Thursday, 20 October 2016

Happy Days BOM - Month 8

I'm not going to lie, Month 8 of Sarah Fielke's Happy Days BOM too me a long time to finish.  Two foundation pieced blocks and a humdinger of a Hawaiian appliqué later I have been challenged but not defeated!

Block 18 is a super pointy star block.  This one was quite straightforward piecing and my favourite part was choosing the fabrics.

Block 8 wasn't actually difficult but there did seem to be an awful lot of sections to join which resulted in this mighty convergence of seams (and tricky paper removal).

But, I hope you'll agree that Sarah's pattern was worth persevering with.  I love this one!  There are many fabric placement options for this block and it was hard to decide (and then remember) which to piece where.

I know that Block 16 has had some of us shaking in our boots but I didn't want to let this Hawaiian appliqué go by without at least trying it. There were certainly an awful lot of twists and turns as the needleturning got underway.  I'll admit that I got a certain distance in and then got a wee bit overwhelmed, leaving it aside for a week or two.

However, as is often the case with these things, the fear of the block was worse than the reality and aside from a struggle between my fat fingers and those internal cut out sections, it finished without much incident.  I wish that there was better contrast in this block after all that work.  Funny how sometimes a fabric turns out not to have quite as much as contrast as you thought.

Now I must see if I can fill in the gap and finish Month 7's blocks!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

A Little Happy Christmas Sew Along

Did you see the Merry Christmas Mini Quilt Sew Along by Pretty Fabrics and Trims? Are you joining in?

I spotted Sarah's sneak peeks of this little sew along on IG quite a while back and I waited eagerly to see how it would look and when it might be available to follow.  Well, it's up on the blog now.  Every Friday for five weeks, instructions to make the very pretty little Christmas wallhanging are being posted on the shop blog.  If you fancy joining in, the first post was on 30 September.

I've managed to follow along and keep up to date for the first three posts anyway.

First week - piecing the background

Second week - Appliqué tree and hexies

Third week - redwork embroidery Christmas pudding and greeting

I'm enjoying the variety of techniques in this little project and the fact that there is indeed a good chance it will be ready to use this year.  Good to be up to date with one of my projects, right? ;-)

If you fancy giving it a go yourself, you're not too late.  Each week has only taken me about an hour's worth of work, so it's not too time intensive to have a little bit of pretty in time for your seasonal decorating.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Bee Blessed October Block Call

I haven't been as diligent on my blog lately as I'd like and part of the fall out is that I've not reminded you about the wonderful Bee Blessed and their monthly call for blocks.  Let's try and put that right.

This month, they are asking for Wonky Cross blocks which are fun and speedy to stitch.  I did these ones in next to no time at all.  All the details are on the Bee Blessed blog.  Please do go and take a look and whip up a few blocks for their next "man quilt".  You've got plenty of time to get your wonky crosses to the Bee Blessed crew - deadline for receipt is 14 November.

If you want to contribute regularly to Bee Blessed please follow their blog (you know, just in case I go awol again) and have a read at the wonderful posts sharing their great makes and the stories of how they are passed on with a wee bit of love and care to those who are facing tough times.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Moda Modern Building Blocks Quilt - top together

I need a wee bit of advice folks.

Some weeks ago I got all of my MMBB quilt blocks out and stitched and stitched and stitched some more, piecing them together to become a quilt top.  I was so excited to finally be joining all 48 of the blocks into one humungous quilt.  It's so huge that I cannot even get a decent shot of it standing on my little Ikea step stool.

However, when I sewed the very last seam all the way across the middle (horizontally) I have ended up with a horrible wavy bit in the centre.  It's hard to see in the pic above, maybe a wee bit easier in the cropped one below.

It's underneath the aqua points of the very large star, mostly around the green and pink 6" squares.

