Friday, 26 June 2015

The story so far ...

Because they both asked so nicely, and because they are fabulous encouragers, inspiration and solution providers for all sorts of stitching issues, here is a picture of all of my 18 Moda Modern Building Blocks so far as requested for Mrs Sew and Sew and Archie's mum.

It is only with laying them out for this picture that I'm beginning to get an idea of the overall size of this quilt.  It's a bit of a biggie!  Remember, there are still 30 6" blocks to be added to these ones.  I know it's not the best picture, ladies, but I hope you can see something of the quilt it will eventually become.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Blocks 16, 17 & 18

It's time to show you the last three of the 12" blocks for my Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 16
What I found hardest with block 16 was getting the colour variation of the reds to be contrasting enough not to lose the large chevron design.  I'm still not entirely sure that my choices have been successful, but I am not so bothered as to switch them out.  Mainly because I really want to keep it reds and not add in other colours to this block.  I'm sure it will matter less in the bigger picture of the whole quilt in due course.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 17
More chevrons but smaller this time for block 17.  The graduation through pinks to reds works a much better than my block 16.  I am just going to have to take care when piecing this one into the quilt sections because I might lose a little on my seam allowance at that top left hand goose point, though it looks much worse in the picture than it does in reality.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 18
I really like the pattern of block 18 (forgotten it's name and am too lazy to go and hunt for my book to find out).  I don't say this often about B&C fabrics but this is one of the prints I bought that I'm not so fond of.  Not sure why I can't quite love it like I do the others.  Maybe it's a bit too dark blue and not navy enough for me, not sure, but I have kept it in this block anyway to try to balance out the navy/dark blue tones across the quilt especially since I only have a few of these colours in my B&C stash.

So, that's 18 blocks all stitched and waiting for some future attention.  The remaining 30 quilt blocks will all finish at 6" square which is pretty wee given the number of pieces some are being made up from.  For now though, they will have to wait until after the summer as sewing machine time is giving way to other things for a while. At least they are all cut and packaged up ready to sew when I find myself with time and energy to get working on them!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Bee Blessed

Yesterday afternoon this fab group of Bees gave Judith and I a lovely send off as we move on from our responsibilities at Bee Blessed.

As you can see we had a yummy vintage afternoon tea provided - proper china, pretty napkins, homemade cream scones and fresh fruit kebabs, mmmmmm!  We were also very thoughtfully gifted beautiful scented floral bouquets - the stocks smell divine!  

Thank you friends for the many laughs, the creative sharing and the delicious cakes, savouries and various other treats that fuelled us along the way for the past four years.  Especially thanks for your lovely farewell yesterday.  Big hugs to you all.

As I've mentioned before this lovely group of ladies, including some "next generation" quilters, do have plans to continue Bee Blessed and keep sending out quilty blessings to those who are struggling or going through the tough stuff that life can throw at us.  I am so thrilled that the heart for Bee Blessed will continue to beat and hope so much that those of you reading who have supported the Bee with block contributions in the past, will continue to do so going forward.  Got to keep those ladies busy and out of trouble, don't we?  I know that the ladies are working to get their lines of communication for Bee Blessed up and running and I will give you all the details of where you can find them as soon as it's all live.  Keep an eye out!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Blocks 14 & 15

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 14
Block 14 is quite restful to look at I think.  It will finish at 12" and was quite simple to construct.  The grey fabric was gifted in a scrap pack from Judith but I'm not sure which B&C line its from.  It's not one of the ones I bought myself so perhaps it's Vintage Modern or Happy Go Lucky - anyone know?

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 15
I always love a star flower block.  Another 12" finished block, I am just hoping that I haven't made it too "busy" with my fabric choices.  Perhaps this aqua/seafoam colour background print helps to calm it down a little (or maybe that's just wishful thinking).  I won't re-do it now but that is always a possibility when it comes to seeing how all of the blocks work together before final piecing.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Blocks 12 & 13

Scrummy reds to enjoy in today's showing off of Moda Modern Building Blocks.  Again, both of these blocks will measure 12" finished.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 12
I chopped up my pretty red boats from Daysail for block 12.  Must admit that I would like to have been able to keep the HSTs all directionally upright but I really was trying to be economical with my fabrics and cuts since I only have a little of these and hope to use them in more blocks and in some EPP too.  So frugality won out and my boats are topsy turvy.  Still pretty though!

