Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Wheel Complete!

 The flying geese outer ring was the Aves 'block' of the week this time around.

Fun to make.  You can see where I sewed lines (from behind, using the paper piecing lines) to show me where to sew it to the inner wheel and later to the rest of the quilt top.

I think that next time I'll do it without any thread, just leaving me the holes in the fabric to guide me.
 Here it is sewn to last weeks 'spokes' to form a complete roundel.

I should have pressed it before I took a photo really!
 More great wheels here at the Kempton Steam Museum which was in steam last weekend (and will be again for another five weekends or so during the year - if you can get to south west London to see it I'd recommend it!).

Magnificent and on a scale bigger than I'd realised.  This triple expansion steam engine is about 6 stories high - and the two fly wheels that you can see here are 32 tons each!  Apparently they were made in two halves, and the maximum weight that could be carried on the railway wagons of the time was 16 tons.  Fascinating stuff.

 Immense scale.  My photos don't really do it justice I'm afraid.  If you can, do go along and see it in steam.
 Alongside the steam museum is this separate attraction - Hampton and Kempton Waterworks Railway.  Cute little steam engine (working every Sunday afternoon and museum weekends from March until November).  They are using this to promote / provide experience for an exciting project, which is to relay track from here to Hampton following the old track which was laid in WW1 to provide easy access to coal brought up the Thames.
A laudable project and one that I'm fully in favour of!
Not mentioned in any leaflet that I've seen, my personal favourite on the day was an 'extra' trip on a diesel 'man mover' - something that I've never tried before.

We didn't spend a lot of time at these attractions, but I've come away inspired to try and use some of the aspects of them in a quilt design.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Flying Spokes!

 Well, flying geese spokes anyway!  Week 12 of the Aves BOW.  I didn't follow the careful instructions of Kathryn Kerr this week, but once I'd got the pie shapes and the flying geese spokes and the centre star I decided to ignore all the 'Y' seam possibilities and applique the central star to the rest of the roundel.  I confess that it isn't perfect, but it's good enough for me to smile and move on to the next part, which is to make a flying geese border for it.  Happy days!
 I also started a lozenge quilt - back to my scrap bag using-it-up theme.

I got out all my left over rectangles (8" x 4")and left over squares (1 3/4"square)....
 Set them up as 'covered corners'.....
 Trimmed them....
Folded the corners back and ironed them.

This has left me with a pile of lozenges - but no real design layout in mind for them!

Of course, I realise now that if I'd planned it out first that it might have been a better idea and that I might get a better result!  Lesson learned.

When I get some more sewing time I will play with layouts until I get something that works for me.  Always fun to play!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

More Progress!

Another multiple block week for Aves BOMers.  This time we had to make  16 blocks, each coming out at 3 1/2" square.

As well as this we were encouraged to put the central area of our quilt top together - but for some reason I don't seem to have taken a photo of that! 

More time spent on school holiday fun than on sewing this week!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Easter Finish!

Week 10 of Aves - 8 blocks of Hovering Hawks, each at 3 1/2" square.  Lots of pieces and I loved it!
 The 'proper' finish this week, though, was Betty's Quilt.

I'm really pleased with how it came out - even to having the perfect colour backing for it already in my stash!  It was a sheet gifted to me by a friend when she emigrated to Australia, just one of many pieces of household linen that has supported my quilting over the years!  Thanks Kate!
 The quilt front finished at just under 60" square, which is a great size as a double bed topper or to snuggle under on the sofa.

I LOVE how complex the pattern looks.  It is just one block repeated 25 times: 13 times with white and dark purple, 12 times with white and lighter purple.  It just looks a lot more complicated than that when you put them together.

I think that this might be a pattern that I return to - and I might even make a tutorial so that you could make one too if you wanted to.
 The cushion front - as I made the quilt into a quillow.

I used one of the blocks again, but used sashing and HSTs to make it up to 20" so that it would accommodate the folded quilt easily.
Fast quilting pattern as I was keen to make my self imposed finish date of Easter Sunday.

I'm pleased to say that I had it labelled, washed and dried in time to hand over as planned.  I'm even more happy to say that Grandma Greenwood, who had asked for it to be made and specified the colours, seems really pleased with it.  It will be gifted to her friend at the end of the month where I hope that it will be equally well received.

Off to start my next Aves blocks now - it looks like a big week as there are some mid point assembly instructions too - very exciting!

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Another week goes by!

 Another week of Aves BOW - this time week 9.  A set of 8 humming bird blocks.  It's lovely to keep this project ticking over week by week.
 A landmark day in household - lots of fun on the day with both family and friends arriving to join the celebration.
Finally, the front of the cushion part of the quillow that I'm making.  This mini quilt (as that's what it is, in effect) showcases one of the blocks that is repeated 25 times in the quilt, with inner sashing and HST border to take it up to 20" square.

My plan is to have finished the quillow by Sunday ready to pass it over.  I'd better go and carry on with it now!

Happy Easter, and I hope that you find plenty of time for crafting too!

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Fun Times!

 Aves Quilt BOW part 8 - shown here first as the ring that I created...
 .....and here actually attached to the block centre that we made last week.
 There was also a second part to this week's 'work' - making and adding the stripe sections to four blocks that we'd made previously.  Lovely and colourful!
 Time left over to start on 'Betty's Quilt' too.  I've got a variety of purples and hope to be able to create a pattern with the layout when I've made them all.  This is just the first set of 8 (plus my original sample block) laid out to check that the secondary pattern is looking how I expected!
Card making too  - these sample blocks from Gillian Travis's workshop make good toppers for a couple of cards.  Always nice to be able to use samples for something useful.

