Friday, October 28, 2016

Circa 2016 blocks are together

After working on this project all year, the quilt blocks are finally sewn together!
This is a major accomplishment for me since my block sections surrounding the centre medallion did not fit together. Any changes to the seam allowances would result in mutilated blocks, so I had to figure it out differently. I resized the black coping strip border around the centre medallion and used a thousand pins to make everything fit together. It doesn't lay very flat, but I'm hoping all those little waves will "quilt out"!
I am so excited to have the quilt to this stage! Next up is the HST border which might require another coping strip border to be added, but that's okay. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's Mystery Time!

Bonnie Hunter posted the fabric requirements of the new mystery quilt this morning! Click here to read all about the next quilt I'll be starting with Bonnie and thousands of other quilters around the world. 

I have been working diligently on getting last year's mystery quilt finished before the new one starts... well, the quilt top at least. 

This quilt has fifty 12" blocks to sew together in diagonal rows with a lot of seam matching requiring the use of pins. I'm not a fan of pins, but there is just no other way to get all these seams to match up. But this is one of the things I really enjoy about Bonnie's quilts - complex blocks with lots of small pieces which make an interesting pattern. So I'm not complaining... just working hard!
Are you joining the mystery fun this year with En Provence?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

July Shop Hop progress

Seeing finished quilts inspires us all to keep working on our projects. I saw this finished Shop Hop quilt at the London Friendship Quilters' Guild show on the weekend. It was made by Yvonne Yardy. She collected and sewed all 14 blocks, made the quilt top, basted, quilted and bound the quilt, and entered it into a quilt show...
and I haven't even taken some of the blocks out of their packages yet!

This is the perfect time of year to work on this project with these lovely fall colours and now that I'm inspired by this quilt I'm going to start opening these packages. I won't be making all the blocks that are in the quilt above since I didn't get around to all the stores, but I will make most of them.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Design Wall Monday - Allietare

The push is on to finish Allietare (Bonnie Hunter's 2015 mystery) before her 2016 mystery starts in November! 
I want to at least get the blocks sewn together. I didn't sew the setting triangle blocks and have decided to use a black Jo Morton print instead. I have all the setting triangles cut and the blocks are going up on the design wall. This is how it is looking today. Yum!

I was at the London Friendship Quilters' Guild show on the weekend and saw a finished Allietare sewn by Maureen Haynes. She even made the scalloped edges! Seeing this quilt totally inspired me to finish mine.
SO I put aside the Circa challenge, and am throwing myself into Allietare this week.
I'll be over at my sewing machine if you need me!
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching Treat

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching where we celebrate all the wonderful benefits of the art of hand stitching! I am so glad you can join us because I have an extra special treat for you english paper piecing enthusiasts!
I was at the London Friendship Quilters' Guild quilt show and saw so many amazing quilts, but 4 in particular that I want to share with you today. These quilts are all completely hand pieced, which means every single one of these thousands of tiny pieces of fabric was cut with scissors and hand stitched with a needle and thread. The pattern is called La Passacaglia and is found in Willyne Hammerstein's book called Millefiori

Let's start with our very own Cathy Shepherd who blogs over at Eagles' Wings Quilts. She frequently linked up to Slow Sunday Stitching while we watched over her shoulder as she pieced all these tiny shapes into this spectacular Passacaglia quilt. You cannot even appreciate all the amazing fussy cut designs she created, but trust me... you see something different every time you look at this quilt. Cathy edged all the rosettes in white and bordered them on a blue fabric.

And there were 3 more of these quilts hanging in the show!

Here is the second one sewn by Charlene O'Donnell. See how she made two borders (a gold and an orange) and then cut off some of the rosettes, and extended some of them into the border?

Here is the third one sewn by Lorraine Swanson using civil war colours. She edged the rosettes with brown, and added a larger neutral border and more english paper pieced blocks. See on the bottom right corner where she put examples of the tiny design units?!? I am telling you these pieces are TINY! I should have taken a photo with my hand beside it so you could appreciate the scale of these quilts.

And here is the fourth version sewn in brights with black pointed stars around the rosettes. This was made by Lorna Martin and she extended 3 of the rosettes into the border.

I am amazed by how each quilter used the same pattern, and how they each look so different! They were really unbelievable!

Some of the women at my quilt retreat were working on this same quilt last winter. This is Nancy on the left making a super small version, and Maria on the right making the regular size version. They are holding the same block from the pattern. Wow and wow! I sure do hope I don't fall in love with the idea of making this quilt!
Have you tried english paper piecing? What are you hand stitching today? We'd love to see what you're working on, so link up your blog post below and share your progress.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Scrappy Saturday

This was my Rainbow Scrap Challenge project this week. I was using this "Circle of Squares" block as a leader-ender in between piecing other projects and finally finished it today. It's so fun to dig around in the scrap bags and boxes to come up with 8 pieces to cut into the required squares.

And here it is with my other finished blocks for a total of 6. I want to make at least 6 more, so this project will continue well into next year.

To see what the other RSC folks are sewing this week, hop over to SoScrappy.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Circa Struggles

I love most parts of the quilting process. I love buying fabrics, using the rotary cutter, piecing blocks, and enjoy both machine and hand quilting. But the one thing I dislike the most is the math. Measuring. Calculating. Re-measuring and trying to figure out how to adjust quilt pieces when the quilt does not produce the right numbers.
My seam allowance is usually quite consistent, but these Circa sections are not coming out to the right size according to the instructions. Here I am using three different rulers to try to figure out how to trim this section. To get the right measurement, I would have to cut off the block points and I'm not doing that! Or I could unsew and re-piece the sections using a bigger seam allowance to reduce the size of the unit, but I'm not doing that either for the same reason.
So I have to recalculate how to fit these pieces together.

Here I am using the tape measure to figure out what size the side panels need to be trimmed to. There is just so much seam matching in this layout and it all has to magically work out. So far it's not, and it's giving me a headache. 
So I will try to figure out the numbers another day.

Today I am going to the London Friendship Quilters' Guild quilt show. I hope to see some blogland friends and am looking forward to being inspired by their wonderful quilts.