Tuesday 27 September 2016

AHIQ - share your improv #13

I'm still fiddling around, making little pieces.  In the pictures below you might notice I've added a tiny strip across the bottom of of the block I have been working on.

I've also been making more little cross blocks, some more triangle strips and extra quarter circles.

I have obviously done some fiddling about trying to get a feel for what works, what I like but haven't settled on much.  I am wondering now if I want to try and make a few pieces somewhere between the tiny bits and the big quarter circles in size.  I am wondering about some medium-sized crosses maybe.  Not much harm in making a couple and having a look, I think.

In the meantime...

Sunday 25 September 2016

Lots to do

Today's slow sewing is like a 'to do' chore list: lots of bits I should have got round to earlier.

First I need to patch these jeans.  Both the pairs I have mended previously are still holding up well, which is encouraging and makes the time spent on the mend seem worthwhile.  I am wondering, though, why it is always my right knee that wears through first.  I patched  my first knee in the spring of 2015 and its corresponding left leg still hasn't developed a hole.  I need to pay more attention to what I am doing when I crawl around on the floor.

Then I need to do some catching up on my 365 circles.  I am a full two weeks behind, and we are nearing the end of the month so I would like to be up-to-date by 30th.  At the moment last week's circles look like this.

Not very impressive!

Finally I want to keep quilting.  I have done 33 out of 49 squares on this.  Not quite enough to be able to say the end is in sight, but enough to make me want to push on.

I am hoping to have a quiet, peaceful stitching day today, so let's see where I can get to with all of this.

A quick reminder too -  Tuesday is AHIQ link up day again.

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Another little step forward

I have rectified my piecing mistake, and everything is back the way it should be.

But looking at it again I didn't like these two strips next to each other.

I wondered about using more triangles to separate them, but the ones I had sitting around were a bit bigger than I wanted...

so I tried piecing little strips out of my scrap pile, like this.

I liked this better, so I kept going and ended up here.  

You'll see I've made another little quarter circle block too.

Linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Lets Bee Social.

Monday 19 September 2016

Ninety degree turn

Well,  the first thing I did this morning was change my mind and decide that I liked the quarter circle piece I was working on last time better if I rotated it 90 degrees.

This led me to this, adding a second quarter circle plus little flags, which was almost as far as I got and I was pretty happy.

But then I stopped paying attention for a moment and joined the two bits the wrong way round.  See? I'm blogging this before I rectify it because I thought it was interesting: I don't like it nearly as much this way round.  I've been trying to work out why and I think it's a something to do with balance: because the two quarter circles are directly under each other, it creates a heavier feel,  somehow clunkier and less pleasing to the eye. 

I shall be unpicking next.

Friday 16 September 2016

Maybe hitting my stride

Well this might be famous last words, but I think I'm starting to get into the swing of things here.  I made an extra curve block - these are smaller than the original 8 and don't have the diagonal stripe; I'm hoping to be able to squeeze several of these out of what I still have.  You can see from the piecing of the blue fabric that I am joining all my random pieces together, just so that I can cut them again.

I also added some more to the piece I was working on last time: there's an extra little row of crosses along the bottom.

I envisage all the bits might go together something like this.

It's not quite right yet, but something along these lines.

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Making a little go a long way

I have carried on today ekeing out the fabric I have, but also had a dig around in my boxes and found these:

I'm not entirely sure about either of these whites, especially the one on the left which in real life is slightly yellow-y and may go back in the box, but the blue I think is just fine.  I've used a tiny bit in the picture below and like it well enough, so I just need to use enough more for it to look like I meant it to be there all along.

As you can see I've also had a go at putting some bits together.  More than usual what I do seems to be depending on making the most of my scraps, so the squares are square simply because it seems a waste to cut them into anything smaller.  I am sorting into bits for squares and rectangles, bits for triangles and little strips that can make their way into crosses.  Where I've been cutting curves I've ended up with lots of bits on the bias but luckily many are biggish and will let me squeeze out a triangle or two.  

It's all good clean fun anyway.

An aside: can you spot the block I had to wash vigorously.  I have ironed, honest I have, and more than once!

Linking up with Lorna today for Let's Bee Social.

Monday 12 September 2016

It's a funny thing...

I just spent two days worrying that I will run out of fabric for this fabric, having had to cut the extra curves to repair my cat damage.  Then I had a Homer Simpson moment (d'oh!)  I always run out of fabric.  In fact I deliberately buy only half a metre at a time precisely because it means I never have quite enough and am forced to come up with creative solutions.  Okay, this time I may run out earlier, may have to work a bit harder at it all, but it's time to stop fretting and just get a move on.  

