Posts Tagged sampler quilt
This was the draft for my next blog post. I was looking at it and thought it would be fun to show you what passes for my thought process. Lots of blah, blahs is how my posts always start and, some might say, how they generally carry on. So now you know.
I must just put in a bit of real blah though to say that all these gorgeous blocks – going towards my neutral palette F2F quilt – were received in the last few days from (in order of photos) Robin in Australia , Esther in the Netherlands and Kate, our esteemed leader, also in Australia. Those last two were ‘spares’ sent by Esther and Kate in case I wasn’t happy with one of the other three they sent me. As if! I don’t call them ‘spares’ I call them ‘bonuses’.
Normal blahing will be resumed as soon as possible.
What’s that bundle of lovely turquoiseness?* I hear you ask.
*made up word
Can she possibly have finished putting together those 36 pieced patchwork blocks – 33 of which were sent to her from Australia, the States, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. as part of the F2F Block Swap? Yes, she has.
I had a little help in the last stages
although as I had to unpick quite a lot of the work I did that day, maybe I should work alone in future
As will be obvious to most, if not all of you, the design on the back of the quilt had to be reversed – a bit like when you’re printing out something you’re going to transfer on to something else so you have to flip it round. Well, I didn’t. So my cunning design on the back was all random and not how I wanted it to be so rows had to be unpicked and re-joined.
Never mind, it’s done now.
I used the Quilt As You Go Method which is ideal for this sort of quilt. Each 12.5 inch square block was layered together with batting and backing and quilted individually. The resulting ‘mini quilts’ were then joined together with sashing and regular readers will be pleased to know that I remembered to ‘butt up my backing’ this time so no squidgy empty bits in the middle. This is the best quilting I’ve ever done because it was so easy to get each 12.5 inch ‘quilt sandwich’ under the machine. That is a Superking sized bed so there would have been a lot of quilt to push around under an ordinary sewing machine.
A risky ‘flung on the grass’ photo shoot.
‘Risky’ because I have 3 dogs and 5 cats who are enthusiastic garden users.
Much less risky and probable, eventual home.
Thank you to all the participants in the block swap – as you can see, all your hard work has made for a lovely quilt which will be well used. Also, knowing there are other people waiting to see the results of their efforts is a really good
kick up the arse incentive for getting a quilt finished in a much quicker time than one is used to doing. No languishing in the WIP pile for this baby.
Not all twelve of us are joining up for the next F2F swap – some have other commitments – but we have a few newcomers and there will be nine for the next one so perhaps I’ll make just a double sized quilt or even a couple of lap quilts .
Speaking of which, I’ve been practising my Paper Piecing and, while still not perfect, I’m happy enough to show you the whole photo this time without censoring the bottom half and it just happens to be in the colours I’ve chosen for the next round which is just as well because it starts next month and my name was first out of the hat to receive blocks. Eek! Here we go again.
Bring it on!
Now, I really must do some housework. Well, after I’ve had a cup of coffee……
I used to ‘do’ upholstery. I have all the gear – a hide mallet, tack remover, a webbing stretcher, hammers, tacks, horsehair, etc. etc. but after a few years I went off the idea. I bought a chaise longue (interestingly, not called that in France unless you mean a garden recliner) from a junk shop and did it up but, nine years later, it had got a bit faded, saggy and generally in need of a facelift. I know the feeling. It was still comfortable – ask my dogs! – and the framework is very good as it was made before the days when most furniture is made to be chucked out after a few years, so I decided to pay somebody to re-do it for me. It took her about a week – it would have taken me much more.
I can’t get a brilliant photo because it is next to a French window and the light is shining on the metallic threads so it is not quite as ‘blingy’ as this but you get the idea. I got the fabric from Turkey and could have had red to go with the cushions on my sofa but decided to go a bit mad with the orange – although there are dark red bits on it which you can’t see for the duff lighting.
Anyway, to make up for being lazy with the upholstery, I decided to buy some more of the Turkish fabric – both in the orange and also some red mixtures – and make new cushion covers for the L-shaped sofa we have as the current ones are splitting at the seams and spewing feathers all over the place. Two completed ones above although not being displayed on their intended sofa because this one has better lighting. Mr. Tialys has insisted – despite my protestations and tears – that they should all have piping. I drew the line at zips though and they will all have envelope backs albeit generous ones. Two down sixteen to go.
