Monday, 13 November 2017

And onwards...

A bit more progress.  I've just started a piece of work (yes, actual proper real-life work) that is much bigger than I was expecting and threatens to eat up all my time for the next several weeks, but I am going to try and keep carving out an hour here or there.  Non-stop intense concentration can only be maintained for limited periods without a break, so I spent some time today prepping more squares to be sewn for triangles, so that I can use my breaks productively.  It should keep this project moving, I hope.  

My ruler is on the top left-hand corner because I know the first piece I sewed was wider at the top than the bottom.  I haven't trimmed it yet but needed to estimate how wide the chunk I'm making now needed to be.  This is my low-tech way of guesstimating.   

I have been wondering as I went along how much of the text would fit on the front, and think my reluctance to finish printing is possibly connected to the feeling that masses of it would end up on the back (also, the conservatory is really cold now and that's where the printing is set up).  Now I am thinking maybe more than I thought will end up on front, which would be a good thing.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

A pause to give thanks

The pictures that follow are today's progress, but are pretty self-explanatory, so I'm going to veer off topic for a moment.  

It has occurred to me that this is a quilt that would never have been made were it not for the internet and for the world of quilt blogging.

If I hadn't found Julie's blog, I would never have tried free piecing... 

without the AHIQ challenge from Ann The Shipping Forecast might never have been more than a vague notion... 

without instagram I wouldn't have seen Tonya Ricucci's Shark and realised she had found the perfect way to piece water.  
So I would like to give my heartfelt thanks for all quilters, quilt bloggers and instagrammers, for everyone who takes the time to comment on quilt blogs, for the sharing of ideas, techniques, inspiration and support, for communication and creativity.  Thank you!

And, in the spirit of sharing, I am linking up with Linda and Julie for sew stitch snap SHARE.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Virtue rewarded

Well, that may be overstating the case rather, but I felt very virtuous piling up my HSTs at the end of last week and today that labour paid off, as I had plenty of options when I started putting things together again.  In fact, though I probably won't have enough to finish the quilt, I definitely have enough to get a fair way through it, so no more chain piecing for me for a while.  Hooray.  

Even better, this starts to feel like it's going somewhere now.  The first thing I did today was to rip out a little strip of plaid and replace it with tiny triangles (just to the right at the top of the lighthouse).  Fiddly and time-consuming but it serves me right for thinking I could get away with a short-cut in the first place.  I like it much better now.

This is in two pieces still, but joining them will be my first move next time, then on to the next chunk, and the next lighthouse.  

I realise that the width of this piece was not decided upon, but just dictated by the length of the first strip of lettering.  Probably I need to go wider - I could do this before I add further chunks, or make the whole thing this wider and then add something all the way round.  This has only just occurred to me, so I've no idea yet which way I'll go.  

And just in case I get too smug, having made some progress, I should own up that my 'to do' list for this quilt still includes two items 'finish printing' and 'make third lighthouse' which have been there for the better part of a month.  I'll have to cave in and do them in the end!

Finally, a quick note for Liz and Linda, both of whom have left lovely comments recently.   I can't reply directly as you are no-reply commenters, but thank you, and do let me have an email address if you'd like direct responses.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Squares, triangles, squares, triangles

I searched high and low earlier in the week for white shirts and only managed to find two, one completely plain,and one a dress shirt with lots of tiny pleats in a panel on the front.  So yesterday, while I was waiting for another boiler man to come and finish off the job the first boiler man couldn't do,  I used my time cutting them up.  By the time he was done I had a nice little pile of blue squares and matching white squares, ready to be turned into triangles.

A bit of application this morning and I now have an equally pleasing, but rather more useful, pile of triangles.

Onward and upward.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

A little bit of actual stitching

Having spent the better part of two days sitting in an unheated house while a gas engineer charged me an arm and a leg to fix my boiler, a process which took longer and cost a whole lot more than I would have wished, I am thinking that maybe instead of quilting I should use my spare time to learn a handy skill like, let's say, how to how to do boiler repairs.

At least I got some work done in the garden, which was distinctly warmer than the house, and a wee bit of piecing too, though I was limited by the need to keep most of the floor clear.  

Currently this is what I've got.
 Unlike my previous posts, where a lot of stuff was just sitting on the floor, I have a good proportion of this stitched together.  

I realise that I have been struggling with the idea that this piece is going to consist almost entirely of quilt-wide rows.  Maybe that's how it will end up, and there is a strong argument for that but I have decided to approach it by making this chunk, (until I'm level with the bottom of the lighthouse) and then start on the next.  I might well carry on across, but it leaves me head-space for  shuffling things around a bit if I want to.  

In the meantime, I am completely out of white/cream fabrics.  This is one of those moments when I think about abandoning my self-imposed rules since I can't find an organic option, but instead I am off tomorrow to search for a couple of nice white shirts.  

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Yellow birds in the frame

Well still not much piecing going on here.  Fortunately it's Sunday and I have at least been doing some quilting, so here's a quick peek at the start of Yellow Birds.

Linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

AHIQ - share your improv #26

I am making progress with my shipping forecast quilt, which is to say that I have made a lot of HSTs.  I had great plans for yesterday, but then the boiler died and I had to sort that out and before I knew it the day was gone and not one stitch had been sewn.

However, since it is AHIQ time I thought I'd mention that I have decided to quilt my Yellow Birds next (it has words on at least) but that when I got it out, and in fact after I had pin basted about a quarter of it, I decided I didn't like the shape.  It looked like this.
Seemed fine at the time but now it's just too square.  I know that's a bit perverse when I've just finished a square quilt, but that worked (because it was consistent, I think: square blocks, sewn into bigger square units, sewn together into square quilt) and this doesn't.  So I unpinned, un-backed and am in the process of adding a couple of rows of geese to make things more rectangular.  It's a bit of a pain, but better than quilting something and then deciding I don't like it.

On to AHIQ and this was scheduled to be the start of our next challenge, but after some discussion we have decided to postpone this until the beginning of next year - Ann very elegantly called it "consolidate and review".  The reasons for this are two-fold: firstly there seem to be a few people who have started one of the previous challenges but not had time to finish yet, so this creates an opportunity to catch up a bit.  Also, in case you hadn't noticed, Christmas will soon be bearing down upon us and that tends to make quite a few demands on people, so if you don't want to make up quilting ground, you can have a few extra moments to wrap stuff, or eat mince pies or do whatever you like to do at this time of year (mince pies and Christmas cake for me, all the way).

If you are all up-to-date/don't do Christmas/are super-organised/never stop sewing and would like a challenge then maybe you could try something new on the quilting front.  You could go graffiti style, like Karlee Porter, try circles if you usually quilt in straight lines,or vice versa, mix hand work with machine quilting.  I have a notion to try something based on Welsh whole cloth quilts some time soon, if I can figure out how to get what's in my head onto fabric, though it won't be happening this year.   Alternatively you could try a different thread - maybe thicker or thinner than usual. 

So he remaining link ups 2017 will run, as usual, on the 4th Tuesday of each month and the next challenge, possibly in a slightly revamped form, will kick  off in January. In the meantime I look forward to seeing what people have to share this month.

I'm linking this up with Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE