Friday, 25 September 2015

Spools, A Pouch, A Book and Bonus Triangles!

I got my copy of Bonnie Hunter's More Adventures with Leaders and Enders! Trying to get a paperback copy of this book was RIDICULOUS! On Amazon, you could get an ebook version for about £6.54, but the CHEAPEST paperback version was selling for £999! (Yes, you read that right!) I even headed on over to eBay and found a copy on sale for £4000!

I kind of resigned myself to never getting a copy, or scouring charity shops or car boot sales and keeping an eagle eye out for it and in the meantime I bought myself a quilty magazine. On the back page, was an advert for and they had physical, paperback copies for under £20. Much better!

And it was worth the wait! Such great patterns in there, including a Spool quilt and an easy way to construct the spools, which is much better than the way I was doing it, so will change immediately! Talking of spool quilts, I've completed 18 spools so far. 

I ran out of neutrals and so had to wait, but I'm okay now. Whilst cutting the spools, I've been creating these bonus triangle scraps, which I'm saving and hope to use in a future leaders and enders project.

This last wednesday was the monthly meeting of Island Piecemakers and we were having a project evening to make a Christmas gift bag/pouch, small enough to hang on the tree/hold a Ferrero Rocher/work perfectly for an advent project. Our resident 'star' Lou Starr shared with us her design and soon we were all beavering away on our bags and chatting and enjoying sewing together. I didn't get to finish on the evening, but I put in an extra half hour today and got it done.

Later tonight, I'm going to start back on the spools and do it the Bonnie Hunter way. Can't believe I didn't suss this way out for myself, but never mind!

Happy sewing everyone!

Louisa xxx

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Spool Quilt and Leaders & Enders

This week, I've spent some time organising my stash and sewing area. I only have a small corner of a room and if I want to get my cutting mat out, I have to transport it, my rulers, my rotary cutter and my fabrics into the dining room, to have a table big enough.

I'd sorted through my stash a week or two ago, but yesterday, I spent some time cutting tumblers for my Leader and Ender project. I began a tumbler quilt two years ago, but only managed three rows of two and a half inch tumblers, before I put it away, enamoured with something else and it has sat there, my first ever UFO, awaiting completion, so i thought it was the perfect thing to get sorted, especially as Bonnie Hunter's current L&E is the tumbler! (I'm cutting up fabrics with any kind of animal print. My daughter is animal mad, and so this is for her)

So I started it last night. 

My main quilt challenge is a Spool quilt. The pattern for it is in Britain's Patchwork and Quilting Magazine and it works with Y seams. They instruct you to press the seams open, but I only had partial success with this and so I tried pressing the seams to the sides and had much better results. I'm using plains and neutrals for my background fabric and anything else for the spools. I really like it! It's a great little block to make and when it comes to sewing them together, there won't be any matching up to do with seams, except for the block edges themselves.

So there you have it! Are you following the Leader and Ender project? What are YOU working on? Who inspires YOU in the world of quilting?

Happy sewing!

Louisa x

Monday, 7 September 2015

Four Patch Frenzy!

So I've been working on getting an accurate quarter inch seam and boy, sometimes it's really hard!

Some gorgeous fabric I picked up from eBay!

The four patch has become my friend for this. I'm making up two patches, then sewing them together to make four patches, but trying to do it, so that my seams are all perfect, so that there's no trimming down of blocks, so that each of my four patches equals a finished four and a half inch block.

How hard can it be to sew a straight line??????

A cute little owl doorstop I made at my local quilters group

I marked it out on my machine, made sure the needle placement was correct and started off verrrrrry sloooooooowlllllly. It's so easy to veer off, or to let your eyes get thrown by the fabric pattern, or to look away briefly, or to move your hands wrong. My biggest problem is when I'm coming to the end of the piece, I always want to veer off towards my right for some reason.

BUT! Now that I'm aware of it, I bite my lip and keep my eye in and make sure I stay straight! It takes time, it takes longer and it's so easy when you're chain piecing to go fast, to not pay as much attention and so I'm deliberately making myself go slow.

I think I might have mentioned this in my last post? But I'm mentioning it again, because I think it's worth mentioning. These quilts are going to be one-offs. Your creation, with your name on it (please tell me you add a quilt label!) and you want to create the best quilt that you can. You're not working in a factory, you don't have to churn these quilts out. You're adding love and care and attention to detail.

You know that feeling when you sew a block together and go to measure it and it comes out exactly at the right size?

Yeah, baby! It feels good, doesn't it?

So that's what I'm working on. Still. School has restarted so my Passacaglia has become a 'car project', in that it gets worked on only when I'm in the car, waiting for the kids to come out of school, which is about 10 minutes each day, so that's going to take a long time to finish now!

And I've been getting more active using my Fitbit and I now regularly manage my 10k steps a day, which is great!

So what have you been working on? I'd love to hear it. And please tell me about how well you do with accuracy. Do you always sew a perfect block (and if you do, I kneel down in your presence)? Or do you do the same as me and veer off? Perhaps you find it hard to keep that straight line in the first place? What do you do to try and help yourself?

Please share, because there may be others out there who could empathise, or who might pick up a few hints and tips.

Happy sewing!

Louisa x