Monday 31 October 2016

Across the top

I'm still plodding on with this quilt, but after a week of not working on it at all, it took me a while to get going again this morning.  Technically speaking I could look at the last photos on my camera and lay things out according to those - after all that's half the reason I take lots of pictures (in theory). Sadly though I never seem that interested in going about things the sensible way, so instead I pretty much start again from scratch.  

In the end, though, I did get the top left corner filled in.

You can see it's slightly wider than the pieces below it.  As I am going to add this one big strip across the top of the quilt, and will be trying to match up the diagonal stripes on both sides I am deliberately leaving myself a bit of room for manoeuvre.  

Next up is the gap in the middle at the top.  This may be a bit tricky.  I want to treat this as one big piece, but at the same time want the pale red strip (the fabric at the very bottom of the picture above) to stop just over halfway across. My first go at this had too many crosses - it seemed too static...

So now I am playing around with something more like this. Right now I'm not sure about the triangle strips, but not much is sewn together here so I'll just keep plugging away at it for now.

Linking up with:

Friday 28 October 2016

A scrappy finish

So here's a quilt that I've been making but not blogging, apart from a couple of peeps at the quilting.  It was a present for a friend, who really wanted something scrappy and loved the version of this that I have on the spare bed.  

I can't remember where I first saw one of these, but I think it might have been quiltdivajulie's  Dumpster Diving.  (Update: Julie reminds me that her quilt was 'part of the "lego" craze started by Tonya Ricucci (author of Word Play Quilts and former blogger at Lazy Gal Quilts'.)

This one is 70" square.  Strips were mostly cut 1.5" but sometimes I left them at 2" rather than waste fabric.  All scrap, including the binding.

It was pieced around other projects: I tried hard to be organised and used it as a leaders and enders project,  which I've never done before.  As long as I remembered I was doing it, I found it quite an efficient way to keep these blocks ticking over.  

I started quilting it at the end of July, finished it on 14th October, handed it over on 26th.

Finally, a reminder that it's not too late to link up any improv/modern utility quilting you've been doing with AHIQ, here or on Ann's blog.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

AHIQ - share your improv #14

Having focused on little bits yesterday, I'll just share the bigger picture today.  This is where I have got to (yesterdays bits are not yet sewn together).

In trying to get enough floor space to take a photo without gratuitous shots of kitchen detritus I laid this out so that from my usual standpoint it was actually vertical (and then crouched on the table to get the shot above).  Vertically it looks like this:

It's not the first time I've got this far in a quilt, looked at it from a different angle and decided maybe the top isn't where I have thinking it was.  In this case I suspect that its current proportions are influencing me: I prefer a long, thin rectangle to a short wide one.  It could go either way, I think.  

What is really clear from both these shots is that while it is wide (or tall) enough - about 80" right now, it is nowhere near  tall (or wide) enough, so I'll have to think about what I do with that once I've finished the current top row.  

And now, if that hasn't fried your brains, it's your turn to share. 

Monday 24 October 2016

Plugging a gap

The last few times I've posted I have pretty much just finished a section and then shared it, so I thought this time I'd share some of the playing around I do along the way.

If I've used up most of my little bits and pieces I always replenish the pile before I do anything else, but this time I had a reasonable stock.

At this stage I also know that there are patterns that have emerged that I want to repeat, so I will be looking to add the two blue fabrics that provide the vertical strips as well.  

I have also noticed that in a lot of places I have used the crosses in pairs (often two red/blue or two white/blue). Again, at this stage I will bear that in mind as I go.

Sadly I didn't have enough time today for any actual sewing, but thought this might be of passing interest.  Also, taking the photos is always a good exercise, so hopefully by the time I can work on this properly something coherent will have started to form in the deep recesses of my mind.

In the meantime, a reminder that tomorrow is AHIQ link-up day so hopefully some of you reading this will have good things to share!

Linking up with

Sunday 23 October 2016

It's been a slow week all round

...and looks like next week will be too, but I am happy to say that I am completely up-to-date with my circles. I thought I was there a couple of days ago but then realise that I hadn't done any for the week I was currently in, but I pulled my socks up and here they all are.  Of course I need to do one for today, but that should be a piece of cake (!) There will be 16 more little blocks, to get me up to my 365 completion date of November 16th, but I won't make any more after that; I'll just see what I've got and go from there.

