Seeing this informal QAL by Katy Jones (Twitter) of http://www.imagingermonkey.blogspot.co.uk, I knew I had to at least do a trial block. You see we have a son, who at 9, is maths mad, it reminds me of sums and him! There is an excellent tutorial here http://badskirt.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/japanese-x-and-scrappy-quilt-tutorial.html
First time round this one had me reaching for my unpicker, which became redhot! I got there in the end and in the process realised that using the edge of my machine foot as a guide for 1/4″ seam is a little wide of the mark. But a little can make a big difference!
With little time available to make anything larger than ‘very small’ with this block, I made a bright cushion (18″ square and backed with fleece) for youngest kiddywink’s new bedroom. He had already adopted my raggedy trial block for his table, (which I promptly made into a mat). Squishy bear is guarding it from cat attacks until he is home from school!
Once joined together these blocks create a strong dynamic pattern. I will surely be back to this one, when I have more time to play with my own colour choices to create a larger piece.
The start of a New Year bought with it a renewed enthusiasm to finish off projects started in 2012. With plenty of quilts to finish, I wasn’t planning on starting a new one. Until I spotted the scrappy trip along post here
As I hopped from blog to blog, quilters seemed to be having such fun with this simple and addictive patchwork, I was hooked. Unsure I would enjoy or be able to accomplish it’s random nature I hesitated, but how could so many people be wrong?
So I worked my way through my fabric stash, cut strips and then discarded a few. I added as many as were big enough from my new Moda Scrap Bag (disappointingly not many, about 6 and mostly fabrics I wouldn’t normaly choose) Then I Joined, cut, rearranged and stitched. Fabulously fun and simple. The blocks flew together. However my ability to totally loose myself in randomness, was harder than I thought. I did reach a happy compromise and placed the darkest wam fabric across the diagonal of each block. Who am I kidding? I also sorted all the strips into colour piles and picked one of each for the blocks……totally failed the randomness test!
I may have confirmed random does not sit well with me but all is not lost. I am reaquainted with my fabric stash, which is now very tidy. Plus those Moda scraps, they gave a freshness and lift to this quilt, that may not be present in the second one. Finally I have finished my first lap quilt of 2013 (and in time to give it to my Mum for her Birthday) and am well on the way to finishing the next one for our sofa.
A tutorial for this can be found at http://quiltville.com/scrappytrips.shtml Happy scrapping!
Back in the Autumn we adopted 4 Indian Moon Moth caterpillars (Actias Selene) from a friend, thanks Zoe!. They were small and red, but went through many changes (instars) turning green and tufty. We fed them laurel leaves and they grew and grew. I was fascinated by their quirky tufts and very bright green colour. We had a couple of ‘Pillar deaths but the last remaining one was healthy and enormous, with poos to match (often commented on!)
Then one day without warning he curled up in some leaves and spun himself a home. Hopefully he is cosy in there and not minding the wintry conditions too much. We are waiting patiently and resisting the urge not to shine an investigative torch on him too often. Fingers crossed one day he will emerge a beautiful moth.
I have many fond memories of sitting in draughty, old Forge Cottage making things. Mum taught us English Paper Piecing many moons ago. As children we rummaged through scraps of fabric left over from clothes or curtains she made. Making, what seemed like then, enormous scatter cushions, covered in tesselating hexagons.
The process started with cutting templates, from card recycled from her work. My favourite the bright blue with grid lines. The tacking stitches a release from the tiny controlled stitches joining the shapes together, as the project grew and grew in rounds.
Recently I was looking for a project I could immerse myself in, whilst at the same time, enjoying the hubbub of family life. My EPP Ferris Wheel has been the perfect solution. Always nearby in a basket I can pick it up and sew for a whisker or an hour…or two. Whilst still being on hand to referee disputes and be shot with sticks!
I love the Ferris Wheel, hexagons, squares and triangles. Enough variation to keep me, wanting to sew more. I am using light value fabrics for the hexagons (fussy cut Heavenly Pixies from Michael Miller). Plus raiding the scrappy bin; warms for squares and colds for triangles. This is so relaxing. I am intending to have made a finished article with it for New Years Eve 2013 (if I can wait that long)……a year exactly! What should it become, any ideas?