Saturday, 26 November 2011

Too many projects

I know I have a lot of projects on the go, but that's how I like it. If I get a bit bored with my Dear Jane, I can do some Orca Bay. If I get fed up with challenge blocks, I can do some of my Crumbalong. But I decided to make an effort to get some projects finished, and since the Barbara Brackman Civil War blocks is coming to an end I thought I'd catch up with those.

Here is week 38 ready to be squared up. Looking good. Except there is just one problem.

Since I have done it all in blue (the colours of my Dear Jane), it won't fit in very well with all the other blocks which are in turquoise and purple! Never mind. I'm just the girl to use up an orphan block. Now to cut some more patches in purple and turquoise!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Cake for quilting!

Recently Bunty, Liz, Muriel, Jane and I went for a coffee and a quilty chat at a local gift and garden shop. While we were advising Liz on her 'Dear Jane' blocks, the waiter noticed what we were doing, and uttered those immortal words, 'I've got a quilt. It's old and it's not finished.' Visions of Victoriana (and hexagons!) filled our minds, but we said - genuinely- that we'd like to see it, and could he bring it for the next time we met.

The next meeting duly came around, and the waiter arrived with a bulging black bin bag. Our hearts sank. Then he revealed a lovely quilt which had been made 20 years ago but not quite finished. It had a little hand quilting still to do, and a binding to put on. What could we do but take pity on the poor thing and rescue it from its bin bag?!

We all pulled together and finished the quilting, then pulled the calico backing to the front to make the binding. We also organised a label, so all is good. We have been promised free cake for a future visit - a good return of skills!

And here are my first Orca Bay blocks finished. Since I'm starting with half the blocks, there are 118.5 of them here (I need 112). Glad I didn't make all the 224 for the full quilt! Can't wait for the next installment!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Orca Bay, here I come!

It doesn't take much to persuade me to start a new project, but I'd drop almost anything to do a new Bonnie Hunter mystery! So you can imagine I was busy checking my computer this morning, which was the first day of her new mystery quilt, Orca Bay.
I'd even bought a new ruler, the Companion Angle Ruler, which Bonnie assures will make it easier to make half and quarter square triangles. As soon as I'd done the necessary chores (just the necessary ones, you understand, not the ones I should be doing!) I raided my 1.5" strip boxes for neutral and black strips. Plenty of neutrals, but I'm short of blacks. It's lucky I'm off to Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters tomorrow, as hopefully the trader will be able to help me out! Never mind, I've enough supplies to keep me going for a while. Now back to the sewing machine!

Friday, 11 November 2011

There's always a first time for everything!

Yesterday I had a call from Michaela who works for a charity called Catch-22 asking if I had any quilts suitable for 16-18 year old vulnerable children. (If, like me, you have never heard of this charity you can find out more here.) Of course, they would have to be large quilts for these young adults so I frantically searched through my piles of Linus quilts as she was coming round this way this morning at 9.30! I found a few big ones, and then three which Linda S had quilted, but I had promised to bind. Would I be able to bind three quilts in a day? I decided to give it a go!
The first one was this monstrosity, which had been beautifully quilted by Linda on her Gammil. I had wanted to chop it up, as there seemed to be too much blue space in it, but I'm glad Linda persuaded me not to! I usually do a French fold binding sewn onto the front, then folded to the back and hand sewn. There wasn't going to be time for this, so I still put a French fold on, but on the back, folded it to the front, and zigzagged it in pink. Result!
The resuts look almost decorative! You can see Linda's lovely quilting, with pink variegated thread. It makes the quilt. I did this method with another quilt, and the final one (a gorgeous bright one which had a black backing which had started to beard during the quilting) I just folded the backing to the front and machined it down!You can just see the edge at the top of the picture. Michaela was thrilled with the quilts - she couldn't get over how they were all different! - and I'm sure the young people will be too.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Failed (and succeeded!)

At the beginning of October, I challenged myself to finish four UFOs. Well, I've failed. I managed to get three done (which is a start, I suppose) but as ever, am easily distracted by quilting ideas, and 'just had to' do all kinds of things instead of layering up. I could have easily layered up a Linus cot quilt over the last couple of days, but no, I've made a new top!

It's all Linda in Melton Mowbray's fault, as she was making one of these Bonnie Hunter Scrappy Bargello quilts, and I just wanted to try it out. I would say it has turned out fabulously, especialy since it's all made from donated fabrics, some of which are pretty ugly. I made it from 2.5" strips, and had twenty two 16" strips in each set (to make it 44" long, which is a good size even without borders) and with four sets, that makes it 48" wide. Have a look on Quiltville for the pattern and lots more scrappy inspiration from Bonnie. Now I really must do a bit of layering up. Well, maybe!