Friday, 24 March 2017

Scrappy Plans for Potluck Quilt




This is my box of 3.5" scrap squares.  The lid only just about goes on that tub now so it's time to put these pretties to use.  With another cousin expecting a baby this year and time at a premium around here I'm keeping it simple and small.  My plan is to stitch together a scrappy quilt something similar to this one I found on Pinterest a long time ago.  It's called a Potluck quilt but I think that's more to do with the random fabrics and their placement than an actual pattern name.

I have edited my fabric scraps a little since I don't know if the baby is a boy or girl and I want to avoid anything too girly.


I'm hoping this works, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the low volume pattern in the squares layout becomes a little more evident when the top is properly pieced.  In this picture it's not really as obvious as I had been hoping.  Anyway, let's carry on regardless ...



Monday, 20 March 2017

Siblings Together - Frame Box Quilt




There has been progress of the finishing kind in these here parts!  Yay!

Last Feb (2016) I started working with my scrap boxes to pull together some Frame Box Blocks - tutorial here - with a view to making a bright, cheery quilt for Siblings Together.  I hadn't expected it to take so long to reach its conclusion but still, it's a finish now and although it didn't make last summer's Siblings Together camps, it will be there on time for this year's camps.


While the mix of fabrics in these blocks wasn't always what I might have otherwise chosen to stitch together, sometimes I think with scrappy quilts I just have to let go of my tendency to order and remember that scrappy quilts are about the bigger picture, not the individual blocks.  So, yes, not all of the blocks are truly beautiful, but look at the overall effect of that riot of colour.  It's not really so bad, is it?  Can you see what I mean about the bigger picture?



I quilted in vertical lines through the blocks in 7 places and twice across the horizontal just to give it a bit better hold.  Where my lines are a wee bit less than straight, a tumble in the wash and dryer have softened them up a bit (and hidden the multitude of wobbly sins).


Finished with hot pink polka dot binding this quilt really does look bright.  I hope that the child who receives it at this summer's camp will be cheered by it and the memories that will be associated with their Sibling through the camp too.  That's what it's all about!

This is a finish for my FAL 2017 Quarter 1 list too.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

FAL 2017: Meet the Host #3

It's time to meet the third of our FAL co-hosts for 2017 which, yes, means that Quarter 1 is almost at an end so get speedy with those finishes!  This month it's Abigail's turn to make her introduction , so I shall just let her get on with it ...

Back in November I was surprised and delighted to open an email from Rhonda inviting me to become one of the global host of the 2017 Finish-A-Long. There are 13 of us in all and over the course of the year we'll be introducing ourselves. Nicky from Mrs Sew and Sow started off in January followed by Jess from Elven Garden Quilts in February and now in March it's my turn.


Hello, my name is Abigail and I blog here at cut&alter. I found the FAL late on in 2015 and couldn't believe how it motivated me to get things finished. I have always been a list maker and the FAL is no exception. My lists are somewhat larger than most people's, although I have certainly seen longer as well! I know that I will never get everything ticked off within the current Quarter but it does give me 1) accountability 2) a reason to tidy up and reorganise my studio each quarter to find those projects which have been languishing on shelves and at the bottom of boxes 3) it brings projects to the front of my mind and a lot of work goes on in my mind even before I get in the studio 4) if a project has been rolled over just one too many times I can then see that it's probably never going to get finished and I can pass it on (does that count as a finish?!!). Last quarter I had a particularly low completion rate and this one is shaping up to be the same but I have a few finishes and some projects are considerably further on!

A current quarter finish
I live in Stratford upon Avon with my husband, who is from New Zealand, our two daughters and a black and white cat. We have been back in the UK for just over 4 years and prior to that we lived in Otaki, New Zealand. We have been called gypsies before now due to our constant moving, and usually not within the same area. This is the longest time I have ever lived anywhere! (Can you keep a secret? Maybe, just maybe, my feet are itching again!) Some of the other places I have lived are: Nottingham, Leamington Spa, Sydney, Wellington, London, Waihi Beach, Cambridge, Tauranga, Rowington, Shirley, Waitarere Beach and Feilding. The whole idea of living here (the UK) or there (NZ) was the inspiration for this quilt. I was delighted when Should I Stay or Should I Go? was awarded Best Piecing in Show last November in Bristol!