So, I have joined a couple of pieces that I knew were always going to go together and spent some time making little blocks out of the many, many scrappy bits this quilt is generating.  I don't know how they're going to fit together, but that will come.  In the meantime I'm making progress and will have a clearer idea soon of how much extra fabric I may need to find (I have already cut up a white shirt that I had in my stash and pressed it into use).

I reckon I can squeeze at least a couple more curvy blocks out of what I've got too.  

Linking up today with Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making.

Sunday 11 September 2016

Take a break, take a breath

I rather like the rhythm that Slow Sunday Stitching gives to my week, and this week the break from machine stitching is particularly welcome, as recent incidents mean I have temporarily fallen out of love with the latest project.  So I am focusing on quilting today.  I  am still working on the scrappy strips.  Originally I thought I would start quilting my circle quilt and just do this one on a more ad hoc basis, but I've made really good progress so have decided just to press on.  

I also finished my skirt.  Actually I finished it two weeks ago but it's taken me all this time to accept that there's never anyone around when I need a photo taken. I've resorted to photographing myself in the mirror.  The first attempt, standing on the bed, was blurry, the second, sort of squashed in beside a wardrobe door is maybe a bit better.

Without me in, it looks like this.

This is the third time I've tried this, and I still can't get over how totally satisfying I find it to know I can make an entire garment with just a needle and thread.

Friday 9 September 2016

Going backwards

This morning did not get off to the best of starts.  Our girl cat is inclined to problems with hairballs and I discovered that instead of the kitchen floor she had chosen my pile of completed quarter circle blocs as the place to throw up.  Yuk doesn't begin to describe it.  This was the first hour of my day.

Then worse: the white fabrics were stained and I couldn't shift the yellow-y marks.  There was nothing for it, so I have had to take three blocks to pieces and replace the ruined fabric.  Two hours later and I am back where I started. All I can say is thank goodness it's warm and everything dried quickly.

As I got on with my 8th block I realised that I now have an extra problem, which is that I have used precious fabric on those replacement bits.  I will be cutting it fine anyway, I think, so this is a bit of a worry.  Ho hum.  I shall press on and see what happens.

Here are the 8 completed blocks with diagonals, plus the extra one.  I want a few more curves if I can eke them out, and then will have to be inventive with the scraps.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday today.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Circles and crosses

The house to myself and a whole morning of peace!  Wow - I had forgotten what you can do when there are no interruptions.

I decided I need to get all my quarter circle blocks done before I think too much about what else.  This is entirely a practical decision: with my limited yardage there are only so many of the biggest curves I am going to be able to get, so they have to be a priority.  I want 8 of the quarter circle blocks with a diagonal strip and have 7 so far.  They look like this.

This isn't necessarily the final positioning, but you get the general idea. I have also started using the tiny scraps to make little cross blocks.

I was using a set of strips I already had, which is why they are all the same, but I'll mix them up a bit as I go along.  This is the third lot of these I have tried: the first ones were too wonky for me (who'd have thought you'd find me saying that!) and the second one used two fabrics for the cross, which didn't quite work for me either.  I like these ones much better.  They might go something like this...

or they might not!

Linking up today with Lorna for Let's Bee Social.

Sunday 4 September 2016

Sunday circles

 Time for another monthly recap on the 365 project, which, as luck would have it, is also my hand stitching at the moment.

There are 99 circles here so far, and my end date is November 7th, so theoretically I could just keep making little squares until then.  I may do just that.  Alternatively I might start piecing some bits together now.  I have no more of the blue shirt left and one more week's worth of bits of pink, but I think there's maybe a couple of weeks to be eked out of the last of the red.  That would take me to October I reckon.  

On one level I'm happy to keep just letting this one tick over and focus on my other piecing; on the other hand if I run out of the original shirts that changes things, although at least I have some options now in terms of what next.  

I have always laid these out on the floor pretty much at random but yesterday when I was doing my photos it occurred to me to try being a bit more organised. I quite like this.

I was in the middle of trying out concentric squares when a cat walked through the middle...

I'll link up today with Quilty Folk - check out all the other circle-y stuff that's been happening, and with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday 3 September 2016

Saturday photos #76

Back at the lake today.

And, as it's start of the month, I'm linking up with Wandering Camera too.