Cotton&Color BoM 2016: June

2016_06_30

It seems that the blocks from the Cotton & Color‘s BoM like deadlines, because I’m finishing them just on the very end of the month. For June, the pattern depicts a laundry basket full of fabric -washed or to be washed? That’s the question-, and as previous blocks, it’s paper-pieced.

This wasn’t a difficult block to put together; moreover, this time indications were given on how to save background fabric to have enough of it at the end for the borders. I took the chance to search through my (little) scrap bin and to use some fabrics that have already been used in previous blocks. I don’t know the final layout of this quilt, so I like to give common elements to the different blocks to create a link between them.

The washing pictograms are backstitched with DMC embroidery floss n. 844.

There’s a photo gallery with other participants’ blocks here. Looking forward to July’s block!

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 38

2016_06_28

The 38th block of The Splendid Sampler is called “Vintage flower basket, by Pam Vieira McGinnis, an depicts what it says, an appliquéd flower basket.

I just followed the instructions and went with fusible appliqué. I used a blanket stitch for the basket, to give the edges the irregular look of an actual basket, and a backstitch to secure the flowers and leaves.

I didn’t have a ric-rac, so I used a bias tape I already had and which I think works perfectly. It’s the only piece that is machine-sewn.

For this particular block I used embroidery floss: Anchor n. 234, DMC n. 310 and the variegated Cosmo n. 8021 and n. 5040.

The pattern and link party are found here.

 

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 31

2016_06_25

Block 31 for The Splendid Sampler “Blossoming”, by Jennifer Reynolds (Jenny of Elefantz) is another full-embroidered block. For this one I tried some new things:

– I used a Pigma Micron pen to transfer the pattern to the fabric. This pen works great! I loved the delicate, thin trace it leaves which helps a lot in achieving tidy and accurate stitches. But, as it’s permanent, a lot of attention must be taken into when transferring, as the mistakes can’t be amended. A table light would’ve been useful…

– I used stabilizer (a light fusible muslin). Another wonderful discovery. I can tell the difference, and I think I’ll be using this in all my future embroidery projects (except in those with a enough sturdy fabric, of course).

– I didn’t use a loop, in any part of the process. Although I was comfortable sewing without it, I think its use will depend on the stitches sewn.

– I sewn my first Lazy Daisy stitches. So much fun! I have to watch out not to pull the thread too much, so it looks like more an actual petal.

Following the designer’s advice, I tried to stitch very tiny stitches, and I really enjoyed doing so. I didn’t never thought how many backstitches in one inch I was capable of sewing! It turns out that it’s 17.

I kept the same colour scheme used in the previous blocks, although I played with more colours than in block n.20. For this one, I used DMC embroidery floss n. 844 for the basic grey, and Lecien’s Cosmo variegated floss n. 5008, 5002, 8055 and 8021 for the details.


The link party and block information are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 37

2016_06_23

The 37th block of The Splendid Sampler is called “Dashing by Chocolate, by Laura Flynn. The name refers to the basic block, the churn dash, which has been slightly altered in this version.

After the previous blocks, most of them running now on the slow lane, this was a fast, fun block to piece. My main dilemma was whether to use the black prints, but at the end I love the strong contrast between the darkest prints and the soft prints of the flying geese.

Laura Flynn proposes different layouts for this block, which works beautifully set on point. The pattern and link party however are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 34

2016_06_19

Block n.34 for The Splendid Sampler is calledLemonade, by Amy Gibson, and it includes curved piecing. I can’t recall having done curved piecing before, and it was quite a challenge. In fact, the two pieces are pieced in different ways: the first attempt, with the sewing machine, required seam-ripper and the resulting block was a little bit off (I tried to amend it when joining the whole block together, and I’m pretty happy about the end result). The second attempt was hand-sewn, tracing the sewing lines, pining a lot and sewing very slowly with tiny stitches.

