Search This Blog

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Quilt update

With two rows completed I can now start putting the quilt together to get an idea of the overall effect. Apart from being 90 degrees rotated in this picture, it seems to be coming along okay.
My sister is quite impressed that I have managed a post every day in July. I can't promise to keep going at this rate - I am supposed to be working full time as well. But a Grand Prix weekend always provides about 5-6 hours of sewing time. That's a reason to watch in itself.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Megan's Mountain Laurel

Where did Barbara think up all these names? I suppose when there are 235 to come up with you have to start being inventive.

Anyway, this is an example where you can easily reduce the number of pieces that you are using to same effect. You could have 33 pieces or as I did it only 21. The small triangles that surround the central square I have appliquéd on rather than piecing very small triangles. The difference is that I am finding it difficult to get good edges and points on my appliqué triangles / diamonds - but I suspect it will be like quilting - the small mistakes get lost among the whole.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Row update

This is Row B completed - very difficult to photograph, being rather long and thin, but I think I have come up with an alternative way for the next update.

Here are the first 7 blocks......

...... and the    final 6 blocks.

It is good to see it gradually coming together, but I do need to get on with some more sashing pieces and I seem to use a lot of these each time.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Ashley's Aura

The applique blocks are quite effective and very quick to do, so give a feeling of progress being made when other blocks take a bit longer. This one is C-6.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Eye of the Cyclone

Here is the block partly completed. The curves come together surprising well, except this time not as well as usual.

I am not sure how I feel about this block as I don't find its unbalanced nature very pleasing to look at. 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Row A

Well. here is the first milestone in this project, Row A joined together. I have added the sashing on both sides - remembering the outer edge sashing is only 1/4" as this allows the triangles to piece accurately.

This is a close up of blocks 1-7

and 7-13

I'm in the process of bringing Row- B together at the moment and then it is back to piecing the blocks for a while.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Tic tac toe and improved techniques

As I have noted before I haven't been very careful with my seam allowances up to now and as a consequence on these more fiddly blocks I tend to have excess bulk in the middle section. This time I was more careful and trimmed the pieces a bit and it has worked out much better and looks absolutely flat - hurrah! I have to say the middle sections has some very small pieces.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A streak of lightening

This is a very seasonal block as we have had quite heavy thunder storms during the past week, particularly in the London area. I could not believe how loud the thunder could be and thought at one point when I woke up a bomb had gone off! I then realised that thunder in London sounds different to the countryside where I live. The lightening was quite dramatic too.

Well - for some reason I wasn't really looking forward to doing this block, but I have to say it was really easy to do and quite quick. This was just as well, because when I went upstairs to add it to my completion plan I realised I had made it up in the wrong colour way!


... here is the correct version!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wild Goose Chase

After the comparatively easy one yesterday travelling home on the train, this one was initially quite daunting with 40 pieces (I think). Some of them seemed very small, but I needn't have worried as it wasn't too bad applying the paper pieces.
Here I have contracted the centre piece and about to begin the next part. I nearly made a mistake, but stopped myself in time by referring back to the pattern draft. 

Here is the completed block, but I think I need to be a bit tighter on my seam allowances because it is difficult to press flat and keep shape. The next one with lots of pieces I think I will trim the papers a bit to compensate for the bulk the fabric creates. This is the last of row B now completed. So two rows done and a couple from row C I think. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Rayelle's Fence

My gardener kindly planted this bush thinking it might be a gooseberry - suspicions are arising that it is not! No flowers, no fruit - but lots of prickles.

Here's the latest block - C-3. It was completed on a return journey from London - completed before the train arrived at Westbury - 1 hour 20 mins into the journey. Having only taken the one block with me, I had nothing to do for the remaining hour. Be warned - be prepared!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Progress Update

My sister, Frances, will be getting concerned as to how many I have actually done. In fact she is worried that I will finish before she starts. Fret not. Despite my hard work I have only done 26 blocks, which amounts to about 11% of the entire quilt. I will start piecing them together shortly so you will begin to get a better idea of what the overall look will be like. For now you will have to be satisfied with my paper plan.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Water Lily

I loved this one - the shapes of the pieces that fitted together so easily with a bit of appliqué on the edge.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Deja Vu?

Well this was almost instant to make - great for a quick fix. Though the beady eye among you will recognise that this is very similar to Uncle Homer (A-6), though the squares are different sizes in this one. I nearly went for a fussy cut picture fabric in the centre, but decided against it in the end. This one is B-13 'Four Corner Press'.

