Posts

Thorny roses

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Okay ... 14 blocks in ... and there are some I just don't like.  Here they are up on the wall. I've been so determined to use up scraps, that I think I have just lost the plot with at least 4 ugly blocks.  And here I was rubbing my hands together thinking, "Only 10 more hours to piece two more 'roses' before I start appliqueing the centres!" Disgruntled, I decided I needed a break.  I'm so grateful to Audrey at  ( Quilty Folk ) for posting tutorials on how she hand quilts her beautiful work. I am thinking of hand quilting the roses quilt, but need to practice on something small first. I remembered starting a Quilt-As-You-Go project about 13 years ago.  There have been 3 house moves since I started making the blocks.  Now, where could they be? I went hunting for them.  Found them (and you guessed it) found several other forgotten fabrics in various boxes during the hunt. Some fabrics were picked out for an idea for a long-forgotten bear paw quilt that I als

War of the roses

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Thi is the sixth block I’ve made from the Stone Roses pattern that I bought a couple of weeks ago. It’s the only block that is actually the right size and all squared up. Here’s why: So what happened?  Well, five blocks in I became convinced that the pattern was wrong. How can you make a foundation pieced block and have each one differ in size? I checked my seams. I checked the stitch length. I tried both quilting feet on my Bernina. Although the pattern didn’t specify this, I also lightly pressed each alternate wedge so that seams nested. Nothing worked.  I became convinced that the pattern was wrong.  So I printed off a set of foundation papers and taped them together. They fitted exactly. Hmmm.  The problem had to be my piecing. Since each wedge is foundation pieced, the problem has to be with joining the wedges together - hence baggy middles and uneven sides. I had been removing the foundation paper before joining the wedges together.  The pattern isn’t clear on whether or not to

A rose by any other name …

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 Stone the crows ... I started a new quilt project! This is my practice block for  Stone Roses  – a downloadable pattern that I purchased last week from  Love from Beth .  Each block is foundation paper pieced.  I’ve decided that this is a great scrap stash buster, and since I’m on a mission to get rid of all my scraps, it’s another smash. The foundation paper piecing went well, but the centre of my rose turned out to be quite baggy.    I tried ironing and steaming it into submission but ended up unpicking and re-sewing a couple of the wedges.    This meant that the centre template was far too big, and I had to draft my own.    It doesn’t quite match up and I’m thinking of re-doing that – perhaps with a red centre – as the fussy cut sunburst seems to be a bit overwhelming.    Mind you, I’m very happy with my first attempt at needle turn applique!    The unfinished block is 14.5” square (something the pattern does not tell you).    I love the block and I’m eager to finish this as anothe

Butterflies are free ... and so am I

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I was over half way through making the 120 framed nine patch blocks needed to make my own version of Lynne Dykstra's ( Klein Meisje Quilts ) gorgeous quilt ( see my blog here ) when I got sidetracked by this butterfly block tutorial by Mrs Schmenkman Quilts .  The blog isn't kept up-to-date any more, but please go to it to discover how the block originated.  This tutorial was written in 2010 when it seems the block was very popular. Anyhoo, I became obsessed with making my own and, using any scrap I could find, I started making what has turned out to be one of my favourite quilts. The tutorial is very clear and I had no problem putting these blocks together. I don't normally trim blocks to size, so that task was tedious, not to mention wasteful of the black background fabric, but I persevered to produce one hundred 6" blocks.  In the beginning I wasn't going to put a border on, but quickly found that the butterfly wings stretched too much to be simply left with a s

Finnish-ed Bears!

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Meet Otso and Fatso. Otso means ‘bear’ in Finnish, and I knit these from a free pattern downloaded from London Loop Knit Lounge.   Both are knitted from 10 ply yarn.   The hardest part (for me) is getting their faces right and there has been lots of ripping out of scary eyes. I love their fat bottoms and pudgy arms and legs. I also finished six baby burp cloths mentioned in my last post . These went together very quickly and I’m reasonably happy with them. However, even though I pre-washed the flannel it did shrink again after the prototype was washed.   This is probably not the best quality fabric, so before I make any more from the next lot of flannel, I am going to modify the pattern to make it slightly bigger – maybe a half inch all round.   I’m also going to cut on the fold as it will be a lot easier to cut out. I’m now finishing up a gorgeous frilly cotton/wool mix cardigan for the new summer baby, as it can still get cool in our part of the world in November and December

Where’s a grindstone when you need one?

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Not that I need to put my nose to the grindstone, as it seems I have managed to accumulate a lot of projects, and I’m loving it. W ith knitting and hand-sewing my evenings are completely taken up. For daytime sewing I came across Lynn Dykstra's blog, Klein Meisje Quilts , a few months ago, and I fell in love with her solids on prints series of quilts.   She is a prolific quilter and encourages readers to use her designs ‘at your pleasure’. I am particularly fond of the framed nine patch, and set about making my own using only fabrics from stash, plus any large scraps. Here are my blocks so far up on the design wall.   At the moment I am just throwing them up there as I make them.   My intention is to make the quilt 10 x 12 blocks which is a really big quilt.   I find piecing these very soothing. Around the time I read Lynn's blog I also read about Ruth’s framed nine patch ( Gigi’s Room ) and I’m really taken with the idea of doing a quilt-as-you-go using her technique o