Sunday, 31 January 2016

Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses BOM update!

I've really enjoyed working on my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses Block of the Month from Sew and Quilt.

So far, I've got three blocks done and I'm really pleased with what a learning process it has already been.

When the kit arrived, I was eager to get stuck in and sub cutting the pieces for my squares and elongated hexagons. Of course, later on that day, I received a group email, advising us how best to cut and on how a couple of them, we could fussy cut. Doh! I'd already cut mine. I hadn't even thought to look at the fussy cutting, because I was so excited to get going. Lesson number one - slow down!

Lesson number two was to use Wonder Clips to hold the pieces as I thread basted, so that the fabric didn't move, allowing me to have a good quarter inch seam all around. With the small squares, that was quite hard and I wasn't sure how best to fold the fabric at the corners, so that there wasn't bulk, but that there was nice crisp corners. I discovered, that if I pressed the flap of fabric down over the corner itself and then folded the sides down over the top of that, then I got perfect corners and perfect sides that all measured exactly the same. Lesson number 3!

It's been fun to work with fabrics I wouldn't normally pick for myself and to be honest, I wouldn't have chosen certain fabrics to go with others, but to my surprise, they have worked wonderfully together. Lesson number 4 is to give fabric a chance. Audition it with other pieces to just check whether they go or not, rather than assume. And you know what they say about assumption!

I'm sewing from the back, catching a few stitches from the fabric either side of the join, so that from the front, no stitches can be seen at all. It's quite easy to do and relaxing on the hands, so less of a strain if you have arthritis and as I get flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis occasionally, then this method is great for me.

So, yes, it's going well. I'm enjoying having my little quilting box next to the sofa in the main living area and I'm sewing rather than wasting time on Facebook or something to interest me on the internet.

Today I bought the British Patchwork & Quilting magazine to see if I liked it. A preliminary check-through seems to show its full of wonderful stuff - giveaways, patterns, articles to read, places to check out and hints and tips. Will have a proper read-through later, but it seems good so far!

What magazine do you read for quilty ideas? Where do you get your patterns? Or maybe, you design your own! I'd love to hear what you do.

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Lucy Boston, Quilt group and Trail Mix progress!

Yesterday, after much excitement, my first delivery of my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, Block of the Month arrived! Such a wonderful package to open and go through slowly, taking it all in, the finished quilt picture, the layout of blocks, the fabrics! The fabrics, I have to say, are gorgeous!

The fabric was already cut into strips, all I needed to do, was sub cut it into rectangles and squares, which took literally fifteen minutes and I was ready to make a start! I'm doing a block at a time, so I thread baste my pieces for one block's worth, then sew that block together, before tackling the next. I know I could glue baste, but I really find the glue hard to push the needle through, so i don't do it.

Here's what I got done by the end of last night:

Tonight, it's my monthly quilt group meeting at Island Piecemakers. It's a craft night, and I believe we're all going to be sewing a variation on the Drunkard's Path. I haven't seen the quilting girls for a couple of months, due to illness before Christmas, so it will be good to be amongst all the quilty goodness again.

Trail Mix is coming along. I'm still spending an hour each night making up four patches. Of the 252 I've got to do, I've done just over half, so not too many more to go. I'm really looking forward to putting it all together.

So what are you tackling right now? What's your current project? Let me know.

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Friday, 22 January 2016

Mariposa Love!

Yesterday, I ended up at The Eternal Maker in Chichester. It's a quilter's dream shop, located in an old truck depot or something, but there are tons of beautiful fabrics, in every shade and pattern imaginable, along with jars of buttons, shelves of ribbons and all kind of sewing paraphernalia!

I love it. Plus, if you collect their points with every purchase, you earn a star every time you spend over £10 and when you fill in the card, you get 10% off your next purchase!

Anyway, whilst I was there, shopping for a neutral fabric only, I came across this beauty...Mariposa...(by Another point of View for Windham Fabrics, Pattern no 40085)

Isn't it gorgeous? The colours, the beautiful butterflies...I just knew it would be perfect for the backing fabric of my daughter's secret I Spy quilt, that you can see in my Featured post on the right hand side sidebar.

You'll be pleased to know that I also did actually get what I went for, which was a nice neutral, as seen below. (Mini Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House for Andover fabrics 2014, pattern no 7829)

I could have spent a fortune. But I was good and only bought what I needed rather than what I wanted, lol! I'm sure you can imagine the herculean self control I had to possess...

What have you bought lately? Have you added to your stash? Have you bought a cute sewing notion? Perhaps you know of a great magazine? Let us all know!

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Monday, 18 January 2016

Four Patch Frenzy!

Last night, I finished the last of my 96 triangles that I had to cut for my Trail Mix quilt.

I eagerly checked the pattern to see what was next and discovered that I've got to do 252 four patches and 9 nine patches!

