Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Slow Start

Wow. Last week when I put Candied Hexagons into the hoop there were times that I felt as though I had never quilted before; it was almost painful. For starters, I was still puzzling through how to quilt it but I figured if I just put it in the hoop the inspiration would come. Not so fast...

After much noodling I decided that I'd just loosen up a little and try something new. These hexies are all different and, true to the pattern name, remind me of a huge handful of candies so I'm going to play a little bit and quilt each one differently. Well, maybe not all different designs, but enough variety to mix it up a bit and make it interesting.

The second criteria is that I didn't want the quilting to be predictable, but the patterns needed to be straight lines - no curves - because I don't want to have to deal with marking it. More head scratching.

Eventually the first pattern appeared but there was a fair bit of undoing before I had something that I was happy with. There were other challenges too. For some reason I seemed to have found the one needle in the pincushion that had the world's smallest eye, and, since I was working in poor lighting, blue smoke could be seen coming from my chair as I continually failed to thread it. I finally traded it in for a better model and set myself up with a better lamp, both of which were game changers. Whew!

So now I've got a rhythm back to my stitching and I'm starting to get an idea of how it might come together. I'm looking forward to making some progress on it during today's football playoffs. Fingers crossed that it will be a more relaxing experience than last weekend's....M

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Little More Play Day

Before finishing up our play day last week Anne and I took a stab at trying a new block - the Disappearing Four Patch. They are fast and easy and would make up into a quick baby or child's quilt. Here's a quick tutorial if you would like to give them a try.

We sewed a four patch block using two white and two blue print 5" squares.

Once it's pressed, cut 1.5" on either side of the centre seamline both vertically and horizontally (the instructions said 1" but we went a bit chunkier).

Switch up the centre strip pieces moving them left to right and top to bottom and sew that together.

And before you know it you have an 8" block. When I left Anne her design wall looked like this...

but she's been cutting and sewing since then and has a few more added to the mix. She says it takes about 10 minutes per block which isn't bad at all.

I like the plaid effect that you get and am contemplating cutting one myself, possibly starting with a 6" block and making my centre seam cuts 1" and see what that looks like. So many possibilities!....M

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Empty Hoop Syndrome

My hoop has been empty for quite some time, sitting quietly in the corner just waiting for a new quilt to be loaded.

Late last fall I had Roberta baste my Candied Hexagons and it too has been waiting patiently for a date with the hoop, but I just wasn't prepared to get that going over the holidays - too much on the go.

But today's the day. After a great walk in the snow I've now loaded it and I'm ready for a little playoff football and a little hand stitching. These lines of stitching are the basting - I still have to figure out how I'm going to quilt it......M

Friday, January 13, 2017

Play Day

I had the day off so I spent most of it with Anne showing her how to put together the Christmas star table toppers that I made for the Holly Bazaar.

I had a pile of 3.5"  and 2" white blocks left over so she started with that, laying them out to get the colour distribution that she wanted. The first one that I made a couple of years ago took me forever because I only did one star block at a time and then figured out the rest of the colour placements as I went. Live and learn.

Once the layout was set she got busy sewing the start points.

She sewed and I pressed and trimmed and before long we had rows to be assembled into blocks.

Ta da! Her first topper. She's tickled with it and I'd say it's an excellent first effort. It was the first piece to adorn her new design wall and it will stay there as she ponders how to quilt it....M