Thursday, 29 October 2015


And  on the subject of making progress I've added a border to my Snails Trails, not too big as this will probably be a charity quilt for a teenager. Meantime it will be yet another sample for my Stacking Squares workshop next month. Then I'll sandwich and simply quilt it or quilt it simply?
I chose to do a mitred border as I had enough fabric.
I found the centre of the border strips by folding wrong side
together and matched the centres and pinned at this point and
then pinned outwards from this point.
You could mark measurements to correspond with the blocks
of the quilt but for this project I chose not to bother.
I used the same folding method for attaching the
borders to the inner top.

Inner border matched at centre.

Marked with a pin.

I mark lines quarter inch in from the edge of the top. Where they cross is
where I stop or start stitching with a back stitch to secure.Similarly the
mitred border join starts from this point.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Making good progress

My Little Red Riding Hood Quilt had been sandwiched and ready to quilt for months before I buckled down to it while home alone but really it wasn't so bad. I serpentine stitch between the blocks and outlined the outer edge of the blocks and in the ditch round the central squares. Now I'm enjoying handsewing down the binding while watching autumn offerings on TV.
Who is this for? I don't know . .
The reds should look a lot pinker.

And a pretty backing bought on retreat.

Sunday, 25 October 2015


On reflection I chose to add a black rather than blue centre circle.

First I completed the Letha's Fan block. Making this sample took the best part of the day and involved much unpicking and muttering. Once "complete" I realised that I hadn't alternated the inner segments as planned but any further unpicking can wait. This was more trouble than both of the previous ones I did put together.
Next week's (2nd November) blocks are Flying Geese for the novices and Stained Glass for the experienced.
Flying Geese

Stained Glass from .Lynne Edwards sampler book. as is the Letha's Fan.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Letha's Fan: central circle

Draw round the circle; this one has a radius of 1.5" but size is not crucial.
Make a big knot in your thread and start from the right side
and sew a running stitch all round within the seam allowance.

Pull the thread so that the fabric curls over the card and PRESS.
Once cool you can remove the card but I leave the thread in.

I tried an alternative method of  not sewing but using foil to
curl the fabric over but I preferred the former way.

Letha's Fan Partial Piecing

I have only sewn part of the way along the first piece seam leaving the
rest unsewn to be sewn at the end to complete the block.
The oblongs are laid out around a central square so it is necessary to partial piece.
Now add the second oblong to the completed

Add the third blong

And the fourth

Now sew the the unsewn section of the first oblong and
along the fourth piece to complete the block.

Letha's Fan Curved Piecing

Find the centres of the pieces and align them.
I've covered curved piecing in an earlier post but here it is in the context of Letha's Fan,


Pin the end of the seam aligning the sides of the pieces.

Sew a few stitches to secure
Sew a few stitches at a time smoothing in fullness and holding up the pieces.

Letha's Fan Templates

This is an asymmetric block  so it's important to lay your templates out in the same way on the wrong side of the fabric and foundation piece on the reverse of the paper pieces and use the drawn lines as given.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Letha's Fan: Foundation Piecing THREE

To pick up on Post ONE it's important that you sew on the DRAWN line with
the fabric underneath.

All the pieces have been added.

Trim with scissors following the foundation outline.

As this is a curved block I recommend you remove the paper
carefully. If you haven't reduced your stitch size, your stitches
may pull away!

Here are the pieces of the arc section ready to join. An earlier
post from today illustrates curved piecing in a different context.

Letha's Fan: Foundation Piecing TWO

This is a way of trimming taught me by Judi Mendelsohn though I had heard it described before.

Place a card on the next line to be sewn.

Fold back the foundation over onto the card.

Use a ruler to trim 1/4" away from the line as a seam


Trimmed pieces; both sides have been trimmed in this way.

Now you have a nice accurate straight edge against which to
set the next fabric pieces.

Letha's Fan: Foundation Piecing ONE

Foundation piecing means sewing directly onto a drawn patter and sewing along a drawn line with the fabric on the reverse side of the pattern. This back to front system often creates confusion at first so here are some step by step pictures with more to follow in my next post.
Decide on your arrangement of colours

Place the first fabric wrong side down on the reverse side of shape one. Place
the next fabric on top right sides together. Hold up to the light and adjust so
that the shape overlaps the sewing line between Pieces 1 and 2 by 1/4".
Sew along the line on the drawn pattern (see later picture in future post)

Flip the second piece over and press.

From the retreat: curved piecing

At the retreat I more or less completed the Roundabout kit blocks from  Karla Alexander 's workshop and took pictures of the curved method placing the convex shape on top and easing in fullness underneath with a sweep of finger or hand while using another finger on top to set the edges together.
A completed block apart from slimming down the sides.

Centres of shapes marked by folding then secured with a pin.

I secured the end of the seam not with a pin but with a
few stitches, making sure the sides were straight on top
of each other,

Now sewing from the start with the convex shape on top. A seam guide helps.

Seam sewn

and pressed. The sides form a straight line.

From the front

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Strip pieced squares

This was the U3A beginner block this week and an introduction to rotary cutting and strip piecing.
1. 3.5" stris in two colours sewn into pairs

2. Strip set has seams pressed in the same direction

3. Cut strip set into 3.5" strips

4. Turn alternate strips round so squares alternate.

5. Sew into a completed 12" finished, 12.5" unfinished block.