to the other blocks creates the pathways across the quilt.  I looked at my leftovers and realised that I had just enough to make this, using Kona Snow, which I already have, for the negative space. I've bought the pattern and cut most of it out.  I'm going to piece this as a Leaders/Enders project, something else I've been wanting to start.  It's amazing how much you can get pieced this way. Already I've sewn together over 100 pairs of squares whilst making a couple of  6" Farmer's Wife blocks.

So, I can really concentrate on my Farmer's Wife blocks with the added bonus that I'm making another quilt as well.

I now am left with a bag of really scappy bits.  Nothing is more than 2" wide, and some of it is really tiny, but I don't like to throw anything away.  It must be used!

Blogland to the rescue once again!  Amanda Jean over at crazy mom quilts is starting a personal challenge to make 101 scrap projects, and her first one is a dinky little needle case.  I actually need one of these to keep my quilting needles in, so out came the scraps and a couple of hours later I had made one, too.

This measures just 2 3/4" by 3 3/8" finished size.  I'd read about quilt-as-you-go where you sew strips directly onto batting and so gave it a try.  It was ideal for this.

The toggle is from my vast collection of old buttons and matches perfectly.

The lining isn't quilted, just held in place with the line of central stitching that holds the small piece of batting to take the needles.  I am so, so pleased with this little bit of scrap, and I've learnt a new technique that I'm sure I will use again.

What next?  Watch this space!

Friday, 19 July 2013

More FWQ blocks

I'm just loving our taste of Summer at the moment.  Temperatures in the 30's; so unusual for us in UK, but it is taking a toll on the sewing front.  It just slows everything down and I'm finding I'm making more mistakes, like sewing seams together inside out.  I sew my seams for these blocks using a 1.5 stitch length so the ends don't come unravelled, but it means I have to unpick very, very carefully using a pin one stitch at a time.  I've managed to make five blocks this week, and nothing else.

#21  Contrary Wife

#25 - Cups and Saucers

#26 - Cut Glass Dish

#31 - Evening Star

#34 - Flock

Now my daughter has broken up from school for the summer I won't be looking after Molly all the time, so I have high hopes of getting more done now.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Farmer's Wife continued

After last week's two-block start on my Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt I've managed to complete six more this week.

#9 - Box

#10 - Bowtie

#11 - Broken Dishes

#12 - Broken Sugar Bowl

#16 - Calico Puzzle

#20 - Churn Dash

I've started with the easy blocks that I can rotary cut and are mainly made up of HSTs and straight blocks to get me used to working on a small scale.  I'm loving drafting out the patterns and choosing the methods to piece them, but  what seems to take me the longest amount of time is choosing the combination of fabric to make them from.  I'm glad I bought some matching solids for the Marmalade collection as too many prints together can lose the pattern entirely.

I've done hardly any hand quilting on the Starry Sampler Quilt as it's been too hot to be draped in a quilt.  I can see that getting done more in the winter.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

New Year's Goals Revisited.

Way back in January, half a year ago, I made some goals for this year.  I don't know why I make goals as I never stick to them, but it's interesting to see what I do fulfil and what gets left by the wayside.  So this is what I said on 1st January and what I've done towards them.

1.  Finish the Craftsy BOM quilt started in August (4 blocks to go, then sashing, backing, quilting and binding).  I've finished all of the blocks, using some different ones than those published as I didn't like some of them.  I want to machine quilt these using the as-you-go method so I can practice Free Motion quilting.  I'm a bit scared to make a start yet!

2.  Start "The Farmer's Wife Quilt" using "Marmalade".  Hurrah!  I've started this month. Read to the end of the post and you'll see what I've done so far.

3.  Join in Stitchery Dickory Dock's Sugar Block Club each month (using leftover fabric from my "Chambray Rose" quilt).   Some of these have been incorporated into my Starry Sampler Quilt which is now at the hand quilting stage.

4.  Make quilt for daughter using her old clothes (Cluck Cluck Sew's "Scattered" pattern). Finished and gifted, but I used Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trip Around the World.  

5.  Make a string quilt from old shirts using one of  Bonnie Hunter's patterns.  Not started but still in the pipeline. 

6.  Join in with the Blogger Girls BOM on Open Gate Blog (using available scraps).  Same answer as #3.

7.  Make a mini quilt each month from Kathleen Tracey's books (using available scraps).  I've made five mini quilts, not all from the books and one is a mug rug, but I'm counting that one in this group.

Actually, I've crossed more off the list than I first thought, and I've made other stuff as well, including a baby quilt, a couple of bags, a dress and some charity blocks.

This week I'm really pleased to have made a start on my Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks.  I bought the book for Christmas and had been stashing away fabric from the Marmalade collection by Bonnie and Camille.  I bought some yardage and added some plains but realised that it would cost an absolute fortune to carry on buying yardage to get the  variety of prints I wanted, so I bought a Layer Cake.  As these are only 6" blocks the layer cake should go quite a long way and give me the variety that I want.

I've read up a lot about the making of this quilt, and a lot of the pitfalls.  I want to rotary cut as much as possible, and to use different methods for making the individual units, so I've started by drafting out  the blocks from the book onto squared paper and using my own measurements rather than the templates on the CD.  I'm starting with the simplest blocks to see how it goes, and not necessarily in order.  So here's what I've made this week.

#2 - Autumn Tints

#4 - Basket weave

Only two, but it's a start.  I'm only aiming for the lap sized quilt and as I've only got hand quilting on the go at the moment I want to get a few more under my belt before I start on anything else.

Molly and I are enjoying the sunshine whilst it lasts, so plenty of time is being spent outdoors playing, and I'm getting some welcome 'quiet time' when she's worn out and takes a nap.  These little blocks are ideal to work on during those breaks.