Wednesday, 21 September 2016

September at Plush Addict

Time for my September visit to sponsor Plush Addict and a mix of citron and mustard yellows and various blues!  Fabrics for dressmaking, quilting and general sewing.


From left to right, row by row:

  1. Budgies on Oxford Cloth.  Heavier weight fabric- Oxford cloth is a slightly heavier shirt  weight fabric which feels more substantial than standard shirting cotton.  Gorgeous colour and print.
  2. Heartwood Swallows blue.  I had to include this, I love the drawing style, so beautifully done.
  3. Michael Miller Bubbly Retro.  this quilting weight cotton reminds me of early 1960s dresses.  Great for an Emery dress.
  4. Clip Dot lawn.  Lightweight dressmaking fabric from Michael Miller with textured dots.  In four colours.  Great for shirts/tops, especially those with a yoke or bib to provide extra opacity, or lined dresses
  5. Heartwood Scenic Grey by Makower.  Stunning print from the Heartwood range. Reminds me of the Laura Ashley pastoral prints of the early/mid 1970s.
  6. Crafty Cats Paws by Makower.  Cute and quieter mixer print from the Craft Cats range
  7. Sprinkles Sunny by Hey Dot, Zen Chic for Moda.  From a great modern blender range, I love this acid yellow!  There are also layer cakes, jelly rolls and charm packs as well as yardage
  8. Magic, Sarah Jane for Michael Miller.  The prettiest collection of shimmers, stars, mermaids and unicorns which is already proving popular- one print I wanted to show you was already sold out!
  9. Michael Miller, Park Slop, Cora Citron.  Quilting cotton in the most wonderful citron colour.  It reminds me of the yellow greens that Jen Kingwell often incorporates in to her quilts. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Easily Distracted...

When a big project like the Farmer's Wife 1930s quilt-along comes to an end it does feel like a loss.  I was making two blocks a week for the last year and although I need to set the blocks and sew them all together, this does not have the appeal of the weekly puzzle of making two new blocks.  So, I find myself distracted, procrastinated and itching for something shiny and new despite needing to complete some age old projects.    I'll admit, for me it's all about the block, when it comes to sewing them all together, I start to lose interest.

It started with Maribel (Annabel Wrigley for Windham) arriving at M is for Make, plus a discount off sale items so the Flight Map Quilt pattern (Anna Maria Horner) snook into my basket.   I've had my eye on this pattern for ages, years even.  It's a 16-block design using clever variations on a colour theme with different prints.  It's not the most straightforward pattern and it does take some puzzling out so I decided to draw out the block in Touchdraw so I could colour in and work out which fabric was which and match up the quantities.


I haven't made a pattern where you cut everything at the beginning and then complete the same block X number of times for a considerable time but this one has a lot going on to maintain my interest.  The logical part of me questions whether an house-hold of three with only two bedrooms really needs more quilts, but my heart rules, colours in and gets ready to order what I need to make this a reality.  The colouring in really helps to understand the colour placement.  There are 20 different fabrics so I've made a grid so I'll know what is what.  Eternal Maker are stocking some of the Maribel range too and I'm mixing in some of my stash and a scrappy element to make it a little more me.  

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Simple Sampler Quilt-Along


These are all my little fabric scraps.  It's a packed carrier bag full, all sorted by colour into small zip lock bags.  Some of these date back years.  I dip in from time to time but they are mostly neglected and taking up a corner of the room.  When Fiona and Julie from Sewing Directory announced their quilt-along using the ten-part Making A Quilt Series I wrote for their website, I thought I'd just observe but my scraps are calling and I'm going to make another small lap quilt with the quilt-along using these scraps. 


 Hashtag: #simplesamplerQAL

I'll have to dip into other fabrics as many of my scraps are on the small side and won't cut into large enough pieces to make some of the squares and half-square triangles but I'm going to use it as a starting point, my first resource.  The rest of my fabric is in drawers and that includes lots of pieces smaller than fat quarter size and they'll be joining in too.  My colours and prints will be bright and multifarious.


