That’s what I did in 2016…

This 2016 goal-review post has been growing along the 2016: every time I accomplished something, or I thought of something, I would just open the 2016 goals’ post and made my comments. It’s has been a work-in-progress that helped to digest things, put perspective on them and not rush at the last moment just to “comply” with the “past-year-review-post”, leaving things behind and just adding things to embellish the list. I will do another post with my goals for 2017, so this one doesn’t end larger than it already is.

All my programming for this year fell behind with the arrival of The Splendid Sampler, which has been my -unexpected- central project for the whole year. Along it, the course with Me and My Sister Designs added a whole load of new projects, and, of course, I couldn’t resist to join some other things along the way.

That said, what have I accomplished from the original list?

– My long-standing UFO hasn’t been touched. At all. Total failure on that.

Find a pattern to put the collection Reel Time, by Zen Chic for Moda, into use. I have several ideas on that, based on some Splendid Sampler blocks and parallel projects offered by the designers. I have no rush to work on that, though.

Find a pattern for a charm pack. This is a request from a relative, who also chose the fabrics (Jelly Bean, by Laundry Basket Quilts for Moda). It turned into two table-runners made with hour-glass blocks. And was finished in due date! I blogged about them here.

Find a pattern for a collection of white batiks (2 ½” strips set). Found! It will be the Wild Jelly roll n. 4 pattern, by Me and My Sister Designs. I need to find some extra coordinating fabric, that will mark when I’m going to work on it.

Find a pattern for a 2 ½” strips set (Matilda by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures Fabrics). I really love this fabric and I would like to make a bed-runner from it. On my to-do list since 2014. Searching…

Piece a table runner for my balcony table. For this I have the pattern and the fabric, in this order. Another complete failure. I will turn this into a leader-and-enders project, let’s see if by doing so I can get it done! But I pieced a table topper for it, the Frivol n.10! So it should count as done, shouldn’t it?

Join a BOM program. This is already done, now just waiting until the first block is released. So, better: finishing a BOM program. I joined four: the one I’ve already joined (Cotton&Color BOM), The Splendid Sampler™, the Stars-sampler by 3and3quarters quilt along, and the Sugar Plumb table-runner by Fresh Lemons Quilts. The Cotton&Color BoM is finished, and I’m proud I have the quilt put together and working in a consistent pace to have it finished and ready to quilt mid January. The Sugar Plumb table-runner is finished, and needs to be quilted. The other two are still running, and up-to-date.

Make a new pincushion for my sewing table. Done! It was made in early February, details here.

Sew a mini-quilt to hang in my sewing space. I did sew a mini-quilt, although not for me.

Do not let the Stars-quilt to become and UFO. It haven’t! I’m so glad of that… With all the other sewing going around here it is advancing at a really slow pace, but advancing.

– I should only buy fabric that works as stash-builder or that I absolutely love it. I bought fabric. Of course. Lots of. I made an spreadsheet to keep track of it, though. Helps to avoid buying new one and have a wide perspective of how the stash is doing!

And I have learned to knit! That was totally unexpected, but in a few months knitting has become a part of my crafty life, and I have lots of projects already burning in my mind! I have even opened an account on Ravelry (you can find me as latassatorta).

I’m really happy of all I have done this year, even there are some things that didn’t get accomplished. Moreover, I’m amazed for the people I have got to know, and the wonderful experiences I have had thanks to these amazing hobbies.

Happy New Year!

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 88

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Block n. 88 for The Splendid Sampler is called “Love is the Answer, by Pat Wys. Although the designer invited to modify the block, I just followed the pattern. The birds are stitched with stem-stitch, the details and the letters with backstitch and variegated floss. The eyes are French knots.

The pattern, info and link party are here.

With this block the sampler takes a break until next year, which is to be thanked for, with all the season’s celebrations. I wish you all a lovely time!

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 87

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The 87th block of The Splendid Sampler™ “Shining Star, by Jackie Kunkel, is a cute star featuring paper-piecing and not-straight seams (!). The paper-piecing was quite easy, the Y-seams required patience, but the trickiest part of putting the block together was the sewing of the complete units. I like to secure the stitches at the beginning and end of each seam while paper-piecing, but it results in an added bulk. The seams of the units were already bulky, so accurate pinning and matching points were really tricky.

That’s one of the main problems I find when piecing complex units with the paper-piecing method: it does provide accurate points, but the “exterior” seams of the units tend to end really bulky.

Link party, pattern and more info for this particular one are here

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and this is how my blocks 1 to 85 look so far! I will rearrange the order of some of them, and there are some that need to be redone (not many, fortunately), but seeing them together allows for working on colour balance and gives the extra motivation to face the last part of this journey -well, besides of sashing, quilting… but that’s a whole different history, isn’t it?-.

