Friday 28 February 2020

Scrap Project Continued

OK, so maybe this is not the fastest way of getting rid of some scraps!

I have been working pretty solidly on this project
Decided to make 20 blocks, set in a rows of 4 x 5 blocks. The whole room has been taken over by this project. This is actually the space where the new machine will sit, once it finally arrives in Australia (getting slightly impatient now!)

Anyway, completed my 20 blocks and today finally started working on the surrounds and sashings.
Had to do a few alterations...the colour arrangement in one of the blocks did not work, so I changed that and then got going on the surrounds. Bit of a hold up there as well as I kept muddling up my cut out diagonals, however finally got there. This should now advance a bit quicker. Actually, the most time consuming part (which I had not considered, of course) is the cutting of the pieces. While I have lots of scraps lying around, the cutting of the individual components does take a fair amount of time. While I had myself sorted for the house construction, today I had to put in some time to cut out the surrounds and sashing pieces. With that being mostly done now, this should be plain sailing now and come together relatively quickly.

The quilt will measure about 58in x 69in with a 4 1/2in border. This will look hilariously colourful...I do love scrap quilts and using the last bits of that very special fabric that one finds amongst the scraps is so satisfying. There is some fabric in here that I have had for at least 10 years, if not longer...

Also, today, I got my parcel from the Fatquartershop in record time. I ordered on the 15/2...what a fantastic service!
I had a very large gift voucher and decided to spent it all in one hit given the postage. This took me days to go through the shop and select items, but wow, can this girl shop or what...I did pack a lot in there and picked up a fair few specials. That white fabric you see on the right is  Swiss Dots One Yard 'Grab a Bag' deal. As I do use a lot of dottie fabric I was hoping for something that I could use as background...really happy with the neutral tan dots on white fabric that I received...perfect! Apart from that, got a Kona solids fat quarter bundle and some more fabric carefully selected for the next few projects. And yes, a little Fat Eights bundle of Elizabeth Hartman fabric because it was on special and a few other bitses and pieces.
I love getting parcels! Bit of an irony here though as I have been saying over the last few weeks that I am drowning in fabric. My scrap quilt will definitely not make room for all of that 😂


Friday 21 February 2020

Scrap Project

I am determined to make a dent in my scrap accumulation. It's just ridiculous how much I have got stuffed away all over the place.

So, I am working on these houses. It's a free Bonnie Hunter pattern called "Happy Scrappy Houses". Certainly not a super quick way to use up scraps, however it is effective once you get going. This is how far I got in the last few days.
I experimented a bit with the surrounds of the houses as Bonnie had given alternative measurements to do those houses without the sashings. Decided in the end to go with the sashings as I don't fancy having to deal with the almost bias edges of the blocks over the entire quilt. However left a bit more room around the houses so they float a bit and hide my sloppy squaring up of the block. I think it needs the sashing to stabilise the blocks. Initially I was tempted to go for a one-coloured sashing all over which would have meant cutting up some more fabric, however then I decided to go with whatever I have got on hand...after all, that was the idea! This will be very colourful, as the corner stones will have to be all different colours as well.

The blocks certainly 'eat up' fabric in a hurry, particularly the surrounds of the house eat up a whole chunk of fabric (I am using 2, 3in x 12in rectangle for the surrounds)...I am paying a little bit of attention to what colours I am putting together (obviously not in the first block on the left) wherever I can and try to insert a bit of a fun element in the windows just to keep me interested. The last two days have been interesting in terms of going through the scraps over and over again, sorting and trying to work out a way to speed this up. I am a very messy quilter and soon found myself working in this tiny little space on my cutting mat  Everything around me was taking up with scraps in various sizes. Today then I worked out a bit of a system of how to go about this. Sorted part of the scraps into house bodies, roofs, chimneys and doors...
...then I did non-stop strip cutting with the Accuquilt GO 2in strip cutter...and can you believe it...I remembered that I have a 2in x 3 1/2in die which is just what I need for those house bodies! I bought this for a Churn Dash quilt which is yet to eventuate. Just goes to show, like I said the other forget what you have lying around when not in use.
Spent most of the day cutting out strips and shapes and working out a bit of a manageable structure where I can chain-piece whole sections of the houses in one hit, i.e.
- sew strip sets and crosscut into chimney sections (pairing the chimneys to the roof whenever possible)
- sew the roofs in bulk as this involves marking a square which will then be flipped over to become the triangle of the roof
- cut out house bodies in bulk and have them ready to go at the machine,  stitching up 3 to 4 at a time,
- have the doors cut out and ready to go,
- sort bigger strips into pile to be used for surrounds, and...
- organise my work space at least a little bit
Still working in a rather smallish space, but I feel I am now more organised to tackle this. Also can report that the white scraps are gone by half...the strip sets take up a lot of fabric.

I wonder how many houses I can stitch up before I start looking for more fabric. The surrounds of the houses will be the most difficult as you need a fair chunk of fabric...but we shall see. If nothing else, I'll get a lap quilt out of this with hopefully half of my scraps gone. I am hoping that I will be left with the smaller strings that I will then sew up into a string quilt. Also thinking about using up some uglies to piece the backing together...certainly got a stack of them where I am wondering what possessed me to buy that fabric.