It is a beginner friendly quilt-along and all the block posts are already online so you can plan ahead if needed.  If there's a basic aspect of piecing that's been a sticking point for you, whether that's flying geese or foundation paper piecing, it's covered in straightforward way.  To read more including supply discounts  (up to 17th Sept) check out more here.  Stuck on which fabrics to choose?  I wrote a post on how to choosing fabrics for a quilt, and guidance on how much you will need.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

September at Village Haberdashery

We are getting a September burst of heat and summer in the UK - although it is a little patchy, but in the spirit of the last fling of summer which I think is coming next week, I've included a summery dress as well as something with longer sleeves thinking of cooler times coming for this month's Village Haberdashery sponsor post.


From left to right, row by row:
  1. Sew Over it Rosie Dress.  The princess bodice has boned sides for a snug fit and a skirt variation is included with this pattern.  A good fit for the Art Gallery cottons or the Cotton + Steel Checkers if you were feeling a little bolder!
  2. Around the Block, woodblock inspired collection for Cloud 9 from Heather Moore of Skinny Laminx.  Includes a canvas print.
  3. Raindrop Collection: In Bloom in Night by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel.  My favourite print from Rashida's subtle Raindrop Collection.
  4. Les Fleurs Collection by Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton + Steel.  This collection which includes rayon, lawn and canvas as well as quilting cottons, has proved incredibly popular with a second order already due.  I've bought a few of the quilting cottons, so hard to resist.
  5. Joie de Vivre knits - Paradis in Sweet. Gorgeous painterly blooms from Bari J for Art Gallery on a cotton/spandex blend jersey.
  6. Les Fleurs Collection by Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton + Steel.  This collection which includes rayon, lawn and canvas as well as quilting cottons, has proved incredibly popular with a second order already due.  I've bought a few of the quilting cottons, so hard to resist.
  7. Cotton + Steel Checkers.  A new basics range from Cotton + Steel, yarn dyed ginghams in a range of sizes.  Annie has lots of the smaller ½" colours in stock plus some jumbo 1" and 2.5" checks.  Suitable for clothing and apparel.  Yarn dyed cottons tend to have better drape than printed quilting cottons.  I love them for shirt dresses.
  8. Playground, Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery.  Amy's second range for Art Gallery.  A mix of substrates including voile  (which has a clever print which I think works both ways vertically, more ecumenical for dress making) plus a knit.  My favourite is the Hopscotch Jump grid/check which reminds me of a Scrabble board. 
  9. Merchant & Mills Rugby Dress.  A good transitional style with long sleeves, collar, placket and cuffs.  This could easily be shortened to tunic or pullover shirt length.
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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Playgrounds Baby Quilt

A baby in the family is always an excuse for a quick and easy quilts and this is from the book of the same title, Quick & Easy Quilts by Lynne Goldsworthy.  In the book, it's called Cowboy lap quilt but I've called it  Playgrounds and it's been given to a baby girl, the first grandchild of my late father's partner.
It's large pieces are perfect for showcasing a picture print and come together quickly so it was quick to layout, plan a little colour placement and piece together.  I used my flippity method to sew the drunkard's path blocks together to get the absolutely square at the beginning and end of blocks.  The templates are full size in the book and I traced them onto freezer paper and ironed them onto the fabrics.


I'm not a fancy quilter so I quilted echo lines to define the four quadrants and spiral quilted each circle.  I drew some petals on freezer paper for the centre and drew round them in chalk before straight stitching along the lines.  All the resources are listed at the end of this post. 


It was quilted on a very hot couple of days so instead of gloves I used this Clover Non Slip Finger stick which you rub on to your finger tips.  The ingredients aren't specified but it feels like silicon and helps you maintain a light grip on the fabric.  It doesn't stain the fabric and is handy when your hands are hot.


Usual baby quilt size at 38" square.  Labelled and delivered to a much wanted baby.

