Friday 27 January 2017

A few small words

So, in a quick gallop through yesterday's progress, I 

  1. Printed some words 
  2. Added the word strips into my mostly pieced sections
  3. Added piecing up the right hand side and then sewed the top and bottom chunks together
  4. Decided that I didn't like the two long strips in the middle at the bottom (the orange-y one and the very pale one) right next to each other so shunted the bottom bird over to the left a bit and added some more geese.

This last move meant, of course that I had a tall thin gap along the top left-hand edge, but that has been filled in too, resulting in this.

Next time up I will have to get the rest of the birds out of the box and see where next.  I have noticed that these long, thin strips quite often make an appearance in my quilts and almost always as vertical, not horizontal lines. Maybe that's partly a practical solution to the problems that come with my way of piecing, maybe it's more that I like how the strong verticals anchor everything else that is going on.  To be honest I have not thought about it coherently before. Since I do like them I'm not too bothered but at the same time maybe next time I'll consider alternatives.

In the meantime, I off to give some thought to Chinese Coins for the first AHIQ challenge.

Linking up with NinaMarie for Off the Wall Friday

Tuesday 24 January 2017

AHIQ - share your improv #17

Taking stock -and considering all the interesting suggestions from the comments on my last post.  Yesterday I started with this: suns facing out not in, rejigged bird columns.  

I have noticed that sometimes I hold onto bits and pieces from my original starting point too long: in this case there was no reason why the birds now in the middle had to stay on the left; it was just that I had got mentally stuck with that position.  I usually catch/question myself on this sort of thing sooner or later, but if someone out there gives me the prompt, so much the better (thanks, Monica!)

But things didn't stay like this - the birds started moving and this piece (bottom right above) grew...

and found a new home.  

This is where I ended up.  

Lots of this is not yet sewn together (the horizontal yellow strips are waiting to have words printed on them - thanks, Ann!) But that was more a question of time running out than anything else.  

I know that most people who visit my site will be checking out Ann's as well, but if you haven't done so already, do go and have a look at today's post (link just below), launching the first AHIQ challenge. 

Saturday 21 January 2017

Saturday photos #84

Looking for little bits of colour amidst the greys and browns.  Red, orange, yellow, pink and blue/green.

Friday 20 January 2017

Still need something...

Here's where I'm up to now. 

You can see there are lots of bits sitting there that are just being tried out.  Some I like, others, (like the shirt collars) I will probably jettison next time this comes out of the box.  The pocket, I think, will stay.  My thoughts as I look at this are that a) I need to keep sliding the two plains here into the mix, just to create tiny peaceful moments amongst all that print and b) I need another something - could be just squares, could be a flying goose on a bigger scale, maybe even a square with a circle.  My favoured option would be a bigger goose, just because the circles in my mind's eye would require me to get all neat and careful for a bit and I'm just not in that place, but we'll see...And while I ponder, I can just keep on making the geese I'm already using - I'm going to need a fair few.

A reminder, too, that next Tuesday it's time for the January AHIQ link up.  Even if you haven't got anything to share, do come and check it out, as Ann will be posting details of the first AHIQ Quarterly Challenge.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Now for some triangles

Well I have had a productive morning.

Over the weekend, when in theory I do no piecing, I put together three more sun blocks, so today I was ready to roll.  When I started the floor looked like this:

and I had another sun in reserve.  I think I will end up making more, but today I wanted to have go at working out what was going to happen between the birds and the suns.  

I had a notion that I wanted to use triangles, but cut a few squares and sewed up a couple of flying geese so that I could see what I thought.  I also considered HSTs, but didn't sew any (just folded my squares along the diagonal).

Neither of these was quite hitting the spot for me, but I thought maybe I'd go with the geese.  As I was cutting a pile of rectangles it occurred to me to mix it up a bit more and I did this.

and then this.

I'm being cautious about how much I sew together at this stage, as I still think I'm heading for a 'not-quite-a-medallion' sort of thing, but you can see here how the next chunk might look.  If I get too carried away I'll just end up with some sort of horrific piecing challenge trying to put it all together!

