Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Quilty Kryptonite

Hello my name is Gina and I can't make a Pineapple block.

Yes I have found my quilt Kryptonite. I can foundation piece with my eyes closed, machine quilting any size quilt doesn't faze me. So why does the Queen Bee asking for a Pineapple block bring me out in a cold sweat.

Now I've made a few in my time, paper pieced and free pieced and I've had problems every time. It really is my Nemesis.

I will admit I put off making this block as long as I could bu this weekend I had to grit my teeth and do it. So armed with this Tutorial I got ready to do battle.

attempt 1

Attempt 4 and 5 ( 2 and 3 didn't even warrant a pic of shame)

I was rapidly running out of low volume background fabrics ( and patience) so a trip to the LQS was in order where I explained my predicament and cried on their shoulders. They suggested just sending the Queen a load of strips to make her own. No I wouldn't be beaten.

Tuesday I pulled up my big girl panties, had a huge mug of coffee and tried for the final time. And what do you know, these B*****ds went together like a dream and both in under an hour.

I had to have a lie down in a dark room after making them,

To my knowledge I did nothing different. The strip widths have all been the same and I've followed the same set of instructions throughout. Not knowing what I did wrong on those many attempts is almost as bad as not being able to make the block in the first place. I know what is wrong I just don't know how I made it wrong, if that makes sense.

I'm making a plea here and now. If ever I'm in a Bee with you, I'm begging you to please never pick the Pineapple as your block. I don't think my stress levels would take another attempt. This is the first time I've been close to tears with frustration over my sewing.

OMG for October

I'm a bit slow in posting this a I've been playing catch up with some SALs and Bees. ( more about them in the next post). 

I had a look through my WIP box to see what I could work on this month. It's a busy month for me I'm away on holiday for a week, I've a couple of yoga workshops to attend and I've a few evenings out. As such I didn't want to work on something large that I had no hope of finishing.

 I've decided on my disappearing nine patches

I originally posted about these HERE where I said I was going to turn them into cushions. I've since changed my mind.

I popped into my local LQS to pick up another couple of FQs and I'm going to make some more blocks. I'll then mix and match to make a 14 block table runner for my coffee table.

So the goal is to get a complete quilted table runner finished by the end of the month.

Linking up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts

Friday, 29 September 2017

OMG I've actually achieved my OMG ( one Monthly Goal )

So back at the beginning of the month I made the brave statement that I would get Simple Times into a flimsy.

All the centre blocks were done but only one row had been sewn together.

I decided to join up with Patty and friends over at Elm Street Quilts in an effort to progress the quilt.

Well a good weekend of sewing saw the one row turn into five and a centre was done.

Now it was time to make the 52 Dresden fans for the borders. OMG was this tedious.

First cut out 52 petals from each of these fabrics

And then sew, turn, iron, sew until finally

That took me most of this month to be honest. Including a day at the new group I've just joined.

Now it was time to sew all the blocks together and finish the top.

Easy right? Wrong! I had a complete meltdown over those borders. I just couldn't get them right. Either the points didn't match or I sewed them onto the centre wrong. At  one point I had them upside down. Two days to sew on 4 borders. I tell you the whole thing nearly went in the bin.

But I persevered and finally

 I've not appliqued the edges of the dresden petals as I may just anchor them in the quilting. I'm not sure yet. Another option is to put a bit of wadding underneath so they puff out slightly. I'll decide on the day

I tried to get a pic of the true colours but the breeze refused to drop and the sun ( yes it does make an appearance over here occasionally ) decided to pop out from behind the clouds at just the wrong moment.

I'm off now to link up with Elm Street Quilts OMG finishes post and then decide what to concentrate on next month,

Friday, 15 September 2017

Hearts Galore

Today my good internet friend Anita of Daydream of Quilts publishes her first E Book, A Year of Pixel Hearts.

I was lucky enough to get a preview copy of this book and I can confidently say there's a few quilts in there that I will be making.