Moda’s Frivol n. 10: “Sugar”

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This is my Christmas project for this year! I started it in July having already in mind the idea to use it as a table-topper for the Christmas season. I loved the Frivol’s tin, the fabric, and the pattern. And it didn’t seem difficult, so there I went. But this little one was, if nothing, a journey of mistakes and lots, lots, lots of learning.

Firstly, I decided to starch the fabric (it was pre-cut). I use a water-based starch, and, guess what, there was shrinkage. A lot. I mean, I was lucky that I could follow the cutting instructions, because the shrinkage was so huge that I almost didn’t have enough fabric for the pattern cutting requirements. Fortunately, not all the pre-cuts in the tin were needed, so there were a couple of cutting-error victims that went directly to the scraps bin.

Piecing itself was not complicated and really quick. But then came the quilting part. I’d already decided to quilt in the ditch, but I interrupted the first attempt before I had finished the first block. It was a disaster. My walking foot front part is really narrow and it’s really difficult to see where the needle drops, so the resulting quilting was everywhere but in the ditch. I unpicked the stitches, and thought of a second plan.

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Which was eco-quilting the squares. In the second attempt I found I couldn’t rely on following my foot as a guide, so unpicking again it was; and then I marked the quilting lines without removing the safety pins I’ve used for basting. Wonky lines are a short term for what came out.

At the end: I pulled the fabric too much; my machine is really tiny to hold large quilts (and this one wasn’t specially large!), so there are irregular stitches -even using the walking foot!- due to wrongly feeding the quilt into the machine. And the border is, in no ways, square.

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I washed the quilt before adding the binding. I used a 2 1/2″ wide binding strip, but now I think it should have been less, perhaps 2 1/4″.

And I attached a label!!

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Overall, I’m really happy with the results. I learnt a lot from my own mistakes, and now I’m enjoying a new, beautiful table-topper, with all its imperfections.

This quilt was on exhibition in my local quilt shop, that’s why this post is so late, even it was finished a couple of months ago. It was also featured in a short Q&A at Cotton&Color’s blog.

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Project: Table-topper / Wall hanging
Size: 11″ x 14 1/4″/ 27.5 x 36 cm
Date: July 2016- September 2016
Pattern: Sugar, by Sweetwater (Moda Frivol n. 10)
Top fabric: The Cookie Exchange, by Sweetwater, for Moda Fabrics
Border: Galeria, Gail Marie, P&B Textiles
Backing fabric: unknown, a fabric purchased four years (?) ago
Batting: Regular Thermolam TP970, Legacy
Quilting: machine-quilted, Scanfil Organic 4801
Binding: Quilter’s Linen, Robert Kaufmann
Label: Bomull, Ikea

Linking with Finish it up Friday!

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 84

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Block 84 of The Splendid Sampler, “Early Bird” by Joan Ford, is one that falls directly into my “really difficult to piece” category. Fortunately, a second version of the block using paper-piecing was given, so there was no doubt which way to go. Moreover, taking into account I now have a serious problem of fabric shortage, and I’d better play safe, and using scraps, rather than risking big pieces of fabric with an uncertain outcome.

Paper-piecing this one was not difficult; the only thing to be considered is the thickness of the horizontal seams when it comes to plan the quilting. The eye is embroidered using satin-stitch.

The pattern and link party can be found here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 85

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With all the Christmas sewing and projects with more priority at the moment I decided to put the blocks for The Splendid Samplerin the slow lane, so they won’t be appearing here in the right order and on the right timing. However, block 85 is a pretty straightforward one, so I squeezed it between other things.

Called “Flow”, by Latifah Saafir, it’s a simple paper pieced block, depicting a plane. What’s curious about this one is that the templates include the seam allowance, which was new to me. It seems to be two versions of this block, one with the main strip perfectly centred on the diagonal, and the second, as it’s seen on the last page of the pattern, with it slightly off. I guess the “correct” one is with the centred strip, and I did something wrong when trimming the block together (I cut from the back, following the paper templates, without checking the front…*sigh*). However, I do like this version, which looks more like a real plane.

This block changes dramatically upon the fabric choice; lots of variations and the pattern are here.

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 82

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Block n. 82 for The Splendid SamplerUnder the Apple Tree”  is designed by Brigitte Heitland (Zen Chic),  whose collections Modern Background – Paper and Ink- I’m using as the main prints for the Sampler.

English paper-piecing is always welcome, so there was no much history left in this particular block. Only, that I used a pretty thick cardboard for the templates, and the final block is bigger than it should be… but I think I will be able to fix it with the sashing.

Pattern, info and link party are here.