Thursday, 2 August 2018

Scrap Vortex Progression

I haven't shown much of my Scrap Vortex quilt since this little bundle of pieces, but it did progress a bit more back in April/May time.

Working with the vortex scraps gets very untidy and the mess gets bigger as the pieces do!

I think I spent a rainy afternoon watching BBC iplayer catch ups and pinning all of these next seams ready to stitch on during the pauses and gaps in the making of my See-it-all pouches.  Though honestly, it was hard to keep it to just working as leaders/enders and it did take on a life of its own at times.

Gradually, the pieces grew until I needed to make some kind of decision as to where these are going.  So I've opted for blocks around 15" or 16" tall.  Originally, I tried to make them square but it was forcing thing a bit falsely (namely, trimming things a bit too close to seams for comfort), so I'm happy to grow them to whatever widths they work out at and will have some rows that are 15" high and some 16".

I love this scrap happiness!

This is where I got to.  None of those are completed rows, they're just various widths laid side by side.  I think I will keep this just a small lap quilt. So, next is to decide what width I'm aiming for and fill in any gaps in those top three rows and then do quite a bit of work on filling out the bottom row.  There are still plenty of scraps in the basket to do the job!! 

BTW - the problem with my blog comments seems to be ongoing (i.e. I don't receive notification of them by email and cannot, therefore, reply).  Blogger help forum seems to suggest the problem has been resolved, but it seems they forgot to tell my blog! So, if I don't respond to your comment, you'll know why, but know I am reading and appreciating that you took time to leave me your thoughts.

Monday, 9 July 2018

See-it-all Pouches - A Comedy of Errors

A few months back when I was making my own See-it-all and Two-in-one pouches I did a little bit of secret sewing for gifts on the side.  My IG followers will know that I just spent the weekend away with my sewing buddies and with that event ahead of me, I desperately wanted to take them a gift I had actually sewed for them.

I tried to work from stash and after much deliberation about fabrics to suit each individually, I plumped for just using this fun bicycle print for everyone.  

These pouches use a continuous bias binding across the zipper sides and all the way around the pouch to finish.  Making binding like this was new to me and I did struggle a bit with the diagrams in the book, though fortuitously that same week I had seen this post from Geta Grama which helped demystify things and eventually, all the binding was stitched and pressed.  Though quite why the pattern called for so much to be made, I don't know.  I have heaps of it left over, like enough to do the final binding down both sides, around the curves and across the bottom for another pouch.  For a second pouch all you would need is to cut some straight binding pieces for the zipper side enclosures.

That these pouches got made is something of a minor miracle for there were so many mistakes in their making that you just could NOT make it up.  My mistakes, by the way, not pattern mistakes.

Firstly, there should have been enough fabric to make a fourth pouch for me with the bicycles, too, but a cutting error put paid to that plan, and you'll have noticed that my own pouch is a lovely floral and red combination.

Then, I had problems attaching the biased binding as the top enclosure of the zipper.  See those ugly wrinkles?  Ugh!

Eventually, I resolved the issue with a lot of help from IG friends - I starched the life out of the binding and re-pressed it, I reduced the pressure on my sewing foot, increased my stitch length and sewed very, very carefully. 

There were many attempts at getting these top bindings sorted - the yellow one was unpicked at least five times!!!  While they are not absolutely wrinkle free now, they are much, much improved.

My pouch fiascos did not end there peeps, oh no!

One of the pouches had a melting encounter with the back edge of the iron as I pressed the binding on a different pouch and forgot I'd set the poor, soon-to-be melted one just a little bit offside, but not offside enough!  Since the melt was right on the edge of the vinyl I managed to salvage the pouch just by trimming away the bottom edge.  So it's a bit shorter than the others.

Another one is a bit narrower than its sisters thanks to some cross transfer of the sharpie markings I had used to draw the template shape on to the vinyl.  No idea how that happened, but I did gasp after I has resolved the bias binding issue to find extra black marks half an inch into the vinyl!  Trim, trim, trim and breathe ...

Are you still with this saga?

I think by this stage I was getting a little bit discouraged and disillusioned about my clearly out-of-practice sewing skills.  Knowing that I had the final bias bindings to add along the sides, around the curves and up the other sides of all the pouches wasn't helping either, given the traumas of binding the zippers.

But you know what? They actually went on pretty smoothly and without the dramas of the first lot of bindings.  (My tip, use straight cut pieces to bind your zips and leave the bias cut binding to do the job of curves it is designed for.)

After that comedy of errors I can hardly believe that three See-it-all pouches were actually, finally finished and ready for the addition of a few treats before gifting!  They look sort of cute, in spite of their inadequacies, wouldn't you say?

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Quick Apology

Hello Folks!

