Loyal Union Sampler blocks 51, 52, 53, 54 and 55/121

I’m getting close to the half way mark on the Loyal Union Sampler by Jennifer Chiaverini. I’ve got another five blocks done which makes five completed rows so far.

First up is Home Sweet Home.

E-7 Home Sweet Home

This one is called Honey Bee but the design in the book also has some appliqué. I’m not having appliqué in this quilt so I’ve taken the liberty to rearrange the colour values of the base block so it’s more to my taste.

E-8 Honey Bee

Third up is Hourglass.

E-9 Hourglass

Now, I really like the next one which looks like a pineapple block variation but the construction is nothing like it. This is Illinois.

E-10 IllinoisThe last one in row five is Improved Four-Patch.

E-11 Improved Four-Patch

That’s 55 blocks completed so far. I’m getting there!

LUS 55 Blocks

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Loyal Union Sampler blocks 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50/121

These blocks are from the Loyal Union Sampler by Jennifer Chiaverini. I’ve got another five to show today.

The first one is called Granny’s Favorite. Not as simple as it looks but I enjoyed making it.

E-2 Granny's Favorite

This one is Guiding Star.

E-3 Guiding Star

Happy Home is next.

E-4 Happy Home

Then Harvest Home. Lots of fiddly points to match here.

E-5 Harvest HomeIt was nice to finish on an easy one called Hatchet.

E-6 Hatchet

Here’s the virtual quilt so far.

LUS 50 Blocks

These blocks all finish at 6 inches square. Have you made a sampler with small blocks? Or are you still in the process maybe?

Loyal Union Sampler blocks 41, 42, 43, 44, and 45/121

Five more blocks to share today from the Loyal Union Sampler by Jenifer Chiaverini.

Nice and easy Friendship Square to begin with.

D-8 Friendship Square

Next up is Gerda’s Puzzle. I like this one a lot.

D-9 Gerda's PuzzleThe third one is Gettysburg.

D-10 Gettysburg

Glad Tidings has more lovely Y-seams 😉

D-11 Glad Tidings

Last but not least is Good Fortune. Hurray, I’m onto the fifth row!

E-1 Good Fortune

Here’s the virtual quilt so far.

LUS 45 BlocksI’m really trying to put my head down with this project now and I don’t think I’ll start anything else (in patchwork) until it’s done. Part of me wants it all finished but another part doesn’t want it to end because I’m having so much fun with these tiny blocks.

Scrappy madness!

I like to keep my scraps organised by colour in polythene freezer bags, the ones that have a grip seal. I’ve got a couple of large plastic storage boxes to keep them all tidy but, now and again, I reach the point where I can’t fit any more of a particular colour in. Then it’s time to do some scrap busting!1These are all the purples I had. There’s a few pieces left over from the F2F quilt which was made as part of a block swap organised by Kate a couple of years ago.

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3 I remembered this particular fabric but I wasn’t sure it fitted in with what I’d planned. 4It’s from a very bright and cheerful jelly roll that I made a French braid quilt top with years ago. Here it is, still sitting in a box and waiting to be quilted after almost 6 years. Time flies!

cimg1528Do you always remember where every bit of fabric came from and the projects you made from it? I digress.

I pressed all the purple scraps and divided them into groups according to shape and size. There were loads of 5 inch squares, part jelly roll strips and 5 inch rectangles with selvedges still attached. I’ve now cut the selvedges off and have ended up with over 200 rectangles that are 5” x 1.5”. There’s also about 70 five inch squares and the equivalent of 60 full jelly roll strips. They’ve all been bagged up for future purple projects.

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6 I then cut all the other bits into strips as wide as I could get from them.

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9Then I stitched them all together. That’s what patchworkers do. We chop up fabric and stitch it all back together again! A bit of mindless sewing is good for you now and again, isn’t it?10Then it was fun time! Why have lots of pieces of purple fabric when you can have one big piece instead?11Keeping everything square as I went, I just kept adding different widths around and around and couldn’t stop because it was so much fun. I pressed the seams open because there are no quilt police here I thought it would lie flatter that way.

13Sometimes I added a strip to each side rather than all the way around, depending on how much of that width I had left. I ended up with purple scrappy madness. It’s a good job I like purple ;-).

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It’s now about 36” x 24” and I have no purple scraps left. Any ideas what to do with it? I’m happy to leave as it is or chop it up. Don’t say “bin it” LOL.

Using up the scraps

Last time I showed you the Trip Around the World quilt that my sister started and then I finished for her when she ran out of enthusiasm. You might also remember this knitting bag I made for her over three years ago that she uses all the time (but not for knitting).

