Sunday, 25 August 2019

Pretty Summer Sampler

Earlier this month I started a new project - I know that's very unlike me! It's a Block of the Month from Pretty Fabrics and Trims: three five inch finished blocks per month for 4 months over the summer, mixing embroidery, applique, English paper piecing and machine piecing (and eventually hand quilting too). I had saved up the blocks for the first two months to make on holiday, enjoyed making them while we were away and then came home to the next three blocks, which I haven't made yet.

Here are the month one blocks:

And the month two blocks.

 (ooops - I picked the wrong pink on my photo editing programme for one of those didn't I!)

You may be thinking, this isn't Jennie's normal thing... you're right, it isn't. But it reflects my changing tastes. Or rather my extending tastes (I'm not turning my back on rainbow and Tula any time soon. But I'm finding myself drawn to pastels and florals and vintge-y looking pieces more and more. I've never really liked Liberty fabrics, but now I'm starting to. I'm also really enjoying the applique! I've finally found a technique that works for me, using the applique paper method, and I'm enjoying it so much you may spot a few more new starts over the coming weeks!

I'm also hopeful that I finish this one soon! Perfectly achievable!

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Sharks Dinner Block of the Month

Well that was rather an unplanned hiatus - I didn't mean to go silent for a month... it's just that we've been quite busy and the sewing I'm doing at the moment hasn't been particularly share-worthy as I go. But I'm back and have some blocks to share: first up the Sharks Dinner blocks for July:

And for August

I love these blocks - they use unusual shapes and are a new challenge each month - mostly deciding where to put which fabric - I'm not use to such a limited colour palette!

I now have nine blocks made (the first eight pictured above), and a couple have been appliqued to the background already. The last block comes in November, which theoretically leaves December for putting it all together. I think I'm going to pick a small element from one of the blocks and make it up to go into the middle of the gaps above where four blocks come together. What do you think?

The blocks are all designed by Elisabeth at Shark's Dinner and are available on her blog.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Coming Home Quilt

Another border is now finished in this epic block of the month from Sarah Fielke and I have to say I'm loving every minute I spend working on it. Especially,  surprisingly,  the applique! I never thought I'd say that!

So this border was created over three months. A few houses in the first month when we finished of the centre as well, a lot more houses in the second month and then a month all about the applique.

I have not mastered needleturn applique but have found I'm getting really good results with Helen Stubbings applique paper, which is a visible semi soluble base. I glue-baste the fabric of as if they were EPP shapes, then all I have to do is tuck the dog-ears in as I sew.

I loved doing the suns and moons as they were nice gentle, smooth curves. I was, however, apprehensive about the tiny kite bows. But they worked beautifully.

A lot of the applique in this border is quite subtle and that was intentional... I plan to make them pop a bit more when I get to the quilting stage!

And there's no letting up this month easier with more applique. Trees this time!

Dear Jen [Month 2]

well I'm a little behind in finishing off the second batch of Dear Jen blocks. There were four English paper pieced blocks this month:

This one held me up... I'm a firm believer that any block can be EPP'd but the fine ends of the outer curves on this block nearly had me doubting that belief!

And then there were two applique blocks.

It was this one that I left to last and really didn't fancy - not just applique, but bias applique too. I used Sarah Fielke's method to create the bias binding, and her tip for transferring a pattern to dark fabric and it all worked out beautifully. So much so that I enjoyed working on this block the most of any this month!

Onto month 3. No applique but lots of curves. I'm thoroughly enjoying the challenges of these blocks!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Finish Along Q3: The List

well most of these will be familiar to you!

Lisa the Unicorn: this progressed last quarter from three individual blocks to a finished quilt top. I need to baste it and quilt it and then I think it will be snaffled by my daughters!

Tula Nova: This is now a finished quilt top. It's basted. And I've done the first few quilting stitches... but it's way too hot at the moment to sit under a quilt so this one hasn't gone any further.

Round of Cats: I've changed the plan for this. It's not going to be a quilt anymore. Nor is it going to be a tote bag for me. Two double-sided cushions coming up. The four blocks are made and need to be basted and quilted.

My Crumb Quilt: this was the cushion cover I started at our North East Modern Quilt Guild workshop with Chris English and grew. I intend to hit the charity shops while on holiday and hopefully find a backing for it which matches the recycling ethos of the front! And then it's another lined up for hand quilting.