How funny, this was not what I was intending to work on next actually but it certainly has gripped me...
Linking up to Quilting is more fun than Housework ‘Oh Scrap’ Linky

Thursday 20 February 2020

Lana Lemur Quilt

The Lana Lemur quilt top is done!

I made the baby quilt version of the pattern. It measures 36in x 45in
Does not look like much now, but imagine this with some fancy FMQ in the background! It will be awesome, just need to wait for my Capri machine to arrive. I am thinking dense background quilting like pebbles and swirls (which I will probably regret once I start with that).
Also will jazz up the binding a bit, I think...maybe insert a strip of the orange in there to give it a bit of interest.

The lemurs were challenging to make...the face is made up of tiny pieces and you do need to concentrate a fair bit to get that right. My second lemur ended up a bit the eyes straighter and also the nose in exactly the right spot, but I must say, both times I was just about ready to give up when doing the face. Luckily, then comes the body which is fairly easy and you start seeing the end, so you press on.
Not sure whether I could make an entire quilt with just lemurs...on the upside, making another Fancy Fox quilt now appears like a piece of cake. The pieces are a bit bigger and the face of the fox is not that involved. Also have the Kitten quilt which is similar to the fox...definitely on my agenda (I seem to be going through a bit of an Elizabeth Hartman phase at the moment).


Wednesday 19 February 2020

Scrap Project

Well, it's finally happened...I ran out of room!

Went to Ikea and bought a chest of draws to house most of my 'good' stash.  This was a bit handy as it also serves as a place for the little TV that I have in the sewing room.
As one does, I started to go through some of the other stuff that I seem to have stashed away in all sorts of containers in various places. Found an entire project from leftover blocks from a quilt made some years ago. This could be handy as a practice piece to trial some rulers on...
Have a box full of orphan tempted to just chuck it out, but could not do it, so put it back in its place. Then I got to the strings...must say, I was getting slightly overwhelmed by then. Started sorting them into white and others.
...this is just a collection...have three more containers with various scraps. Not only that, I found several stacks of pre-cut shapes, i.e. 2 1/2in squares, some rectangle shapes, some leftover units that were sewn together...was almost like a treasure (could have used the white background in the Elizabeth Hartman patterns that I have been doing lately, rather than cutting up new fabric). By now I was definitely overwhelmed and thought that I need to make another string quilt. I did start a spiderweb quilt some years ago, however that takes a bit of effort to construct and you only use a small amount of strips at a time. I did lose my motivation for that as it is fairly time intensive. Similarly, a string quilt requires a foundation and judging from last time, it will not make a sizable dent in the strings available.

Went onto Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville website for some inspiration and came across the 'Happy Scrappy House' quilt. This was a bit like a trip down memory lane...I loved that quilt when I first saw it when I had just started quilting...had another look and decided that this was a good project to get rid of 2in strips in bulk, i.e. it will use up a longish 2in strip to make the house, some bigger pieces for the roof and the smaller white background pieces for the background. I may even get away with using bigger background pieces for the wonky surrounds. Still will have to make another string quilt out of the smaller strings, however I am hoping that the houses will 'eat up' a sizable portion of the scraps.

So, I made some houses yesterday
Very cute and yes, it does 'eat up' the longer strips to make the house in just one colour. This is helpful and should make that initial sizable dent in those strips. I will need some 42 blocks like this...if I make a few every now and then that should be achievable. I will deal with the wonky surrounds later once I see how much I have got left over. Fear not though, I have stacks of fabric stashed away (not shown here) that could be used for that and I probably still would not empty those boxes.

Here is to hoping that this could make a dent. The funny part in all of this was how difficult it was to actually chuck some stuff pained me even with really small pieces to throw them out, always thinking...oh, I might use that! Well, doing all those foxes recently and also the Lemur quilt, I just have proven that you actually do not remember what you have unless it is right in front of you. I spent hours cutting out those small white background pieces for the two quilts from new white fabric when I could have just taken one of those pre-cut strips that I seem to have in abundance lying around.


Monday 17 February 2020

Ruler of the Month Club 5

The Wiggly Wave Ruler

Initially I thought...oh, not another wave! ...but, there are some cool things you can do with this one

First try
...and then there is this
How cool are those semmingly overlapping lines! Can't lay claim to that idea, saw it on the Handiquilter Ruler of the Month Club 5 video. Also really liked the first design on the right, one line stitched out with the ruler and then the first and third line freemotionquilted with a circle in it around it. that would look really nice in a narrower sashing.