Then I had a couple of dog collars to make and, while I had the webbing to hand, I fixed my neighbour’s sandals.
All of which is to explain why my F2F quilt is still not finished.
Kate who, along with Sue, organized twelve of us for this block swap, is keen to see another finished quilt so I am trying to steam ahead with it and thought I’d do a progress report and prove to her that I am on the case.
Thirty six blocks have been sandwiched and ready quilted (I’m using the ‘quilt as you go method’). This will be the second row but I have laid them out as a double row for ease of photography.
The backs of the blocks where you can see some of the quilting – machine only I’m afraid but I am trying out different methods such as free motion quilting on some of them as, at this stage, they are like mini quilts and easy to get under the machine.
I had enough of this blue marbled fabric to do the requisite amounts of backing blocks but didn’t chant the ‘think twice cut once’ mantra and so ended up two squares short. After a fruitless search for more of the same fabric – including an unanswered pleading email to the wholesale supplier (thanks for that Pascale & Beatrix) – I may have to ‘make do and mend’ by joining (as above) and quilting in a cunning manner to hide the join line. ***
Using the four backing fabrics, I made some improvised blocks for cornerstones.
This block, from Emmely, was a natural choice for one of the corner blocks of the quilt and lends itself to my favourite form of quilting – on the machine, in the ditch, easy!
and it also worked well with the back.
Some of the blocks were a little ‘scant’ when I came to join them and didn’t quite get taken into the seams of the sashing strips. I used this printed tape, attached with bondaweb and then sewn into the seam allowance at the top to hide the gap and prevent fraying. It’s not an ideal solution but I couldn’t lower the sashing strip any more otherwise I’d risk losing details from the adjoining blocks. Any other ideas gratefully received as I’m sure I’ll come across other anomalies when I join the remaining rows.
So, here’s one row sashed vertically and once horizontally just to prove that I am getting on with it.
I’m waiting for more piping cord to arrive in the post now and all of my neighbour’s other sandals are in good condition so no more excuses and, hopefully, the next images will be of the finished quilt.
Now I’ve put it in print I have to do it!
*** My friend Sandra returned from a week in Spain, had her fabric stash raided and, as I suspected she might, had a length of the turquoise marbled fabric hidden away in there which is now with me 😉
SPOILER!! The block row joining is not going as well as I had hoped – the seam ripper has been put into service and many many tiny stitches have had to be undone. This is mainly due to the fact that I was concerning myself more with attaching the sashing nicely and not with butting up the batting properly so ending up with empty sashing which is not a good look (or feel). Although, now that I’ve put it down in plain type, I think ‘butting up the batting’ ought to be a phrase brought into common usage.
I had a productive day yesterday -I must shut myself up in the workshop more often. I have several projects on the go at the moment but they are all quite different so if I’m not in the mood for one, I can get on with the other. Also, having spent a whole weekend clearing up and reorganising my workspace a few weeks ago, I am determined to keep it tidy and, after each session, I am putting everything back in its place like a good girl.
Here is my small sampler quilt that I started with my little sewing group – so little in fact, there are now only two of us! Was it something that I said? Who knows? To be honest, if I said it in French I could have unwittingly upset any number of people. Anyway, with all its imperfections such as missing points and wonky borders, this is just awaiting a bit more quilting and the binding. I got fed up with hand quilting it, especially as I’ve backed it with cotton ticking and it’s a little on the thick side to quilt through. I tried some free motion quilting which I have never really done on an actual project – just messed around on test quilt sandwiches – and I was getting on famously. I was so proud of it for a first effort but, when I turned it over, the reverse side was a complete mess. I think what I had on the reverse was what they call ‘birds’ nests’ in the trade and that is a very accurate description. I can’t tell you how long it took me to undo it all. Anyway, nothing daunted, I started again but my Singer, which is a little temperamental on the tension side, just wasn’t having any of it so I decided to switch to my Janome. Unfortunately, the quilting foot I have wouldn’t fit the Janome so I ordered another one and had to wait until it arrived. Now it’s here I’ve got to do a few more quilt sandwiches before I release myself onto the actual project.
Meanwhile, remembering the 2 year marathon that was the quilt for Mlle. Tialys the elder’s 18th birthday quilt, I decided to get started on Mlle. Tialys the younger’s one as I’ve only got 4 months until her 18th. Hah! This time I wanted to follow a pattern and do a plain back instead of wandering of down the design path conjured up by my brain with no idea how it was really going to end up. Also, I’ve bought all the fabric in advance. Very sensible.