Meadowland in Pinkerville. I've made the odd block recently but this wasn't supposed to be a project that would linger. I've ordered the Ruby Star Society Unicorn panel which I think might just work on the back!

The Alison Glass Triangle cushions are making a reappearance. I have two to make (smaller squarer ones than before). The triangles are all prepped.

I signed up to the Pretty Fabrics and Trims summer sampler. I've been saving the lovely little packages for my holiday. The final instalment comes out in September, so theoretically this coud be a Q3 finish.

Moths Pouch: I didn't even touch this last quarter.

EJ+ Quilt: not sure whether I actually want to finish this... maybe that's why I've made no progress on it! But I shall list it here as the blocks are easy and may be just what I need.

Unicorn Embroidery: pattern is transferred, threads are picked...

Bunny embroidery: same as above. Just not started.

Brimfield De La Luna. I'd love to have this finished for Halloween. I know that doesn't fall until the fourth quarter but you never know! I still have a lot of handwork to do if I'm going to achieve that goal, though.

Neon City - this one keep cropping up, doesn't it!

Penguin Party: really I think this is a Q4 project - a new Christmas/Winter quilt, but I'll pop it on this list in the hope it spurs me on. All the blocks are prepped already.

A Preppy the Whale quilt: for a little man who definitely isn't a newborn anymore. His Christening is this summer, so I'd like to have a quilt finished for that, but I haven't really started it, except for pulling out some fabric and we are on holiday between now and the Christening....

Let's pop Fancy Forest on as well, shall we!

Floating Angles EPP: I bought this kit recently and I've finally hit on fabrics and layout that I like! I want to make it as a panel for a tote bag (as I'm not allowed the kittens around blocks).

And finally the hoop with the rejected Alexandria block. This should have been finished last quarter as it's so close....

This list is positively controlled compared to my normal ones! Let's hope it means I achieve something, so at the moment my focus seems to be more on keeping up with the various blocks of the month I've signed up for...

Monday, 15 July 2019

Finish Along Q2 Review

Another quarter of the Finish Along is well and truly over and it doesn't feel like my most productive ever... nevertheless I do have 9 finishes and some of those contain multiple items, one is a large quilt and another is something that has been on my Finish Along list for literally years!

First up the oldest: I finally did something with the Dachshund I paper-pieced over 18 months ago. It's not what I originally had in mind, but it's finished, it's pretty and Jess likes it. It lives on her bed. It's a bit of an odd shape, but I love it for its quirkiness.

My Trinket quilt was the large finish of the quarter and I'm so chuffed with it I'm so pleased I decided on a alternative layout to the original chequerboard. It's light and bright and a rainbow! And it has dinosaurs on the back!

Pouches were a feature of this quarter: I made five from discarded blocks from the Summer Sampler 2017

And three from Zuma. These pouches are all the Speedy Vinyl Pouch pattern by Aneela Hooey - with one super-sized one thrown in for good measure. I still plan on making more of these because they are just so useful!

And two rabbits.

I finished a mini Dresden as a pincushion - click through to find out how I made life hard for myself...

And then there was the embroidery - I'm really proud of the February Embroidery Month piece - I learned a lot of new skills and it's really pretty!

And the Bloom hoop, which was another learning experience, though perhaps not one I'll repeat...

And my first finish of the quarter (not necessarily the first I blogged about though) was the Moon Moth for Jessica.

I was hoping for a few more large finishes this quarter, but the reality is that time and inclination was lacking. i did make good progress on a few items so watch this space. Going back to work has had a serious impact on my productivity! But I'm adjusting and finding my new routine, so maybe there will be a few larger finishes in Quarter 3.

And no... Michael didn't finish the dress he's making either. You can find my original Q2 list here.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Summer Sampler 2018

As I've been working on my 2019 Summer Sampler, I thought it would be a good idea to work on my largely ignored Summer Sampler 2018, and try and do a block a week of that project too. Up until the end of June that plan was going ok. I still love these fabrics - Palm Canyon by Violet Craft and coordinating Kona solids.

Here is the block that was the stalling point last year - a foundation pieced, curved pieced, gorgeous little number that was no quick sew!

Next up was another foundation pieced block - I struggled to picture this one together from the page but I'm very pleased with it.

Then a third, even more straightforward foundation pieced block, though there is possibility that grey is just a bit heavy for it...

And then this delightfully quick and easy rotary cut block!

Now I need to get printing some more patterns!