Resources
  1. Quick & Easy Quilts by Lynne Goldsworthy, Cowboy Lap quilt pattern.
  2. Sewing Drunkard Path blocks video
  3. Starting off spiral quilting template
  4. Fabrics are from my stash and most are out of print: a mix of Hello Petal prints by Aneela Hoey for Moda, some Cotton + Steel, Riley Blake Blue dots and a mint print. Sarah Fielke and Moda Ambleside gird.  Binding Denyse Schmidt, Flea Market Fancy.

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Monday, 5 September 2016

Farmer's Wife 1930s Quilt Along, block 99, Widow

Welcome to the final block week in the Farmer's Wife 1930s QAL.  It's time for block 99, Widow (p.258, letter p.57).  As ever, I pre-cut my pieces and foundation pieced my block and as has happened a few times I did need to be careful cutting the paper pieces as one of the seam allowances was under ¼",  it may well be a printing issue, but keep a look out.


Fabric Credits
Riley Blake, Fancy and Fabulous, Breath in mint
Darlene Zimmerman, Grandma's Garden Bouquet (in two colour ways)
Windham Fabrics, Storybook VII, Violet Floral .  Bought  from this shop whilst on holiday in Amsterdam!

Rotary Cutting 
These are for foundation piecing so are cut larger than needed.  
  • Small centre square: cut (1) 1 ¼" square in mint
  • Medium squares:  cut (16) 1 ⅜" squares each in mint and violet
  • Rectangles: cut  (4) 1 ⅜" x 2 ¾"" rectangles in mint and cut (8) in white) 
  • Quarter-square triangles:  cut (1) 3" squares; subcut in half along the diagonal, and then again along the other diagonal to yield 4 QSTs
  • I2, J1, J2, K2: cut  (4) 1¼" x 2" rectangles in white) 
Although there are many small pieces, this block goes together relatively easily and most seams nest when the sections are joined.  I pressed the section seams open to spread the seam bulk, but that's my personal preference.



Top Tips for Foundation Piecing this Block
  • Pre cut all pieces
  • Use a water based glue stick e.g. Sewline, to stick the first piece of fabric on each section
  • Chain piece where possible
  • Either pre-crease the paper seams with a Hera marker or use an index card or a Dritz seam guide to fold the paper back when trimming excess
  • Nest seams where possible
 I've ordered a couple of metres of Kona cotton in white and I've also bought Marti Mitchells' Flying Geese ruler which can produces a triangle the same size as triangle template A.  I am going to be cutting lengthways strips from my Kona to make the longest edge of the triangles a little more stable.   I might need additional white fabric but I figured I could always buy more and dye lot difference would be minimal in white.  I haven't got room to lay my blocks out so I'm going for a digital method and I plan to load my photos in a Mosaic Maker.  It's not a perfect solution as the arrangement is gridded rather than the staggered columns of the book but I'm hoping it will be sufficient.  I've still got to confer with my daughter but I think I will be making the twin version of the quilt and I'll use a strip of extra blocks on the reverse.   I plan to post my progress in a couple of weeks time.

Some final thoughts...
I am so pleased to have 99 blocks, without the quilt along to drive me   I very much doubt that I would've made them all and I absolutely love putting small and complex blocks  like these together.  My piecing has definitely improved and the blocks have tested my fabric combining skills as well as my Y seams.  I've come out of it a better piecer, although I will confess I don't enjoy the next stage of sewing them all together half as much and the basting and quilting process is at the bottom of my Fun-o-meter.  For the first time, I will send a quilt to a professional quilter once I've completed the top.  It has been a huge amount of work keeping on top of each Monday post, getting photos edited and ready, measurements and dimensions listed, fabrics identified and links in place.  Blogging is constantly changing and it is definitely a lonelier pastime than ever before.  Very few people comment - thank you so much to those who do,  you are often regular commenters and it is a pleasure to hear from you - but technology has changed and commenting is time-consuming and fiddly.  Instagram has been a great way to see what other's are doing and witness success and failure on individual blocks, although since Instagram lost it's chronology, I have not found it as addictive as I once did:  I bought my first iPhone based on using Instagram...