Putting the rest of the block together went pretty fast; I’ve noticed that my piecing skills have really improved since this sampler began, and I couldn’t be more happy about that. I needed almost no seam-ripper to get those pointy triangles!

I wanted to give this block a fresh look, playing with the block’s name and theme, so I tried to play with not very contrasting fabrics. (And yes, I couldn’t resist to add a lemon to the photo…)

The pattern and link party, without actual lemons, are here.

*Block n.35 has lots of embroidery, which I want to do (instead of trying those stitches in my machine that have never been used). So, it’s moving to the slow lane, just behind block n. 31. Block n.36 requires some extra time, too, so it’s going to the queue.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 33

2016_06_18

The 33th block of The Splendid Sampleris called “Selvage Saver” by Pat Sloan. I love this block! I usually keep the selvages of my fabric, although I haven’t used them yet in a specific project. Including the selvages in the quilt feels like a little tribute: my quilt is defined by my fabric choices, and this is what distinguishes it from the rest of samplers being sewn. So, I think it’s fair enough to include the name of the fabric in a rather visible way.

I had already pieced this block and taken the photos and written the blog post when I realised I had made a mistake. I thought I didn’t have selvages from the “Pie Making Day” fabric, so I couldn’t include a specific name for the coloured part of my quilt. I did include one of prints, but I didn’t want it to be the focal point of the block, so I chose one of the greys with a little touch of colour (but not enough to be a distraction). And then, I remembered I had put aside three prints that I’m not going to use in the sampler, and, of course, when checking, one of them had printed selvages! So I decided to unpick the block and re-do the last part just to include this one.

I’m glad I remember in time I had this fabric pulled aside. Now both collections are fully represented.

This was a really fun block to put together. The block’s info and link party are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 32

2016_06_15

The 32th block of The Splendid Sampler is called “The Constant Needle”, by Laurie Simpson, of Minick&Simpson. I really like the name of the block and the idea behind the little story on it: although sewing is pretty new to me (I learnt to sew as a grown-up and got into patchwork about 4 years ago), I can’t think of myself without a needle right now.

The block itself is, again, purely appliqué. I tried the Pellon-on-the-back method by Lori Holt (tutorial here), but I don’t know whether it was the interfacing I used that was to loose, that the pieces are to small for this technique, or that simply, I made something wrong, but it didn’t convince me at all, so I started over going with the fusible appliqué method.

And I had to wait until I got the chance to visit my local quilt shop, because I had run out of fusible interfacing. The pieces are reinforced with a backstitch using Lecien’s Cosmos variegated floss n. 5040 and n. 8055.

I considered making a pieced background, following Christine B.’s idea, but in the end I stuck with a unique background piece. I hope I won’t run out of large enough background pieces in the last blocks.

The pattern and link party for this particular block can be found here.

A bucket

2016_06_13

This little bucket had been on my to-do list since I got the pattern, “2 Fat Quarter Bucket!”, by Me and My Sister Designs. It looks easy, and it really is! I think I spent like an hour to put it all together, and the results are fantastic. This one comes pretty handy to store my first attempt at knitting (the top of the yarn skein is barely visible), so, what is more appropriate, than a fabric with little, cute sheep?

This fabric is a Japanese print, and the lining is from a fat quarter gifted by the friend who taught me the basics of knitting.

The pattern calls for Décor-Bond 809, but I didn’t have and couldn’t find any, so I used the interfacing I already had at hand. Turned out it was not fusible, but nothing that a double-fusible strip from Ikea could not do (I laid several strips to secure the batting to the fabric). I think this interfacing worked really well, as the bucket stays almost perfectly straight.

I’m already planning making another one, this one to be given… and with a more appropriate interfacing!

