Monday, 8 February 2016

Farmer's Wife QAL - Block 41 Granny

I can't believe we're into week 21 of the Farmer's Wife 1930's Quilt Along, can you?

This week it's my turn to guest post again and I'm here with block 41, Granny.


This block was a breeze in comparison to some of the recent blocks we've done, just two fabrics and not many seams! 

You may notice that I have changed the colour scheme for my blocks, in fact I've completely started again using a rainbow palette, the 1930's repro palette was just not me and I'm much happier with my brighter blocks! The fabric I chose for this block is Kona Cotton Orange and Carkai Stitches in Petunia

As the weeks have progresed on the QAL I have gotten into a good rhythm prepping and making my blocks. I always colour code my block diagrams and paper pieces so that I don't make any errors in my fabric placement!



I also use an add a quarter ruler to trim all my seams. In the photo below you can see I have used a dab of glue to hold my first fabric in place, I then flip everything over, fold back the template on the sewing line and then butt up the ruler and trim. 



The other thing I do religiously is pin my blocks. Here you can see how I've used a pin to secure the seams where they need to match when the seam is opened. This stops your block moving and helps keep your points and seams perfect!

Here you can see how I've used pins to pin the key points on the final seam in the block.
 

So all in all a nice simple block! You will get lots of bulk at the centre of the block as you sew it together, as this is where there are the most seams, I just removed some of the paper before I sewed the final seam. Giving the block a really good press also helps the centre to sit nice and flat when the papers are removed too. 

I hope you all have fun making your Granny blocks!

If you head on over to Kerry's blog you'll get to see her tips and tricks for block 42 as well as get a full run down of all the blocks made in the QAL so far!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

A couple of finishes at last....

I'm jumping up and down at a couple of little finishes this week - wahoo!


First up is Rosette 1 of my 'The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt'. This is all hand pieced and is a whopping 36" in diameter. I've had great fun with this over the last few months, the whole of my quilt will be in Cotton + Steel fabrics and I'm already well on my way with Rosette 2.

My next finish is this gorgeous Economy Block Quilt, I really love it! It's finally bound and has been laundered and labelled this weekend ready for posting to it's new owner tomorrow.


This one was made entirely from my stash, the blocks are 12" finished and it's quilted in organic lines with a variegated Aurifil thread. It's been a long time in the finishing, I hope my friend loves it still!

I've also managed to sneak some time on my Farmer's Wife Quilt too, I've prepped a couple of blocks that I'm going to sew this evening.


I've found that prepping a couple of blocks ready for sewing in one session, then sewing them in the next session, is the most productive way for me to work on this sampler.

Finally I just wondered whether you'd heard that the sewing retreat I host through my shop Simply Solids is down to the last space??

Click the image to go find out more!

https://retreat.simplysolids.co.uk/
 

Friday, 15 January 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long!

Since I've decided that I'm going to try and get some selfish sewing done in 2016, I thought I ought to sign up to the Finish-A-Long to give me some goals this year!

http://mrsssewandsow.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/happy-new-finish-long-year.html


This year there are a whole host of hosts, click on the image above to take you to Nicky's blog post to find out more.

This first quarter I have decided to try my hardest to get finished on these projects:

 From top left we have:

1) Spring Carnival EPP cushion - requires hand quilting & turning into a cushion.

2) The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt Rosette 1 - nearly complete and rosette 2 is started, hoping to finish both.

3) Fat Quarter Shop 2012 Mystery BOM! - Hoping to finish piecing all the blocks.

4) Schoolhouse Tunic - All cut out and part sewn, hoping to finish.

5) Economy Block Quilt - just requires binding and gifting

6) Cotton & Steel Cushion Kit - to make up

If I'm honest this list is a bit over ambitious as I have so much work sewing to do too but I really want these WIP's finished for good!

Are you taking part in the 2016 Finish-A-Long? 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Sewing anyone?

My poor neglected blog once again has fallen foul to my sloppy time management!

I'm refusing to promise and make resolutions about how often I will blog as I'm just adding more pressure to my busy schedule, that said, I really want this to be a place where I record all my sewing and fun times so hopefully I'll eeek some time out on a regular basis.

Here's a little collage of my makes from October 2015 to the year end. In making this I realised that I haven't documented some of the Christmas presents I made so I'll have to rectify that won't I when I visit them in their new homes!

I finished a really old WIP and gifted the finished quilt at Christmas, I made a bag for a swap I took part in when I went to Glamp Stitch A Lot in the USA in November, pencil cases, a cushion, lot's of EPP and my Farmers Wives blocks!!