Friday, 18 July 2014

World Series

This one is B-7. I thought I had used the wrong colour way at one point, but all was well. This one was quite quick to do. In fact I managed three on this day and started a fourth, whilst only two were achieved the day before. This will be remembered as the one I stitched while the General Synod of the Church of England were debating whether we will allow women into the Episcopate (become bishops). You may be pleased to know it passed.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Framed Fancy

As I make up the blocks, there are similarities and I got this one confused with Cabin Fever, but realised just in time. Again to avoid the tiny triangles I made up flying geese units.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Pebbles Protest

Piran helped pose for this photograph, but I realise he has his eyes closed. Never mind.
Despite this one being very simple, I made a few mistakes on the four triangle blocks which I tried to make up as Flying Geese but got all my angles wrong. So I had to cut these all out again and start again. Sometimes the blocks look easy and are not and vice versa.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Cabin Fever

This one is aptly named as I got bit confused getting this one made up, though I made a few alterations to the pattern to make it easier to piece.
The central square is appliquéd onto a square of fabric thus eliminating the need for tiny triangles.
Then I made these triangles for around the edge, again to remove the smaller elements and added the blue strips around - again all for ease of make up - but the end result is just as it should be!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Which Points West?

Here is A-10 successfully completed. I am beginning to enjoy a bit of appliqué, especially now I have found a pair of tweezers which makes it easier to extract the paper mid way around! Being on holiday this week has allowed me to get on with a few blocks.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Florence Nightingale

This was a quick block without any problems... Which can't be said for some of the other ones.

Saturday, 12 July 2014


This was quite a quick block and being on holiday this week means I can indulge with more sewing than usual. The cutting out is a bit of a pain as everything is different sizes and so there is no quick way. I'm reaching a point where I can begin to sew the blocks together so I will be able to give an update on progress overall shortly.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Dad's Plaids

My sister is concerned that I am progressing very quickly, but when you look at the bigger picture it is clear it is a long project! In fact she was so concerned that I understand my parents were instructed to keep me very busy on my recent visit there so that I would have no time to sew! Fret not, I managed to complete two.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Tinker Toy

Here is B-9 completed. This one is quite simple and didn't take long and so am now in the process of A-7.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Production line

I made the most of my journey to London yesterday and got a good number of the corner squares completed. I have been busy with the 1/4" sashings today and should get a few done in the return train journey hopefully.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Hot Cross Buns

Well if you don't get too close to block B-5 it looks okay, but how do you get nice points on small diamond appliqué shapes? Lavender still looking good.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Flying geese

 I had forgotten the advantages of flying geese and again this has helped me avoid small triangles and a neater finish. It is called 'Cathie's Campfire (A-5) - though I think is looks more like a compass than a campfire.

This one is picture against a very enthusiastic fuchsia plant I was given a few weeks against when I had a nasty accident. It clearly likes its new location in the garden.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Quick fix

 My sister will be getting increasing concerned at my seemingly rapid progress, but then with a block with only 9 pieces, all them straight forward, progress will be quick. This one is Uncle Homer (A-6) pictured against flowering lavender.

My roses were looking fantastic a couple of weeks ago and then we had torrential rain and thunder for a couple days, but there are still one or two doing their best. This one is called Octavia Hill, she was a Victorian social reformer in housing for the poor. She was a contemporary of Florence Nightingale.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Garden beauties

 These two blocks seem very similar but I constructed them in completely different ways. This first one is Mirror Image (B-3) photographed against my garden tubs of pinks and lobelia. Four squares were covered first, then the four quarters with their respective fabric. Then I oversewed about a third of one straight edge of the quarter, then appliquéd the curve and then started oversewing the other straight edge - remembering to remove the paper with enough room to extract it.

Sweet Tater Pie (B-2) was entirely English paper pieced and the curved piecing caused no difficulties. This now is picture against my superb raspberry crop. I don't remember having so many raspberries and I am looking forward to another bowlful for lunch tomorrow.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Rapid fire....

Reading the hints and tips are worthwhile as in this block (B-4) Chris' soccer field I sewed the individual strips together first, and then cut to fit a triangle. This avoids the small triangle pieces in the corner and is much easier to handle altogether.
The applique blocks cause me a bit of stress, and the above one (B-1) Bachelor Buttons - is actually quite simple, but then you do need to get four round buttons placed evenly. Challenging enough for me.  I seem to have completed quite a few blocks in quick succession - which is nice in some ways as there is still along way to go.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Fabric estimation

Brenda gives a rough estimate of fabric yardage needed for a Baby Jane quilt and I am hoping that my stash has enough of my chosen fabrics. It is always an anxious time at the beginning when you are not sure exactly how much you are going to use. I have a box in which I keep the odds and ends from the cutting as often a later block will need a particular shape you have already got prepared.

For the 1/2 inch sashing strips and cornerstones, I print off grid squares that make it easy to prepare the paper pieces. 

I have now got 8 more blocks prepared and am about to embark on Chris' Soccer Field which I need to do before I forget the suggested instructions that I am following. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


My sister has over the past 12 months been making the Nearly Insane quilt and is hoping to finish piecing it in August. One of the regular posts she makes is the preparation of the blocks. Well, I hadn't quite realised how much work was involved. Each block is unique and needs it's own way of piecing and hence cutting. There is probably as much time preparing the block as actually piecing it.

This is an early stage is preparing block B-3 Mirror image. I think I have decided to piece the four coloured squares and then appliqué the circle onto the 4 1/2 block.