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 13

Block 13 is a bold, simple block that was easy to piece.  It is good that in this quilt top of many HSTs and flying geese there are more restful blocks to piece from time to time.

One of things I noticed early on when choosing my fabrics for this quilt is that the original solid fabrics that the Moda quilt uses are similar to the colour palette of many of the Bonnie and Camille fabrics in my stash.  On the whole, I have been able to "translate" that into my fabric choices which has kept the decision making process slightly easier for me.  Occasionally, though there are a few blocks where that isn't possible (e.g. I don't have any of the B&C yellow fabrics) and when I have come across those I've simply tried to mix something else in that hopefully won't lead to too many similar colours or pattern designs meeting when the blocks are put together.  I guess I shall see when it's all done whether it works or not!

Friday, 12 June 2015

New EPP Project in the Planning

I have been missing having an EPP project on the go and decided to make more use of these 5am starts that I can't seem to shake.  So, in old-school fashion I've been tracing hexagons on fabric (more Bonnie & Camille) and cutting and cutting and cutting.

Yes, I know about Sizzix and how helpful it could be to this preparation but I don't have one and actually I have found it reasonably therapeutic and distracting to trace and cut, trace and cut, about eight hundred times.  My IG buddies have beaten me into an admission though that Sizzix would definitely have been a quicker and easier path - they wore me down with their rational arguments!  Maybe I'll have a Sizzix for my next EPP project after this...

So, here's the result of all my chopping so far.  It's a lot more hexies than it looks!  I'm hoping that I will piece this into diamond shapes and maybe arrange them in a star/flower layout, though I may change my mind by the time I finally get to that point.  Now that they are all cut, I'm itching to start basting and whip stitching but there's a lot else to do just now so I will hold off a little longer and this will become a perfect summer pick-me-up project.

So, do tell.  If you were to buy a Sizzix for the purposes of EPP what shape die would you consider really worth the purchase?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Baby Shower!

Tina and Me - will explain loo roll later in post!

Thanks to the lovely Tina of Secret Ingredient: Love last Saturday night was an opportunity to giggle and act silly all in the name of celebrating the impending arrival of the newest little one to my family.  In her sweet kindness, Tina hosted a baby shower for me with some of my sewing buddies.

L-R: Ruth, Ros, Me, Tina, Barbara and Heather

Me and Judith (she was the photographer of the prev pic)
Baby Showers are still not very common in Northern Ireland so it was quite a novel experience for most of us, but Tina had everything in hand to make sure we got to be daft for an evening and then appropriately coo over cutesy baby things, having eaten scummy nibbles and baked goodies throughout, of course!

I did tell Tina I was up for the games as long as it didn't involve Twister. I think I might still be a mangled heap on her lounge floor if that was the case - not sure where my centre of gravity is located at this late stage of my pregnancy!

So, after exercising our grey matter with baby related quizzes and long-forgotten nursery rhymes we got down to the practical stuff.

This was us having a race to put a nappy on a balloon.  I think maybe Heather won (she's on the right in the pic above) and all I can say about my own performance is I'm glad my baby will have limbs so there's a chance I will get the real task completed right way up!!!

I think Judith was taking the empathy thing a bit too far and decided to birth her balloon before diapering it!

There were a few concerned faces as Tina passed around two rolls of toilet tissue for another game, but it turned out that all we had to do was tear off a single strip length which we thought was the size of my bump circumference.

Ahem!  Well, most guesses weren't too far out, but Ruth was soooooo generous in her estimate that both she and I fitted into her strip length!  It was too funny not to share with you, even though I told her I wouldn't (sorry Ruth).  Truth is, I feel as big as her guess!!

After the games and more chatter, these lovely friends showered the bump and me with some gorgeous gifts.

Tina had made these gorgeous softie hexie playballs for the baby.  She knows my love for hexes well.  They're fab!

This is me inspecting the frame purse "Mummy's Emergency Kit" that Tina stitched for me.  It had brilliant essentials inside - you know, like antibacterial hand gel, hand cream, PARACETAMOL and CHOCOLATE!  Just the job, I'd say.