I liked the look of this one with the pinwheels in the centres of the blocks and, as it comes from the Moda Bake Shop blog, it comes with ingredients and a recipe (as they call them) so what can go wrong? I also like the fact that the designer hand quilted each pinwheel with cotton perle no. 8 with nice big stitches – hooray! And, if I can get my free motion quilting up to scratch by then, I’ll do some ‘off piste’ quilting on the rest of it. I chose the ‘Oh Deer’ by Momo for Moda as I love the animals and woodland theme together with spots and stripes and lots of bright colours. I don’t normally do bright colours but I thought this quilt design could take it and it is also an attempt to bring the younger Mlle. Tialys into the light after her goth phase.
First pinwheel block finished – only another 24 to go.
On a different plane, I am trying to rekindle my ‘making clothes’ passion which flares up briefly now and again throughout my life. I have been inspired by lots of different blogs like Ooobop! and by the lack of clothing in the shops that is not for the under 25s or over 70s – I talk of the rural backwater in which I live here in France – to take it up again. The problem of course is that, being a rural backwater, there is nowhere to wear glam clothes – I have a wardrobe full of unworn ‘posh’ frocks and heels – I’ll just have to get up to Toulouse, our nearest big city, more often just to dress up.
This ‘little top’, as my mother would call it, caught my eye in Burda Style’s August issue, especially as it says ‘Easy’ on the instructions. I thought it would ease me gently back into the world of sewing clothes. Of course, it is crèpe de chine and therefore very slippery and fine but I’m going to give it a go. I bought this fabric which is soft, muted, blurry blues with a sort of painterly print on it.
I also saw this dress pattern recommended by lots of people and I bought this printed to jersey to make it in. The style of sleeves I make will depend on what time of year it is when I get round to making it.
Got this length of vintage tweed fabric for a bargain price. It has a slight stretch to it so I wonder whether the dress, with the sleeves, would look good in that for winter. If not, it would make a nice pencil skirt.
Then I made another Bunny Bento Bag as I wanted to see whether I could get the tricky lining done any quicker. The answer is, not really, but I really like that Liberty tana lawn against the natural linen.
What diverse projects have you got on the go?
I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since this post where I told you about going to see Bryan Ferry in a castle. But it is. So when the Festival de Carcassonne came around this year I studied the programme and tried to decide who to spend my hard earned on. I was sorely tempted by Duran Duran mainly because I used to be a bit in lust with John Taylor and I know all the words to their songs – please don’t judge me. Madamoiselle Tialys the younger is going through a goth/emo/black clothing period and wanted to see Marilyn Manson and I am afraid to say that I made Mr. T go with her as I couldn’t bear the thought even though we are linked in a ‘my brother used to go out with his cleaner’s second cousin sort of way’. Well, his ex-wife has one of my vintage French finds in her Paris appartment – the buyer name dropped and told me she had bought it for her as a birthday gift. I digress. Johnny Hallyday was definitely out for reasons I shouldn’t have to explain to lovers of good music so I settled on Gossip and made the other Madamoiselle come with me. The charismatic front woman has the most amazing voice and, if you don’t know them have a look here.
Amazing show – the weather was faultless (it’s outdoors you know!) , it was packed and there was a great atmosphere. Definitely made the right decision. Mr. T. is still recovering – although mostly from the support band and not Marilyn Manson, it’s fair to say. I love the French. Maybe I don’t get around enough but, is it only here that they offer the audience free earplugs? Mlle T. the elder says her (French) boyfriend tells her off for not wearing them at concerts because, if you don’t, your ears will bleed. This is something that has never happened to me. I did notice, however, and it wasn’t difficult as the free earplugs were in garish shades of fluorescent yellow, orange and green, that everyone took them out once the support act had finished. A bit harsh I thought.
Whilst walking around La Cité (I’m not being pretentious, that’s what it’s called) before the show I felt compelled to get a photo of this little chap peeping out of a shop because, even though I am not a fan of Yorks (as they are called here) I thought he looked cute with his red streak against that lovely pink door.
