Star Sampler Quilt (1): “Eccentric Star”

2016_09_29

This is the first block for the Star Sampler quilt-along organised and hosted by Amanda Rolfe of 3and3quarters. I had so much fun piecing this one; it makes such a difference working with pieces so big! I had to search for a new photo set, as I don’t have design boards big enough to accommodate a 12.5″ block (perhaps I should start thinking in getting a design wall?).

Although the pattern called for one fabric to be used in all HST, I played with a different fabric for the outer ones, to give the star a contrast to show off. The main print fabric is the lawn print (I posted about the fabric for this sampler here), so I took care of pressing seams away from it as much as possible, and also tried piecing with a 70/10 needle. I don’t think it was strictly necessary, and once the block was finished, I realised I should have adjusted the distance between needle and presser foot to maintain a scant ¼” seam allowance. The final block is slightly smaller than 12.5″, but nothing that can be fixed when putting the quilt together.

I just love the fabric selection for this one, and can’t wait to start working on the second!

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The Splendid Sampler™: Block 65

2016_09_28

The 65th block of The Splendid Sampler™ “Stripes and Flowers”, by Siobhan Rogers, offers two possibilities: “normal” piecing or paper-piecing, with an slightly different outcome depending on the one chosen.

Although I’m not a fan of paper-piecing, I went straightforward for this technique to avoid dealing with those tiny triangles, and I had the block pieced in almost no time. My main concern is that the resulting seams are really thick, even pressed open. The block is slightly small (less than 1/8″ off), and I reckon this is due to this thickness… it should be easy to fix with the sashing.

I didn’t follow the instructions regarding the type of fabric to be used (hence the name of the block!). I’m starting to run out of fabric for big-pieced backgrounds, so no directional prints for this one (considering how much fabric waste it would have implied!), and my floral prints are too much big for those triangles to really show.

Link party, pattern and more info are here.

1st blog Anniversary!

It seems impossible to me, but today this blog turns one year! Impossible that I have been able to write more or less consistently, impossible regarding how many things, and people, I have got to know and into how many projects I have jumped in in just one year. Because it’s fair to say that blogging helps me (a lot) to keep a consistent working pace, motivates me to engage in new projects, and, above all, blogging is enabling me to be in touch with an amazing community of quilters.

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But also today my Stars-quilt project turns one year. Surely time flies by! I know, and knew back then, that this project is a long-term one. I’m pretty happy, taking into account the amount of projects I’m working on, that I’ve been able to reach this year milestone finishing basting all the templates, and having the stars sewn together. I hope in a year I would be already quilting it!

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 504/504
Stars completed: 0 (now let’s work to modify this one!)

I have also used this anniversary to update the “About” page… one year ago I wasn’t even dreaming of learning to knit! This blog is, and will be, mostly about patchwork, but something I’ve been growingly aware of is how much I love needle-work, from patchwork to knitting, including embroidery, sewing home-décor items, and, why not, a garment from time to time. What hasn’t changed is that there’s always some mug or cup lying right next to my sewing space!

Cotton&Color BoM 2016: September

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I hadn’t pictured an idea of the final layout for the Cotton & Colors BoM until I got this month’s pattern. Suddenly, all the references in previous months’ blocks about different rooms in the house made sense. The fact that September’s block has this particular triangular shape should be very indicative.

It was included on the pattern to sew the books in the shelf using selvages. I keep all my selvages, regardless of the collection, and I found this particular one from an old Christmas collection, Christmas fun, by Lynette Anderson. I just love the little chicks. And it states it’s from Lecien, as do most of the fabrics used in this quilt. For the central “book” I went for this particular print, as I do have, and use, a very big dictionary. I liked the idea to picture it in some way.

Let’s see what October’s pattern it’s about!

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 64

2016_09_24

There haven’t been a lot of stars in this sampler, but I think that among all of them, this one is my favourite. I just love how subtle this is! Block n. 64 of The Splendid Sampler is all about fabric choices. Designed by Kathy Brown, the “Rising Star” appears more or less evidently depending on the fabric choice for the central square.