I've done a wee bit more hand quilting too, and am aiming to make some progress today.  A couple of people mentioned the thread I am using, so here's a gratuitous shot - all of these are in with a chance of making it into the quilt as I'm just picking up what seems like a nice match each time I start a section. Sulky 12wt Blendables, one and all.  

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Another gap filled

Slow but steady progress here.

I've included this first photo because I have been making more cross blocks and, having set out to cut a load of random sized bits it amused me to see that I had, in fact, done a fair job of cutting them all the same.  This speaks to the idea that if you cut freehand for long enough you end up with more control than you might expect (even if that's not really what you want!)

A quick progress shot...

and another little gap filled in.

There are a few places now where I will need to add bits to make things the same size before I join them (bottom right, left hand side) but this is still in several big pieces and some of the discrepancies will go as I sew them together.  

Sunday 16 October 2016

Slow catching up

In the pause between finish off one quilt and starting work on quilting the next I wanted to get my 365 circles up to date.  That's a bigger job than I like to think. I have a few circles done bar the embroidery.

That doesn't look too bad, does it?  But now look - all these others are much further from being done.

On the bright side, once I've tackled these I will be up-to-date.  But I have to admit I also caved in and started quilting, so it might take longer than you would think!

Linking up with Kathy today for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday 15 October 2016

Saturday #80

This is what I could see this morning sitting on the bed in the spare room. 

Friday 14 October 2016

One big circle and a few crosses

It always feels like a big step when I start joining chunks together but that's where I've got to with this.  I spent a while fiddling about with the centre strip: I knew I wanted that striped fabric but it felt like it needed a bit of interrupting so I tried some options out using little scraps.

In the end I have just added in three little bits of the blue and white stripe that you can see right in the middle.  

Then the next little chunk:

When I was cropping the photo (to spare you the sight of shoes, chairs, bags...) I thought "oh, this doesn't look like much".  Fortunately once it's in place I like it more!

And this is where I left it.

Linking up with 

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Just the next bit

Things are chugging along nicely at the moment.  Here's a reminder of where I had got to last time.

I start most days at the moment by laying out the bits I've done and then fiddling around the edges, usually in several areas at once, as you can see below.  I think this is a bit like warming up before a run; I'm just loosening up and getting ready to jump into things.  I'm not that careful about remembering where all the little bits go, so they tend to be different each time.  When something pleases me, that's the bit I focus on for the day.

So I'm still mostly over on the right hand side, and have added the bit at the top.

I don't want to tempt fate but this is coming along fairly easily at the moment. Long may it continue.

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

Monday 10 October 2016

A bit more on the right

So, this is how it's gone today...

Unusually for me I am actually working on several areas of this at once, trying to make sure each section has the right balance of fabrics.  This way, if I run out of stuff,  whatever I have to add in will also be nicely spread out and not all gathered together in one corner screaming 'look at us, we arrived late for the party'. This, however, is the side where the most has been going on.

Sharing this today at Patchwork Times and Love Laugh Quilt.

Sunday 9 October 2016

Not sure how this happened...

...but I'm binding again.

Actually I do know: smaller quilts get finished in less time.  The next one up is a whopper, though, so this may well be my final finish for the year.  

Linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching today.

Saturday 8 October 2016

Saturday photos #79

Last Friday I spent 20 minutes waiting outside a car park in Derby, so thought I'd see what that yielded by way of photos (not for the first time I was thankful that phones now come with cameras built in).

The next day we watched a concert held in the cathedral - the blue/pink is reflecting the performers' lights.  

Linking up with Wandering Camera again - there are always some great things to be seen there.

Thursday 6 October 2016

Over on the right

Not much to say about this, but here's what's happening over on the right-hand side.

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation today for Needle and Thread Thursday.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Working with the scraps

I have been sewing away, but somehow things kept getting in the way of the blogging bit.  I have to admit it's been more the fun, listening to live music with your sister sort of thing than the washing, gardening, cooking, working stuff, so I'm not complaining.

I spent almost a whole morning working away at my scrap pile.

Without cutting into any more of the larger bits I have left, I have managed a good range of cross blocks of various sizes, triangle-y strips and a few squares. I have pretty much done what I can with this, I think, but it has given me plenty to play around with.

I have filled in the bottom left corner, using a slightly bigger sized cross block.  

and am starting to play around over on the right hand side, though for some reason known only to my subconscious I haven't taken any photos of that bit.  

I am putting off decisions about the gaps at the top and bottom.  I don't think I want to make more quarter circle blocks for those spaces, but will get the sides done and then take a view on where to go next. 

Saturday 1 October 2016