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Some of my other bags, including this one, are here if you’re interested.

Well, I had to do something with all the scraps that were leftover from the quilt. I’d come to the conclusion that the reason my sister didn’t want to use the original bag for knitting was because I didn’t make it with a zip closure.  She doesn’t like spiders and I realised spiders could get into the knitting and that wouldn’t be good would it? She just kept saying the bag was too good to use for knitting but I still think it was all to do with pesky spiders LOL. So I made a new one with a zipper in the hope that she’d use it for knitting this time!

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It’s almost the same as the original but with a much wider base, it closes with a zip and the button placement is different. Those buttons are from my late Aunt Edith’s sewing box by the way, probably circa 1960’s. Even though it looks similar, the construction method was completely different and, to be honest, it had me stumped for a while but I got there in the end. It’s all in the planning isn’t it? The original started with a one piece base and the sides were attached to it. For this one I needed to rethink because of the zip. I started at the zip and then attached the sides, so working down the bag instead of up.

There were still a few scraps left so I made a little pouch to pop inside as well.

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My sister was well chuffed with both. I told her the large one was for her knitting. She has other ideas. I might have known!

Anyway, that’s all of the blue Trip Around the World fabrics used up now. I’ve also been plodding on with the Loyal Union Sampler blocks recently and have a few of those to photograph. Then I’ll get the virtual quilt on the right of the page updated so you can see where I’m up to.

What crafty stuff have you been up to recently?

To the rescue…

My sister’s been having a clear out which ended up being great news for me.

I can’t remember how many years ago it was, but she started to do patchwork at a class which resulted in a fabulous first quilt. She was very enthusiastic about starting another one so we went to the fabric shop together to choose lots of blues for her solo adventure. The pattern had already been chosen, as had the method of construction. It was going to be a Trip Around the World quilt made using the tube method. All went well initially but her enthusiasm soon waned and that was the last I heard of any quilt progress. Unfortunately it had made its way into the cupboard to be forgotten. Every now and again, I’d ask her when she was going to get the quilt bits out of the bag and have another go. She kept saying it would get done one day. It didn’t. Eventually, I offered to finish it for her. Those fabrics were pricey and far too good to just sit in a cupboard. I was convinced she’d thrown it all in the bin! However, I was so pleased when she handed me the bag just after Christmas.

There were lots of bits.

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Some tubes were already split, some were still stitched together. There was a pile of uncut fabric plus three pieced rectangles. The dark photos were all taken in poor electric light by the way 😦

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The top two rectangles are exactly the same if one is rotated 180 degrees. The bottom one is completely different in both size and colour. I couldn’t make head nor tail of the pattern so I ditched it. Then it was just a case of solving the puzzle of all the bits. The good thing was that my sister had pressed all the seams correctly and her piecing was perfect so far.

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I eventually got to here…

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…but there was still loads of fabric left so I joined more strips and made it wider.

6I chose a white on white fabric for the backing and binding…

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…and kept the quilting simple.

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Not a brilliant photo but you’ll get the idea. It turned out to be a good sized single to flop over the sides of the bed or it would make a nice double topper.

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My sister loves it but she no longer has a colour scheme in any room to match. So it’s mine! That’s the good news 🙂 I’ve got a single bedroom with white walls and it works a treat in there. However, I couldn’t stop there because there was still plenty of fabric left.

10 I made a quilted pillow sham.

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I should have made more effort with the photography but here’s the finish!
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I think it would have been so much quicker to start this one from scratch but my sister had spent a lot of time cutting and piecing and I had loads of fun sorting out the puzzle.

Have you ever finished something that someone else had started? How did it turn out?

Pressies All Round

I do love it when my daughter goes off travelling because she always find gorgeous fabric for me. She likes to travel light which means there’s usually room in her luggage for lots of treats.

She was in China for the New Year Festival and there were loads fantastic of red decorations everywhere. Red symbolises good luck. How lucky I was to be presented with this New Year’s fabulous fish!

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I love the rainbow sequins and all the sparkly bling 🙂 As you can see, it hangs from a very special knot. There’s also a long thick double tassle hanging underneath which isn’t in the photo. It might be a Chinese New Year decoration but it’s going to hang in my dining room all year because it makes me smile.

My daughter knows I love things made from fabric so she also brought me a fabric tray. The sides are pulled together at the corners with a thick cord knot and loop fastening. The machine embroidered outer fabric is very pretty but I’ve realised I can’t see it when the tray is in use so I’m going to turn it inside out and have the bonny side inside. It came with some Chinese chocolate coins. YUM!

The underside.

IMG_20180225_145812865-780x1040Loop and knot corner fastening.

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Chocolate!