Up until January this year I home educated the girls, which was brilliant. I always felt honoured to have as much time with them as I did and whilst it certainly was tiring and had its moments we had a lot of fun along the way. They have now started school, primary and secondary, and have settled in really well. We have a new rhythm in our lives which, for me, is taking some getting used to. I thought I would have all the time in the world, that I would have time to sew, quilt, go to the gym, make lovely healthy food ...... oh silly, silly me!! You don't actually get much done in the six hours between 9am and 3pm do you?!! One thing I have done is learn to do improv curves - I love them!!!!


I have been sewing since a child but, like a lot of women, I came back to sewing when my first child was born, although I had been making curtains for our houses every time we moved! Little children's clothes are such a pleasure to make - fitting is not important, they don't use much material and they are quick (although when sleep deprived they sometimes didn't seem to be that quick). I had made a puff patchwork quilt for my eldest soon after she was born and then made a simple square quilt from vintage Laura Ashley soft furnishing fabric from our various childhood houses. These two quilts are well loved and well worn!


It wasn't until 2010 that I 'learnt' to quilt. I took a 6 week night class in NZ and a passion was born. I joined my local quilt club and I listened to the other ladies of my group talking about all their WIPs. I was horrified! I vowed that I would never have projects sitting on my shelf - I would start and finish one before embarking on another. Oh how naive I was! Needless to say I have lots of projects on the go all of differing ages. Last year I finished my most long standing project - ANZAC Hearts, it was on my FAL2016 Quarter 2 list! This was a Bee quilt and I love it - luckily as much now as when I started it in 2010!
Back in 2015 I made the decision to purchase a longarm quilting machine and I totally love it!!! I bought a Handi Quilter Avante and it brings me a lot of joy. With the girls at home I did not have the time I would have liked for learning and practising but I am getting there. I have done a few customer quilts and hope to do more this coming year. Before then I have a backlog of my own tops that are waiting to be done. This was the first quilt I quilted on my machine ....
Wow - this has become a longer post than I thought. When I first sat down to write this I did wonder what I would write! So, here's a quick 10 9 other things about me to finish (I got stuck on No 10!):

1. I make quilts for Project Linus
2. I am a member of the Oxfordshire Modern Quilt Guild
3. I am left handed
4. At 25 I spent a week in Coober Pedy, having read about it as child of 12 - it was awesome!
5. I love salads
6. I have only ever spent one night in hospital and that was with my daughter when she was 3 and had to have her tonsils out
7. Both my children were born at home - one in NZ and one in UK
8. I will go to QuiltCon ..... one day!
9. I would love to go to Alaska

There you have it! Remember there's just a couple of weeks left for you to get your Quarter 1 list project finished. The link up opens on 26 March and will remain open until 01 April. Be sure to link up because there are amazing prizes to won (and I should know because I have won twice before!!) I look forward to seeing all the finished projects this quarter. x
 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Quilt for a New Little Star


I've been snatching little bits of time late on weekend nights to progress the scrappy wonky stars quilt for my cousin's new arrival and thought I was on target to make a finish before his mid-March due date, but he beat me to it by putting in an appearance last weekend!  Thankfully, by then, I had the top together and quilted with my go-to and much loved wavy lines.


So, some scrappy binding and a label was all it took to finish it off.



I'm looking forward to meeting this new little bundle of energy and gifting him his quilt soon. Of course, I'm also happy to be able to call this a second finish for my FAL Quarter 1 list.


Just to show you how hard it is to get quilt pics around here these days, here are the outtakes from my attempt to lay a quilt flat and snap a picture -





Um, yeah, this is the trade off for daylight pictures!! Lol!

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