Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Smitten block one progress

So two weeks in and I have completed my first two blocks. I am not sure if they really go together but I am just ploughing onwards. I swapped out a few fabrics as I came to do each hexagon. I just felt that I needed a more subtle colour to go on the outer ring.

I laid out all my bright colours and went a bit blind. Really? That bright? Hmmm. I kept laying them out in different combos then finally opted for a grey low volume to go with it all to bring the brightness down a bit.

Block one
Was it a good idea? not sure, but it does frame the cog shape quite well.

I decided to experiment with some different techniques. I sew basted each element first which takes a bit longer than gluing but allows for a bit more manipulation when sewing them together. However, I found that it was quite hard lining the elements up. I made a bit of a dog's dinner of some bits.

Pink and yellow give it a real pop. Too bright? perhaps. We'll see how it comes together. Overall, it all came together in the end and I love the rainy theme of the fabrics. But can you see how my section on the left doesn't line up? Was that because of my loose sew basting? Perhaps. I have no idea.

Block two
I glue basted this time using my Roxanne glue. It's pretty great! A bit messier than the sewline glue pen but still easy to use. I just hope it comes off at the end! I also swapped out my needle. Hirosihima for block one, Black gold for block two. I do think that the black gold needles go through my finger pad quite easily which is annoying, but overall they just glide through like butter and are my preference.

The Superior thread is brilliant. There's no turning back from that. I think I will be buying more of that. On reflection I probably only need an off white neutral thread for it all in future.

On the whole I was a lot more accurate with my piecing but I still fudged some bits. Look at that fumble above. Cripes. Oh well, I am sure I will get better with practice. Overall, I am a bit worried that the grey outer section is a little dull and will stand out too much. We shall see.

I am just starting block three! I have decided to ditch the less saturated outer ring rule and am just going for it. I had to buy a new angle poise light from Ikea specially so I can piece in front of the telly. It's just a bit too dark otherwise.

That's all for now. Back to watching the Bake Off...

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Smitten Hexagon One


Let the Smitten commence! Here I am being very organised as usual. I have sifted and sifted through my stash, thinking about the first block. You have to make five of these. I spent ages choosing. I sort of chose everything in the end. Another technicolor train crash coming up! I am filled with doubt over my choices so they might well change but you have to start somewhere. I have tried to choose colours from the main pattern fabric where possible. I found @Laura_Zuckerkuss instagram feed very inspirational. Her latest colour palette of pink and peach is so great! She labels all her fabrics so i bought some of the Cotton & Steel fabrics she is currently using. Maybe it will inject me with some subtelty and taste?

Choice 1 – Itsy Bitsy Spider by Heather Ross
These were my Birmingham choices. I really like how bright and sunny they are. I might need a darker purple in there, we'll see. But this is how I plan to start.

Choice 2 – Tigerlily by Heather Ross
I am not sure if the yellow flowers will work well in the small diamond shapes but it is quite nice to keep to the fabric range.

Choice 3 – Catnap by Lizzy House
I picked up this catnap fabric in the bargain bin at Empress Mills, along with the lovely purple grey solid. I think this combo will make a very tasteful block as it is all colours from the main Catnap fabric.

Choice 4 – Medocino by Heather Ross
I've been hoarding this fabric, waiting for the perfect time to use it.

Choice 5 – Unicorn Far Far Away by Heather Ross
I am not totally sure about the pink on the end. I think a plain might go well in here. Maybe a yellow. We'll see.

So those are my fabrics for block 1! There's a bit of a Heather Ross bias going on I know.

I made a colouring in diagram in the hope that it might help me plan out my fabrics better. Already I can see that to achieve that darker frame I might have to rethink some of my choices. It also is good to look at when you are mindlessly sewing the units together.

Here is a link to Sew Lux' sew-a-long. I think the error she is talking about has been corrected, plus she is machine sewing whereas I think we are all not, but it's always good to see what other people have been doing.

I have decided to aim for creating one block a week and see how I go. I have no idea how long they really take. But a slow, easy pace works best for me. I found the Farmer's Wife pace quite gruelling!

So five blocks over the next five weeks. I'll probably change my mind about my fabrics completely as all I seem to do is sift through the Smitten Pinterest board changing my mind! Also there is a Flickr group.

Now I just need to dig out my Marti Mitchell templates and start cutting into my precious fabric! It's birthday weekend here for Penelope so I doubt I will start until that is over as I have to make cake and wrap presents in the evening. Roll on Monday!