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.

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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.

Triangles QAL #9

It seems this QAL is changing directions and we are no longer paper-piecing the blocks. Instead, two appliqué pieces. For the first one I used the sewing machine, and for the second one, I appliquéd the star by hand, in both cases using a blanket stitch.

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

My 2018 goals

Yesterday I wrote about my worries on having too many projects. These past days I’ve been working on organising and planing, trying to figure out a way to keep track of all the projects I have. I wrote down a list of everything I have stored in boxes and drawers and it turns out I have 33 WIPs, between patchwork and embroidery projects (3). Some of them are only ideas with a pattern and/or fabric, but no action taken (for ex., I have a Frivol box to sew together, but there it’s, untouched). But 20 of them are already begun projects.

I think this says it all about what my goals this year should be. I’m not going to make a list like last year, just point out general ideas and some specific projects:

  1. I need to get to know my new machine. I know this will take time, and lots and trial and error until feeling comfortable with it. It’s difficult to measure that, but depending on how well I’m doing I’ll be faster or slower on…

  2. on “finishing”. I need / want to finish things. This year I would like to have more finishes than beginnings, meaning a reduction on my WIP list. I don’t dare to set a number, as most of them are pretty big quilts. Just to end the year with less WIPs will be enough.

  3. And that taking into account that I decided to join two quilt-alongs. One is the Tula Pink’s City Sampler QAL run by Gnome Angel (the #100blocks100days challenge), and the other is a BoM run by the Modern PatCHquilt called “Swiss beauty”. 12 blocks, one per month, should be doable. And the Project of the Month by Cotton&Color, that is running again under the title “Create your home”.

  4. Making progress on my Stars-quilt. Firstly I need to finish the quilt from the EPPparty, but after that (deadline on July), I want to start working regularly on it again.

  5. Finishing the two big knitting projects I have from last year (the Speckle and Pop MKAL and this pullover), and three smaller projects (two cowls and a pair of mittens). I want to keep the knitting list of WIPs as short as possible.

I know that I will participate in courses, unexpected QALs or KALs, but it’s nice to have some pre-drawn map, isn’t it? And I have the blog to keep myself on track! Speaking of which, I will continue to post here and there my finished blocks or quilts, and combining it with my Instagram or Twitter account for those challenges that require so.

Looking forward to all the sewing and crafting this 2018 may bring, Happy New Year!

2017… ups and downs!

One of the quilts I started in 2017, and that I want to finish this year! Pattern by Bonnie Sullivan.

This year I’m late with the review / goals posts, but late is better than never, isn’t it? I started to write the 2017 review blog post, and at the end, I just started to write something completely different, that being this current text. Without photos, the previous document was two pages large! No way I was to post that…

And that reflects a reality that has been bothering me for a while: I have too many projects. It also shows the major issue I had in 2017. I had planned it to be the year I’d learn to quilt. Well, if something, I learned that my little sewing machine had serious limitations when it came to quilting, and it was at the end of the year that I got a new, bigger machine, that I still need to get to know. At the moment I have 5 quilt tops waiting to be quilted!

However, I did finish some things: the “Buttons” pattern, by Me and My Sister Designs, a table runner, also by Me and My Sister Designs, the Purrfect pattern (aka Marilyn), by Laura Heines , and a pillow cover that turned out to be the perfect gift for my brother! And I completed several small projects, most of them part of the Project of the Month program run by Cotton&Color.

Even though I haven’t quilted them, I completed several quilt tops that were on my to-do list, I joined two unexpected quilt-alongs that are up-to-date one, and on the final stages the other. One of the quilt tops is from a course I took in November with Dörte Bach. I’m really proud of it, as it was something I improvised from a jelly-roll, without a pattern. I put the top together in 5 working days! It’s going to be a full-bed size quilt (around 140 cm x 200 cm) and I can’t wait to start quilting it!

The Jelly Roll quilt! I still have to find a name for it…

Another big achievement was to finish the blocks for the Stars-quilt. I already have a plan to put them together, so it’s progressing! I can’t believe it’s been more than two years since I began it, and still there’s so much left to do on this one…

I gave up the  Festival Flower quilt-along by Leah Day, once I realised I couldn’t work further on it with my machine. The Splendid Sampler™ is still waiting, although now I have all the fabric I need for the sashing.

If anything, this year I’ve knitted, and learnt, a lot. I didn’t expect to enjoy this craft so much! I finished the projects I’d planned to (well, with some modifications), and started and finished several more. All of them can be found under the Knitting category, and on my Ravelry page (latassatorta), which I keep updated.

The Speckle and Pop Shawl Mystery KAL by Stephan West (Westknits). My biggest knitting challenge this past year (and still to be finished).

And I finished my Majorcan-style embroidery, which had been a long running one!, but I didn’t start any other embroidery project, although I have three of them waiting in a drawer.

These days I’m planning and organising a lot. I once wrote “But most important: keep in mind that this is my hobby. I can get done what I can get done, and I should not get any stress from it.” I need to remind myself that, and work accordingly. I plan to write a second post with the 2018 goals, which will need to bear that in mind.

Triangles QAL #8

Well, this one wasn’t so easy! After the two previous blocks, the foundation paper-piecing for this one posed more challenge. Nothing that the seam ripper couldn’t cope with, though.

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