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.


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Monday, 2 January 2017

A touch of colour

and the dragon begins to form.  The lettering is not as evenly spaced as I might have liked (and I spotted a spelling mistake or two and had to correct) however it is mine and will fit in with my crafting motto.

Its back to work tomorrow so not sure if this project will continue at the same pace but at least it is progressing.

  • Sleeping Dragon

Sunday, 1 January 2017

In to 2017

This time last year I posted in-to-2016 about my thread ball and I noted that once the display case put an end to balling thread that the parsimonious craziness did not come to an end.

Now my local council kindly gives away free cloth bags at the local show as part of the drive for recycling.

I had one of those bags, I started popping my fabric scraps into the bag as per my   Bits-A-Quilt  projects. So of course the bag was to hand when I was working on quilts and producing those lengths of thread which needed a purpose.

So, I started stitching the thread (doubled up) into the top of the bag. This particular use it up started when I was quilting my hidden-star-hidden-beauty-quilt.  with its differing browns and golds.  And kept going with the colours from quilt after quilt.  I can look at the bands of colour and recall quilts that I have made and given away.                 

You can see the first bit to the left of this picture, I think there are threads from at least ten quilts (both the quilting left overs and the tacking thread) in this band.

The patterns change as it moves around the bag depending on the colours available from the projects at hand.

Now as I added the stitches something unintended happened. A little tighter each trip around the band as I worked my way to the top.

This reduced the diameter quite considerably. You can get a hint of it on the picture to the left.

I have stopped adding thread as I needed to leave room to sew on a lining to the bag.

Like some other projects that I thought might get finished in 2016 this one has not quite made it.

I have the lining in but the edges have not all been sewn over just yet.  And yes I am using thread from the last quilt I was working on tree-quilt (and the pink thread I tacked that one with).  I may even need to make another quilt just to get enough thread to finish it LOL.

This is the top of the bag (stuffed with bits) before the lining goes in.

So once the lining is all sewn on, will that be the end of it? friendly local council keep giving me nice cloth bags.  So there is plenty of scope for more thread decorating and using up in the future.

1st Sunday stitching update of 2017

Well even stitching during Christmas films did not speed this up in time to get finished for Christmas. Whilst the dark pink is finished there is still lots of white to go, some blue ans a little light pink.

Can you tell what it is yet?  To be honest if I did not know what it was I don't think I would be know from this.