Tuesday 26 December 2017

AHIQ - share your improv #28

Welcome to the last AHIQ of 2018 (another year just flew by).  In lieu of actual progress on The Shipping Forecast, I offer a quick review of my year's quilting.  

I'm not sure why but I have finished fewer tops this year than in previous ones.  Here are the four that got done.

Actually, if I pause and count on my fingers, I can think of about 5 weeks when, for one reason or another, I did no piecing - I guess that probably accounts for why there isn't an extra picture here.  All of these are Modern Utility quilts by my definition, started with a bundle of recycled stuff and adding extra stuff from stash.

Strangely, for the first time ever, I have more finished quilts than tops, so my backlog has actually decreased by a count of two, which can't be a bad thing.  I have kept quilting steadily, though, except for two weeks in the summer.  

The thing I have enjoyed most about my quilting this year (apart from the count of finishes) has definitely been working with the recycled fabrics.  I like the slightly softer quality that they bring to a quilt, enjoy the challenge of matching up bundles of shirting and then finding stash fabrics to add in.  

I have also loved the AHIQ challenges, which have resulted in quilts I don't think I would have made otherwise.  I enjoy being given a (broad) brief and have found being able to follow other people's progress with the same challenge to be thought-provoking, eye-opening and inspiring.

Looking ahead, I don't have many resolutions for 2018.  There will be more AHIQ challenges to look forward to, so I'll take my lead from those, though I have a couple of things simmering away at the back of my mind that I hope to follow through. 

Having limited myself to recycled fabrics plus organic quilting cottons for the past two years it has become a habit that I can't see myself breaking, and which in fact gets easier to sustain the longer I do it.  I'll probably keep going with my 'pile of shirts' approach for the most part, but there are also a couple of specific fabrics I would like to use, that may get to kick off their own quilts.  We'll see.  

For someone who has developed the habit of resolutions (rather late in the day I discovered that I like them and they work for me) this seems distinctly low-key, but that's where I'm at right now.  If I wake up on the first day of 2018 determined to recreate a Rembrandt in recycled denim or quilt my entire life story in 2" HSTs, I'll let you know!

I'd like to thank everyone who has participated in AHIQ this year, by linking up, participating in the challenges, or simply taking the time to comment on the posts that are shared.  

Friday 22 December 2017

Yellow Birds done and dusted

Piecing is not going my way still - my hsts have acquired an unruly curve (I don't mind a bit of wonk but somehow I've gone way past that) and after a couple of hours arguing with them I have decided to acknowledge defeat, for now.  When time is short, stressful sewing doesn't seem like the best way to go, so I shall come back to it after Christmas.

On the bright side though, I have finished my Yellow Birds.

This is the first quilt where I started with a bundle of shirts and pulled fabrics from stash to go with them.  As a reminder, here's the original pile of shirts.

Added in were the yellow bird fabric, which I'm pretty sure was Joel Dewberry, some grunge, and other bits and pieces from stash. The back, which for the first time ever is just one big piece of fabric, is a sheet.

The wadding is Sew Simple Supersoft Eco Blend, which is 70/30 recycled cotton and recycled polyester and it was quilted using perle 8, in a variety of shades - none bought specifically for this project; I just used what I had already.

I started piecing on 31st August 2016 and finished on 24th February 2017.  Quilting started on 20th October, finished 21st December 2017.  The last couple of years I've been trying to finish a quilt in December but not quite made it; this year I'm home with room to spare.

A reminder that AHIQ will run next week, despite the fact that it goes live on Boxing Day - maybe some of us will need a little quilty pause in the midst of the mayhem (or is the mayhem just us?) If, like me, you don't have much actual sewing to show for the last few weeks, do feel free to link up any review of the year/plans for 2018 posts.

Sunday 17 December 2017

End in sight

This feels better!  Here's what I have left to quilt.

Looks eminently do-able, doesn't it?  So the plan for this afternoon is to quilt, then pop to the machine for a quick bit of binding.  Even if I get interrupted numerous times this quilt will be finished before Christmas.  Now all I need to do is get my piecing back on track and I'll be a happy woman.

Linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching, even though I may be getting out the machine today.

Monday 11 December 2017

Back to normal, nearly

Things are finally calming down here and there's a bit more sewing time on the horizon, though of course there's Christmas too...

I've levelled off underneath the second lighthouse and moved onto the next section.  For quite a while I have been plonking the third lighthouse somewhere over on the right hand side when I laid things out, but could never find a spot where I felt completely happy with it, so I'm trying it out on the left instead.

Other than that it's just a question of keeping on keeping on, though it is encouraging to see this start growing again. 

Wednesday 6 December 2017

I sewed!

All this work is fine and dandy, and as I've said it's in my nature to knuckle down and get on with it, but after three weeks I have become aware that not sewing is starting to send me a little bit bonkers,so I've paused this morning and done the next chunk on this.  Reflecting on it, I think I'm lucky this is the project I've got on the go right now as it's pretty much just about juggling rows of different-sized HSTs, so it's quite easy to get back into the swing of things.  See, I'm looking on the bright side today instead of whining.

I finished this chunk and have quite a lot of bits pieced together ready for the next couple of rows, though first I have to find a missing word (the next bit of the shipping forecast seems to be without its final 'poor') or maybe print another one.

As luck would have it, I've sewed on a Wednesday, so I'm linking up with sew  stitch snap share too.