What I’ve been up to…

372 3″squares ready to go! Fabric is Hey Dot!, by Zen Chic.

I can not believe it’s actually more than one month since I last posted anything here on the blog. On one hand, I didn’t have many finishes to share, and on the other, I didn’t seem to find the right time just to sit and write.

However, I worked quite a lot these past weeks. I shared some of that progress on Instagram, but I thought that it would be a nice idea to write a summary as a starting point to resume posting on the blog.

1. I finished three different knitting projects. One was in fact finished in February, the other one in March, and the last one still needs to be blocked (my blocking mat isn’t big enough, so I’m looking for a solution).

2. I finished all my blocks for the Triangles QAL, and cut all the background pieces. I have started to work on the layout for it, but for the moment it’s waiting on the design wall.

3. I also finished cutting all the squares (372!!) for my new leaders-and-enders project. They look great together, don’t they?

4. I started and finished a whole quilt. Post to come!!

5. I’ve been embroidering, a lot. I am working in two different projects: the first one, a small one from a course I took in January at Cotton&Color, and whose progress I shared on Instagram. The second one, I started a new Majorcan-style embroidery, that is going to be my new portable project.

Majorcan-style embroidery (Brodat mallorquí) uses a crochet hook to sew the chain-stitch. A really tiny hook.

6. I was planning to join the #100blocks100days challenge, but with the schedule change it suffered, and reflecting on everything I have on my table, I’ve decided I’m not going to participate. I will sew the quilt; I already have the fabric and the book and I’m really looking forward to working on it. However, I don’t see myself posting regularly for 100 days, specially with the summer holidays in between.

7. With that off my list, and after some thought, I joined the Golden Days Template of the Month program by Jen Kingwell. It’s a project that will push me outside my comfort zone, and for which I decided to work only from my stash (well, I might be short of some background fabric, but that’s the only exception I’m allowing myself to make regarding getting new fabric for it). Also, apart from the appliqué blocks, I’m thinking of sewing the whole thing by hand…

I use my embroidery floss as “colour cards”: my colour scheme guide for the Golden Days quilt.

On the next days I plan to post the finishes and resuming a more regular writing schedule!

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Swiss beauty #3 “Grüezi-Salut-Ciao-Allegra”

The name of this block may sound strange, but surely, for all of those who have visited Switzerland it rings a bell. These are the words used for greeting in the country’s four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh.

I really wanted to represent all this language variety in my version of the block, so although perhaps by turning to a very basic resource, I used four different and contrasting colours.

As the instructions suggest, I may embroider other quilt the name of the block in the middle of it. Still not sure,  so for the moment I’m leaving it as it is.

The Swiss Beauty quilt-along is run by the Modern PatCHquilt, and can be followed on Instagram under  #moderpatCHquilt or/and #swissbeautybom.

Triangles QAL #12

The last units for the Triangles QAL were improvised blocks pieced on foundation paper. They were fun blocks that made great use of the scraps from the previous ones. I even risked it using the last bit with the selvage on it, but it should be well inside the seam allowance.

Next clue will be about cutting and laying out the different pieces. There is still lots of work to do on this one!

(This QAL is hosted by Zen Chic on Bernina’s Blog; original post for this block in German here, the English version is here).

EPP Party: revisited blocks

After finishing all the blocks for the EPPparty, I went back to finish and revisit the ones that needed so.

First, I finished block n. 6. This is one of the blocks that needs to be trimmed down to size, and I’d left the last round of shapes as I couldn’t decide on a background. With all the blocks completed, it was clear which fabric I needed for that, and so it was just a matter of cutting the templates and sew. In order to save fabric, I cut the templates slightly bigger than needed, but didn’t care if the block was wonky – after all, I need to cut it down to size-.

Total block pieces: 80

Secondly, I wasn’t quite happy with block n. 7. My initial idea was to re-sew it almost from scratch, but then it turned out that just by changing the background the block worked quite well with the others. Sometimes it is the big picture that makes the individual blocks work, even when one thought they couldn’t.

Next step: putting the top together. This is going to be quite a challenge. (But I’ve already decided I’m going to do this by machine).

(The party was hosted by Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo and run on Instagram under the hashtag #EPPparty).

Swiss beauty #2 “The apple shot”

The second block of the Swiss Beauty BoM depicts the legend of Wilhelm Tell and his famous apple shot, hence the name of the block.

I relied on the story (the arrows and the apples) in order to select the fabrics for this one. I was afraid that, if I was to use white background, the arrows wouldn’t be visible at all (at least, they wouldn’t have the importance I wanted to give them). So, although risking it being too much, I went for the greys instead.

