Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Wider than before

There's not a lot to say about this really, except that it is getting wider!

And on I go!

In the back of my mind I am not thinking about triangles at all now, I am thinking about the next AHIQ challenge, which will be kicking off here next Tuesday.  One thing I can promise you is that it won't involve HSTs.

Monday, 15 January 2018

How big is big enough?

I got another chunk added onto the length of this, and then thought it was time to stick it on a bed to gauge its size.

As you can see the length is not far off.  I already knew I needed to go wider, and this is a big bed (6' across) so I don't need as much as you might think from the photo.  There's still quite a bit of work to do, but I feel like I've got the bit between my teeth now, so as long as I don't have too many unforeseen interruptions, I might meet my self-imposed deadline (or at least come close).

Thursday, 11 January 2018

No turning back

I spent the first couple of hours I had mentally allocated for sewing this week learning how to replace the battery in a wired smoke alarm: one of those tasks that is straightforward once you've done it, but less so when you hadn't even given serious thought to the fact that there was a battery in there in the first place.  

Yesterday I had much better luck, thanks mostly to being stuck in while I waited for my car to be serviced and MOT'd, and then for them to replace the brake pads.  
 I still like how this looks, but am getting a bit bored of the making - not much variety in line after line of triangles really - so I'm going to knuckle down and try to get done before the end of the month when the next AHIQ challenge will get going.   It's nearly long enough now, but I need to add width (currently measures roughly 80" x 57").
I pondered the idea of adding the extra printing around the edges as a thin border.  On balance I tend to think that while it would be satisfying to get every last word onto the front, it wouldn't add anything visually, so will probably just stick with HSTs.  The huge pile I made early on is shrinking rapidly and I have reached the point where I am making the tiny ones as I need them, but I've come this far, so there's nothing for it but to keep going.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

New year, new quilt in the hoop

There was something very satisfying about finishing a quilt as December came to an end, and even more satisfying about starting work on a new one as this new year begins.  Having allowed Yellow Birds to jump the queue, because I had a backing ready, I am reverting to the old pecking order so Not Speaking for Me is next up.  

I've already made a fair start

but I'm not sure the red/white/blue makes for particularly interesting  close up photos.  Maybe I'll have to try something different next time. 

For now, though, these will do and I'm linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Getting back down to it

Happy New Year everyone!  

Things are slowly getting back to normal here, though I still have a spate of family birthdays and a deadline to get past.  As a result I finally have a little progress to share.

This still needs to be a little longer and quite a bit wider, but I have plenty of HSTs ready to go - you can just see them spilling over the bottom left-hand corner of the photo.  

It felt really good to get the piece with the black lighthouse finished and joined on; it has really caused me a few headaches but I persevered and am happy enough now, though I have had occasion to regret my decision, way back near the start, to make tiny triangles rather than using filler strips.  It looks much better, but boy is it a lot of extra work.  Too late to back out now though!

It occurs to me that I haven't blogged the names of the three lighthouses.  I could, of course, just make buildings up, but it gives me pleasure to use real-life starting points, so here are the links.  The white one at the top is the South Light on Fair Isle, the yellow one is Vattarnes in south-east Iceland and the black one is Irish: Ballycotton, off the coast of Cork.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

AHIQ - share your improv #28

Welcome to the last AHIQ of 2018 (another year just flew by).  In lieu of actual progress on The Shipping Forecast, I offer a quick review of my year's quilting.  

I'm not sure why but I have finished fewer tops this year than in previous ones.  Here are the four that got done.

Actually, if I pause and count on my fingers, I can think of about 5 weeks when, for one reason or another, I did no piecing - I guess that probably accounts for why there isn't an extra picture here.  All of these are Modern Utility quilts by my definition, started with a bundle of recycled stuff and adding extra stuff from stash.

Strangely, for the first time ever, I have more finished quilts than tops, so my backlog has actually decreased by a count of two, which can't be a bad thing.  I have kept quilting steadily, though, except for two weeks in the summer.  

The thing I have enjoyed most about my quilting this year (apart from the count of finishes) has definitely been working with the recycled fabrics.  I like the slightly softer quality that they bring to a quilt, enjoy the challenge of matching up bundles of shirting and then finding stash fabrics to add in.  

I have also loved the AHIQ challenges, which have resulted in quilts I don't think I would have made otherwise.  I enjoy being given a (broad) brief and have found being able to follow other people's progress with the same challenge to be thought-provoking, eye-opening and inspiring.

Looking ahead, I don't have many resolutions for 2018.  There will be more AHIQ challenges to look forward to, so I'll take my lead from those, though I have a couple of things simmering away at the back of my mind that I hope to follow through. 

Having limited myself to recycled fabrics plus organic quilting cottons for the past two years it has become a habit that I can't see myself breaking, and which in fact gets easier to sustain the longer I do it.  I'll probably keep going with my 'pile of shirts' approach for the most part, but there are also a couple of specific fabrics I would like to use, that may get to kick off their own quilts.  We'll see.  

For someone who has developed the habit of resolutions (rather late in the day I discovered that I like them and they work for me) this seems distinctly low-key, but that's where I'm at right now.  If I wake up on the first day of 2018 determined to recreate a Rembrandt in recycled denim or quilt my entire life story in 2" HSTs, I'll let you know!

I'd like to thank everyone who has participated in AHIQ this year, by linking up, participating in the challenges, or simply taking the time to comment on the posts that are shared.  

Friday, 22 December 2017

Yellow Birds done and dusted

Piecing is not going my way still - my hsts have acquired an unruly curve (I don't mind a bit of wonk but somehow I've gone way past that) and after a couple of hours arguing with them I have decided to acknowledge defeat, for now.  When time is short, stressful sewing doesn't seem like the best way to go, so I shall come back to it after Christmas.

On the bright side though, I have finished my Yellow Birds.

This is the first quilt where I started with a bundle of shirts and pulled fabrics from stash to go with them.  As a reminder, here's the original pile of shirts.

Added in were the yellow bird fabric, which I'm pretty sure was Joel Dewberry, some grunge, and other bits and pieces from stash. The back, which for the first time ever is just one big piece of fabric, is a sheet.

The wadding is Sew Simple Supersoft Eco Blend, which is 70/30 recycled cotton and recycled polyester and it was quilted using perle 8, in a variety of shades - none bought specifically for this project; I just used what I had already.

I started piecing on 31st August 2016 and finished on 24th February 2017.  Quilting started on 20th October, finished 21st December 2017.  The last couple of years I've been trying to finish a quilt in December but not quite made it; this year I'm home with room to spare.

A reminder that AHIQ will run next week, despite the fact that it goes live on Boxing Day - maybe some of us will need a little quilty pause in the midst of the mayhem (or is the mayhem just us?) If, like me, you don't have much actual sewing to show for the last few weeks, do feel free to link up any review of the year/plans for 2018 posts.