Monday 28 January 2019

Getting stuff out and changing my mind

Not infrequently I wish I had a dedicated sewing space, where I could leave stuff out rather than having to pack everything into a box at the end of each sewing session.  If I want to remember how my pieces relate to each other I have to pile them very carefully and occasionally I pin them together.  More often though I don't bother with that and trust either that I will remember or that the best way to use the bits will emerge, even if it's not what I had before.

With this quilt I have had a plan almost since the beginning and had been working on the basis that I would have 3 columns of birds and two wide columns using my wonky stars - like this:
Today, though, getting it out of the box, I changed my mind.  I now think I will have four columns of birds and three, narrower, ones with the stars, more or less.  
For now I am concentrating on this side of the quilt - nothing going on over on the right hand side - and it now looks like this.
You may spot that I have found a place to use a few of the paler flying geese I was playing with last time and also that the stars are creeping in all over the place.

Tuesday 22 January 2019


I am making progress, though I haven't done much more actual sewing.  Instead I am getting the feel for the new bits I made last time and working out whether/how they will fit into what I have already.  Here's a little sample.

As it happens I am going to stick with the darker geese in this spot, but the more I play around with the lighter ones, the more likely they are to end up with a place somewhere in the quilt.  

Thursday 17 January 2019

No red, but some new bits and pieces

I am itching to get going on something for the new AHIQ challenge, but have learned my lesson about multi-tasking: fine in most of life but a disaster for me in quilting.  So I am carrying on with my not-at-all-red Night Birds.  

I have started making a couple of new bits to add into the mix.  The first is not so much new, to be fair, as just a tweak.  I am making some geese in reverse, that is with dark middles and light edges.
I don't envisage using many of these but maybe they will give me an extra option when I want a lighter area. They're made of scraps too, so really, what have I got to lose?

These are the other new addition.
 And here's how they might work...

Monday 14 January 2019

Hourglasses: done and dusted

Hooray - first finish of the year!  I hoped briefly that it might be the last finish of 2018 but that idea didn't last long. I'm very happy it's done now though.
I especially like the colours in this: the black print and those gold and purple triangles against all the sort of pastel colours, which rather smoosh into each other. It's really hard to get a good photo of the pale shades, even in  daylight, and this is the best I can manage.  If you want to check out the photo of the bundle of shirts I kicked off with, which gives you a much better idea, you can find it here.
The back is pieced, but unremarkable; the quilting is another go at cross-hatching, though this time I've used single lines, rather than double, and tried to be slightly more regular.  
The binding is this brown and white stripe.
As for the timings:

I started this on July 7th 2017 - and finished piecing on October 9th.
Started quilting on 1st of December 2017 and finished on 13th January this year.  That is pretty fast for me.

The wadding is my standard fallback 70/30, totally recycled option. It's quilted with perle cotton, in several neutral shades plus a bit of a yellow-y one. Basically I just went through my box and pulled out whatever took my fancy. 

I can't think of a better way to kick of my quilting year.

Friday 11 January 2019

Back to real life

Well that was a longer break than I anticipated!  After a few days without looking at the internet I kind of got out of the habit and since I wasn't piecing much I just drifted happily along  through the mince pies and mayhem.  Now, though, I'm coming out the other side.  School's gone back, house is full only with those who live here, fridge is nearly empty (again!) and I am back at my sewing.

My plan to cut lots of bits while not attempting to get to a machine worked well; though I prefer instant gratification having all those pieces cut got me off to a good start this week.  
I am joining some of my bird bits together, though actually I ended up pulling two of the chunks above to bits, to take out a fabric that wasn't quite working for me.  In a general sense though, more is being sewn together than ripped apart.
Last year my sewing and blogging felt a bit disjointed, like I never quite hit a rhythm.  This year I am trying to address this, though since I have no control over the rest of life it will have to be a work in progress!