Monday, 30 November 2009

Sixty degree ruler

There are lots of versions of these which generate isosceles triangles with all sides the same length and cutting from a 3.5" strip will produce a triangle with a height of 3" but sides of 4" + I think! They are good for charm quilts and combining to make hexagons or to put with hexagons to facilitate straigt line sewing and whoops I have no photos except of a hexagon quilt.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Peaky and Spike

The next pair of rulers, Tri-Recs, are used to make the shapes the late Doreen Speckman would call Peaky (the mountain shaped triangle) and Spike (the sharp pointy triangle) and which appear in many blocks, 54-40, as in the quilt on my bed, or fight for instance. When cutting the Spike units for a star unit you need to reverse the shape to get both halves. If you fold strips or place them same sides together this will happen automatically.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Square in a square ruler

Next up in the rulers demo was Lynne Edwards' square in a square ruler for creative grids. Unless you are prepared to do tricky calculations based on Pythagoras' theorem this is not a easy shape especially in inches and adding seam allowances. Normally I would draft the shape then measure the side of the square. Originally I thought this ruler was a bit of a waste of space but as this is such a common shape and the ruler is simple to use I've changed my mind a bit. There are lines to cut the strips for squares inside a measured square and then to subcut the inner squares from this strip. Now I've added a picture of my sample block.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Sewing day

Three of us from Crab & Winkle enjoyed a day's sewing together today. Maggie showed one of two pink quilts she has made backed with minkee, Marion made a Christmas wall hanging of a French design and using felt on a linen background while I struggled making a bag from a recent issue of Popular Patchwork using black and white fabrics. Once I managed to get the bi-coloured strips right I enjoyed the quilt as you go construction of the bag sides. Percy, Maggie's black cat, thought I must be making it for him.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Companion Angle

Next up in the ruler demo is the Companion Angle used to cut triangles with the straight grain on the long side, that is quarter square triangles. I cut these from 3.5" strips, and joined pairs together and then joined the pairs to make hourglass units 3.5" square, 3" finished.
Now in December I've made a sample block of quarter square triangle unites.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Easy Angle

Today has been vey productive. Yesterday I sandwiched three charity quilts and today I machine quilted one of them. In the evening it was my turn to do a presentation for Quay Quilters and I'd chosen "Special rulers" as my subject intending to teach myself as much as other group members as most have been little used and some were sealed in the original packaging. First off however was one I have always used, the EZ Easy Angle which enables you to cut half square triangles from the same size strips as the corresponding squares - very useful for jelly rolls when you don't have the option of cutting 2 7/8" squares in half. Also if you layer the strips right sides together you can just pick up the paired pieces and sew - must be the quickest way.
For my demo I was making 3" finished units so cut my strips 3.5" inches wide.
And I've now added a picture of a sample block composed entirely of HST's made from Cherrywood fabrics.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Nimrod blocks

Another job done today: I've used up my share of the remaining background from the workshop on Saturday and will have 13 blocks to hand in tomorrow.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Patchwork Party block 07

I've just finished piecing the latest block in the Log Cabin group's project we are all making. I tried out so many possible fabric placements that along with all the reject pieces from previous blocks I could make several more blocks without having to cut at all. Past the halfway stage stage now - just five more.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Job done

Today I got round to sewing Maggie's blocks - for our 10th anniversary celebration Crab & Winkle are making blocks for each other of each member's choosing. Maggie gave us bagged up cut out block kits in fabrics that are very typical of her. The final quilt will go on her kitchen sofa. Don't they look good.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Workshop day with Smart Frog

We had a very enjoyable workshop today with Alison Smart of "Smart Frog" making a Nimrod quilt. I think one of us was making her own quilt but the rest of us opted to make a charity group quilt of autumn scraps on a pale blue background which was bluer in real life than in the photos. We are so pleased with the look we hope to use it as our raffle quilt for the 2011 show. So we are more ahead of ourselves than usual.
We meet in a primary school and there is always lots of lovely artwork to inspire us.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

One step forward

I'm working on finishing various ongoing projects which seem to come to a halt when there's a hurdle. Constructing the autumn leaves quilt has been quite a trial and it was heavy and awkward as I went on. I felt discouraged as the border fabric which is beautiful of itself didn't work and today I have been delving into my stash to seek out alternatives, not a wide choice as I rarely buy longer lengths. Anyway the good news is that a fat quarter I bought for a workshop this weekend is what I really really want. It's an unconventional choice but one recently purchased from JEM's in Canterbury which has fabrics crammed into a tiny corner of a small shop. Anyway it gives me a buzz but I've decided to step out. Meanwhile refolding the quilt I noted a rucked up bit on the back. I don't believe it! Anyway on Monday I shall unpick.
A more pleasant task is sewing down the binding on my Twisted Sisters quilt another lingering finish (started 07) aided by Smart Frog the longarmer. It uses Three Cats fabric from South Africa and the plain but shot navy is Oakshott from India. I like the corners.

What a slog!

Today I have been working hard adding the remaining sides to my autumn leaves quilt. As the work got bigger it was harder and heavier and occasionally I caught up bits I shouldn't have and had to unsew. My blocks were also often too big perhaps because I was adding unquilted blocks to quilted ones. And when I laid out my beautiful border fabric it was oh too dark for this quilt. I have still to add some handquilting and must source some more fabric for the border, all the harder in a land without quilt shops.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Changing the bed

New bedclothes today and a fresh quilt. It's the first time my Cherrywood quilt has been on the bed. It's only just about big enough but I made it as big as the amount of background fabric would allow. The navy is a Laura Ashley remnant, cotton and linen mix with a damask type weave and the plains are Cherrywood hand-dyes sewn into ninepatches with the five odd squares in the navy and set on point. I had it custom quilted by Mandy Parks of the Cat's Whiskers and she has done a beautiful job and created some lovely patterns to fit the space.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Hawkinge Quilt Show

On Saturday we braved some very blustery weather to visit this show and pick up my quilt from the longarmer. Fortunately the worst of the storm passed while we were in the building and the drive home was much calmer. There were lots of little bits and pieces on sale here - I got a Christmas decoration for the tree.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Babes in the Wood

I'm in finishing mode at the moment trying to complete projects that have been hanging around for some time. I made the centre of this piece for a "Forest" challenge but always intended to enlarge it. I laid out the remaining blocks more or less to my satisfaction and will now add wadding one side at a time and the side pieces and backing after each one, then quilt each section and then the next side and so on. There's extra backing and wadding to allow for the final border which I hopw to be able to mitre from the right side.