Wednesday, 30 November 2016

A decision, a mistake and some sashing

What have I been saying about a lack of rhythm at the moment? Today I laid out all my 9 patch blocks, moved them this way and that and decided that I quite liked them like this.

I get the argument for placing the red squares symmetrically, or in a cross, and did look at that, just couldn't bring myself to do it somehow.  However, having spent all that time fiddling about, I promptly sewed them together wrong: the top left red shouldn't be in that corner at all.  So now I have to unpick.  Bah humbug.  

In view of the fact that they are making people's vision blur, I have decided to have a go with sashing to break them up.  I often like other quilters' sashing but haven't really used it myself, so these seems like the moment to give it a go.  I may even try a border next.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Considering the next step

I am considering my little 365 circles, which are now pieced into 9-patches and ready for action.

I have been inclined to keep them together and then use the spare squares around the edges somehow.  (Here's a reminder of how that looks though I should point out that this is not my chosen layout. In fact, at this point the individual squares weren't even sewn together, I had just bunged them down on the floor to get quick photo.) 

I am,however, having a moment of doubt (Mr Sew Slowly just told me it was like an optical illusion - when he tries to look at it his eyes can't find a place to settle; now I have to decide whether to take any notice of him!)

Sewn together they would make a 36" square - not big enough - so now I am looking for things I can add. 

I have a good selection of shirts that would work. 

I like the idea of continuing with old shirts, but have found other bits in my stash that might work.

Food for thought, at least.

Linking up with:

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Still handquilting my circles...

Mind you, given that this is the first of three circle quilts this year, I may be able to use that as a post title until sometime in 2018.

I've not posted about this for a while as I'm trying to avoid endless pictures that all look pretty much the same, but I have been quietly making progress.  I have spent ages worrying about whether I like the way I am quilting this, but have reached a point where I just have to let that go; I have done far too much to reconsider.  It's the blank areas I'm not keen on really, so if push comes to shove I can go back and put in some extra stitching at some point.  

It would look better laid out flat but there was a cat lurking, and I just didn't want to have that argument today!

For the first time in a few weeks I'll link up with Kathy today for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Saturday photos #80

It's been a few weeks since I've put up any photos on a Saturday as I'd got to a point where I just wasn't feeling it: no new ideas and not much interesting in repeating myself, to sum it up.  I'm having a (slow) think about whether I want to set myself some new aims and get going again or whether I'll just do a post, like this one, when something has sparked my interest.

I had a day out on Thursday, to Middleport Pottery, home of Burleigh ware. They make pottery there the same way they did in the 1880s (though with modern kilns rather than the bottle kilns they started with), which is to say by hand.  No automated processes, no assembly lines, just a handful of highly skilled workers doing things the way they have always been done.  It was brilliant - £8.50 for the factory tour was a blooming bargain.  I know Stoke-on-Trent would not be high on most people's list of places to visit, but if you are ever in the area, do yourself a favour and take a couple of hours to do this.

I missed it last month but will link up this month with Soma for Wandering Camera

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

AHIQ- share your improv #15

Ha - no sooner have I complained about life lacking rhythm at the moment than I forget entirely that it is a) the fourth Tuesday of the month and b) any Tuesday at all. In my head I am still somewhere about a week and a half back, so apologies for messing up.

Of course this means I don't have an AHIQ post ready, having posted my finished top yesterday, so I'll link up with that post and then go away and try to take myself in hand and get life back under control!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Done for now

Well there are no washing line photos, on account of how it has been belting with rain all day, but this is done for now.  Here's a kitchen floor photo instead.

For those of you interested in such things, I do have a little fabric left, but many are completely gone and if you could see it close up you would be able to tell that quite a few of the triangles across the top are made up of two, or in one case three, little pieces.  But I made it to the end, which is all that really matters.

This goes into the box to wait for quilting now and I'm going to take a few days to concentrate on my current quilting project and to consider my little squares with circles before I start on something new, although I am already eyeing up a particular pile of fabric.  

In the meantime, I'm linking up with:


Friday, 18 November 2016

Nearly but not quite...

Nearly there, and the fact that I am ready to be done is definitely concentrating the mind on this one.  Here's an in progress shot,with thanks to Monica for her comment about the white crosses in the last post...

...and here's where I ended up.  The bottom row is actually still in two pieces and not attached to the rest, as I need to dig out my big cutting mat and tidy things up a bit, but come Monday morning it will be all systems go.  

At the moment this is almost exactly square (around 70" in all directions), though I don't think it looks square in the photos; that's what comes of standing on your sewing machine case to take the pictures.

 At the moment that top edge looks sort of unfinished to me so I am going to add just one small row across the top, probably just the height of one of the triangle strips or slightly more, but I've got quite a lot of leftover bits and bobs so that shouldn't pose a problem.