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Let's Do Some Ruler Work #2

Welcome to the Ruler Linky Party #2

I would like to thank the quilters that linked up a fortnight ago. We had Rosemary from The Knitting Quilter showing us how some simple repetitive designs can lift your quilt to the next level
No photo description available.
And then there was Susan from Quilt Fabrication providing a fantastic tutorial on Chicken Wire Quilting which I bookmarked.
Chicken Wire Quilting tutorial
Also participating was @camapleleaf on Instagram who is participating in Natalia Bonner's 'Let's Stitch a Block a Day'
I have been aware of Natalia's QAL and have been loosely following it, but not stitching the designs out or always watching the tutorials so it was great to go through @camapleleafs account to see the designs stitched out...if you have time, go and have a look, beautifully stitched out!

Anyway, I have been re-acquainting myself with my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 in terms of ruler quilting. My HQ Sweet 16 is sold and I am patiently waiting for the new Capri machine. It's been about 2.5 yrs since I last quilted with rulers on a domestic machine, so I will share a little bit about what I use and how I set my machine up. First and foremost, you need a level surface. I can sink my machine into the cupboard so that it is level with the table which is extremely helpful and I also  use a Supreme Slider to ensure I can move my fabric around with ease.
You need a ruler foot...I use the Clarity Ruler foot from Accents In Design. I previously wrote about this foot HERE...I prefer it to other feet on the market, but this is just my personal preference. I believe that there is now a Pfaff Ruler foot on the market but since I had the HQ Sweet 16 I obviously did not purchase that. Here is what my ruler foot looks like
The foot attaches with ease once you take the shank off and all that needs to be done is centering the needle and adjusting the height of the foot
Love this foot...gave me absolutely no trouble and the stitches were fine. 
So I stitched out 2 of Natalia's designs today...a bit wobbly as I am not used to stitching with rulers on the domestic machine anymore but overall quite good
The left was today's 'Spin' block - Day 255 and the right is my all-time favourite block that I used in one of my quilts. So easy to do and so effective. 

What have you been working on?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Friday 7 February 2020

Lana Lemur Quilt

As I am without my HQ Sweet 16 (sold, waiting for the new Capri machine to arrive!) I am concentrating on making some quilt tops. Recently got the Lana Lemur (and also the Koala Bears) pattern from Elizabeth Hartman. Absolutely adore her patterns. Last year I finished her Fancy Fox pattern... still want to do another one of those as well.

Anyway, got going on the Lemur pattern in a somewhat disorganized way cutting the pieces as I was needing them. Definitely underestimated how small those required pieces were (i.e. 1in). Never mind, I had the time and got started on the face...this took me most of between doubting whether I would get this together. However, I took it fairly slow and just worked my way through the diagrams. Elizabeth' patterns are very well put together with lots of diagrams. In fact, I skipped most of the writing (there are 3 different options in terms of sizes which I always find a bit confusing) and just concentrated on the page with the measurements for the pieces and the individual diagrams.

Here is the face emerging
This was actually quite challenging and I was struggling...the face comes together in 3 parts and is tiny. This section comes to 5in and the seams are all ironed open which I am not used to at all. When I photographed the face I realised that one of the eyes was a tad smaller than the other...will have to watch out for that for the next one. This could have possibly happened because I was swapping between two rulers. Need to stop doing that! 
Must say, I am not a fan of making 1in flipped over half square traingles! As I went along though I started using a fabric glue stick and lightly glued the 1in square in place before sewing on the diagonal. That worked really well and the flipped over units were on average a bit better than before.

After this it got a bit easier (completed the rest of the lemur today) although still could not get away from those 1in pieces. They were everywhere...
Found some matching fabric to make the ears pop a bit and trimmed away some irregularities to make it all fit. Overall, I found that measuring the completed units as you go and straightening them did the trick (mostly!). 
Then came the body which was nice and easy
The tail section looked easy enough, however I am a bit sloppy in my 1/4in seam allowance and as a rule always stitch this a bit I was going along, I started to get a bit concerned as to whether this would all fit together (made a few mistakes when I did the fox quilt in terms of trimming some completed fox blocks and inadvertently cutting into the 1/4in seam allowance, hence cutting off some points). Sewed the rest of the tail extremely carefully and did a little bit of fudging to meet the seams and came out beautifully

Not too bad for a first attempt! Absolutely love the look of this lemur. I will make another one for the small baby quilt option of the pattern. The rest of the quilt will just be the beige background fabric which will allow me to fill it up with some cool FMQ once the new machine arrives.

Had a look at the Koala Bears pattern...also has a fair few 1in squares in there 😬 Maybe I will get used to them!


Monday 3 February 2020

Easy Baby Quilt Revisited

Assembly of the quilt top

Lay out the blocks in 8 rows of 6 blocks following the quilt layout diagram. Sew the blocks of each row together, pressing the seams in alternate directions. Sew the rows together, abutting the seams and joining the intersections. The quilt top should measure 36 1/2in x 48 1/2in. Press the quilt top.

...and presto, a finished quilt top

This turned out really cute! The only issue I had was with my ironing the blocks in bulk. Obviously made a mistake in thinking that I thought the seams would just nest as if by magic. Pays to pay attention! The first two rows nested beautifully but afterwards I should have reversed the order of ironing the seams. Yep, that was a bit of a hassle but I got there eventually.

Now it's just a matter of deciding how to quilt this...will play around a bit with that on the Ipad.


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