This was also a tricky block to put together, if one doesn’t like sewing curves. I made a silly cutting mistake when trimming the squares for the apples, so I needed to redo one of them. On the other side, after pinning a lot, sewing the curved part wasn’t as difficult as expected.

Now I only hope that this colour combination works well with the rest of the blocks. That’s one of the downsides of sewing a mystery quilt, but there’s always the possibility to rethink – and resew- the blocks when the whole picture is complete (and as long as there’s enough fabric left, but that’s another matter).

This quilt-along is run by the Modern PatCHquilt, and can be followed on Instagram under  #moderpatCHquilt or/and #swissbeautybom.

EPP Party #13: Morning star

Finally, the last block for the EppParty. I can’t barely believe this one is finished, after taking me so long to sew it together!

This extra block is huge, 24″x24″, and required lots of hours of work. I was afraid I would run out of some of the prints, so I constructed it row by row, reassessing my initial colour plan with the fabric left. From some of the initial fat quarters what is now left is a tiny scrap of fabric, that wouldn’t make it for one of those triangles!

I tried to tie together all the previous blocks as much as I was able to with the fabric I had, following the theme “A succulents’ garden”, as well as my previous colour combinations. I know I could have gone totally scrappy with this one, but I really liked the idea of a central star-shaped block acting as the focal point for the whole quilt, and giving some coherence to the scrappy blocks around. This process also led to reconsider the finishing of block 6, and some changes to block 7, which are also now finished and waiting for a final good press.

Total block pieces: 132

(The party was hosted by Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo and run on Instagram under the hashtag #EPPparty).

Triangles QAL #11

And another raw-edge appliqué block. There was a hint on the instructions that the next one will feature another technique. Meanwhile, three more units done, appliquéd by hand.

(This QAL is hosted by Zen Chic on Bernina’s Blog; original post for this block in German here, the English version here).

Triangles QAL #10

Another raw-edge appliqué block, that I already shared some days ago on Instagram. No much to say about it: paying lots of attention when cutting the templates and the fusible web, matching thread and blanket stitch sewn by hand.

(This QAL is hosted by Zen Chic on Bernina’s Blog; original post for this block in German here, the English version here).

Christmas ornaments

The Christmas season is long gone, but unfortunately I didn’t finish these ornaments on time. Mostly because I didn’t know what to do with them: my first idea was to use them as name tags for the Christmas table (by appliquéing some chalkboard fabric on the back), but then I thought that I might kept these for my own Christmas tree, and that indecision led them to be left aside in favour of more pressing projects. Now I have one year to decide what to do with them.

They were a set of preprinted panels by Bonnie Sullivan (All through the night), like the medium-sized one I framed in time for Christmas. I really enjoyed the mindless sewing, playing with different threads – embroidery floss, perlé cotton n.8 and some wool thread- as well as materials – flannels and wool-.

Project: Christmas ornaments
Size: 3″ x 4″ / 7.5 x 10 cm (aprox.)
Date: October 2017January 2018
Pattern: Make Merry, Bonnie Sullivan (All through the night)
Appliqué pieces: scraps of cotton flannel and wool
Stabiliser: Vliseline 671D
Thread: Cotton perlé n. 8 (DMC and Valdani), embroidery floss (Anchor and DMC), wool thread (Aurifil) in different colours
Stitches used: Stem stitch, satin stitch, running stitch, back stitch, cross stitch, colonial knots, whip stitch (appliqué)

Swiss Beauty #1: “New Home”

One of the advantages (or dangers) of Instagram is that you get to know about projects that otherwise would have not got to one’s attention. That’s the case of the Block of the Month “Swiss Beauty” that started this January, run by the Modern PatCHquilt. Once I saw it on my Instagram feed there was no turning back; and my mind couldn’t stop thinking about fabric possibilities for this one.

This year I’m committed to finish things, but I made an exception with this one and thus became the second quilt-along I plan to join this year. I also want to work with fabric I already have, so I decided it was high time to use the fat quarters from the Sunprint 2017 collection by Alison Glass that were sitting on a drawer since last summer.

If anything, these fabrics are pure colour. I doubted, a lot, about using so much colour-saturated fabric with no lower values to add contrast. However, after some thought and after pairing the prints with (my favourite) Grunge fabric for the background, I took the plunge.

This first block was really fun to sew together. The colour-scheme works for me, so let’s see how it goes on the next blocks.