In the meantime I'm linking up with:


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Moving bits around again

I am ready to be done with this now, though I'm not sure why I suddenly feel like this.  Anyway, it has pushed to me work hard and though I didn't quite get where I wanted this morning, I have made good progress.  I would say this row across the bottom is 75% done now. Most of it is actually sewn together, and I just need to settle on what I want to do in the left hand corner.  The chunk with the blue and white triangles was originally next to the completed piece, then I tried it right next to the edge, and right now, as you see it's somewhere in between.  Looking at this photo I am wondering about dropping it down and adding something above it, or maybe replacing the blue and white with blue and red triangles.  Something to think about anyhow.

Monday, 14 November 2016

And so it goes

I seem to have lost my rhythm a bit, with quilting and blogging; isn't it funny how sometimes it's easier to make yourself do something almost every day than once a week?  If I don't keep moving, I sort of  

Of course there are always good reasons for the disturbance to my patterns - this time it's just work stuff - but it still annoys me rather that I can't keep the rhythm going.  Ho hum.

Anyhow, another wee chunk got done this morning.  I have stopped panicking about how much fabric I have, as another root through my stash turned up a 25cm piece of the palest blue I have used and a different red/white gingham-y fabric, so they have been added to the pile and I'm pretty confident that will see me home. 

The red/blue/white triangles at the bottom here are actually three (or maybe four) different little sets, which I just slapped down to have a look, but the rest of this piece is stitched together now and I probably have enough cross blocks made to get me most of the way across the bottom.  I had thought I would need to add a bit at the top too, though not as much maybe, but I'll make a call once I've finished down here.  

In the meantime...

I'm linking up with:

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Chopping up the rejects

It is a moot point whether I will have enough fabric to get where I want to with this quilt now. I can definitely get somewhere, but whether it's where I wold really like to be only time will tell.  I have (I think) plenty of whites and plain blues, particularly the darker ones, but a lot less red.  I am right down to the tiniest scraps on several fabrics, but I am piecing the tiny bits together and getting as much out of them as I possibly can.  

I have revisited this block, which I wasn't so keen on when I made it, and which I'd put aside.  

It seemed too big now for what I wanted but I went at it with my rotary cutter and ended up with 3 pieces that I like better.
I'm thinking that just crosses and triangles in a row across the bottom would get a bit too samey, so these bits, I hope, will just mix things up a bit.  Here's the first bit I've had a go at piecing, plus a lot of odds and ends that are being auditioned...

Monday, 7 November 2016

Quick update

This is just a quick update; I haven't got a lot to say really.  I have filled in the gap across the top now and am making new bits and pieces so that I can add to the bottom (and may the top too).  This is what it looks like now.

I am pretty happy with it but will like it better once it is no longer wider than it is long.  I realise it looks not too far off square in this photo, but that's a trick of the camera.  

I'll link up with Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.

Friday, 4 November 2016

A year of circles

If I'm going to be precise, my year of circles is not up until Monday, but I know I'm busy this weekend, and want to get my post done in time to link up with Audrey, so I am going, uncharacteristically, to complete ahead of time.  

In fact I have already finished my last lot of circles.

Of course the eagle-eyed among you will spot instantly that this is nothing like 366 circles, so to recap:  I started last November 8th, making denim squares with blue circles appliqued, but somewhere along the line (132 days in, to be precise) I got a bit bored so took a break and turned them into this.

So these two tops amount to 299 circles in all - not a year's worth exactly but not bad, I think.  However playing around with circle-y ideas also led directly to this one.

I can't really count it as part of Quilty 365, as I did way more than a circle a day when piecing it, but in my head it kind of belongs with the other two.  

To sum up then, I don't think any of what I have done is exactly in the spirit of the original challenge as laid out by Audrey, but it has been a very interesting exercise for me and I'm glad I participated.   Focusing on one simple shape has sparked off loads of ideas, so I may not be done with circles yet, but repeating the same basic unit every day for a year is definitely not for me: I started off with good intentions but have moved further and further away from this as the year has gone out and have ended up making the last circles in big batches.  I still like the idea of something more diary-like (like Cathy's Marginalia) and might feel drawn to try that at some point, but I'd have to find a way to keep myself going!

In the meantime I have to figure out how I turn my little shirt circles into a quilt - I'm not making more circles now so that will be my next task after I finish piecing my red, white and blue.  

Quite a few people are still circling, or like me are coming to an end.  Audrey's link up is a great way to see loads of different interpretations of this idea.  

I'm also linking up to 
TGIFF and Finished or Not Friday, 
which are both at Busy Hands Quilts today.