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...


Monday, 12 August 2013

Christmas QAL - August pt4

Well the Christmas QAL has spilled across into Monday for me because of all that daft vegetable and produce showing at the allotment show yesterday, so I've finished my second star block for the Challenge this evening.

I want to concentrate on sashing and borders next month, which will involve some head scratching, I think, in order to make sure that I come in within the size restriction.  Honestly, who on earth came up with such a daft Challenge??

So now I'm moving forward with Eleanor's Quilt, and have the first section of sashing done for that.  I've got some tricky dicky cutting for the next bit, so I am not sure whether to press on with that, or if my concentration is up for the night!

So for now, it's a big thank you to Jolly Joanna who has hosted this weekend (has anyone else noticed that we end up with some yummy snacks to eat on these QAL weekends?!), and do say that you'll put next month's date in your diary - 7th and 8th September - and all come on over to my place to join me and Grumpy George the scarecrow for more Christmas QAL fun and frolics!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Christmas QAL - August pt3

I'm baaaaaaaaack!

Did you miss me today?? I've been at the allotment centenary show and Grumpy George and I have had just the best time!

The sun shone, the barbecue cooked, the band played, the cakes, jellies, chutneys, pickles and all the vegetables have been laid out for judging.

We won a few prizes - then it's all packed up and back home again!

And this evening I've turned my attention the Challenge, and I've made the first of my two star blocks.  I think it looks pretty natty, and if I didn't have to get some order into a vegetable-strewn kitchen, I'd be back up into the attic room to do the other one like a shot!

So - what have you all been up to?  I think I'd better get a cup of tea and have a good look

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Christmas QAL - August pt2 - Distraction...

I confess to a lack of sewing this afternoon - but that's why the QAL weekend is such a good idea - busy today? Sew tomorrow!

I have been busy though - Grumpy George says hello, by the way.
It's the allotment centenary Show tomorrow, so I've been picking and digging and pulling to get my entries ready.  As you can see, I have quite a bit of produce to select my entries from.

I'll be back to the sewing machine soon enough - and in the mean time, I'll just pop around the world to have a look at what you've all been up to...

Christmas QAL - August pt1

Needle, Thread, Happiness

Good morning, good morning!

It's the second weekend in the month, and that means it's time for the Christmas Quiltalong!  Joanna at Needle Thread Happiness is hosting this month, and is very much on the ball with Mr Linky ready and waiting on her Christmas QAL page.

Are you up for the Challenge that QuiltSue has set us? Can you make a Christmas quilt within the size restrictions not using red or green fabric??  Oh my!

Even if you aren't up for the Challenge, do join us to work on your Christmas projects - wouldn't it be good to be ahead of the game come December?

For my Challenge project, I'm going for yellows, blacks, golds and browns for my candle and star table runner - I'm going to be making the star blocks this weekend.

I'd also like to make more progress on Eleanor's Quilt - it's sash-tastic over my neck of the woods!

Oh - and for scarecrow fans, Grumpy George might be putting in an appearance here too a little later...

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Eleanor's Quilt Piecing, and the Christmas QAL!

I'm another step forward with Eleanor's Quilt - actually, I'm a step and a half forward, having completed the blocks for the quilt, and I'm now starting to put them together with their sashing strips. Hurrah!

Never mind that, though - the exciting news this week is that it is the Christmas Quiltalong this weekend! How brilliant is that!

Needle, Thread, HappinessNow don't think that you can bowl up at my doorstep again this month - those biscuits are well and truly gobbled up, but we're off to the east of the U S of A to the home of our hostess Joanna, over at Needle Thread Happiness.

Joanna will have a Mr Linky up on her QAL page on Saturday morning, and you can join in any time Saturday and/or Sunday and have fun stitching with us!

I'm going to be pulling out my Christmas Challenge project and moving forward with that.  Have you taken up QuiltSue's fiendish Challenge?  Can you make a Christmas quilt within the size restrictions, NOT USING red or green fabric.  OUCH!

Then I want to get some more of Eleanor's Quilt put together - actually, I think I might be at the point that I need further advice with that, and I cannot think of a better place to ask than the QAL gang!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Eleanor's Quilt - first piecing

Now we're getting somewhere!

Over the weekend I took all my perfect starched squares and made them up into both rectangle blocks, and flying geese.


Once the blocks were put together I very carefully pressed the seams - in fact, I drew the right size retcangle on the ironing board, and pressed them to size to make sure they didn't come out wonky.

This evening I paired the rectangle blocks and flying geese together in order to make squares, and pressed them by the same method.

I'm tempted to carry on and put the squares together, but I'm all out of concentration, so I'm best putting them away until tomorrow...

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Back to the Drawing Board...

I thought I'd sensibly spent three sessions yesterday very carefully checking, double checking and then cutting the fabric for Eleanor's Quilt, so I would make no mistakes.

Then this evening, before jumping in with the machine, I decided to take Bilbo's unspoken advice (are your ears burning yet, Hobbit?) and starch all my cut fabric before sewing.  The reason for this is that when I have a diagonal seam, I'm always wary of pulling the pieces and stretching them in one direction or another once I come to press the seams.

All started well whilst I laid out the fabric pieces on the ironing board to give 'em a good spray and press, when I realised that my rectangular pieces varied in length somewhat.  Some were 5", some 5 ⅛" and some were 5 ¼"!

Grr! Any inaccuracies at this stage are going only going to multiply, so it was back to the cutting board with quite a proportion of the pieces.  The good news is that I have plenty of spare fabric to use now that the quilt has been resized, having bought for the original sizing.

And now with every piece being individually measured for accuracy, and starched, I am ready to sew.

Eleanor's Quilt - Cutting, pt2

And the cross-cutting is now all done - hurrah!

Now, my next query is with regard to piecing the blocks.  There are plenty of diagonal seams to sew, then cut - so to retain the shape of each piece, am I wise to starch the nuts out of all my pieces now in order for them not to stretch when pressing?

And if so (beginner primer 1 question...!) do I spray the pieces, let them dry and then press with a dry iron OR do I spray 'n' iron whilst damp with starch?
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