Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Saturday, 31 December 2011

No-one Said it Would Be Easy

Well, trimming those blocks down was the most difficult thing in the universe.

Not only do the points of the nine patches have to end up in the precise middle of each edge of each block, but each block needs to come out at exactly the same size. And they need to be properly square.

It has taken me two days of extreme concentration doing a couple at a time, and even so, there has been the odd eighth of an inch squished and stretched but the blocks have all been bullyed to fit into three strips of six and I am ready to cut and sew sashing.

As I'm making the quilt slightly larger than the pattern, I'm going round to mum's shortly to put them in-situ on the bed in order to double check that the extra inch I propose on the sashing won't look odd.

And here's the good bit, I'm getting dinner cooked for me too. Hurrah!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Recovery and Block Creation

The cream fabric which I made a hash of cutting yesterday was supposed to be 6" wide in order to be starched and cut into 6" squares, then into triangles.

Because I am also using the cream fabric for the skinny stop border, and I had already decided to make this as a 2" finished border (rather than Sue's suggested 1" finished) this reather neatly means that my 5" wide mistake strip will come in very handy for when I'm cutting 2 1/2 " strips. Hurrah!

This evening I have VERY CAREFULLY sewn the triangles onto the nine patch blocks...

...and now I have the nerve-racking job of trimming the blocks to square them up.

But not this evening - my hour and a half concentration period is more than up, and I'll need to come at this one fresh!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

First Piecing for Mum's Quilt

I have had such terrific fun today - and of course it does help that Sue's instructions are so clear to follow!

First of all I took my cut fabric from yesterday*...

...and sewed them into strips...

...then cut them carefully into strip sections...

...and sewed the strip sections into nine patch blocks.


Mind you, I have triangles to cut on the bias for the next step, that'll bring put a spoke in my wheels!

*Just to clear up a safety issue which was very sensibly raised after yesterday's post - I must clarify that although I had a very tasty glass of port poured and in a glass on the worktop, I didn't actually drink it until I'd finished using the wickedly sharp cutter. I am rather attached to my digits, and wish for that happy state of affairs to continue!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Unexpected Presents and a Start

Joanna has a quote from the Disney film Alice in Wonderland (based rather loosely on the Lewis Carroll books 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Alice Through the Looking Glass') at top of her blog, "A very Merry Unbirthday to you, to you. A very Merry Unbirthday to you.", and a few days before Christmas I had a Very Merry Unbirthday indeed.

I received a package through the post from my dear hairy-footed friend which contained these marvellous marbled stof fat quarters, along with a oops-outrageously-belated-birthday-gift note.

Unexpected, delightful and beautiful - I love them, and thank you very much indeed, hobbit, you are extremely kind.

Meanwhile, on this Boxing Day evening, I have retreated to the cool of the sewing room in the attic to de-lint and oil the sewing machine and put in a new needle. And now I have a new blade in the cutter, and I have that thrill of starting a new quilt.

With a glass of festive port, obviously.

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Finish, A Pick and a Pause

I've had an excellent couple of weeks since the December's final Christmas quiltalong - the most satisfying of which has been to actually finish the QAL quilt, Scatty Stars - hurrah!

I would have posted about it earlier, but everytime I've remembered to go and take a few pics, it's been dark and artificial lights mess about with the colour balance - but here it is.

Although it has been through the machine and been aired and is ready for sleeping under, before I get to snuggle up under it, it has to perform another important service - namely being round the Christmas tree tub, an idea I have cribbed shamelessly from one of the other Christmas QAL girls.

Talking of Christmas, here's what I won from Sue's QAL competition - isn't it beautiful? Wonderful needlework, a lovely border, and a pocket on the back to slide a baton through for hanging. Thank you, Sue!

With Scatty Stars out of the way, the next project is mum's quilt (Sue's Antique Nine Patch), so when big sister Helen was here a couple of weekends ago we all went on a shopping trip to the Cotton Patch.

We spent a happy afternoon wading through about a zillion bolts of fabric and finding four to match up with an offcut of mum's carpet and one of her patterned curtains, and finally we all agreed on what went with what and which fabric would be used where - and now I can't wait to get my teeth into this one!

Before diving in, though, I've taken the opportunity to clear the decks in the sewing room - and it's never been so tidy.

Won't last, will it?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas Quiltalong! December

So this is the final Christmas quiltalong day for 2011, and we are having a gallery of all the projects that we've all worked on this year on the QAL Saturdays.

Now I see that lots of the girls have been working on all sorts of beautiful projects through the year and not just the Scatty Stars quilt either.

I've been plugging away at my version of Scatty Stars and have very nearly finished it - I just need to complete handsewing the binding, bury the remaining tails, and attach a label.

Many thanks to Sue and Cathi for organising this year's QAL Saturdays - it's been brilliant and I've 'met' so many new friends from all around the world!

In fact, it's been so much fun this year that it is all happening again in 2012 from February onwards with a guest host each month - I'll have my pinny on and a warm welcome ready for my turn in February, so do join me for mince pies and sherry for next years quilting project, won't you?

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Fiddly FMQ & Binding

I cut, pieced, trimmed and pressed the binding for Scatty Stars this afternoon, but before I could machine it on, I needed to re-do a couple of the quilted corner stars which were rather near the edge of the quilt.

This was really, really fiddly as they are so near the edge.

Of course if I had been less bloody stubborn, I would have redone the stars after the binding was on - that way I would have had a bit more 'edge' to hang on to whilst doing the FMQ. But no. I tried and unpicked and tried again until I had got it right before I could move on to the binding.

So it took way longer than it should have done, but here is the binding machined and pinned at the back, and an extremely perforated corner with a passable quilted star.

Ends to bury, label to sew & attach, binding to hand sew. Deadline: next Saturday for the QAL gallery...
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