Sunday, August 07, 2016

FW99: Widow

This week. After laying out my blocks I realised that I needed only one of the last 5 blocks in order to complete my layout so I thought it fitting to just make the last one. It felt weird thinking this was the last time. A rite of passage.

Block 99 Widow 20160806-P1450339
I wasn't that sure about this block but it felt like the one to make and in fact I really like it. I should have put the first block and the last in opposite corners but I wasn't that organised.

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I really like the peachy colours combined with the yellows. Sometimes I wish all my blocks had followed this theme. I just hope there is enough of this palette in the end result.

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Open seams were a must. I am pretty happy with the tidiness of the back. A very satisfying last block. Now back to sewing it all together. I have completed all my strips. I just need to sew the inbetween sashing strips. I doubt I will finish this before Birmingham but at least I tried. Roll on Thursday and The Royal Festival of quilts!

Saturday, August 06, 2016

FW93: Starlight & FW94: Susannah

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This week has been hard in the fact that I am so over making blocks! I can see the finish line so clearly now I am rushing. I decided to do both blocks this week; one easy, one a bit harder. I doubt there will many more weeks with both blocks completed. Above are my untrimmed sections. I also realised that after waiting till halfway through this process to get my small rotary cutting mat, then not using it for a long time, it has finally become a regular fixture. I wouldn't say it was essential, but once you are in the groove it does make life easier so I am glad I own it.

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It's definitely an easy process to trim my blocks down using it in combination with mum's 6.5 inch ruler. I do think that ruler has been pretty essential to the process so I would buy more square rulers in the future if I was doing a big project.

Block 93 Starlight
93 Starlight
I was in two minds about this block as it does have a few funny angles in it but I am glad I made it in the end. The finished shape is very pleasing and the pink fabric hasn't been featured much so it's good to get a bit more of it in. Nearly everything lined up perfectly in the end so it was relatively painless to put together.

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I think the only slightly off bit is that dark purple ray coming towards you. Very slightly off. Oh well, I am still pretty happy.

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And the back is very neat meaning the whole block lies nice and flat.

Block 94 Susannah
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I wasn't going to make this block, purely because it was a bit similar to block 49: Katherine, but then I realised how much I liked that block so I changed my mind. So not only did I make it, I used my favourite fabrics in it.

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I really like how it turned out. I love the peach solid.

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And the back is very neat mainly because it was a nice, simple block.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Farmer's Wife Sashing

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It was so hot here this week that I decided to take a day off. It was just too hot to work! But quilting... well that's fine! It gave me a chance to layout all my blocks and arrange them until I was happy. Some blocks didn't make it. I am glad I made more than I needed.

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These guys just weren't working, which is good as I thought at the time that they weren't designs I really liked but I made them because I was unsure. It's good to know I was right. I think I got better at deciding which blocks were going to work out for me so I feel like I learned something.

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I am half way through sewing my strips. It's a long process.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Preparing for Smitten

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I'm really excited about starting the Smitten quilt soon. In preparation, I decided to make Haley's English paper piecing kit. I thought it would give me some practice at piecing.

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I really enjoyed making the flowers. I got a chance to practice different ways of sewing my hexs so that my stitches show less.

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I found the pattern really easy to follow. I mostly used my Farmer's Wife scraps with a few of my picked out Smitten fabrics.

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I'm annoyed that my button is slightly off centre, but I still love it.

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I love the magnetic button snap. It's very neat and tidy. It's the first time I have ever used one. I bought it for some other project which I have forgotten about, so when I saw this tutorial I knew I had one lying around in my sewing drawer. I love the cat in the middle.

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I love how the pin cushion affixes to the snap opening and can be stored away when not in use. Very neat.

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I have started gathering together my tools that I'll need. I am planning on taking this project around with me a bit so a little bag of tricks is exactly what is called for. Everything fits in pretty nicely to the little pockets. The only annoying thing is that the pouch has gaps at the bottom so you can't just throw anything in it, but there is one integral pocket for those things then a divider so I can separate the bits I am sewing from my papers and thread.

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So in my kit I have:

  • Beige Gutterman sew all thread 
  • Mettler thread. I love this thread for applique because it is so fine. 60wt. I am hoping it is useful here. I might look at the aurofil at Birmingham as so many people seem to rate it. 
  • Small sewing scissors. Mine are a bit blunt these days
  • A fabric marking pencil
  • A sewline glue pen
I am thinking that the refils for the sewline pen are expensive and won't last that long so I might invest in some Roxanne Glue

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I love the little pin cushion addition. Mine is a bit wonky but I like how I can put different pins in each little hex. I have some applique pins, some small Clover black gold needles and a few normal needles just in case.