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Even though my daughter was travelling around China and stayed in several places, she didn’t come across any shops or markets that sold fabric suitable for patchwork. However, a trip across the water to Taiwan changed all that. Bingo!

Here’s my haul, starting with a couple of purple designs. All the fabrics have a touch of metallic.

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Five blues.

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Four reds.

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It’s all lovely patchwork cotton quality and I’m so pleased with it. I have no idea what to make (apart from a gift, see further down).

My daughter loves green so she treated herself to this embroidered silk fabric with a challenge to me to make something for her. It’s actually a much darker, richer green in real life.

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It always takes me a while to decide what to do with new fabric. I’m in no hurry. However, my friend Claire had already said her favourite design was the red one with the bamboo. I’ve just acquired an old Singer Sewing Machine so I decided to give it a proper workout. I made this quilted zipper pouch and sent it off to France with some treats inside 🙂

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I like a boxy bottom…

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…and covered zip ends.

IMG_20180304_164149261-1040x780The lining is in Christmas Red from Moda Bella Solids.

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Here it is posing on my Singer 🙂 There’s also another present in this photo. I’ll tell you all about it later.

IMG_20180304_164043525-1040x780 I included a scrappy bookmark for good measure.

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The old machine made light work of the quilting, inserting the zipper and stitching through all the thicknesses including the lining. I had fun putting it through its paces.

Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 23, 24 and 25/121

Plodding along with the Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini.

First up, an easy one called Cornerstone. This is the first block on the third row.

C-1 Cornerstone

Next is Cotton Boll (funny name). Another quick one to make. I think it has lots of secondary pattern possibilities for a one block quilt with different colour placements. Must try it some time.

C-2 Cotton Boll

The last one was a bit more tricky but very enjoyable to make. I quite like two colour blacks. This is called Crosses and Losses. Again, loads of pattern possibilities for using lots of these in one quilt.

C-3 Crosses and Losses

Here’s the virtual quilt so far. The other blocks are shown in previous posts.

LUS 25 BlocksWe’re snowed in here. The main road near us is closed to traffic and there are several abandoned cars along the route. British weather, eh? Oh well, I’ll just have to sew 😉

Loyal Union Sampler Blocks 18 and 19/121.

I’ve been away from the land of blogs for quite a while, except for my three weekly posts at Sewing Beside the Sea. I’m not going to make any excuses because I don’t have any, other than that my spare time was precious and I chose to craft rather than blog. That doesn’t mean I’ve been a crafting Ninja while I’ve been absent but I have made a few things during the last year which I’ll show you now and again if I don’t decide to disappear back into my crafting cave. Yes, it’s over a year since I posted here. My friend Claire has been going on and on at me encouraging me to write some posts so I promised to dip my toes back in again and see how it goes. Claire has been sending me lists of things I’ve made that I could show and write about here, some of which I’d forgotten and others that I hadn’t even bothered to take photos of before they were gifted. She’s even sent me some photos that I’d originally sent her via email in case I needed to use them here. Where would I be without her?

During the last couple of weeks I’ve put on a bit of a spurt with The Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. The last time I worked on these dinky 6 inch blocks was in November 2016 so this project was well overdue some of my attention (notice a theme here?).

Anyway, here’s Christmas Star which has a white background in real life and not pale blue. Electric light does my photography no favours. I gave up counting how many pieces it has. Too many for a tiny block but I enjoyed making it.

B-7 Christmas Star

This is Coffee Mill. I like how it rotates but that isn’t what caused the blurring!

B-8 Coffee Mill I’ve updated the virtual quilt and I’m pretty determined to make some headway on this project now so watch this space. It would be nice to get the second row completed wouldn’t it?

LUS 19 Blocks I hope you’re enjoying a crafting weekend.

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year Everyone!

Finished 2016

It’s been a busy year for me again and the patchwork has taken a bit of a back seat. I did finish four projects namely the sausage dog, the green stars quilt, the tardis and the F2F quilt. I can’t take credit for all the blocks in the F2F quilt but I did assemble and quilt it myself. I spent lots of time this year making the tiny blocks for the Loyal Union Sampler and also lots of 12 inch blocks for the F2F Block Swap organised by Kate. So, there’s been loads of partial finishes but not many completed projects as far as patchwork goes. You can see lots more pictures of everything by clicking the “Finished 2016” tab at the top of the page. If you click on the photos on that page, you’ll be taken to the relevant posts.

I’ve been more active on cross stitch projects this year. You can see those on my other blog Sewing Beside the Sea.

Thank you to everyone who supported my blog last year, whether you’ve been reading anonymously in the background or actively liking, commenting and emailing. It’s nice to have you stop by.

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