Saturday, October 22, 2016

Smitten Hexagon Two

smitten icon

So here we are on block two! I had a little think about this block. Do you make the flower all one fabric or two fabrics or six? I pulled out some fabric and had a look at the Pinterest board. In the end I decided to try out a bit of both and see what I like. I felt my last set of hexes weren't very harmonious so I want to ensure these blocks are so that they help pull everything together.


Hopefully all these fabrics will go together. I don't want to overly repeat fabrics but I do want them to be a bit tighter; to have similar colour values.

I really like this block I did for my EPP case. I like the pinks and peaches with the citrus yellow/green. So I think something like this will be my first attempt. I also have a few blues which I might make into their own block. Then I might sit back and see what I think of them. Time to get started!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Smitten Block One Finished

Finally, my last block one! This took longer as I went away in the middle and then I started a completely new project - like you do. It was nice to have a little break. I do keep looking at all my block ones together... they don't really gel together which worries me! I definitely need to get some stripes into the next set of blocks.

So here is another Heather Ross print. I do love the unicorns. I was going to have yellow diamonds which matched those little yellow flowers in the middle but then I decided that I needed to be more adventurous... yeah, well I am not so sure about that now.

And here is the back. Look at all those tiny stitches. My system is that I start off whip stitching for about 5-10 stitches, then I tie a knot, open out the two shapes and do the rest is what I call a flat whip stitch – I made that up.

So here are all my block ones. Do they go? Do the repeated fabrics help? IS it a mess? You can tell me!

5th Block in Heather Ross' Far Far Away and Lizze House's The Lovely Hunt

4th block in Heather Ross' Tiger Lily and Cotton & Steel

3rd Block in Lizze House's Catnap and Cotton & Steel

2nd block in Heather Ross' Mendocino and Lizzie House's Constellations

First block in Heather Ross' Nursery Versery and the raindrop fabric which I can't recall right now.

So there you have it! Has anyone else even started? I might start thinking about the next set of blacks but it's half term next week so I am taking it easy.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Half Square Triangles

Inbetween hand sewing Smitten blocks on the sofa in the evenings, I also wanted something quite simple to do on the machine. A bit of a no brainer after The Farmer's Wife. So I have started making Penelope a bigger sofa quilt as she complains that all the others are too small. Luckily she does love a quilt. I bought some colourful fat quarters a while back specifically to make her some kind of bright quilt. I spent a bit of time trawling through my Pinterest boards and finally decided to make this by Megan. She has a whole album on Flickr.

It's a pretty basic pattern; just half square triangles. This quilt will be 48" square once I have finished. I have enough fabric to make it double this size, but I think that would just be too big. We'll see. If I added two more rows at the bottom it would fit on a single bed... tempting, but we'll see.

I cut 2 big 9" squares out of 16 fat quarters. I chose this measurement as you can easily cut four out of a fat quarter without too much to spare making it a good use of fabric. That's the only reason I chose it really. Then I made 8 half square triangles in a one go out of each square. The other nice thing was that I have a long 4 1/2" ruler that was great for finding the middle lines of each block. It just made the whole process really easy and enjoyable. Mum thinks you don't need many rulers, but there is something extremely pleasing about having the exact right size for the job. I have to return the 6 1/2" square I borrowed off mum so I might have to buy my own when we go to Duxford in a few weeks. Yes, I am finally returning to the old Chillford come Duxford show. Primarily to help test out the new rollator and make sure mum can zoom around the show to her hearts content. This basically means I will whinge very loudly about every slight step I come across. I might even wear a high viz jacket to make myself seem even more of a health and safety expert. But I also plan to see if the new show is managing to get back to the greatness of its predecessor: Chillford. It's so sad that the giant scones are gone and that we have to look at war planes instead of a historic barn. Poor Chillford, burnt to a crisp. I miss you!

Anyway, I've got a lot of HST to trim down to 4 1/2". Luckily I can just sit on the sofa with my rotating cutting mat and my 4 1/2" square ruler mum gave me and just trim them out. I made my 1/4" seams a bit scant when I sewed the 8 block so that I could have some room to trim. I just thought it would make things more accurate.

Here are some of the offcuts, it's not much. Part of me can't be bothered, but another part of me finds it kind of peaceful. It does end up giving you that level of accuracy that you see in other people's quilts which make you think 'Gosh, how can they be so accurate?' Well folks, it's not really skill, it's more patience. If you spend more time trimming, starching and ironing open seams, then you just end up with a more accurate end product... but you spend 200% more time getting there. It's a pain, and often has me thinking 'but once I have scrunched it all up in the wash will it matter?' Jury's out on that one.

I sewed the blocks into strips of 4 which on reflection was not the best idea. Next time I will make units of 4 and join them together instead, but it's not too shabby and I am pleased with the colours. I wanted to make sure I had some dark blues in there; it's not a colour I usually go for. I'm not really thinking too deeply about this project so I am just throwing the colours together randomly. It's rather freeing after all the agonising of The Farmer's Wife, which by the by, is all sewn together. I just need to iron it and try and photograph it. It's massive.

I am not overly happy with the neutral background colour, I wanted something a bit warmer, but Kona just have nothing like this. Plus I keep losing the colour card chart thingy so I just had to get a grip and move on. The neutral is Kona Ash. 20161016-P1450716