Sunday Stash – all that glitters is probably gold

Well for someone who thought that her fabric collection was probably quite large enough a rather significant amount of fabric has entered the building!!! A combination of pre and post Christmas sales, some fabric gifts as well as  purchases with specific projects in mind and some essential tools meant that, well, I’ve had a bit of a splurge…

So confession time….

I love these scissors by Kay Buckley. Yes they are pricey but Massdrop gave a good deal on them. I won’t tell you how many of the purple mid size ones I’ve bought or been bought but they simply disappear. I think no 2 son may be responsible… in a recent deep clean of his bedroom it unearthed 2 of the smaller red scissors!

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Next up is a collection of fabrics from Moda Modern background lustre. My UK spellcheck is refusing to use the spelling luster! I loved the Grey Modern Background range last year and these metallics are wonderful. They are the sort of fabric that in pictures is a bit blah but in real life they are absolutely gorgeous.  And the 30% discount at  Simply Solids, which contrary to their name does not stock simply solids but a very wide range of patterned quilting fabrics, drew me in. It would have been criminal not to take advantage of that discount….

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My Mum and Dad kindly bought me as part of my Christmas presents some liberty fabric  sample packs. These would be perfect for paper piecing being so fine  or a special project

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Now in terms of bargains these were a real steal although of course I mean this figuratively!! I’d had my eye on the Acacia range by Tula Pick at my local Hobbycraft. I’d got a half jelly roll of it from Craftsy sometime ago before our foreign exchange rate plummeted and I would need a personal loan for any US purchase and postage but wanted more. These fabrics were only £6.50 per metre. There is 8m in all. Yes a lot but given a quilt backing uses 4m …..and the rest will augment the pre cut.

img_5197Now these I admit to being an indulgence… I use industrial quantities  of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen, the colour flax mainly. I was intrigued by the metallic version of Essex Linen  and these mysteriously found themselves in my online basket…. again far lovelier in person when you can see the metallic effect more easily

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Excluding those bought in Hobbycraft, which is a sort of smaller scale US Jo-Ann (although to be fair I’ve never been to a Jo-Ann but I had reason to look at their website recently and they look huge) these were all on line purchases. However I am very mindful that I have a great local quilt shop in the Cotton Patch within 15 minutes drive so support them as well. But my purchases from them are less pretty….they do have modern fabrics and I’ve used them when I’m struggling to get a match and want to see the fabric in real life, but not a great range as they have a broader base of quilters. But they stock a wide range of notions and waddings, rulers etc etc  but do you want to see pictures of seam rippers, pins, wadding? They very  quickly get integrated and used in whatever project is going on at the time. But one such purchase was the gridded fabric for my design wall but it was out of the bag onto the sewing machine within an hour… Needless to say some of the other purchases may reside a bit longer before being used!

img_5153img_5143Linking up with Molli Sparkles

Scraps galore

Tonight has  been a real quilt marathon. Take out meals ordered, newly returned and serviced sewing machine set up on the big dining table and everything in place to convert this top…

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Into this quilt…

 

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No outside pictures yet as it’s night here but this gives an impression of its scrappy and colourful design. Update… grey day here but dry enough  for an outdoor shot..

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It is destined for Siblings Together, a charity supporting children in care and is the work of ST Bee 2. Thank you ladies! This block is a great scrap buster and was inspired by a quilt I had eyed up on the internet by Katie Pedersen.  I checked with Katie that we could her copy design albeit its simpler and she was fine with that.

Unusually I kept an eye on the clock. I started at around 4.30pm and finished on the stroke of midnight. Just as well as I was getting complaints about the noise from my teenage residents! 7 1/2 hours seems a long time but it flew by and at 80″ by 65″ it is a largish quilt . I also ‘walked’ over 3000 steps in the process. I was obviously in monitoring mood!

I used Quilters Dream Orient.  I’d forgotten how lovely this is, beautifully smooth and fantastic drape. It made basting a cinch and getting to the sandwich stage almost a pleasure. By fluke the quilt’s width was virtually the width of the table so that helped.

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In the interests of full disclosure whilst one end of the room was all calm and serene,  the other end well had the proverbial bomb blast look.  No 2 son is a keen cook and very competent but feels he’s failed if he hasn’t  used every bowl  in my drawers and spread himself across every work surface!! This mess was solely to produce some delicious welsh cakes. Don’t you think sewing mess is so much nicer!

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Linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts and Leanne and Nicky for Scraptastic Tuesday

 

A look back at Q4 Finishes and targets for the Finish Along Q1 2017

Let’s start with a confession, I hadn’t appreciated that Finish Along (FAL) targets had to be WIPS, not just a bunch of fabric, but actually started….. I think I must have got confused with the One Monthly Goal which I also do to keep me focussed. That can be anything even a twinkle in your eye. Anyway as a consequence some of my Q4 FAL targets aren’t proper in fact only 3 of them are!  But nevertheless looking back at the targets for Q4’s Finish Along I did OK. Four out of six….

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And the finished items ended up looking like….   Cloudburst, My Hybrid, Waste not Want not and sewing machine cover

The ones that got away include my perennial quilt made of strings it’s now a top so will reappear hopefully for the last time on the next FAL list. I’m making no promises! The other non appearance is my second son’s quilt and to worsen the crime and  in a moment of child cruelty it’s not happening. This is down to the fact that I know full well it will end in a crumpled mess and this son is a heavy user of things and they routinely end up damaged. He’s also always complaining he’s too hot!! But the clincher is that it is a very boring quilt design..sigh. I will wait and see if he reminds me.