And that is where I left it.  Much as I wish I could sew all day without stopping, I have come to realise that mostly I can only do 3 or 4 hours before my brain seizes up and rather than carrying on and making bad decisions (or just making elementary errors like sewing things on backwards/upside down) I have to stop.  But I'm feeling pretty happy about this right now.  

Sunday 15 January 2017

It's Sunday, I'm slow

But nonetheless I am making good progress and the end of this quilt, while not exactly imminent, is definitely within sight.  I am working my way around the outer edges now, and know from experience that the closer I get to the finish, the more hours I will put in.  I can't go faster, so I have to do more; sort of impatient patient stitching!

After a bit of a break I am linking up with Kathy today for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Thursday 12 January 2017

Never say never again

At the end of my last post I was muttering about triangles, thinking that they would probably be the next step in this quilt.  They may well still make an appearance but I have been side-tracked a bit.  

Last night I was browsing the Amitie Textiles website and saw on their blog a picture of this, by Carolyn Friedlander.  I had already done a couple of little drawings  which added circles in with my yellow bird blocks, and talked myself out of doing anything with them, but this time I couldn't resist. So this morning I made my own, hand-drawn, haphazard and decidedly irregular version of these blocks.

Obviously they are a bit fiddly so I've only managed two so far.

Here's the first one I did alongside a couple of bird bits.

Clearly I can't draw a decent quarter circle to save my life, but I rather like these and think I can make this work.  

Linking up today with My Quilt Infatuation for NTT Thursday.

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Yellow birds taking off

A bit more progress: here's where I got to today:

It's pretty obvious which bits are sewn together already; nothing else is carved in stone, which is to say that I am moving these chunks about all the time, so what is on the left now may end up on the right, what is at the top now may end up at the bottom.  

I started off thinking of this as a quilt to be made in columns (I've done that before, but things always veer off at some point).  Last time, looking at this collection of bits and half-bits I started wondering whether I might make a central block with all these and then use that as the centre for a more medallion-based quilt.  

Now I'm somewhere between these two ideas, so we'll see where that takes me. I have to work out next what goes between these columns of birds - triangles maybe.  

Friday 6 January 2017

New Year, new quilt and about time too!

I cannot tell you how good it felt to be sewing again this morning.  In the course of the last week, my brain and fingers itching to get back to my own sewing I have instead produce two very makeshift rag dolls (as in, can you do this in half an hour and can it please look like a Ninjago character please) and a blanket to keep Mr Sew Slowly's legs warm while he's fishing. This was not as simple as you might think, as he wanted fish appliqued on (even bought his own fabric from Spoonflower) and three layers, two of army blanket and one of wadding, all quilted together.  

Anyhow,  after all that, and before someone thinks to ask me for a circus tent or a pair of trousers decorated with balloons or any such nonsense, I have been back to my own stuff.

Remember this pile of fabric? Where to start?  Ok, so I had only the vaguest of thoughts about this, which was pretty much 'something with rectangles'.  So I kicked off by cutting up the yellow fabric with birds on.  This was the scariest one to cut into, but I reckon it's a good idea to get the worst over first.  I ended up with this:

and a pile of spare bits without birds.  

The next thing that caught my eye happened to be a  shirt pocket, which yielded two squares once I sliced off the seams.  I added a third. 

At this point I started to think in columns, so the next thing was to start adding bits to build vertically.

As usual I am cutting willy nilly then adding bits on if something is a bit small.

When I take a shirt to pieces I habitually take off cuffs, collars, plackets etc, but I don't throw them away and at some point in the scheme of things I wondered, in the spirit of Modern Utility, whether I might just include them.  Here's a train of thought picture of that stage.

Of course this is very early days, and I am still pretty much just playing: putting stuff down and seeing what I like, but some of these bits have already made it in there.

In a nutshell, today was mostly about getting a feel for the fabrics, seeing which ones I liked next to each other (or not), and starting to put together some chunks that work for me. Where they end up in relation to each other and what else will find its way in, I have literally no idea as yet, but it's a start!