Sunday, October 23, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching Treat

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching where we celebrate all the wonderful benefits of the art of hand stitching! I am so glad you can join us because I have an extra special treat for you english paper piecing enthusiasts!
I was at the London Friendship Quilters' Guild quilt show and saw so many amazing quilts, but 4 in particular that I want to share with you today. These quilts are all completely hand pieced, which means every single one of these thousands of tiny pieces of fabric was cut with scissors and hand stitched with a needle and thread. The pattern is called La Passacaglia and is found in Willyne Hammerstein's book called Millefiori

Let's start with our very own Cathy Shepherd who blogs over at Eagles' Wings Quilts. She frequently linked up to Slow Sunday Stitching while we watched over her shoulder as she pieced all these tiny shapes into this spectacular Passacaglia quilt. You cannot even appreciate all the amazing fussy cut designs she created, but trust me... you see something different every time you look at this quilt. Cathy edged all the rosettes in white and bordered them on a blue fabric.

And there were 3 more of these quilts hanging in the show!

Here is the second one sewn by Charlene O'Donnell. See how she made two borders (a gold and an orange) and then cut off some of the rosettes, and extended some of them into the border?

Here is the third one sewn by Lorraine Swanson using civil war colours. She edged the rosettes with brown, and added a larger neutral border and more english paper pieced blocks. See on the bottom right corner where she put examples of the tiny design units?!? I am telling you these pieces are TINY! I should have taken a photo with my hand beside it so you could appreciate the scale of these quilts.

And here is the fourth version sewn in brights with black pointed stars around the rosettes. This was made by Lorna Martin and she extended 3 of the rosettes into the border.

I am amazed by how each quilter used the same pattern, and how they each look so different! They were really unbelievable!

Some of the women at my quilt retreat were working on this same quilt last winter. This is Nancy on the left making a super small version, and Maria on the right making the regular size version. They are holding the same block from the pattern. Wow and wow! I sure do hope I don't fall in love with the idea of making this quilt!
Have you tried english paper piecing? What are you hand stitching today? We'd love to see what you're working on, so link up your blog post below and share your progress.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Scrappy Saturday

This was my Rainbow Scrap Challenge project this week. I was using this "Circle of Squares" block as a leader-ender in between piecing other projects and finally finished it today. It's so fun to dig around in the scrap bags and boxes to come up with 8 pieces to cut into the required squares.

And here it is with my other finished blocks for a total of 6. I want to make at least 6 more, so this project will continue well into next year.

To see what the other RSC folks are sewing this week, hop over to SoScrappy.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Circa Struggles

I love most parts of the quilting process. I love buying fabrics, using the rotary cutter, piecing blocks, and enjoy both machine and hand quilting. But the one thing I dislike the most is the math. Measuring. Calculating. Re-measuring and trying to figure out how to adjust quilt pieces when the quilt does not produce the right numbers.
My seam allowance is usually quite consistent, but these Circa sections are not coming out to the right size according to the instructions. Here I am using three different rulers to try to figure out how to trim this section. To get the right measurement, I would have to cut off the block points and I'm not doing that! Or I could unsew and re-piece the sections using a bigger seam allowance to reduce the size of the unit, but I'm not doing that either for the same reason.
So I have to recalculate how to fit these pieces together.

Here I am using the tape measure to figure out what size the side panels need to be trimmed to. There is just so much seam matching in this layout and it all has to magically work out. So far it's not, and it's giving me a headache. 
So I will try to figure out the numbers another day.

Today I am going to the London Friendship Quilters' Guild quilt show. I hope to see some blogland friends and am looking forward to being inspired by their wonderful quilts. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Quiltville Mystery

As my blog followers know, I am a huge Bonnie Hunter fan and look forward to sewing her annual mystery quilt. I have sewn almost every mystery quilt pattern she has written and you can read more about those quilts here and here.
For the past few years the mystery event has started on the American Thanksgiving weekend in November. 
I really wanted to have my 2015 Allietare mystery blocks together by the time the new mystery starts. I got the blocks out of the UFO closet and started sewing them together in pairs. 
Allietare is another on point layout and I've already been struggling with my Circa quilt layout this week, so I don't want to start working on this actual layout until Circa is off the design wall. Also I didn't make the setting blocks as the pattern outlined, so I will have to figure that out. But for now I'm at least making a bit of progress and that feels great!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Bear is Back!

And here he is on the design wall in all his glory!
This is from Lorna's MOD Bear quiltalong.
I think my fabric choices were all a bit too similar in value and kind of mush together. However it might be perfect for a camouflage effect, and so I'm going to say I did that on purpose. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! 

As I was sewing the bear I got an idea for some improve pieced blocks which might be fun as part of the bottom border. I'm going to work with my idea this week and see if it works out. I think this is the finished size of the inside of my bear quilt, plus there are a few more borders to add including a paw block border. 
I'm linking up today to Let's Be Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts. I hope there will be other bears prowling around over there!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Aurifil BOM

Did you see the September Aurifil blocks posted over at Pat Sloan's? Take a look here at about 30 variations of the same pattern. It's amazing how each quilter's version of the block is unique. I thought maybe some of the quilters changed their layout design because they looked quite different. But when I studied the blocks, it was simply due to the value placement and your eye notices different parts of the block design.
Anyway, on to October's block which was the quickest and easiest block so far. It's called "Chip off the old block". You can read the designer interview heresee the block pattern here and see the finished blocks here.
This block is a bit odd on it's own, but a whole quilt of these scrappy blocks would be a fun stashbuster.
Only 2 more months to go and these blocks will become a quilt!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Design Wall Monday

The Temecula mystery quilt called Circa 2016 finished up last week, and I am eager to get this quilt top together. This is how it looks so far. The 3 centre panels are made but not trimmed to the correct size yet. They need to be trimmed and joined together.
The right side panel is well underway. It's been a while since I sewed a quilt with an on point layout, and it's a bit of a challenge for my brain.
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times.