F2F Blocks for October and December

Hello everyone,

I thought it would be nice to share the blocks I made for Miss October and Miss December in the F2F block swap organised by Kate and Sue. We are having a lot of fun choosing fabrics and making blocks for each other.

block swap logo

Here the blocks I made for Lynn, Miss October. I was only supposed to make three but one of them turned out slightly larger than the required 12 inches square finished size so I thought Lynn would like it anyway, to do with as she pleases. Lynn requested turquoise, grey and a hint of coral pink. The puppy block was inspired by Dog Gone Cute over at Sew Fresh Quilts. Their block is rectangular but with a bit of squared paper and some jiggery pokery, I managed to make a square one. I promptly threw away my pattern (I was never going to need another puppy block) and then I was informed by Kate that my parcel to Lynn was missing!! In fact, one of the other participant’s parcels had also failed to arrive. Thankfully, they both eventually showed up back at our own addresses so we could send them on their way again. I was so sad to hear that they were missing in transit but then ELATED when they reappeared on my doormat. You really have no idea how pleased I was. I was happy dancing all around the supermarket car park!! The moral of that story is….don’t read your email while you are out shopping.

Block 1 Named
Block 2 Named

Block 3 Named

Block 4 Named

November was my turn to receive blocks and you’ve seen those in my previous posts 🙂 Then it was Christina’s turn, Miss December. Here are her turquoise and grey blocks. Those colours are such a popular choice in this swap. Christina doesn’t have a blog but I know she has received her parcel so it’s OK to share photos here now.

Block 1 named
Block 2 named

Block 3 named

 Next up is Emmely, Miss January. I’ve posted her green blocks today and I’ll show you when she confirms receipt of her parcel.

Best wishes to everyone for 2016 🙂

Spring into Autumn

Good evening everyone,

I have been quilting! YIPPEE!

I love this Hi-De-Ho charm pack from Moda so much. It’s bright and cheerful and this quilt is making me happy every time I look at it. I added Moda Bella Solids in Amelia Lavender for the border, binding and cornerstones plus two five inch squares of each of Amelia Lavender, Sunshine (yellow) and Michael Miller’s Zillion Hearts (pink) to make up six more HST pairs.

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The quilting is simple stippling, my favourite to do and also to look at.

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These colours are great for wherever you are in the world. In the Southern Hemisphere you are stepping into Spring. Perfect! Here in the Northern Hemisphere we are just into Autumn. Although we’ve had a couple of lovely days of sunshine here, it does get a wee bit gloomy for my liking in Autumn. Finishing this quilt has brightened my autumnal day 🙂

Avis x

The Loyal Union Sampler Block 5/121

Good afternoon everyone,

What a gorgeous day it is today. We’ve got glorious sunshine, here beside the sea. Will today be our summer, I wonder? Actually, it is too hot for me at 21 degrees C, far too hot, but it didn’t stop me going for a walk along the cliff tops. The cool breeze was lovely.

The main reason I’m writing today is to share block 5 of my Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. This one is called Antietam.

IMG_20150803_124241715It has been a while since I made the last block (four months) but I hadn’t forgotten about this sampler. It was always meant to be a long term project to pick up when I felt the need for a challenge. There are 29 pieces of fabric in this one which will finish at 6 inches square. I have added this block to the image of my finished quilt on the right of this page. There’s a long way to go but I’m in no hurry.

Avis x

The Loyal Union Sampler Block 4/121

Hi everyone,

Here is the fourth block of The Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. It’s amazing what you can do with 45 tiny bits of fabric when you try. 

This block is called Anneke’s Choice.