There were super generous gift bags and baskets choc-full of goodies and smellies for baby and me.  See that wee giraffe in the front basket?  He and I are in love!!!  He's so soft and squishy, baby might have to wrestle him from mum!  There are absolutely no excuses now for baby and I not to smell divine all summer long, and most likely well into autumn and winter too, if the volume of gifted products is anything to go by.  You girls are the best!

Judith stitched two very sweet bibs for the little one which Ruth decided needed to be worn as earrings for the evening.  Not sure they're really me somehow.  I think baby is safer dribbling on them.

And here is Ruth again with re-purposing ideas for a gift Judith made.  I clearly have no idea what alternative use she is actually proposing here for this gorgeous baby changing clutch.  Look at my face!  Judith has proper pics of the clutch on her blog.

How lovely it was to share a laughter-filled evening with friends looking forward to a new little life.  A huge thanks to Tina for showing us how a Baby Shower is done and to all of those lovely stitchy friends of mine for coming along to join in the giggles and bless baby and I with such thoughtful, useful and beautiful gifts!

Eight months and counting!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Quilt Now BOM - Issue 12

In Issue 12 of the Quilt Now Magazine Mystery BOM Reene had us making the final blocks for the quilt top.

I got to cut circles from my spring/summer palette of fabrics for some handsewn Suffolk Puffs (or yoyos, if you like).  It always amazes me how much smaller the circles end up when the puff is actually gathered in, but it is a really fun little technique which is great for all sorts of embellishment activities and brooch-making too, which is how I first learned it at one of Judith's workshops what seems like eons ago now.

Then, following Reene's instructions for placement and a little invisible appliqué stitch or two these pretty blocks took shape.  I just wish I could have closed the gap up a little tighter when I gathered the circles.  When I tried, I broke my thread - several times!  Not sure why the openings didn't close in a little more, but it's not really a big drama.

So, since all the blocks are made now, I'm imagining that the final month of the BOM will show us how to order the remaining blocks and how to finish the borders?  It's so nice to be this close to completing the quilt top.  I've just got my fingers crossed that I might make it over that piecing finish line before our expected arrival relegates it to a UFO box!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Blocks 10 & 11

Working through the blocks of the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt, no 10 is the start of 9 blocks that finish at 12" square which brings them into a much more familiar size for me to be working with.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 10
Block 10 is possibly one of the most "involved" designs of the 12" blocks but there wasn't anything unmanageable in it and I love the mix of navy, aqua and orange that I settled on.  The edges of my block are a teeny bit wavy but hopefully that will "ease" when I get around to joining them to their quilt-mates.  I think this block would make a lovely single block quilt if you were to supersize the measurements, don't you?

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 11

Block 11 was blissful.  No flying geese or HSTS, just strip piecing and a quick trim and Bob's your uncle.  I love its simplicity - both in construction and look - and the freshness of those greens from Scrumptious (I think) and Daysail make me smile!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Blocks 8 & 9

Oops, fell off the radar a little there as family stuff took over for a bit and I forgot to keep you updated with my Moda Modern Building Blocks progress.  So these, and the next few that I will post about were stitched while my sewing room was still operational and before I had good advice from Archie's buddy about starching.

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 8
Block 8 is another 18.5" block and yes, the geese are back with a vengeance!  My flying geese for this block were a little wobbly to say the least and I found it difficult to know what size they actually should have been since they are running diagonally across the quilt.  Frankly, I was surprised this block worked out even if a few of my geese have lost their pointy beaks along the way.  No-one will notice, right?

Moda Modern Building Blocks - Block 9

Block 9 is the last of the 18.5" blocks in the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt.  I really enjoyed putting this block together but I think my favourite thing about it is the script print from Daysail.  It's such a pretty tiny script design.

This many blocks in to the quilt I am hoping that I am keeping a reasonable balance of colours and prints across the quilt but it is hard to get a real feel for it as a whole to be honest.  When I was cutting the block fabric packs I tried to choose as carefully as possible to get the mix right, but I guess I can always shuffle blocks in the final layout if I have to.  Here's hoping!

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