There have also been lots of lovely times with my family and friends in the latter part of 2015.

 
My best friend Katy came to join the Simply Solids team, Jett began climbing in earnest, we had a family fun day out with my brother and his family, we also spent Christmas day with them. Jett amazes us with what he eats, Camembert anyone?

So here's to a productive 2016! I'm really hoping to sew lots and lots and lots!!!!
 

Monday, 12 October 2015

Ever feel like giving up?

Let me tell you I've felt a lot like that lately!

My sewing just isn't happening, I barely have time to keep on top of my day job at the shop and the usual boring housekeeping stuff, exercise has completely disappeared from my life and my eating habits are not good!

I've been really stretched by recent sewing projects for reasons I cannot even explain! Is it just me that makes the same mistake over  and over until the penny drops? My first few Farmers Wife 1930's blocks all too often looked like this:



I'm also finding that as the blocks are sooo time consuming I've already fallen behind schedule! Grrr!

My poor My Small World QAL is still at Stage One (oh it's just laughable isn't it?!!)


On the plus though I've finished quilting a long overdue quilt for a friend and started piecing another quilt!!!



Does anyone else struggle with this? Any tips to get me through? I feel like everyone gets lots of sewing in and I'm just a disaster!!!

Answers on a postcard please.......

Monday, 5 October 2015

Farmer's Wife 1930's Quilt-Along: Block 8 Aunt

When Kerry first announced she was going to be organising the Quilt-Along for this gorgeous book, I jumped at the chance to be a guest blogger.

I've had the original Farmer's Wife book on my shelf for what seems like forever but I've never dared jump in, the blocks just seemed too small and fiddly to me! This time around and with a couple more years sewing experience under my belt, I felt a real urge to make a commitment to this Quilt-Along!



Block number 8 is Aunt and it's a real easy block! This was a huge relief to me as I've found the last couple of blocks really hard. (I'll be blogging about that later in the week if you're interested!)

For my block I decided to go for a deep purple from Tula Pink's True Color's collection paired with a gorgeous peachy pink solid that I got in a bundle from Westwood Acres. 


I love the colours in this bundle and am using it as a starting point for the fabrics in my quilt, which will be mainly from my stash but sticking closely to this pretty colour scheme!

  
For the Quilt-Along I've decided to paper piece all the blocks. I'm no paper-piecing expert but I figured I will be by the end of the year! For this block the only key point to remember is the orientation of your chosen fabrics, especially if you are using any that are directional like I did. 

To secure my first fabric I always use a little glue from my Sewline Glue Pen and I've also started to pin on the sewing line between fabrics, just so that I can check my fabric covers the required area when I flip it right side over. I made some repetitive mistakes on the earlier blocks and this trick seems to have stopped that!


I also make full use of my add a quarter ruler when I'm paper piecing. This ruler has a quarter inch lip down one side that can butt up to your pattern, allowing you to trim all your over-hangs and seam allowance to a quarter inch! It's so quick and easy!


So there you have it, I'll post my other blocks as they're completed over the next few days and weeks and I'll be guest posting again in a few weeks time!

Why not head over to Kerry's blog and catch up on all the weekly Farmer's Wife 1930's Quilt-Along posts and see the gorgeous blocks everyone is making? You can also check out the #fw1930sqal on Instagram to be really inspired by all the gorgeous blocks!

Monday, 14 September 2015

A Little Sewing

Now that we're all settling back into the routine that the new school term brings, I've found a little time for some sewing.

I'm trying to work on some longstanding WIP's as well as new projects and sewing for the shop too, lots on the go always!!

I've found time to finish up this gorgeous pin cushion kit that the lovely Jessie sent me, if you don't know her, Jessie owns the gorgeous fabric shop Sew and Quilt and has just released her own range of paper pieces.

This gorgeous hexie flower pin cushion is available as a kit in her shop now, along with many other lovely kits and paper pieces.

Whilst we're talking paper pieces, I've also been working on my New Hexagon Mille Fiore Quilt, I've almost got Rosette 1 completed!!

 
The first rosette when complete is a huge 36" in diameter, the photo shows the rosette minus the final round. Those hexagons are been pieced currently.
 
 
I need to prep 12 hexagons like the one above and 6 of a different variety before I can add them to the rosette to complete it!
 
I'm so happy that I chose this mille fiore quilt along over the others that are out there, it's much less fiddly as the pieces are so much bigger!!
 
 
I've also begun working on my 1930's Farmers Wife Quilt-A-Long but I'll share those blocks in a post later in the week. This year long QAL commenced today and you can check out Kerry's & Wynn of Zakka Art's blog posts to keep you going!

 
 
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