Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Hedging my bets

I haven't quite made my mind up yet where this is going, so I have been working on two fronts.  First off I made a few more of the big blocks. This is my favourite.
It is very clear that if I want to make many more of these I will need to add in extra shirts; I can only get two or three of those big curves out of a shirt before I have to start piecing bits back together again. I'm not ruling that out but in the meantime I have  started making smaller blocks as a way of using up the weird leftovers I was creating.
I don't know how/where they fit into the scheme of things yet, but it feels like they will come in handy at some point, and they are kind of satisfying to make.

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

And then there were four

My posting adventures continue, since this is posted from an iPad, something else I don’t usually try.  Here are a few more blocks. 
A number of people thought they had a bit of a double wedding ring vibe and I agree. I have been looking at quite a few vintage quilts, but mostly very simple, restrained colour palettes and repeated bocks. Those our my favourite double wedding rings, but I don’t want to make one. I guess all that browsing has seeped into this quilt though. 
On a practical note, curves and shirts are tricky partners: what you ready want are nice expanses of fabric to slice your curves from, but mostly what you get are lots of compromises and extra piecing. In the end, I think this will give  the quilt its own particular character and it certainly stops me getting bored! 

Sometimes I am sewing together two pieces of the same fabric, sometimes I’m using a contrasting bit and sometimes,  as with the yellow block, I do one thing and then change my mind and try again.

These blocks are quite big, for me - maybe 10 inches or thereabouts. If I kept making them I would have a top in pretty good time. On one level that sounds appealing but I’m not sure now whether I’ll make more of them or start tinkering about. The good money is on tinkering.


Thursday, 11 August 2022

First pass at the sun

I am posting from my phone for the first time ever, so this may or may not work,  but let's give it a go. 

I've done several quilts in a row that used not only similar shapes (chunky wedges) but also a similar approach (broadly speaking the medallion). I'm not sure whether I'm done with the edge but have decided to have a  play with some curves this time round. 

This is my first attempt. 
I am thinking,  I guess,  of the sun and sunflowers, but mostly,  as ever,  just trying to find shapes and colour combinations that please my eye.

And here's a second block. I can see that there is s hint of a chunky wedge here,  but what can you do?  It's clearly not going quietly.


Friday, 5 August 2022

All the yellows

Ann's newest challenge landed just as I was thinking about what to start next so I have pulled out a great big pile of shirts and dived right in.  Here is a photo of every single yellow and orange shirt I could find, plus some others that seemed to sit nicely with them.

Seems like a good place to start, so off I go.

Friday, 15 July 2022


At long last I have got this top to a place I am happy with.  I'm not entirely sure why I've struggled so much, to be honest.  A lot of disruptions haven't helped, nor has working with what was probably slightly too little fabric, but I like the shapes and the colours a lot and have never had one of those moments where I just fell out of love with the whole thing.  Nonetheless, this is only the second completed top of the year and we are already in July.  

Here's the photo of quilt on shed

and here is a close up of quilt with teasel.
It is, theoretically a weed, but this is the wilder part of the garden and the goldfinches love them, so I seldom pull them up, even when they are photobombing my quilt pictures.  Also, look what a lovely colour match it is for this particular quilt!

It has to be said that I really, really like this quilt, so maybe all the time it took to get here doesn't really matter at all in the end.

Monday, 11 July 2022

Done and dusted: my orange summer

My piecing may be slow, slow, slow, but at least I am keeping the quilting ticking along and as a result have a finished quilt. More to the point, I have a finished quilt that feels cheery and summery and perfect for the current weather. Here it is, nicely attached to the front of my little shed.  
I don't think it's as satisfactory a location for photos as the washing line, but I used to prop that up with a length of downpipe, which has now been used, strangely enough, for its proper purpose.  Until we devise an alternative prop, the shed is the best option.  
Having always worked through my quilting pile chronologically, last in, first out, I have changed my approach this year.  I am now working on two hoops, instead of one.  The first will always be something that's been waiting ages, but the other can be anything I fancy.  This particular quilt was only pieced last year, but I am still in an orange kind of place, so it pushed its way to the front of the queue.  It has made me happy, working on these colours and fabrics, so it was definitely a good choice.

You can see that I was really feeling the orange when I pulled fabrics for the back.
Mostly my backs are made using fabrics from the oldest part of my stash - so before I started only buying organic yardage and shirts.  I have started to contemplate what I will do once I run out of this stuff.  I am not keen on piecing all my backs from shirts and things like vintage sheets sound like a good idea, until you try to track them down - they are hard to find here and also expensive.  

I am really pleased with how this quilt turned out - I love the denim/orange combination and, strangely, haven't found the denim hard to quilt.  It has slightly more weight to it than an all-cotton quilt, but when the weather turns cold, I rather like something a bit heavier.  
So, down to the nitty-gritty. 

This was started on September 14th 2021 and piecing was completed October 14th.  I am surprised to see that this only took a month from start to finish. I think I started quilting it during the first week in January, and have been working in fits and starts until last week.  It was finished on June 29th 2022. 

I started with shirts and denim, and added in bits from stash.  You might recognise the black floral fabric from here.  Handquilted using perle no. 8.  I didn't buy anything special but just pulled the best options I had already.  I have been doing that for a while now, but think I will have to restock soon. The binding is a very old Oakshott stripe that has been in my boxes for at least seven or eight years now.  
My favourite parts of this quilt are the two strips of flying geese, and, specifically, the places where the geese change direction.  I will be making those again at some point.  

Friday, 24 June 2022

Locked out

Apologies for blog silence and my failure to respond to (and make) comments - I've had no computer for a little bit. It just switched off one evening and never switched back on.  Now I have one again, but sadly not masses of progress to share.  Current progress looks like this.

I can't claim there's a particular reason for my slow pace, but the weather has been good and the garden has called my name.  It will rain soon, so I am, almost literally, making hay while the sun shines.