This one looks easy, and it should be. However, I’m not comfortable working with the flip-and-trim method and I needed to redo the final seams several times to get a satisfactory result.

The pattern, information and link party can be found here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 63

2016_09_22

The 63th block of The Splendid SamplerIcing on the cake”, by Kim Christopherson, is a straightforward appliqué one. I couldn’t resist to include my particular Waldo as a part of the cupcake (can one think, that he is in fact carrying a giant cupcake?). I played a little with the appliqué stitches to give different textures between the paper cup (secured with a zig-zag stitch) and the eatable part of the cupcake (blanket stitch).

A very assorted bakery, pattern and link party are here.

Star Sampler Quilt Along: fabric selection

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Let’s start something new! Amanda of 3and3quarters is organising a quilt along featuring 12 different star designs. I love Amanda’s tutorials and videos, so the moment she announced she was planing a QAL I knew this would be on my table right away, despite all the other projects running along.

After working mostly monochrome with the Splendid Sampler™’s blocks, I wanted something completely different for this project. Also, I was decided not to use a set collection. And truth is, this is absolutely outside my comfort zone. It’s really comfortable to work with collections, and it’s really overwhelming to step outside them.

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So, talking fabric. My basic fabric to build this palette is this print from the Flow collection, by Brigitte Heitland (Zen Chic). I just love it! But I don’t see it as a part of any block, so in my head this fabric is intended for the binding. I don’t know how crazy it is to build a whole quilt’s colour scheme from the binding, but anyway… This fabric contains all the colours that should be on the quilt, so from this point forward it was all a matter of spending time in the quilt shop browsing through bolts and bolts of fabric and discussing it with the staff, which were of wonderful and invaluable help. Finally, most of the prints belong to different collections either by to Zen Chic, or to Cotton+Steel.

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From left to right, the fabrics are:

  1. Mochi, by Rashida Coleman-Hale, Cotton+Steel
  2. Mod Basics 3, Birch Fabrics (this fabric is made of organic cotton)
  3. Flow (teal), by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
  4. Macrame, by Rashida Coleman-Hale, Cotton+Steel
  5. For you, by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
  6. Cookie Book, by Kimberly Knight, Cotton+Steel
  7. Flow (orange), by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
  8. August, by Sarah Watts, Cotton+Steel*
  9. Melodies, by Sarah Campbell, Michael Miller Fabrics
  10. Mochi, by Rashida Coleman-Hale, Cotton+Steel
  11. XOXO (Cotton+Steel Basics), by Rashida Coleman-Hale, Cotton+Steel
  12. Homebody, by Kimberly Knight, Cotton+Steel
  13. Flow (graphite), by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics (binding fabric)
  14. 1000 Colors Collection (pink 716), Lecien
  15. Painter’s Canvas (orange), Michael Miller Fabrics
  16. Cotton Couture (Isle), Michael Miller Fabrics

* When I picked this fabric, I didn’t notice it’s lawn. I found Cotton+Steel have some useful tips on working with lawn on their blog.

The background will be a light grey – Lecien 1000 Colours Collection (501)-.

The QAL is scheduled to begin next Thursday, 22th. Time enough to wash all the fabric and start starching… I have found it’s absolutely worth it, and it turns out, it’s basic when working with different fabric weights!

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 61

2016_09_16

The 61th block of The Splendid Sampler™ “Traveler” is designed by Pat Sloan, and should be an easy one. However, I struggled to get the central seam to match… lots of seam-ripper’s time was invested on that final seam (with no special reason about why I shouldn’t have got it right the first time!). At the end, I basted it in place and then sewed the rest.

Anyway, this is one of those blocks that allows for lots of fun with fabric placement, and that would make for a quilt on its own.

Pattern and info are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 60

2016_09_14

The 60th block for The Splendid Sampler is calledHearts and Flowers, by Fiona Ransley (Designs by Fee). I automatically associated this block with a traditional red embroidery, so I went straightforward with this monochrome version, using the closest colour in my colour scheme to red, that is, burgundy. I also decided not to satin-stitch the large flowers’ centres, so they wouldn’t draw so much attention.

The pattern, info and link party are here.