Saturday, 11 February 2017

A Sampler quilt, tumbling blocks

Sewn on to the background the tumbling block is for now finished. Of course it is not completely never to be touched again finished . It will wait now for the rest of the blocks from the book to be finished, sashing chosen sandwiching and backing and quilting all still to go.

However, getting the first design in the sampler quilt feels like and achievement. 

That this journey has properly started

Tumbling Blocks

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

What was Sunday Stitching finished

A wise man once told me that reading (depending on the book) was a good way to avoid thinking!

Well under certain circumstances I guess so can stitching.

Sunday I did not get to Church as my mother was not feeling well. I did get to go out, although a trip in an ambulance taking my mother to hospital had not been on the plans for the day.  All has ended well and after one nights stay for tests ect she is home again.

But while she was not and the might be worries were trying to crowd into my mind I used this to stop me doing any negative thinking.

Not completely completed, the cross stitch and backstitch is now done and I believe the "what" of this piece is now understandable.  Not sure when I will take the final steps with it, it will depend where my head is at I guess.

Friday, 3 February 2017

A Sampler Quilt- a pile of cubes

Time to stack the cubes. The first three cubes went together OK, adding the bottom three was another matter. Possibly I was being overly optimistic in my last post about the percentage of persuasion compared to precision in piling my cubes together.

So with some joins and points totally reflecting my crafting moto,(see above). 

Here is the pile.

Blue topped patchwork cubes
Even with the struggles to get the edges to meet (bottom right set was the worst) it did not take too long putting them together. A single episode of Death in Paradise plus half an hour.  Of course difficult to estimate actual true stitching time when watching the telly as some bits need more watching than others (yup program and sewing alike)

Now the background is my carpet, it has made several appearances before, and the arrangement above, with the dark to the top, mid shade to the left and light to the right is the way it is set out in the book. 

I plan to attach the pile of blocks to a square of pale pink. Now the wondrous and yet also perplexing aspect of this design is you can rotate it. Oh rotations lead to decisions being required.

light from the left?
light from the top

Not sure which I prefer, not sure at all.

Must dig out the pale pink and try it against that, it may help me focus.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

A Sampler Quilt - cubes.

Diamonds hemmed and turned into cubes.  They curved up sort of at the edges bit a nice hot iron sorted that.  

Next step, stacking the blocks into a tower.  Have you heard the saying about writing? You know that it is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration?

I have a quilting version.

 10% precision and 90% persuasion to get the corners and points to match.

Patchwork cubes

And am I enjoying this yet? Well not exactly, sewing the diamonds together might have been fun if waiting to see if the edges would match up had not been so nerve wracking.  Of course I should be enthusing over this so as not to put my friend off making a start.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

A Sampler Quilt

Whilst I have quilted for some years I have not really explored a lot of the many many block patterns that exist.  Often I have thought of trying something new and been put off by the possibility I would make a start, find I disliked or was not able to successfully complete and have random bits lingering.

I then encountered pictures of sampler quilts, quilts made with multiple block designs, the uniting factor the materials / colours chosen. Drawn to the idea nothing else happened.  The various quilting books with block designs had differing final block measurements.

A lucky find at a charity shop, a book specifically for a sampler quilt got me a step closer.  The gift of cotton material from a downsizing crafter in complimentary shades provided the next step. 

 Still no start, other projects on the go as you will have seen on my blog.

My BFF and I thought it would be a good project to work on in tandem. Selecting our own materials and although following the same pattern making two completely individual quilts.

However, as difficult as finding the right time to make a start had been for me, co-ordinating a start between the two of us, with work and life events factored in proved to be even more so. 

Modified plan, I will make a start, and my BFF will join me catch as catch can with hopefully the added advantage that I will have encountered the tricky bits first.

Working the blocks in the order they appear in the book (to stop picking the looks easy ones first) I have finally made more of a start than cutting out the paper templates for tumbling blocks.

Paper piecing for tumbling blocks
So far I can't say that I am enjoying paper piecing.  There is something about turning over the hems that I do not find soothing. (The book suggested that this repetitive process would be soothing) I am hoping that joining the tacked diamonds will feel less of a chore.

I know there are a lot of people that love this method and happily sit stitching paper after paper.  Each to their own I guess, each to their own.

Sunday stitching, a little mixed up

Firstly a small confession, last Sunday I wanted to keep stitching past the designated slot.  And as the rules are my rules, I get to bend them.  So I did white till I thought I had run out of the thread that came with the kit.  I have plenty of white in my stash so I was not bothered and made a mental note to myself to get some sorted and in the bag for this Sunday.

So, mental not did not work and I opened the bag at Church and no white!  What to do? Start on the backstitching.  Three strands into the backstitching and a flicker of memory just after Christmas of pulling a seasonal gift (well this was me so for seasonal gift read chocolates) out of the bag to give to the Missionary Elders, and there being a length of white thread stuck to it. 

Another look in the bag and there is a loose bit of white thread.  Still not enough to finish all the white left to do but reason to pause the backstitch and go back to white.  With all that said, here is todays progress....

A bit of backstitch.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sunday Stitching today

saw more white than blue completed however, it is of course the blue that stands out.

She is coming together.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Dragon rinsed and beyond

Ok here is the dragon after rinsing to remove the marking pen..did it work, well yes and also no.

 There is a hint of the pink remaining in the lettering. I am not worried about that as it has just had a couple of rinses in cold water and not a full wash.  So I anticipate that will ease out that last little hint.

The stay put colours have lost a little of their depth however, I am ok with that.  I hope that the full wash is as kind.

So are you wondering about the not part, well with the grey outline gone the design lost a certain sharpness.  I had tried doing the outline from behind in a dark colour thinking it would soften to something close to approaching the grey when viewed from the front (not having a dye pen in grey, the pastel is too thick). I think the best way to show the result is this close up of the dragons head after the washing. The dragon looks in need of a dentist don't you think?

Dragon face

I stared at it for a little while and made the decision to re outline from the front, knowing that would be a less subtle effect than I had been getting from the grey but the teeth and claws needed something doing.

Dragon face

Now those teeth look "all the better to eat you with my dear" ok, not the wolf and not grandma but you get the idea.

Dragon all set, time to move onto the letters.  Some touching up to the green lettering on the lower right (the pen is running out and faded, which considering this set is over 16 years old is still rather impressive) in between filling in the letters, giving the pen a rest in between.

So some letters blue, some letters green and some teal a touch of the gold here and there and I feel that the panel is finished.

It took a surprising amount of white pastel (special fabric dye, not normal artists pastels) to get to this point.  The white helped to blend the other colours. Here are my pastels. You can see which ones did all the work.

Oh right, the finished look, well unless I change my mind tomorrow and start messing about with it...I do that sometimes.

This is where the Dragons went...

Presuming I stop with the panel at this point, 
 to quilt or not to quilt, that is the question?


Sunday, 8 January 2017

First Sunday stitching of 2017

Now there is no Christmas deadline to encourage over optimism the amount of white remaining looks to be an uninteresting prospect.  Thank goodness for little bits of blue that will I hope break the monotony.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Dragon in colour

Well this is the picture before the scary moment, the moment when I hope the pen that is washable washes out. Still scary, even when I have washed these pens out time after time.  More of a worry, will the colour I want to stay in stay put or will it fade.  As I type, it is spinning in the washing machine.  Fingers crossed.