I'm off to do some more sewing now!  Hope that you are able to enjoy some crafting time this week too.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Pick 'n' Mix

Its been a week of many different things this time!

Aves BOW week 7 complete!

Of course, I'm working on Week 8 now, which is the flying geese circle for around this block.
 I also spent a day at a workshop arranged by my quilt group (Richmond and Kew Quilters) and run by Gillian Travis who was teaching her 'Interchange' fusible applique technique.

I started this penguin wall hanging which finished at home (once I'd got back to a machine with zig zag stitch on it).

Good fun!
 I'd started cutting these out at the workshop too.  Love always wins (hearts) but hugs (O) and kisses (X) are good too!
 Then there was the passport holder made so that DD1 could carry her passport with her during her work experience placement (with enough room in a back pocket for a couple of coins and a tissue too, just in case!
 I even managed a quilty finish too!

The 4" squares looked a little dull just as they were, so I appliqued a flower on top.  Better, but still not my best work.  I think that a red might have worked better as a flower.  Next time I'll audition more fabrics before going for it.

Approximately 40" x 20"
I hope that it will still make someone happy!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Two more small finishes

 This was the little quilt that arrived as a result of the leftover scrappy HSTs.  These were mainly the 'medium' charms that didn't easily fit either the dark or lights that I needed for the pattern on my last quilt.

Just a couple of extras cut from stash, plus a central block of the hen fabric that appears in quite a few of my scrap quilts!
 It finished at 40" square.

I wasn't sure what binding to use.  I wondered about something in a soft colour to complement the sashing  / border (which reminds me of an old fashioned eiderdown) but decided instead to pick up on the greens that appear in some of the blocks with a lime green spotty binding.  Not the perfect green, but the best that I had in my stash!
 Quilted with a loop-de-loop pattern, it came together fairly quickly in the end.
 The same can't be said about this weeks Aves block, which I'm finding very slow. 

Of course, if I managed to sew the right pieces to the pattern it might be quicker - yesterday I sewed eight pieces with the wrong fabrics (and unpicked them all, despite the short stitch length because of it being foundation piecing).  This is on top of the unpicking that I've done because I've failed to place the pieces well enough (those tricky triangles).
 Then there was the trimming mistake, where I suddenly decided to cut along a sewing line, not a cutting line.....sigh!

It's a beautiful block, I just hope that I can do it justice - eventually!

My second finish?  The mini heart quilt shown here on my sewing room wall, along with some of the other sewing - complete or still in progress from this year.

I need to take 'final shots' of it, but I enjoyed quilting and finishing it last week.

On to other new projects now!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Plenty of Sewing

 I've had a little more 'oomph' this week - so I'm delighted to share a finish, a start and another BOW block!

This is the finish.  48" square, made of almost all the charm squares that I own, mostly cut from my scraps as part of my scrap busting on-going project.
 Some of the points are accurate.....
 ....some of them less so - oops!
 Still, the overall effect is the one that I wanted, so I'm happy!
 I also started two more projects.  This little mini quilt (from Tickled Pink by Collette Howie in Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine).  Smaller than her pattern as I only had part of a FQ of the background fabric. 

Using a couple of my Christmas gift FQs for the hearts.  I'm still considering what quilting pattern(s) to sew.

The other start is one to use up the other HSTs from the first project - leftovers from the leftovers!  No photos as I forgot, but I hope to have it finished by next week.
 Snowfall here in London - quite rare over the last few years, but rarer still to see it with sunshine.
Finally, this weeks Aves block - number 6. 

I'm going to enjoy staying inside in the warm and doing a little more sewing!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Holiday Fun

 Week five of the Aves BOW.  Another 6 1/2" square.

Not much sewing aside from that!
I did, however, have the chance to see lovely rock formations like this - Hay Tor - on a family trip to Dartmoor.  Despite being lucky enough to have DH drive me very close to the Tors that we'd chosen, the walking involved has left me with batteries that are beyond flat.  Worth it for the fun that we had as a family, but I do sometimes wish that I didn't have M.E. / C.F.S and that I could just enjoy life without the preparation / consequences.  Oh well!  Enough grumbling.  I'll be back at my sewing machine soon!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Totally Tropical

 It will only be people of a certain generation and geographical area that are now picturing a can of Lilt.... with the 'totally tropical taste'!

Not much sewing this week - just this block to keep up with the Aves BOW.  It finishes at 6 1/2" and is a very pretty and delicate design.

So this wasn't the tropical bit, the visit to the Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens was.
 My photos don't do it justice.  We had the pleasure of a sunny day and were able to enjoy the colours and shapes of the flowers and plants in the best possible way.
 It makes me so happy to enjoy the bright colours that nature gives us without any help at all.
 It makes me want to start flinging fabrics in gorgeous hues around!
 And then adding more fabrics as backgrounds to set them off....
 I'm pleased that the hive is staying at Kew for a bit longer too.  Magical structure - I love the look
and the sound of it!
We enjoyed a quick canter through the Palm House too.  We are so lucky to live nearby and just be able to pop in when we choose.

More half term excursions planned, so sewing will take a back seat for the week whilst family fun takes centre stage.

I hope that you are also enjoying your week!