There are 10 beginner friendly heart quilt patterns, each with a different centre depending on the time of the year you want to represent

All together there are 62 pages of clear and concise instructions and diagrams on how to construct each quilt.

The instructions include placement diagrams of the quilt, templates and colouring pages where needed as well as sewing hints and tips and finally ideas on how to quilt and finish your quilt.

The quilts all finish at lap size and are quick to make up. How do I know...

Well this one took me 8 hours spread over two days to make up, and that includes cutting the fabrics

Using a charm pack and some scraps of low volume and a charm pack and some scraps of batiks.

So in answer to the question are the quilts charm pack friendly...yes they are ( sort of). The squares used are 4.5" so if you have a charm pack you will have to trim slightly. Still better then cutting out from scratch though, The smaller squares are completely charm pack friendly. I just cut the larger 5" squares in half.


I would suggest if you are going to make one of the quilts to lay out and number either the rows or columns and mark them off on a printed diagram to prevent mix ups. Don't ask me how I found out this.

And now the links you need.

Anita can be found at DayDream of Quilts where you can find the link for the e-book at the special introductory price of  Canadian $14.95 until the end of Sept. That's less than $2 a pattern

Or you can go straight HERE to purchase the e-book, but if you by pass her blog you'll miss the chance to sign up for her newsletter and get a free Turkey quilt pattern. Perfect for up coming Thanksgiving.

By the way, just in case you were wondering I'm not on commission,  just helping out a good internet buddy,

Friday, 1 September 2017

my Goal for September

I know I'm following the Xmas QAL but if I'm not careful all my posts for the coming weeks will be all that and you'll soon get bored. 

I had a hunt through my WIP/UFO tub and have decided that September will be the month I finally get Simple Times together. 

This was a BOM from quite a few years ago that I started because I liked the colour scheme. As per normal I started well and kept up and then life happened and I fell behind. Over a few months at the beginning of the year I finally made all the blocks.

I even managed to get one row sashed

and then once again I came to a halt. I think it's because the actual fabrics are paler than advertised and I'm not a fan of pale colours. I like bold and bright.

So I'm making it public. September is the month I get the centre sashed and together. Make all the Dresdens and border and get it into a finished top. I'm not planning on getting it sandwiched and quilted. I think that may be a few steps too far.

linking up with OMG - September on Elm Street Quilts 

Santas Belt

Block 3 for the I Wish you a Merry Xmas QAL is a lovely simple block that will only take an hour to make up.

Santas Belt

I halved the sizes and made a 6" mug rug out of the block.

It's very simply quilted in the ditch around the belt and buckle and I used a plain black for the binding.

It only took me an hour to do this from start to finish.

The instructions for the 12" block can be found HERE

Block 4  is out and can be found HERE. I'm thinking to make it into placemats. What do you think?

Blue Spruce Forest

My last post saw me making a Pine forest for the I wish you a Merry Xmas QAL. Yesterday I decided to make another version.

The same tree but a different layout and in blue

I just did a simple stipple on the cream background and bordered it in a batik I had that has holly leaves on it.

And the two forest cushions together.

I could get quite addicted to making these.

To see which sites I'm linking too take a look at my linkys tab at the top of the blog

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Based on .........

..............Block 2 of the I Wish you a Merry Xmas QAL.

That was far too much of a mouthful to be just one title.

Anyway down to business.

Block 2 of the QAL has been out for 2 weeks and in my usual rush to get behind I've only now finished it.
The block was called Christmas Tree Farm and can be found HERE.  I liked the idea of the block but wanted something a little different. I'd had an idea in my head for something similar for a while so the time had come to get onto EQ and play.

I drew out a basic triangle and tree trunk and then just drew lines inside. I paper pieced the blocks ( I made 6) to get these.

Which when sewn together became this

The basic pattern is the same and the trees finish at 6"x 3". I've used all the different greens in my scrap bucket for them. The background is a cream covered in glitter. It comes off. It goes everywhere. I had glitter in my undies. I'm never working with it again.