So, folks, how do I fix this?  I couldn't really figure it out the day it happened and rather than rush in and make a bigger mess, I just folded it all up, rather disappointedly, and packed it away.  I think it's probably something to do with all the bias edges involved in all the blocks stretching it all out a bit. But would it just be fixed by increasing the seams sewn on the smaller blocks?  I feel that might be the way to go, although I'm going to lose a lot of the points if I do.  If you are more experienced than me, what do you think?  What would you do?

I'd love to resolve this and send it on for quilting, instead of it sitting as a bogeyman of a quilt in the cupboard.  Suggestions welcome - though the easier the fix, the better.  Anyone got a magic wand?

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Happy Days BOM - Month 6

Sarah Fielke's Happy Days BOM is now into Month 9 but I'm not quite there yet, so I'll fill you in on the months as I complete them.

I was full of grand ambitions to stitch Month 6's blocks whilst on my holidays in the Lakes this year, but I had forgotten just how busy a holiday with a baby can be.  So, best laid plans were shelved and I just enjoyed my hols without stitches.

This appliqué is Alain Lapin, so named by Sarah herself for block 11.  My Alain, as you can see, is embracing his feminine side sporting pink fluff, but isn't he cute?

As you know, I love hexies and EPP so I'm delighted they are part of this BOM (Block 5).  I went bold with my colour choices for this block.  Hope they won't dominate too much or stand out like a sore thumb in the overall quilt.

I thought I'd be smart and sew the petals on to block 17 after sewing the block together (not the way the pattern suggested), but I didn't really execute it well at all.  My petals don't line up anywhere near where they should at the corners of the checkerboards, and this pic is even after I fixed a few.  The rest, I have decided to live with.  Feel like I made a mountain out of a molehill trying to get that placement right before turning the edges under to appliqué.  Do you ever do that?  Make something much more difficult than it needed to be?

I have some more blocks to show you, and other projects too (if you're an IG follower you'll have seen them).  I just need to load the photos on to the laptop so I can write the posts.  Hope to be back to share more with you soon.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Frame Box Scrap Quilt

A while back I played with layouts for all the scrappy Frame Box blocks I stitched up as leaders and enders over the winter and spring months.  I spied a double yellow at the top right hand corner just after this pic was taken and did a wee bit of switching and re-arranging before sewing them all together.

It is straight, just my photography angle isn't!

In spite of this rubbish photograph, I love the scrappy brightness of this quilt top.  All that yellow makes me smile!! Not too bad for a load of blocks from a scrap box, is it?

Slowly, very slowly, this is becoming a quilt for 2017's Siblings Together collection.  I've got almost a year to get it basted, quilted and bound.  Surely, I can manage that. Please let me manage that!

Sarah x

Saturday, 13 August 2016

French knitting

As a child, I LOVED knitting.  I tortured my aunt and my mum to teach me.  If they were knitting, I was rooting around their bags for the small left overs and a pair of short needles. But you know how some things that you didn't get to do/have in childhood kind of stick with you?  Well, for me French knitting is one of those things.  I always found the knitting dolly a mysterious, intriguing item but for some reason I never had one and consequently, I've never tried French knitting until now.  When this wee hooji flashed up in a marketing email recently, I'd hit BUY before I knew it.

So it arrived and well, the mysteries of French knitting were revealed in rather a short time.  Perhaps I'd built this up to be something of an anti-climax?

But, fear not!  Thrifty, scrap conscious me hit upon a plan.  I've got lots of small ends of yarn from crochet projects and wondered what would happen if I French knit them all together randomly, and then use the resulting knitted tube as a chunky yarn in its own right for some kind of scrappy crochet throw or floor rug or something.  Maybe that would work?

Of course, as my new "yarn" is growing, I can't resist a wee play with my rather large crochet hook - 15mm.

Just a few more stitches ...

Of course, it'll take a lot of this new tube yarn to make anything, so I may be a while.  Come back in about 8 years and see the first couple of crocheted rounds ;-)

So now I just have a couple of questions. Why is it called French Knitting?   Do the French have a particular penchant for these yarn tubes?  And what did/do people actually do with the tubular knitting that results? Anyone know?

Sarah x
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