Thursday, 26 May 2016

Build Me a Wall - the finish

Here, as promised, is a proper 'finish' post for Build Me a Wall.

The front:


The back:


The details:

This was started on 6th March 2015, in response to a challenge from LeeAnna. I finished piecing on 13th May 2015 and its at in the quilting queue until February this year.  I started quilting  on 14th February, finished Monday 23rd May.

Finished size: about 60" square.  I used Hobbs Wool Wadding again, quilted by hand using various shades of perle no. 8.  I couldn't decide on a binding so used a facing instead (a first for me but something I would definitely consider again).


I'll link up with My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday and with TGIFF


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Crafted Applique blog hop and a giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog hop for the lovely Lara's new book, Crafted Applique.  There have been lots of great posts on this already - do go back and check them out if you haven't already: you can find the full schedule, with links, here.


There are some great projects in this book - what's not to like about a little vintage caravan?  But I know myself, and I know that I am useless at following instructions, so I thought that rather than trying one of Lara's projects and embarrassing us all, I would think about what I would want, as an improv quilter, from this technique.  I decided I would use a little cat picture that my youngest girl had produced (actually she's produced about 200 of them, all about an inch across).  I enlarged it on the photocopier to get a size that was workable, and then pulled a load of floral prints and went about putting together a garden for it to live in. 


The  thing that had leapt to the front of my mind at the start of this was that I wanted to be able to work with these applique pieces in much the same way as I do my piecing: I wanted to play around before sewing things down, to try out different layouts, add bits and take bits away.  Of course you can do this with pieces you are going to attach with traditional methods, but I have found various drawbacks to this (though that may just be me).  Lara's method performed beautifully: no fraying, not one tiny thread, and none of that thing where you've just got it right and someone opens a door and the whole lot goes flying.  I played around for ages with these pieces and they were as good as new when I finished.



The second thing I wondered about was whether this method would still work with hand stitching.  I don't at all enjoy the painstaking work of machine stitching shapes into place - would I be able to secure these without the machine, ie would I be able to hand stitch through the prepped pieces.  I have to say I expected this to be where the method fell down for me but it worked fine.  I used a nice sharp needle and Sulky 12 thread, but even when I switched to perle no. 8 (just to do the knots for the cat's eyes) I had no problems.  I would certainly feel confident planning to hand quilt a piece made in this way.

As a side note, the book also includes a method for back coating fabric; if I had been more patient I could done this and the cat would not have stripe down the middle of his head!

Now the fun bit: if you would like to win a copy - and I really can't see why you wouldn't want this book - leave a comment.  It can be any comment but if you want a starter, how about telling me if you are already an applique person and if so what your favoured method is right now.  If you already have a copy, enter anyway, as Lara has offered to refund the purchase prize if you win.  A winner will be randomly selected next Wednesday, 1st June. For more chances to win, check out the remaining participants in the blog hop - and good luck!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

AHIQ- share your improv #9 (and a finish)

Welcome to the 9th AHIQ linkup.  We had a particularly great group of posts last month, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you share this time round.

I'm feeling very chirpy this morning, on account of having finished Build Me a Wall.  I'll do a post later in the week with all the details, but for now, here's a quick pic:


(As a side note, if you are interested, pop back tomorrow for my turn on the Crafted Applique blog hop.)



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Monday, 23 May 2016

Just picking colours

I have finished a quilt today, but haven't taken the photos yet, so by way of a little light fun have just been choosing the starting fabrics for lighthouse no. 3.  I find I am pulling either a selection for the sea or the sky and once that's clear in my mind I work out what will go with that initial set.  It's a slightly different way of working for me, but I am enjoying it, though I'm still wondering where it will all lead.  In the meantime, though, here's some pretty fabrics..


I like the yellow-y grunge so much I think it deserves a quilt of its own at some point.  

On another subject, a reminder that the next AHIQ link up starts tomorrow and that you can join in here, or over at Ann's.


I'll link up with Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt this time round.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Crawling to a finish and starting up again

Build me a Wall is nearly done.  I am facing it instead of binding (using this great tutorial from Victoria Gertenbach) and it's all machined on, so just the hand stitching to do.  I wish a day of Slow Sunday stitching would see me to the end, but the day is more than half gone, so maybe this week...I've got so many pins in this now I'm just hoping I get to the end without incurring some sort of pin-related injury.


I'm also jumping back on the Quilty 365 bandwagon.  I did a circle a day from November 8th to April 18th, then stopped and those into a top.  Now I'm going back to the portholes idea that I used in Build me a Wall but I've decided to do all the stitching by hand.  I'm going to use some more recycled shirts and some scraps and I'm thinking about stitching (something needs to attach the fabric behind on the hole onto the front bits anyway).

Here's today's start - I've back-stitched the circle.  You can see tiny bits of the stitching when I turn the top fabric through the hole, but I quite like it. I'll certainly keep going for a bit and see how it goes.


Saturday, 21 May 2016

Saturday photos #64

Green and white.  That's what the whole world looks like at the moment.


I'm still puzzling over the question of photo editing software, so this is not entirely to my liking, but was done with a free online option.  Why, oh why can't software developers just leave us alone and not always be wanting to improve things (and yes, I know the answer is that it will benefit them in some way to implement the changes.)

Friday, 20 May 2016

Happisburgh lighthouse

Here's lighthouse no. 2.  Not quite finished, but well underway.


I also have a query, for those of you who know about these things.  I have been using Google's Picasa programme for photo editing; it's not sophisticated but then mostly I'm just cropping out the mess, or my feet, or the cats, and tweaking the colours if they look completely wrong.  However they are now phasing this out.  I know Photoshop is the big name, but it's a lot to pay to do my simple bits, so any recommendations would be gratefully received.


Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday and NinaMarie for Off the Wall.