Eek! I always feel overwhelmed when I first see those sorts of numbers. It seems so much! Like you will never get to the end. But then I realised an even bigger problem. I'd used most of my fabrics from a jelly roll and that had like two strips left. I needed more fabric in those lines, so I hurriedly went onto eBay and then froze. I hadn't kept the name of my jelly roll. I didn't know which one I'd had!

So I scoured the pics, looking for something along similar lines with muted reds, blues, creams and browns and spotted something that looked promising. I clicked on it and when the picture highlighted, I was delighted to see the EXACT jelly roll that I'd used before! (*cue angelic music!)

So I've ordered it and four patch production will begin tonight, when I use up those last couple of strips.

In other quilty news, I've signed up to a Block of the Month! I'd always wanted to, but one came up, that wasn't expensive (£17.95 per month, including all fabric, patterns, templates and papers) to create a STUNNING Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses in English paper piecing. It's by Sew and Quilt. So do check them out if this is your thing!

In the meantime, happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Friday, 8 January 2016

Trail Mix Diamonds and Blades

These are some of the diamond pieces I have cut so far for the Trail Mix quilt. 118 diamonds, of 176 required! Not too many left to do! And when I have done those, I will need to make panels of four strips and cut triangles. 96 of those babies.

I've tried to get in a good mix of fabrics. There are traditional ones in there, mixed with batiks, as suggested by Edyta Sitar in her Craftsy class. And I know how to cut the diamonds now, so that the leftover triangles can be sewed together with an extra strip, so that another diamond can be made from the offcuts. I'm getting 11 diamonds from one strippy panel, which I think, is very good.

This is the template I am using to cut the diamonds.
I had to order it from Edyta's site, Laundry Basket Quilts. It comes with the triangle template that you need too and wasn't expensive, even though it had to be shipped from America. And though the template is meant for this quilt only, I can see that I will use the template for other designs, too.

All this cutting though, meant that my rotary blade was dulling. I had to keep going over the same spots to cut the fabric, or press down really hard and so I ordered some more. Normally, I stick to the brand of blade that matches my cutter, but I saw a two pack of blade that was on offer on eBay, for a much reduced price and they were advertised as a universal fitting blade, so I ordered them to give them a try. Am very pleased so far. But time will tell to see how long they cut well for.
Anyway, happy quilting everyone! I hope that your current projects are going well, that your seam ripper is remaining unused and that all your pieces come together perfectly.

Louisa xxx

Monday, 4 January 2016

Quick Leader & Ender Project Update!

Forgot to post these yesterday, but this is how my Tumbler Leader & Ender project is going so far!

I'm making mine in an 'I Spy' quilt variation, rather than alternate with neutrals and I'm making it for my daughter. Most of the tumblers have something to do with animals on them, which she loves, and I'm going to surprise her with it, when its done.

Who else is doing a Leader & Ender project? How far have you got?

Happy quilting!

Louisa xxx

Sunday, 3 January 2016

New Year, New Quilts!

Wow! It's been a long time since I last posted. I must apologise. But life and all its little problems and concerns got in the way. Plus there was six family birthdays, Christmas (with all its parties and organisation) and then New Years....

Plus I was ill with costochondritis, which was very painful and lasted more than the 10 days my doctor said it would (try six weeks!)

Anyhoo! Back to quilting. I did lose my mojo with it. The longer I stayed away, the more I forgot why I loved it. Then there was one day over the holidays where there was nothing on the television, everyone was in their rooms and I was sat downstairs with nothing to do. Ah-hah! I'd tidy my quilting room!

Once tidied (finding some lovely fabrics I'd forgotten I'd got along the way) my mojo swiftly returned.

Prior to the big quilt-turn-off, I'd bought some fabric to start Edyta Sitar's quilt, Trail Mix, from her Craftsy class, 'Mix and Match Inspired Scrappy Quilting'.

So I made a start on creating the twelve strip panels (each strip is an inch and a quarter), sewn together, which you then cut diamonds from. Each strip panel gives you about 7-10 panels (if you use the offcuts, too) and I've now done 61 diamonds.

I need 176. Eek!

But I'll get there (my mojo is back!) and I've spent a good happy hour today, browsing Pinterest and saving things to my boards, for inspiration. I'm looking forward to my sewing group starting back up after the Christmas break and though I now have a cold threatening (thank you, hubby!) nothing is going to stop me now!

Quilty resolution? Finish the Trail Mix quilt. Do one quilt for charity, through the Love Quilts UK group (I've already made 2) and finish off at least UFO. progress with my hand sewing in the car and try to get more of Passacaglia done.

What about you guys? Any quilty resolutions? Any projects urging you to get them finished? Or have YOU lost your quilty mojo?

Let me know.

Love to all, Louisa xxx