After getting home around 2 a.m., I made the valiant effort to get up at a decent hour the next morning for a local vide grenier and my efforts were rewarded with some interesting finds
I have to freak you out with the last object. I was drawn to it because it came in its own little ‘étui’ or case and I asked the stallholder what it was and she said a meat tenderiser. I thought it was a little strangely shaped to bash a piece of steak with so I did some research and I believe it is a ‘masticateur’ and was (or is) for old people , usually, who have trouble with their teeth and can’t chew meat up properly. This thing apparently effectively does the job for them. All well and good but you wouldn’t want to be in a restaurant with somebody and see one of these come out would you? They’ve made an effort with it though, haven’t they? Look at the little flowers engraved on it.
After all this I found time (by not doing the housework or ironing) to complete another block of my sampler quilt I am making with my little group. I am afraid that I have cheated and made a couple of them by machine. I know I said I was going to hand piece them all but I am impatient and have other things to get on with. Also, every week when I go to the group, the other two have got ahead of me and I am supposed to be the ‘teacher’ so I needed to put a bit of a spurt on. I am only making a quilt to drape artfully over the back of the sofa (so the cat can sit on it probably) and will just need 12 blocks. Here are the first 6. Please don’t zoom in and be critical of my points and joins – I know they are less than perfect but it really will probably just get sat on by the cat and won’t be an heirloom or anything so I am not unpicking as I might normally do (she lied.)
and, no, I haven’t finished my daughter’s 18th birthday quilt yet and she will be 19 next month and leaving to go to university the month after that. I really, really must get it finished. I’ll get on to it tomorrow – honest!
Like Picasso, I am going through a ‘period’ where I favour certain colours. Unlike Picasso, mine is red not blue. Also, unlike Picasso I’m not an incredibly talented, world famous artist but, let’s not quibble – I’m not Spanish either.
Last October, when I went to visit my friend who was housesitting, I found this slubbly spotted linen and immediately thought it would lend itself to one of my hexagonal work boxes. Finally, I have got around to making it. I used, on the inside, a linen blend fabric I found at a craft fair which is a finer weave and more suited to the interior.
Meanwhile, my little sewing group has been working on this pattern we found in a French crafts magazine from back in 2000 and, although I am quite pleased with the result, it was a pain in the derrière to make. The instructions were really bad – and don’t blame my French, as my two fellow group members are French so it wasn’t my fault.
It’s quite sweet though and when I have figured out exactly where to insert the piece of wooden dowelling – no suggestions please! – it can be hung from a hook and, when you want your needles, threads, etc. you unhook the ribbons and – voila!
What I love the most though is this gorgeous teapot which I made from my blogging friend RicRac‘s awesome pattern. I just love it. I will have a go at the cup and saucer next .
And, finally, my plan to do a patchwork block a week with my group commenced with the ‘Tumbling Blocks’ pattern as it came first in the sampler book I have and is fairly straightforward. Also, I am determined to stop being a slave to my machine and I am only going to do the hand pieced blocks which is much more sensible – and sociable – when you are round somebody else’s house. Everybody will be needing different coloured thread and constantly rethreading the sewing machine then trundling away at 90 mph is not conducive to socialising and, in my case, learning French. So, I’m getting out the Sharps no. 8s (and needle threader) for these blocks. I don’t know what I am making yet but if I keep the colour scheme similar, if I want to and have made enough blocks, it could become a quilt.
Did you guess it was going to be red? (obviously not the finished item – 4 more tumbling blocks to go and, even though my hand quilting isn’t brilliant, it won’t be as large as these tacking stitches – just saying…)
Anyway, apart from the blocks which I am going to do at the weekly group, all my current projects are finished. SO! Does this mean I can go back to Madamoiselle Tialys’ 18th birthday quilt which should have been finished last August but is still languishing in the cupboard? Yes. Well, hopefully. By the time she either has her 19th birthday or, failing that, leaves for University, I will have that quilt finished and wrapped up to present to her. And, this time, I won’t be asking for it back in order to finish it. That’s the plan anyway. By the way, if you have forgotten or didn’t see my earlier posts on the subject – her quilt is predominantly red. I’m spotting a theme.
Happy Jubilee long weekend to everybody back in the ‘old country’ – I’ll definitely be putting up some bunting and coming over all ‘monarchist’ on Sunday – I’ve even got my souvenir issue of the Radio Times with the new portrait on the front – can’t quite decide about that portrait but let’s just say I’m glad it’s not of me.