What's next?  Apart from completing the quilt in time to take it to the first Threadhouse retreat in late January 2017, I'm looking forward to trying out some ideas of my own, probably in smaller projects like cushions.    Using the 1930s fabrics has made me appreciate colours even more than before and I have enjoyed the repro prints hugely.  I have a few quilts awaiting completion and many clothing projects for mine and my daughter's wardrobes and I'll continue to share here as ever.

Don't forget to share your blocks or leave me a link in the comments so I can see where you are.  Any final thoughts from anyone who took part would very welcome.  I know the QAL is coming to an end but you may be working on a block from earlier on and I'd love to see.
  • You can share your farmer's wife quilt blocks with the hashtags #fw1930sqal and for these blocks either #Widowblock as well as #fw99Widow
  • If you want me to take a look at your blocks, tag me on Instagram, I'm @verykerryberry or comment here and paste in a link to your blog
  • There's a Flickr group you can add to here.  All my Farmer's Wife 1930s blocks can be seen in this album
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Monday, 29 August 2016

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along, Blocks 97 and 98, Tracy and Viola

Welcome to the penultimate blocks in the Farmer's Wife 1930s QAL.  This week, we are making blocks 97 and 98 and the first is Tracy (p.256, letter p.68).


Fabric Credits
Kona Candy Green
Moda Garden Project, Vintage Floral Pear Yellow
Penny Rose Fabrics Hope Chest 2 Hearts Purple
Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Penny and Friends, Square Dance Camelia

I thought I'd share a little about how I choose fabrics for blocks.  For this one I followed the suggestions in the book photo and used four different fabrics.  I thought one solid would be sufficient: it gives some definition and contrast to the prints and more than one can have an overly strong effect and dominate the ditsy prints so I didn't add another.  The medium floral has a scattered spaced out print and a textured background and this contrasted with both the other geometric prints.  The v.small geometric  provides lightness without the starker/flatter effect of a solid and the small all-over geometric is a middle point between the two prints in terms of scale and the pattern is directional.

As usual, I pre-cut my pieces and foundation pieced my block.  There are two shapes with two sizes for each, just multiply each shape for the number of pieces you are cutting in each colour:

Rotary Cutting 
These are for foundation piecing so are cut larger than needed.  
  • Small square: 1 ½" square
  • Larges quare: 1 ¾" square
  • Small half-square triangles:  cut  2 ¼" squares; subcut each square in half along the diagonal to yield 2 HSTs from each square
  • Large half-square triangles:  cut  2 ¾" squares; subcut each square in half along the diagonal to yield 2 HSTs from each square
The centre section of this block should nest together when you join the seams - I must've been day dreaming  when I was piecing because mine didn't!   For this block, some of the large half square triangles are added as oversized triangles and trimmed back using the quilt ruler's 45 degree line.


Top Tips for Foundation Piecing this Block
  • Pre cut all pieces
  • Use a water based glue stick e.g. Sewline, to stick the first piece of fabric on each section
  • Chain piece where possible
  • Use an index card or a Dritz seam guide to fold the paper back when trimming excess
  • Nest seams where possible
  • Press central section seams open and corner section seams to one side

Viola is a straightforward block and quick to foundation piece.  Jo from A Life in Lists is guest posting on this one- she'll get the post up later today then you can pop over and read her thoughts on it.



Windham Playdate in Ditsy Blue
{For both blocks, I link to sponsor shops for fabric bought from them and elsewhere for other fabrics}

Don't forget to share your blocks or leave me a link in the comments so I can see where you are.  I know the QAL is coming to an end but you may be working on a block from earlier on and I'd love to see.
I'll be back with the last block next week.  A huge thank you to all my guest bloggers who did an amazing job sharing their skills, tips and knowledge, their successes and failures and their beautiful blocks.   You can find all the posts here.
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