Saturday, 23 July 2016

Friday, 22 July 2016

All at Sea - done for now

Having spent most of yesterday arguing with a hot, lethargic cat who wanted nothing more than to rest in the middle of the table, on top of my sewing, or on the floor, on top of the quilt, I gave up.  Today I packed up and went somewhere cat-free.

I started the morning looking at this:

I could have just sewed this to yesterday's chunk and called it quits, but I had a notion that I wanted to do just a wee bit more.  I wanted to add to sandy band at the bottom of row 2, as it was very narrow in places and I reckoned that by the time I lost the seam allowance it would virtually disappear.

Next I wanted to add to the bottom too.  This all went very smoothly, except it is now so long I can't lift the washing line high enough to get the bottom off the ground!  This is the best shot I can get of it:

And this, for now at least, is the best shot I can get of the whole thing: it has turned out to be blooming big!

I've had a great time putting this together, for all sorts of reasons, so thanks go out to Julie for writing the book and sparking the whole thing off.  Just in case you've somehow missed it, here's the link to her book's blog and if f you haven't tried free piecing, I would thoroughly recommend it - the possibilities are endless.

Since I don't often have the opportunity I'm linking up with Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIFF at A Quarter Inch from the Edge as well as NinaMarie.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

A happy coincidence

I am making slow progress still and might not have posted today, but I have had one of those lovely little moments when life comes together very neatly, so I thought I'd share.  

Talking to my sister, who is the keeper of the family history, a week ago she mentioned that we had a relative who was born in a lighthouse.  When she checked it out and sent me the details it turned out that my great-great grandmother was born in a  lighthouse in the early 1830s.  Her family then lived at two other lighthouses in the same part of the country. Funnily enough, this was all only about an hour's drive from where I live now (which is more remarkable when you realise that her family emigrated, mine were immigrants back into the UK, but that I have ended up in this part of the country purely randomly).  I am, for various reasons, feeling quite displaced and disconnected at the moment, but this has pleased me inordinately.

On to the quilt: the top two row area joined together: you can see I added little pieced strips on either end of the top row to make it long enough.  Since all the lighthouse blocks, and the word strips, are made without much reference to the size of what is around them, the word strips/lighthouses do not line up perfectly. This is fine by me - just saying.  What I have done is to line up the central lighthouses and let the rest do what it wants.

Next job, I think, is to print a few more names: the bottom row isn't as wide as these two and I'm pretty sure I'm going to add one more column of words down the right hand side to get it to the right width.

I'm linking up with My Quilt Infatuation today for Needle and Thread Thursday.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Piecing the last row

I have been putting off joining the last three lighthouses together as I thought this might be the trickiest row, but today was the day.  

There were two issues that were worrying me a bit: first that the word strip on the left hand side was made when I thought the little grey block would go there; the second was that there was still quite a big discrepancy between the height of the black and white lighthouse block and the other two.  

When it came down to it I thought the words worked okay so haven't touched them at all.  I think it helped that I haven't been rigid about the fabric choices in those strips but have mixed things up a bit.  

In terms of the height differences, I've just used the combination of sandy fabrics that have popped up in smaller bits elsewhere.  

I think the strips of the fabric with the little dark blue whales and ships and things on are maybe slightly heavy looking in this picture, but I am using them elsewhere so I'm hoping it will all balance out in the end.  

Next thing is to look at all three rows together, but that's a job for another day.

Linking up with Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making and Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

A bit of quilting, bit of circling

It's actually sunny here today, so my  slow stitching will be confined to the evening but I entertained myself for a while this morning taking shots of my 365 circle blocks:

Also, a quick update on Walls, as the end is sight, though definitely weeks away rather than days.  This is the last chunk that will fit in the frame, then I've just got to do round the edges.

Mind you, it looks like we might have 48 hours when it's too hot to sit under a quilt, so it will have to wait till the rain comes back on Tuesday.  

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Friday, 15 July 2016

Making a decision, then making another one

After staring and fiddling and more staring and fiddling I gave myself a good talking to.  If I can't decide what is the best move, then I just need to pick something and then do my best to make it work, so that's what I've done.

In the end I have gone with plan B, which was to use the three smallest lighthouses together in what will probably be the top row. They look like this now.

So far, so good.

I think this project has sparked some of the most interesting, thought-provoking comments I've had since I started to blog (so a huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share your views).  Several people have suggested that I could do something interesting with the setting for these - for instance using them all laid out horizontally, like a landscape, or finishing them in sets of 3 so that they could be hung in different combinations. Now, I've banged on a lot about my preference for quilts that are big enough to be functional, but in this case this sort of approach seems like it could be very effective and I am drawn to try it out.  

There is, though a practical difficulty, which is that these pieces are pretty big (the strip in the picture is about 70" across) and I certainly don't have walls big enough to take them.  So this will be a functional quilt, but I am going to start again, making slightly smaller blocks, specifically with the idea of trying out a wall piece.

But let's get this one done first.