Monday, 28 March 2016

Not an 'official' block

This block is called Rose Park and is designed by Amy Smart.  It hasn't been designed for the Splendid Sampler QAL but I found it on the Babylock site where Pat Sloan has posted a bonus block.  As I was at a loose end this morning I thought I would make it to go in with my other blocks.  It was really easy and went together quite quickly.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

#13 Scrap Star

This is my version of #13 Scrap Star by Corey Yoder for the Splendid Sampler QAL.  The original has a scrappy pinwheel centre and scrappy star points but I like a more regular, less busy design so I've simplified it by using just one print in the centre and using one solid for all the star points.  It does change the character of the original somewhat but it is more in keeping with my personal tastes.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Bonus Block

It was just by chance that I found this bonus block last night.  It's called Inside Out and is designed by Pat Sloan, but she didn't design it for the Splendid Sampler but for Babylock and it can be found on their website.
Finding myself with a spare hour this morning I thought I'd make a start on it.  It was very easy cutting and piecing this one and it went together quite quickly.  I really like symmetrical blocks and this one ticks all the boxes for me.

Friday, 25 March 2016

#11 Crocheted Thoughts

This is #11 of the Splendid Sampler QAL.  The designer is Alyssa Thomas of Penguin and Fish and is a representation of a crocheted doily.  I started this one before #12 but the embroidery has taken me ages to complete. The designer used chain stitch but I've done mine in backstitch and I rather like it.  I've also done slightly different borders and used snowball corners.  This was an enjoyable block to do.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

#12 Checkerboard

I just knew that somewhere in this QAL there would be a square that was made up of 1" squares, so I've been saving every little scrap.  Made this one without cutting into my bigger pieces of fabric.  It's turned out perfect too, but I did make it the 'cheats' way.
When I went to the Festival of Quilts a couple of years ago I bought a piece of Pellon Quilter's Grid because I had seen a tutorial for making a Postage Stamp quilt using the grid.  It's been sat in the drawer ever since but as soon as I saw this block I looked it out to give it a try.

Oh my goodness, it is so easy to use.  Just cut out 1 1/2" squares, arrange them on the Pellon, cover with a damp cloth and then press.  then you just have to fold it along the joins and stitch a scant 1/4" seam from top to bottom  of each row, and then turn and stitch the rows across.  No matching up of seams, it just matches perfectly. Once stitched the first way I sliver trimmed the seams and pressed them open to help it lay flat and did the same for the across rows.  Start to finish less than one hour, and I spent the majority of the time cutting the squares to begin with.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Nine completed

Now that I've completed nine of the ten squares published I'd thought I'd group them together to see how they interplayed with each other.
I'm pleasantly surprised at how good they all look together.  Of course, working with fabrics from the one designer helps a lot.  These are all made French General by Moda but from different lines, and I'm only using the red ones with a couple of the neutral solids.  I've probably got enough to make the runner I want but I'll wait a bit longer and see what other blocks come along.  I've no idea how I'm going to set them or quilt them yet, either.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

#10 Iowa renamed Winchester

We're up to #10 of the Splendid Sampler QAL today. This block is a modified Snowball block and was designed by Sherri McConnell. On her blog, Sherri tells the story behind her design and has called it Iowa as that is where she grew up with her family.  I've renamed it Winchester because that is where I grew up and my elderly father still lives there.  I live five miles away.

I think I spent more time choosing which of my glorious French General reds I should use than I did actually sewing the block.
I've been debating with myself whether it needs something in the middle, perhaps a little heart as a couple of the other blocks have hearts in them.  I haven't any red thread at the moment so when I've bought some more I'll have another think.

Monday, 14 March 2016

#9 Local Quilt Shop

This is #9 Local Quilt Shop and is designed by Jane Davison for the Splendid Sampler QAL.
All of the fabric I'm using for my blocks are reds from the French General by Moda ranges.  I love the little printed selvedge that is cut off and often just thrown away, so when I saw this block with it's little title above the door I knew that I had found a use for one of my saved selvedges.  This selvedge has the line name printed on it with a little fancy border printed above it.  I wanted the the fancy border under the name as well so I had to piece a tiny bit underneath to match the top edge.  It wasn't quite long enough so had to piece an extra 1/4" each side.  On the original block the designer had made the door only 1" high, the same size as the window, but this seemed out of proportion to me so I added an extra 1/2" and I think it looks better.  

After my success with adding embroidery touches to the last block I couldn't resist a little bit on here too, just to fancy it up a bit. I still think it needs something on the roof, maybe some shingles, and what about a little flower box under the window. If I've got time this week I might take another look at this one, but for now I think I should just leave it as it is.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

#7 Revisited

Remember last time I said I'd missed out the little feet peeking out from under the blanket?  Well, when I had a minute I threaded up my needle again and stitched the little feet.  Looking at my block with fresh eyes on the screen in front of me I realised that I had room to fit in the frame of running stitches as well, so as the needle was already threaded I stitched the frame. I was quite enjoying myself and remembered seeing other blocks where each little block on the tiny quilt had a different pattern stitched onto them, so I merrily went ahead and did some more stitching.
It was at this point that I thought that I better put my needle away before I filled in every inch of bare fabric left showing.  I didn't want to get too carried away with myself.  After all, I'm the person who "doesn't do embroidery!"

Friday, 11 March 2016

#7 Splendid Sampler

I wasn't going to make this block as I thought it wouldn't fit in with my other pieced blocks so I ignored it and carried on with other stuff, waiting for block #8.  That one went together so quickly and easily I wanted something else to do before #9 comes out and so thought it wouldn't hurt if I just gave #7 a try.  With a border around it I think it will do nicely, thank you very much.
This block is called Snug as a Bug and was designed by Amy Sinibaldi.  I trimmed my embroidered square down to 4 1/2" and cut borders 1 1/2" wide.  All sewn together it measures 6 1/2".  I've just noticed I forgot to embroider the little toes that peek out from the bottom of the blanket.  I'll thread a needle and do them now.  They won't take a minute.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Splendid Sampler #8

I decided not to do the #7 block.  It was all embroidery and it wouldn't have sat well with the other pieced blocks I've made so far. I might come back to it though.  I'm thinking it might be good with a pieced border around the outside.

This block is called Friends Around the Square and is designed by Julie Karasek.
This one came together really easily and needed minimal trimming. 

Sunday, 6 March 2016

#6 Focal Point

I just love this block.  It's designed by Natalia Bonner who is just the most amazing long-arm quilter.  If I ever win the lottery I'd love to have one of my quilts custom quilted by her.  I'd even travel to the States to have it done.

I took my time with this one. I made sure I measured and cut accurately.  My seams are the perfect scant 1/4" and every piece behaved itself.  I pressed all the seams open to reduce the bulk on all those intersections and a little spray of starch has kept everything nice and flat. There was minimal trimming to do, just a couple of wispy threads.

I've deviated from the designer's pattern a bit as I wanted that central fabric to stand out, to be my 'focal point' and I wouldn't have achieved that if I had done the hourglass centre, as then my pattern would have been all chopped up.  Also, I couldn't use that fabric for my corners because the pieces would have been so small and the pattern  would be lost in the seams, so I 've gone for the same tiny pattern on all four corners.

For me, this is my best one yet.