It's a great pattern. I thoroughly recommend it. The only change I made was that I sewed my pocket in on the inside rather than the outside. This was by accident in fact, but I like it. I also secured the bottom the pouch to the dividers just at the edges so it was a little less baggy. So now I feel prepared to start in September!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Farmer's Wife Scraps

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A little break from Farmer's Wifing.

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A small box was being discarded which was just the right size to be baby mouse's bed. So I reached under my sewing table into the mountain of scraps and instantly found some random 1.5" blocks. There is so much down there, I could probably make a king size version. In the end, each block is 1", so 5 x 7". Mousey also got a pillow and a sheet. He's all set.

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I love the binding. I was a bit sad that I didn't have any more pink, but the blue seems to be just as nice.

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My favourite bit is the fussy cut cat


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The backing is some really old seersucker which I bought from Fabrics Galore years a go. It's got a lovely feel to it. It would make lovely pyjama bottoms or pillow cases, but alas, I only have a few strips left. Just enough for this project! I knew keeping scraps wasn't a hoarding problem. They are useful! I think all my stripes marry together beautifully.

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FW91: Sarah & FW92: Sonnie

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This week I only did one block. Not because I didn't want to make it, more because I don't need it. Block 91 Sarah feels very similar to block 57 Margaret and 58 Martha so it was easy for me to drop it. It is a favourite block design of mine but I have done whole quilts of sawtooth stars in the past, so I think I can forgo this one.

Block 92 Sonnie 92 Sonnie 

There were lots of pieces in this block but compared to some of the y-seam blocks, this is pretty straightforward. All the seams nest nicely making it easy to sew together.

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I'm not 100 percent certain the fabrics really go together but I really wanted to get more yellow and more of my special Denyse Schmidt fabrics in.

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Everything meets up perfectly except this one bit. I am pretty happy though considering how many bits needed to line up. I did a lot of ironing and starching a long the way in order to get the fabric to lie as flat as possible.

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The back is pretty neat too. I have definitely got better at this bit.

Friday, July 15, 2016

FW89: Ruby & FW90: Sara

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This week was pretty easy. Only one block to do which came together without any problems. This is good as it allows me time to prepare myself for the bit after all the blocks are complete. I have my setting fabric all ready to iron and cut into strips so I am fitting this in on the quieter weeks.

Block 89 Ruby
I decided to drop this block, mainly because it was all odd angles which is never my favourite thing. As I get nearer to the end I am aware of exactly how many blocks I need for my final layout so it's become easier to drop blocks.

Block 90 Sara
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I wasn't that bothered about making this block. It's okay, but it didn't wow me. I am trying to use up some of the fabrics I have put aside more often than not. The pink floral is a little dull next to my brighter palette additions and never seemed quite right. Suddenly it seemed muddy. But I thought I would use it up as when I laid out all the blocks, the initial, more dull blocks seem to blend quite nicely with the brighter ones.

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Well this block is a real success. I love it. I don't know why. I just think it works and I love looking at it. It made me remember how much I love the floral fabric. I have hoarded it for years after buying it in a pack of fat eights from Sunflower Fabrics.

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I also did a lot of pinning as I wanted it all to line up. All the seams seemed to nest nicely so it came together easily. I really want to be able to compare some of the later blocks with some of the very early ones and be able to see some kind of progression. Well this all lines up beautifully.

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And even the back is nice and neat for a change. I starched it front and back once I had finished sewing it and it all lies nice and flat. A triumph.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

FW87: Prudence & FW88: Rosemary

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This week I did both blocks and I only have two blocks left to cut out the fabric for. The others are all in bags sitting by the sewing machine. I am itching to get them all finished. I can't believe we will soon be in the 90s! I also did some tidying up. I seem to leave heaps of tiny scraps of paper and fabric everywhere and little bits of thread are all over my clothes. I like to trim all the loose ends quite close to the block otherwise they get tangles up later on. I need a little bin underneath my machine as currently I just shove it all under my perspex table which attaches to my machine. It's a mess.

Block 87 Prudence
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Cripes. What a complex mess of Y-seams. I wish I had made the changes that The Patchsmith recommended. I didn't enjoy sewing this block at all. Y-seams just take all the pleasure out of a block. It's a wrinkly mess!

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It barely lies flat! But I did it! I really like the yellow here though. It's bright and sunny.

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The back is a bit of a mess, but I followed the instructions to a T!

Block 88 Rosemary
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This block didn't iron out very flat in the end which annoys me. There were quite a few thick seams. But it all lines up pretty well which is good. I am not sure about my fabric choices but I wanted to use up some more of the blue fabric.

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The print is really too large so I have only really had success with it on some of the more simple blocks but I wanted it to appear in a few more blocks to give the overall quilt balance. I do like the pink and orange together.

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The back seams are so thick. I am just glad these two are over.