I did a very simple quilting design of quilting two "ghost trees" and then fmq'ing all the background.

The reverse so you can see it clearer

I now have a nice new cushion for the winter

I'm aiming to make another one in a slightly different layout but using blues. I just need to get around to it. In the mean time block 3 and block 4 have been published. I need to decide what I'm making with them .

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Ace's High

The baby quilt from the last post is all finished.

Some close ups of the quilting. I did a combination of lines and squiggles across the blocks. Some blocks I left unquilted, although all seam lines were stitched in the ditch. For the larger blocks I just quilted around the clouds, parachute and plane propellers to give a slight 3D effect.

I auditioned a few of the fabrics I used for the binding and finally settled on the orange.

Although it looks bright in the pics taken inside, that's nothing to how bright it is in proper sunlight.
Here it is drying on the line yesterday after having been in the washing machine.

I couldn't decide what to call it but as I was putting in the last stitch on the binding the song Aces High by Iron Maiden came on the radio. It's all about pilots and flying  so it seemed appropriate.

This will be packaged off to it's new home next week after I've made a matching nappy basket.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Making it up as I go along

Hubby came home from work a few months ago and announced he's found someone who wanted a baby quilt. Well maybe not wanted one but as his wife was pregnant hubby's work mate got told they were having one. I've got my hubby well trained to pounce on signs of weddings and births.

There was no real theme but the couple knew they were having a boy so something blue and/or neutral was settled on. The due date is end of September.

While away in Yorkshire I picked up these fabrics

I mean who doesn't like cute flying pups.

I fussy cut the panels to get three large squares and a few smaller ones. I cut the borders from the large squares so I could use the fabric somewhere else on the quilt. From the plains I cut strips and squares to use to border the fussy cut pups.

I made a few pinwheel blocks and log cabins as fillers and then laid it all out on the bed.

Now for the fun bit, filling in the gaps and putting it all together. I pieced it into three pieces

The bottom third

Top left hand side ( kindly rotated by Blogger)

Top right hand side ( again kindly rotated)

And finally all together and looking slightly different from that initial layout

It has since been sandwiched and will be quilted this week. How I'm not sure yet but I'm sure it'll come to me sooner or later.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Christmas in August

Well you know me I can't do anything straight forward or normal. No Christmas in July for me, I'm doing it in August. Mind you those that know me will be wondering why Christmas at all as I don't normally celebrate it.

Well the thing is I was on my travels through blogland and I came across the I Wish You a Merry Christmas QAL on Vanda's blog. Now the thought of doing a Christmas quilt never entered my head but I did like block one which was a snowflake. So I thought, never mind the quilt I'd pick and choose which blocks I wanted to do as a Winter themed QAL instead. Then I thought well what happens if I only like the snowflake. So the plan is still to pick and choose the blocks I like or are relevant but I'm doing them as one off projects instead of a quilt.

So lets get on to block one.....the snowflake.

Or in my case two snowflakes ( both at 13" square)

 I've used a pale blue background with snowflakes over it and the white for the actual flakes. Please don't ask me what it is as I've probably had it for years.

 I fussy cut the centres and they've all been stuck down with bondaweb.

And then I sewed them together with some setting triangles to make a small table runner.

I sandwiched it and then sewed down the applique using a straight stitch for raw edged applique. Which left me loads of ends to sew in last night.

For quilting I drew out some shapes from a stencil that I thought looked snowflake like and quilted them in white. More ends to sew in.

I then quilted the background in a pale blue in a swirly FMQ.

There are 8 quilted snowflakes in there as you can just about make out.

I used a plain white for the binding and the lovely crinkled effect is because I finished it this morning and threw it in the washing machine before letting it dry on the line.

And there she is all finished and ready to go away until I decorate for the Winter.

Block 2 came out today, I think they'll be coming out every 2 weeks or so. It's Christmas trees. I'm not sure if I'm going to make that block or I might do something along the same lines but stick with the Christmas tree theme.

I'll be linking up with the various sites posted on the Linky page at the top of the blog