Sunday 29 April 2018

Done and dusted: Not Speaking for Me

I find that saying out loud (ie here on the blog) that I will finish something within a given time span works beautifully.  Last week I said I would finish this and some time around 7 pm yesterday it was indeed done.  Not before time.  My hand quilting routine has changed and I need to sort out lighting so that I can quilt in the very dark living room in the evenings, otherwise I will spend my whole life like some kind of quilting hermit, sitting in the back bedroom where the light is good.  (Actually maybe I'd like being a quilting hermit...)

Anyway here it is. 
 It is called "Not Speaking for Me", which is the title of a song by a folk group called The Young 'Uns,  (sorry, I can't find the song on youtube) but everything they do is worth a listen) and was the result of  my  sense of profound alienation at the time of the Brexit vote.  It's not so much about my opinion on the result of that vote as a reflection of the fact that during the entire debate I didn't hear voices on either side talking about any of the things that mattered to me, and I found myself wondering if I even belonged here.  I'm still wondering, but making this quilt definitely provided some sort of catharsis for the deep despair I felt initially.

 I ended up binding with a plain blue, but not before I had an odd, and irritating experience with the print I initially chose, which turned out to have been printed just off grain.  I cut the first strip and saw that the linear pattern curved gently from one end to the other.  Naturally I assumed this was my error, so lined up the selvages, trimmed, cut another strip and yes, the pattern was still wonky.  When I checked with a quilters rule it was clear that it was the pattern that was off, not my cutting.  I've used very similar prints before, but never had this problem.  Ah well, now I've got several neat strips with very wonky pattern placement - I'm sure I'll find a use for them sooner or later. 

Started on 16th August 2016, and piecing finished on 21st November 2016.
I started quilting on 7th January 2018, finished 28th April 2018.

Made with fabrics from stash,and a couple of second-hand white shirts (this was the last quilt I made which didn't start with a pull from the shirt stash).  

The wadding is Sew Simple SuperSoft Eco Blend, which is a 70/30 mix, but made entirely from recycled materials.  

Quilted with a selection of perle threads, again from stash, and bound with a lovely blue Oakshott.

Linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.  Now, what am I going to sew today? 

Saturday 28 April 2018

Tulips, again

I think this is the third year I have posted tulip photos, and it probably won't be the last. 
I know it's daft, but this makes me so happy I could cry.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

AHIQ - share your improv #32

I am a bad blogger.  Or rather, I am a blogger who has ignored one of the simple rules of blogging, but more of that in a moment. 

After my last post I was not particularly happy with the tight bend in the bottom corner of this piece.  I had my flying geese pieced but didn't like how they looked in the area where the curve was at its tightest.  I could have gone back, drawn it out on paper and pieced it that way, but I'm not in the mood for that, so decided to play around with alternatives.  You can see below the same geese with an extra section of wedge-shaped bits. 
I quite like this, so went ahead and added the wedges.
I  tried the geese again - still not floating my boat- and then added a larger piece of the lovely Cloud 9 gold fabric that I've used in small amounts already.  I quite like this, though am not absolutely decided it can stay.  Now to the bad blogger part.  What did I do next?  Did I take photos so that I could share what this looked like?  You would think so, wouldn't you, but no, the next thing on my camera is a photo of tulips.  In fact there are 30 pictures of tulips. 

After I came in from the garden I carried on working on the other side of the quilt.  I want another big sweep of flying geese but first am adding more curvy bits.  The little bit at the bottom here looks a bit funny, but I'm only expecting a tiny bit of it to be visible by the time I'm done. 
I must have sewed for another hour, but at no point in that process did I step back and take a picture of this in its entirety, so that left hand side will have to wait until next time. 

As a side note, I am now wondering about making some really tiny flying geese (playing with scale), which leads me neatly onto this month's AHIQ link up.

Sunday 22 April 2018

Enough is enough

I am still quilting, and quite frankly I've had enough.  It's time this was finished.  In fact it should have been done weeks ago.  It's not that I'm in a hurry exactly, but every time I sit down to quilt the phone rings, the cat is sick, the doorbell goes or I unexpectedly have to take my car to the garage because the manufacturer has decided my airbag might explode and hurl pieces of metal at the passengers.  Like buses, my interruptions are all coming at once.  
But I'm putting an end to all that and I'm announcing it here because that seems to work for me.  I only have this tiny  bit left to go and I am going to finish by next Sunday, and if that means we run out of shampoo, or milk, or that I forget to put the bins out, or to clean, or cook, or that I have to stay up all night next Saturday, so be it.  

Linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Thursday 19 April 2018

Filling in the spaces

I'm trying to work on this in a logical way now, rather than adding bits randomly all over the place (not that I ever work like that). So I'm going to fill in the little gap top left and the bigger bit on the bottom left next and then worry about what happens over on the other side.
This is where it's got me to.
It's slow work, doing the geese this way, but it seems to be working, so that's okay.  I don't really know what I'm doing next, either in this funny shaped bit on the left or over on the other side, but I'm hoping inspiration will strike while I mow the lawn.

Linking up with Linda and Julie for sew stitch snap SHARE

Monday 16 April 2018

Geese and curves

A week of inactivity and I've been itching to get back to this, so given the chance I got my head down this morning and sewed like a madwoman. 

I added a curved section on the bottom right...
 then some geese on the outer edge, top right...
 and then a few more just below them.
I'm using the floor tiles as a size guide (I'm aiming for 3x3) and am sliding the pieced bit around within my 9 tiles to think about where the edges will be.  I'm still wandering about the tight curve on the left hand side, but have, I think, a reasonable idea, in general terms, of where I'm heading.  You will see I am still partial seaming like it's going out of fashion.

The weather is meant to be good this week, not before time, and my garden is about to come into its own, but I am hoping I can keep this moving along nicely now.

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Pondering changes of scale

I'm not piecing much this week - being more than ready to finish the thing I'm currently quilting, I  am spending most of my spare time hand stitching, in an attempt to get it done.  But I have done a wee bit more, and this piece continues to simmer away in the back of my head, even when I'm not working on it.
Everything is stitched, at least partially, to something else, except for the section of wedges with the pink-footed goose in it.  Looking at this now, I am wondering if I need a change in scale, so that some of the wedges are shorter.  Of course the bird names dictate the size of the piece, to some extent, but I may look at my bird list for more shorter names, or maybe make some wedges without the printing.   On the other hand, maybe this is just my natural inclination to go smaller whenever possible! 

Thursday 5 April 2018

The beauty of proper planning is not lost on me but...

In real life I'm a big fan of planning.  In fact I'd go so far as to say I enjoy it.  Going on holiday I'm the one who figures out the best time to get the ferry, where to stay overnight, what we'll do about food en route, accommodation at the other end.   But sewing - that's another thing entirely and all my planning instincts fly out the window.

So, it occurs to me that there is a logical way to go about a project like this, ie plan it, lay out all the pieces on your design wall/floor and then figure out the best way to sew them together.  See - I do know that, really I do.  But can I do it that way? Not a hope.  

Instead I am back with the partial seams.  

At least I like where this is going.

Linking up with Linda and Julie for sew stitch snap SHARE #23