So to FAL 2017 Q 1, well in keeping with my selfish approach of doing what I want to do and not feeling compelled to do something which saps the joy from me, this will be a list to allow for sewing on a whim – a phrase I have shamelessly pinched from The Quilters Table blog!!! But following the rules of the FAL these are all started projects in that machine foot has been engaged and stitches made!

This  is the composite.

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It includes a bee quilt for Siblings Together (1) and the string quilt (2) both are tops just need basting and quilting. What will hold me back is that my bigger sewing machine with a large throat for quilting is in for service and I’m not sure when I’ll get her back. It’s a good excuse but won’t last the whole 3 months of the quarter. Making quilt backs and basting is my least favourite part of the process.

The pouch (3) is an example of one I made earlier as I need to make a pouch for a secret swap. I have pieced the panels but don’t want to reveal anything at this stage.

There is a scrappy quilt (4)  I’ve just started inspired by Poppy of Cuckooblue. I am calling it ‘Tax Evasion’ because I really should be doing my tax return!! I was getting overrun by scraps particularly neutrals and blues and having seen Poppy’s version of this design I thought it would be perfect  for using them up. It is also a great block for chain pieced, mindless sewing.

And finally a scrappy pink quilt (5) that has been in bits for too long. There are small drunkard path blocks in the mix but I struggled then with the tight curve but I’m hoping experience will have made it easier. I want to make a  baby quilt as a friend is having a baby in the summer, not sure what gender but there’s a 50-50 chance this will be the right one for her!

Outside the FAL and because I treat this blog as a reminder then I need/ want to complete the following….

There are a couple of dog quilts I want to make it for a friend who is about to get another puppy to join her golden labrador. When I had twins she sweetly bought me matching pink and blue cot blankets, so I thought I would reciprocate.

There’s the wonderful January block quilt. I made one of these a couple of years ago, I’m hoping mine will look something like this albeit it will be in a deep red and neutrals. If it’s good enough I’ll put it in for the modern quilt group challenge for this year and if not I will double it up and put it over my bed as a wall hanging.

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A design wall at last

I’ve long envied quilters with large expansive  design walls. They are so useful for holding blocks in process, great for trying out different designs and colour combinations and they give a quilter’s sewing room, well, the proper look.

But with rooms given over to the children and general living coupled with wall mounted radiators I don’t have a nice spare wall. But it did strike me that maybe I could squeeze In half a design wall….

Utilising a quilt that was neither fish nor fowl in that it was an odd size, rather stiff from lots of quilting and hadn’t really found a home it could double up as a large wallhanging and then on the reverse, with the addition of gridded flannel it could be a design wall!

It was a simple job of inserting a 6mm pole into the binding channel which is a tip I picked up from Barbara over at Cat Patches (quite the funniest blog around)

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and then sewed on the grey flannel. In fact with the benefit of hindsight I should have reversed the process.

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Anyway here it is up as a wallhanging…

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And a quick turn round – a design wall, at last!

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Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Quokka Quilts/TGIFF

2017 -plans and thoughts

 

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Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl is running a link up for 2017 plans and I thought it would be a good idea to have a go if only to give myself a good laugh at the end of the year as my ambitions sadly get frustrated by life intervening.  Anyway with a fresh year what lies ahead.

General themes

1. Participating in One Monthly Goal now run by Elm Street Quilts and the Quarterly Finish Along this year has been very useful to get me focused on tasks that need a bit of stamina and a final push. This bionic bag is a case in point. I only had a couple of days left but it just gave me the excuse to set aside other tasks to get this done in time. So they will be a definite this year.

2. I want to try and build up a small stock of completed tops. I wanted to offer up some quilts for a flat being refurbished for Syrian refugees by one of our local churches in the summer but the task of producing 4 full sized quilts in 6 weeks just wasn’t going to happen. If I’d had a few tops up my sleeve then I could have helped. I won’t quilt them as they just take up too much room.

3. There are a 101 good sewing habits I would like to adopt but inspired by Debbie of a Quilters Table post on instant sewing  there are a couple I’m really going to try and apply. Firstly try and set up a design wall, it will have to be relatively small but something to hold blocks in progress. And also spending a few minutes each sewing session to tidy away fabrics and put away tools and rulers and not allow clutter to build up on my sewing table – I can hear hysterical laughter coming from my mum here!!! This is what it can look like but at its worst and this to be fair was abnormal as I’d agreed to my daughter using the room to clear out hers when she redecorated.

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4. I need to have a good sort through my fabric collection. I’m keeping scraps less than  fat quarter separate and they become my go to fabric for charity blocks and other smaller process like bags etc. I have plenty needless to say but I’m conscious there will be similar sized pieces in the wrong place.

Specific makes

5. I want to finish my glitter quilt in 2017. This wonderful design by Jen Kingwell makes for a beautiful quilt but it’s time consuming. I’ve done around 42 blocks but need another 25+. I’ve been a bit stalled recently but must get back into the habit of doing a couple of blocks each Saturday night as part of the Saturday night craft along hosted by Lucy of Charm About You.

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6.  Whilst I have had quilts at shows as part of a Modern Quilt display under the auspices of the UK Quilters Guild actually entering a quilt into a show on a competitive basis has frankly daunted me. One of the reasons is that I’m not an accurate piecer. I get by, most of my points survive, but when I look at the precision  of quilts in shows I know I am a long way off. I’m going to try and improve and if possible muster up the courage to enter a quilt into a show.  I need to make it first and ideas are mulling around.

7. There will be more quilts for Siblings Together. This quilt I made in 2016..

img_4570I’ve again got some ideas I just need the time. There’s also a quilt top made from blocks from my Bee that needs to be quilted.

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8.  I would like to get on with a quilt to remind us of many happy holidays in S Africa. I have the fabric but no design ideas. Design doesn’t come easy to me, I’m a great copyist though… I just need to find the right inspiration.