Friday, 25 October 2013


I've done a lot of looking out of the window this week at the atrocious weather.  We've had torrential rain, magnificent lightning streaking across the sky, thunder that left you deafened, and a whirlwind not too far away on the coast.  Now the forecasters say we could have a hurricane on the South Coast this weekend.  Today it is obviously the lull before the storm, so I've been busy battening down the hatches and making sure there is nothing loose to fly about in the garden.

The Farmer's Wife Sampler block I've done this week is very apt.

#109 - Windows

This was a lovely easy little block to do and didn't take me long to complete.  The rest of my time this week has been taken up with hand quilting Pretty in Pink.  I am almost 3/4 done so should finish the quilting by next week.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Back to the FWQ

I've felt somewhat bereft of late as I haven't completed any blocks for my Farmer's Wife Quilt, but now that I've finished piecing the 'Pretty in Pink' quilt top, and the hand quilting on it is underway during the evenings, I managed to squeeze in just one block this week.

#105 Wild Goose Chase
The rest of this past week has been taken up with de-boning some old shirts and cutting them into squares so I can make a start on my grandson's Disappearing Nine-Patch.  Here it is, all cut out.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Pretty in Pink

After finishing the scrap sorting last week I was eager to start a new project, so I decided to make a start on using up some scraps..  Do you remember the pile of 5" squares I had cut?

There were 80 squares in that pink pile on the left and were calling me to make something for my granddaughter whose favourite colour just happens to be pink.  I wanted something that would be scrappy, but still have a unified look to it.  I hunted around the internet, and my Pinterest boards and decided on the Disappearing Nine-Patch block.  I already had two charm packs of Kona white so they could be used, and I found some pink and red spot fabric in my stash I'd bought in Ikea earlier this year.  The white and the spot would be in every block.  I made each block using four scrap squares for the corners, one pink spot square for each centre, and four white squares for the outer middle squares.  That sounds complicated but as a picture paints a thousand words here's one to show you what I mean.

I made twenty blocks like this. Chain-piecing them meant they came together so quickly.  I really surprised myself how quick it was.  Then came the fun part.  I cut through the middle of the block, both vertically and horizontally like this.

Then I rotated the top left and the bottom right squares through 180 degrees, leaving the other two squares alone.  They now looked like this.

This was then sewn together to make the completed block.

The block measured 13 1/2" square, which when set in a 4x5 formation and sewn together would be just a bit too big for the fleece throw I want to use for the backing, so I trimmed the blocks down to 12 1/2", making sure I measured 6 1/4" from the centre line on all four sides so that I kept the pattern equal.

 The completed top. I love the way the cut white blocks form that cross pattern.  I'm thinking I'll hand quilt around the inside of those crosses to emphasise them a bit more.

 Although not completely made from scraps, I'm putting this down as another item for the Scrap Challenge.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

September Round-up.

My round up of finished items for the month of September is really easy.  Absolutely nothing!  I haven't machined a single stitch, but I have been busy.  My sewing room was getting crowded out with bags full of donated scraps.  My sister and several of my friends have given me bags full of unwanted fabric and scraps.  They were taking up a lot of space and I really needed to see what was suitable and usable for patchwork, and what I could pass on for other usage.  I started on the 1st September, and finally finished yesterday!  Yes, it took me a whole month!

First, I emptied each bag and sorted out all the cottons.  I had to do the burn test on some bits to make sure they didn't contain any polyester.  As most of the stuff had been stored for a long time I then washed, dried and ironed all of it to freshen it up, and also to pre-shrink it.  I then had to decide how I wanted to store it.  There were some big pieces left over from dressmaking and smaller scraps and it had mostly been cut with scissors and was all in rather odd shapes.  I've read a lot of blogs about sorting and cutting scraps and everybody seems to have their own method, so I designed this method to suit me.

Everything was squared up so that each piece had a right-angle on each of the four corners.  Anything over 6" was treated as yardage. From the rest I cut strips at 3 1/2" and 2 1/2" wide.  They had to be at least 12 1/2" long.  Other long strips that were narrower were put in a separate pile and labelled 'strings'.  I then cut squares at 5", 3 1/2" and 2 1/2". The final sort was anything larger than 1" was saved for 'crumb' blocks, anything smaller was thrown away.  Here is my haul.

This is my 'yardage' drawer.

All the squares.  At least 100 5" squares, about the same 31/2" squares and about 200 2 1/2" squares.

The pink pile on the left is going to become a scrappy Disappearing Nine-Patch quilt for my granddaughter, hopefully for Christmas.

These are the strips and strings.  Not sure what these will become but I'm sure they'll speak to me one day.

I'm so pleased all the scraps are now sorted and put away in just two drawers.  They take up so much less space now, and I do like to keep things tidy.

As I mentioned at the start, I have done no machine sewing this month, but I have been spending my evenings in front of the TV hand-quilting my Starry Blocks quilt.  I've completed three so far.

It's now October and I've made one Farmer's Wife quilt block today.

# 103 - Whirlwind

I want to get started on the scrappy quilt for my granddaughter this month so I doubt if I'll get any more FWQ blocks done until I've finished that.