If you have left a comment on any of my recent posts and I haven't replied it's because Blogger hasn't been sending the usual comment notifications to my email.  After a wee bit of investigation, it seems this is a problem for more than just me and Blogger are working on it.  So, thank you so much for your comments and please accept my apologies that I haven't replied to you.  Fingers crossed Blogger will resolve the issue and normal service will resume soon.

Kay - I'm delighted you have finally broken into that B&C stash.  Make something magnificent to enjoy!!

Friday, 15 June 2018

Something to think about

Have you ever started a project, left it for a while and when you came back to it wondered what to do with it again?

I feel that way about these hexie diamonds, as I refer to them.

I think when I first cut a gazillion hexagons from my B&C stash I had thoughts of a quilt laid out in a diamond grid with a pathway of white/cream hexies separating them like sashing.

Three years on, and only 6 hexie diamonds actually stitched (!!!), I don't know how I feel about this project.

Have I stopped liking it?

Am I just disappointed because it's so lacking in progress?

What to do next -

do I hide it back under the bed and hope one day to be struck with inspiration? or that it might in fact just get 'lost'?

or do I make up more diamonds and see what happens? - there are many, many more hexies already cut for the purpose.

It has potential and options, doesn't it?

Maybe I could learn to love it again if I just spent some time with it.  I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel yet, I don't think. And, if it's the design I'm not so hot about any more, that can always be played around with later, right?

Perhaps I should nudge it up from that UFO list on the left over there into the WIPs?  Oh, go on then!

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Triple Pouch

The last pouch I took a fancy to make from Aneela Hoey's Stitched Sewing Organiser book is the Triple Pouch.  I like multi-pocketed pouches and wanted just to see if I could do it.  I was a little hesitant though, as the instructions were lengthy and I'm not the biggest fan of diagrams in patterns, rather than photos.

I took on board advice from a few IG friends to pay very close attention to every word of the pattern and not to think it out for myself, just follow the instructions, and actually that did help and the pouch came together with a little less drama than I imagined.

There are a number of interesting construction steps in the making of this pouch, but I did get there - even if I had to re-do a few steps because I didn't read every word, then realised I should have.

Some of the folding and tacking was intriguing, but trust the pattern and it works (no surprises there).

This pouch has three large sections

and can you just see the little slip pocket in more of that navy fabric alongside the inner pouch?  There are two of those as well, handy for a little packet of machine needles or sticky fingertip thimble pads.

Full disclosure, the larger outer pouches of my make are not equal in size (and yes, it bothers me a little) because while the pattern can be followed well, I did find some bits awkward to manipulate though the machine.  At one point, many layers and very close to the pressure foot meant I didn't quite achieve the pattern's recommended half inch seam allowance.  So achieving it on one pouch side, but not on the other, means that one of my outer pouches is wider than the other.  Add that to some of the other dodgy bits that my photos disguise well and ... oh well, never mind!

The fabric I chose to use for this pouch is Katy Jones's Priory Square for Art Gallery Fabrics.  It has been in my stash for a very long time and it feels great to finally use it in a project.  Also, like all the AGF fabrics it has that beautiful smooth feel to it.

I'm off now to fill up the pouch!

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Being Realistic

Dear Jane,

It's not you, it's me.

No seriously, it is me.  I want to have the commitment it takes to replicate your beautiful quilt design by EPP, but I just haven't got what it takes.  If we were to do the maths based upon my productivity so far, I think we could be talking about several lifetimes before this quilt would be complete, and well, unless I happen upon the elixir of youth fairly shortly, I don't have several lifetimes to spare.

So, I think my 25 blocks (sadly very far short of the full quota I hoped for) should become a pretty wallhanging as testimony to my efforts.  These little blocks have been wonderful and frustrating in equal measure, but it's time to admit that in this case I have bitten off more than I can chew, as it were.

Perhaps you will always be the quilt that got away from me. Or, maybe one day I will find myself flush with time and choose a quicker way of piecing your quilt designs? Whichever, for now I salute you, Jane, for your perseverance and for your patience with so very many teeny pieces of fabric and I dedicate my meagre effort to the memory of your inspirational quilt.

Kindest regards,

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

30's Repro Quilt Finish

Woohoo!  Another binding finish to knock those WIPs down another number, and of course, to have a gorgeous quilty finish!!

This quilt is 72" x 84", though the pics show it sideways because it was too long to hang on my line.  This one is for CT when she moves to a single bed (which will be a while).  I love that this quilt wasn't very planned and just came together for no particular reason.  Perhaps, I also love it because it was a little bit illicit, in that I should have really been doing other things, not starting a new quilt ;-)

A light gust of wind upset the shot but shifted the quilt into better lighting to reveal the texture of the diagonal serpentine quilting. I really like this stitch for a gentle quilted finish.

It feels good to have finished the binding on those three quilts that were so close to finishes as I reported when I was Taking Stock.  With all of my other WIPs still quite far from completion I'm not sure which should be my focus next.  Hmmm, need to have a think.

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