Project: Bucket
Size: 6″W x 4 1/2″L x 7H / 15 x 11.5 x 18 cm
Date: June 2016
Pattern: 2 Fat Quarter Bucket!, Me and My Sister Designs
Exterior fabric: Japanese print, Kokka (?)
Lining fabric: Pascal et Beatrix Tissus
Batting: Thermolam TP970 (100% polyester), Legacy ; Bounding fusible strip, Ikea

Two table runners

2016_06_11

These two table-runners were a special request from my mother, who also picked the fabric for them (a charm  pack) and gave me the final dimensions they should have. My main concern was to make the most of the fabric, and after some research, I decided for the hour-glass block, following this tutorial by Amy Smart (Diary of a quilter). I learnt a couple of things on the way about working with hour-glass blocks:

– When cutting the HST, watch out to keep the diagonal always in the same direction, otherwise, seams won’t nest.

– Look out for the diagonals when assembling blocks, and pin!

I assembled the blocks in columns instead of rows, so I wouldn’t have so many points to match. I found it rather difficult joining the columns together, as the seams had so much bulk. I did spin the central seams, and that helped in quilting, but didn’t affect the columns at all. Lots of seam-ripper went into these in order to get better matching points.

And to match the given dimensions, I opted to add the border in the second of them, when I run out of the main fabric. I must say that there were no left-overs from the charm-pack, and the border comes from a bundle I purchased some time ago, in order to stash some neutral fabric (and that came pretty handy in this case!)

As the table runners would be topped with lots of things, I kept the quilting pretty simple, just ecoing some of the diagonals. The binding is one of my favourite fabric lines for the job: Quilter’s Linen, by Robert Kaufman. I just love this rust colour… and I stashed it from a sale!

My mother loved the final result and I’m really happy of how these two turned out (and that I was able to finish them in due date!).

Project: Two table runners
Size: (1) 11″ x 28″ / 28 x 71 cm (2) 11″ x 31″ / 28 x 79 cm
Date: January, 2016June, 2016
Pattern: Hour-glass blocks
Top fabric: Jelly Bean, by Laundry Basket Quilts, Moda Fabrics
                  (border) Rove Indienne, French General, Moda Fabrics
Backing fabric: unknown, caramel fabric
Batting: Regular Thermolam TP970 (100% polyester), Legacy
Quilting: machine-quilt, Star Mercerized Egyptian Cotton, WT 30 Colour 480.
Binding: Quilter’s Linen 9864-179 (Rust), Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Linking with Finish it up Friday!

What I’m working on…. and Stars-quilt stats

There’s a lot going behind the scenes these days. I’ve though I will post about it so I don’t feel I’m not accomplishing anything just because there’s no specific finish to share. And because this is also part of the journey, and I like to see how things have progressed when I look back to previous post. That being said, let’s go:

2016_06_04_1

– I finally found the time to work on the Jelly Roll quilt from the class with Me and My Sister Designs. I unpicked the part that was already put together (and that didn’t match), and now the first quarter of the quilt is finished, with all the seams matching as they were supposed to do. And I finished to add the triangle-corners to all the basic pieces… this is how they look like, ready to be trimmed and pressed. Chain-piecing is just wonderful.

– I worked also on the pattern “Buttons & Thread”, from the same class. To this moment it’s all already cut for the “Buttons” pattern, and ready to be used as a leader-and-ender project.

2016_06_04_2

– I also finished the second pair of the “Makin’it Cute” mitten templates. And I have already decided to convert these two into a bunting, or just make a bunting from scratch and keep these for the Christmas tree… Well, I’ve decided I’m going to make a bunting. I need to buy some fabric, though.

– I’ve finished one project that was due this June! On time! I’ll share it once it’s given to its recipient.

2016_06_04_3

– Some more work on the Stars-quilt. The updated statistics are:

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 245/504 (+59 from the last stats)
Stars completed: 0

– And last but not least, for The Splendid Sampler™ : block n.31 is one of those that need to run on the slow lane, just to get the most of it (my embroidery skills are growing at an incredible pace with this sampler!). So moving to the next blocks meanwhile.

I’m glad to see some progress on the “long run” projects. It helps keeping motivation high!