Anneke's Choice (1) 

The angles were the most challenging yet but this is my first attempt and I’m sticking with it. There are no curved pieces but I sometimes look at it and see curves, especially from a distance. The finished block will be 6 inches square when sewn into the final quilt.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely crafty day 🙂

Avis x

The Loyal Union Sampler Block 3/121

Hi everyone,

You may recall from a previous post that I had sewn the second block of The Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. I wasn’t entirely happy with how my Y-seams turned out. A couple of readers suggested that hand sewing Y-seams might give a better finish than machine sewing. I had initially used the templates provided in the book to sew the units and decided this time, not only to sew the Y-seams by hand, but also to make my own foundation paper templates for the block units. Anyway, I hope you agree that my latest version of Abigail’s Swing has improved. It isn’t perfect, just improved. I’m definitely learning new skills along the way and that has to be good!

CIMG4175The third block is also finished. This one is called A House Divided. It was so much easier to sew than Abigail’s Swing.

A House Divided (2)

I’ve also got the fourth block finished which I’ll share with you later. If you’d like a sneak preview, take a look at my sidebar to the right. You should see the Loyal Union Sampler, building as I finish the blocks. This is so much fun! I could get addicted to making these tinies.

I’m quite enjoying foundation paper piecing lately 🙂 In fact, I’m loving it so much that my next gift is made using that method. I can’t show you the full project yet because the intended recipient sometimes reads my ramblings. Here are a couple of photos of my progress. I’ll share the final photos in a future post. I hope you like it.

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This one shows the quilting.

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There’s a few more small projects on my to-do list at the moment. I’d better get a move on. I hope you are all getting plenty of time to sew this weekend. I’ve had a lot of fun 🙂

Avis x

The Loyal Union Sampler – A New Challenge

Good morning everyone,

It’s time to embark on a new project. My sister bought me this gorgeous book from my wish list for my birthday last month. I’m sure many of you will already have this book and some may have even started to make the quilt. Have any my readers finished this quilt?…..I wonder.

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I read through the short introduction and decided on my colour scheme (which may change). This quilt is made up of 121 traditional blocks using a mixture of techniques. I’m looking forward to trying them all.

The first block is called Abel’s Favorite (US spelling) and I’ve got all of the little units made up. I followed the instructions to the letter and pressed all seams in the suggested directions but there is still going to be some bulk around the beaks of the flying geese. Here they are waiting to be put together. I hope I can make a reasonable job of it.

CIMG4068The finished block will be 6 x 6 inches so some of these pieces are very small and fiddly but that’s all part of the challenge I suppose. Friends and family have already told me that I’m mad for embarking on this project. My sister had no idea I intended to make the whole quilt when she bought the book. However, this is going to challenge me on so many levels and at the moment I’m up for it.

Wish me luck. I’ll probably need it!

Avis x

A New Quilt Plus a Pinwheel Tutorial

CIMG3841
CIMG3839This is the contents of the charm pack I used to make the pinwheels for this quilt.
CIMG3876If you haven’t made pinwheels from charm squares before, here is one method.

Put each charm square with a square of the same size of plain fabric, right sides facing.

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Draw along one diagonal with a pencil.

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Sew one quarter of an inch from both sides of the diagonal and through both squares.

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Cut along the diagonal line.

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Turn the triangles so the darker fabric is on top.

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Lift the darker fabric and press away from the seam. Trim the tails.

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I usually do these steps with all of my charm squares on a sort of assembly line. That is, make all of the pairs. Then draw all of the lines. Then sew all of the seams. Then do all of the pressing and so on.

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Lay out so that opposite sails are the same.

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Sew pairs together. Press the seams towards the patterned fabric.

Then sew the top and bottom rectangles together.

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The back will look like this. It is tricky to press the last seam without getting a

lump in the middle caused by all of the layers of fabric.

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Look where my pin is pointing here. Those two stitches on both sides should

be unpicked. You will then be able to press your pinwheel lovely and flat. Be

careful not to take out too many stitches. You can always take out another

one if you didn’t do enough but it won’t be easy to put it back again!

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If you press it correctly, you should have a mini pinwheel in the centre.

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Here’s what mine looks like on the back with all of the pressing done.

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Almost finished.

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You just need to to square it up now and make more.

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Another Year Over!

Hi everyone, Happy New Year to you all!

