Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Well, in between doing 1001 little things in preparation for Christmas I  have managed to make another couple of blocks for my granddaughter's quilt. The first was paper pieced:
I quite like the precision of paper piecing as well as the challenge and sure enough, this block was a bit of a challenge!!! I think my triangles must have been a little smaller than those in the book with the result that my plain lime pieces needed to be a bit bigger. The pattern tells you what sizes to cut in advance and so these were a bit smaller than I would have liked. If I were to make this block again I would cut the fabric as and when I needed it rather than rely on the shape and size suggested.

The other block is made out of one of my favourites - halfsquare triangles:
 I was a bit worried that all those seams needed to be accurate so probably overcompensated and  so it is a bit over the 12 1/2 inches. I now need to decide which points will be noticed least if they are missing after I trim it but shhh, don't tell anyone!

As I am fairly new to quilting I still can't believe how quickly these blocks can be sewn. Over the years I have spent many hours crocheting blankets for myself, my children and my grandchildren and they take a long time, especially as the yarn is 4ply. The children love them as they are soft and cuddly.  I have just finished the latest one which is 7feet by 5feet ready for my 5yearold grandson
 The hexagons are easy to join together as you crochet and they give the blanket a lot of stability in that it doesn't stretch like squares would do.

Two grandchildren left to make a blanket for but hey, I think I may have said that once  before and more grandchildren came on the scene. I can but hope!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Well, having sorted out some of the teething problems in setting up my blog (and thanks for all the helpful comments which were gratefully received) I finally got round to some sewing.  At the last Quilt Fair I treated myself to Modern Blocks by Susanne Woods
 I knew I really had to make one of these striking  blocks when I realised just how many bookmarks I had in the book and here it is
 I really enjoyed sewing this but then came the inevitable question, "What shall I do with it". A bag. . maybe? I know, a quilt! So three more lovely patterns later and I havethe beginnings of  a very girlie quilt for my very girlie five-year old granddaughter

 Then I decided that I must be choosing the easy patterns so  decided on a paper-pieced block with triangles for a bit more of a challenge.  I drew the block on my computer and printed out four copies on really cheap photocopy paper ready  for sewing

 Added a few construction lines and and order number for sewing and hey presto. . . I'm ready to sew  the next block.

I must admit to already having a book on making  a sampler quilt together with a lovely selection of black, white, grey and red fabric but I just can't seem to start it. Mental block I suppose.  Oh well, maybe I'll end up with a thoroughly modern sampler quilt, lol.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Never again

Every time that I make a bed-sized quilt I say "Never again", mainly because of the weight of the quilt through the sewing machine when I am quilting. 

Well the time that I have spent (or should that say "wasted")  this week on trying to get my blog to work I could have made a quilt. Firstly the language is all new - I didn't know what a "follower" was, for instance, outside of the religious context, but all my new followers just disappeared into the ether as far as my blog was concerned as did  those sites that I wanted to follow myself.  I listed them sooooooo carefully, they appeared for the length of time I was looking at the page and then "Biff" they disappered with any refresh of the page never to be seen again. With the help of Lovely Daughter I discovered that I had set the security on my computer so well that any determined purveyor of malware, adverts, spam, phishing, hacking  or even ladies who sew would find it impossible to do anything except bounce off my hard-drive!!!!!  By enabling my popup menus and disabling my cookie blocker I was able at last to see my followers (oh dear, that sounds a bit egotistical to a lady of mature years like me. ..  . ) and also see the sites that I had found to follow. 

All is well now? Well, actually no.  I still can't leave a comment on Lovely Daughter's blog as any words I may wish to send her just disappear too, never even getting as far as flying through the ether at all.  It must be a glitch I haven't found in my blog as I have tried a different computer too so I am still cut off.  Is there anyone out there who can help. All suggestions will be gratefully received.

Meantime, if I ever mention setting up another blog, just remind me . . . Never Again!!!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A binding task

I offered to sew on the binding of a beautiful quilt made by my artistic daughter (pardon me while I just adjust my halo. . . .).   Now to me, binding a quilt is a bit like taking up the hem of  trousers - thinking about it is worse than actually doing it - so yesterday morning I cut the fabric and sewed it on, no trouble using my "Sew with the Flow" method of binding i.e. NO PINS.  If I am binding a symmetrical or geometric quilt I meticulously measure the sides, pin centre markings together and so on but with a free design miliimetres are not critical and the binding is actually much smoother to match and sew without pins and so goes on with ease. Formal quilters will probably cringe at this, I know, but cotton will cling to cotton, especially with a smooth of the hand as you sew, and all I can say is that it works, at least for me!

On the subject of spiders, if you fancy doing some lovely little creatures in your sewn masterpiece, it's worth taking a look at an invertebrate identification book. Libraries usually have a good supply as no-one ever takes them out on loan (apart from me, it seems). Older books often have better illustrations (did they have more time to draw and paint without spending lots of  time blogging, I ask myself) whereas modern books go for snazzy photographs which are more difficult to convert into a sewn image.  I like the Oxford Book of Invertebrates which has a wonderful range of beautiful creatures from Jelly Fish and Sea Anemones to Spiders and Woodlice - no insects, you will need a separate guide for those.

Take a look at these lovely Sea Anemones. Aren't they just waiting to be stitched?

In fact the background of the illustration already looks like a crazy quilt, don't you think? Oooo, I can't wait to start the Crazy Quilt Journal so that  I can add some little darlings.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why I am here / Why am I here? / Why, here I am

I have set up this blog with a specific purpose - to enable me to post photos of "works so far" as I progress through the Crazy Quilt Journal Project.  As a relatively new quilter (just over two years) I have a lot of enthusiasm and, no doubt, a lot to learn so this blog will aim to be a record of my sewing achievements from now on.  I wish I had started blogging earlier, though, if only for my own records.

Anyway, on the sewing front I have already made a small wallhanging composed of three pieces of crazy quiltingHere are the three panels separately:


I really enjoyed making these panels, partly because it gave me an excuse to do some hand sewing, partly to use some of the more exotic fabrics from my stash and partly to experiment. And then of course, the wonderful justification of gazing at yarns, beads, silks, buttons....I'm sure you know the feeling.

Hidden away amongst the embroidery are two spiders, a beetle and a wormy snake (it started out as a worm but the snake's forked tongue provided a better visual impact).

It was while doing these that I discovered the Bullion Knot - a wonderful invention for depicting spiders!

So, when my daughter became enthusiastic about the CQJProject I thought "Why not" (or "Why Knot, even) and so here I am :-)