Hasn’t the year flown by? I hope you found lots of time for crafting and that you now have several finished projects to show for it. I did a lot more hand stitching in 2014 than patchwork and quilting, not by choice, just that it was easier to pick up and put down hand sewing when I had spare time.

At the beginning of 2014 I launched the Chicken Run which is still going after a whole year! I have to thank you all for your support with that. There are now lots of handmade chickens all over the world. Also, a larger SAL group on my other blog has been formed for crafters wanting to finish a variety of projects. It started with only two of us, Claire and me, and now we are ten strong!

It’s been a very tough year for me in many respects and crafting has kept me motivated. There have been several occasions when I have been sent to the sewing room by my OH because he had decided it was time I had a break LOL. He was always right. It did me good to have a sewing break now and again.

Thanks to all of you who have liked, commented, emailed and read my posts last year. It’s always lovely to hear from you and even if you don’t comment, I know you are visiting the blogs.

Here are some photos of my completed projects from 2014. If you want to read the original posts click here and then click on the photo of the project you want to read about.

2014 Finishes collage

Here’s to a wonderful crafty New Year for all of us!

Avis x

A Birthday Bag!

Hi Everyone,

I can finally show you what I’ve been up to lately. It was my sister’s birthday recently and she had mentioned ages ago that she was looking for a new knitting bag. So I just had to make one and hope that she didn’t buy one in the meantime. I did consider giving her one of these three bags that I’d made earlier but decided that she had already seen them and that a knitting bag should be bigger than these.

1a

2a

3a

Then the scraps of a Bali Pops jelly roll were calling to me. My sister had actually bought the Bali Pops for me (for my birthday) and I’d already made a quilt top from them. There was still plenty left and I had some lovely matching solid fabrics to go with them. Maybe, she wouldn’t like the idea of me using a present from her to make something to give back…hmm. I decided I was only using the scraps and that way she would be getting fabrics that I knew she would love otherwise she would never have bought them for me in the first place Smile. I searched the internet for a bag pattern that was just right. However, I wasted a lot of time. I just couldn’t find anything the right size with all of the pockets that I wanted etc. After several days of thinking, sketching, measuring and head scratching I came up with this.

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There are three pockets behind the batik fabrics panel on each of the front and back. The middle pockets are the perfect size for knitting patterns or books. The base is flat and large enough for the knitting to lie down, even if it is on large chunky needles and there’s plenty of room inside for all of the yarn for a whole project.

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I used straight line quilting so as not to compete with the gorgeous fabrics. The quilting continues on the wrap-around base.

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There are two lined patch pockets inside. One is big enough to take large scissors and the other is for buttons etc.

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Plus I added a loop at each side to thread the yarn through.

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Once I’d decided how I wanted the bag to look and how to put it together, the sewing part was easy. The bulk of the work was in the design process. I’ll definitely make more bags like this one.

My sister really liked it which was good news too. That makes me very happy Smile.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Avis x

Pretty little zipper pouch

Hi everyone,

Just popping in to say hello and show you what I’ve been up to lately. Not nearly enough in the crafting department I’m afraid!

Anyway, after using the batik fabrics on my last project, I remembered that I had a few scraps of other batiks in my stash. I haven’t had time to tackle a quilt top but found a lovely tutorial for this zipper pouch and I couldn’t resist making it.

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I used different fabrics on the front and back. From the other side it looks like this.

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The main fabric here isn’t a batik but it matches very well.  The inset fabric is my favourite Moda Bella solids which are available in my shop.

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It is also fully lined with white Moda Bella Solids.

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Did you spot the pretty lace? Well, that belonged to my late Aunt Edith so it is probably from the 1960’s. It would have been left over from one of the bridesmaid’s dresses that she used to make. If you’d like to make this bag, pop over to Pattydoo where you will find the pattern and a fab tutorial. I know I’ll make many more bags using this pattern so thank you very much to Ina for sharing Smile.

I’ve also just finished stitching a card for my daughter’s birthday which you can see over on my other blog Sewing Beside the Sea. It would be nice to see you over there!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend,

Avis x

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