Friday, 31 July 2015

Discoveries and Excess

A couple of months ago I finished the top (no borders yet!) for 'The Big Green One'. It took ages as I was never in love with the colours and kept putting it aside.  It will look OK with a red border, I have decided. 

 Leftovers: lots of triangles.  Lots. So I am making up some pinwheels and for x four patches, using my seam guide on this machine for the first time. Accuracy much better!

. I still need to mindlessly sew to de-stress, so this fits the bill for now. Pinwheels will finish at 6". 

I have a design in my head-for this I need geese. I have to work on the accuracy, this practice strip with randoms from the stash bin is 1/4" plus longer on one side, so it must be about my piecing.   I will try some more today to get it right.

Liking these colours. 

I have done a few Perkiomen Daydreams leader-ender blocks-hoping the seam guide improves my accuracy here to. 

I found a random bin that I had stuffed things into-these were another attempt to use up all my strings-scrappy meandering braids.
 Yards and yards!

I found a pattern on pinterest that I can use them for
But- no!  I found some more strings too, just when I thought I had cracked it and used every last one up!!

I also rediscovered these blocks- they only need laying out and putting together-a job for the next wet weekend.
One of Bonnie's patterns-she had been keeping me company on Quiltcam archive.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Crumbs, no strings!

 All the crumbs are sewn, every last one.  I have a whole pile of two tone hexies to be trimmed, go into the Random Hexie quilt box- so glad I didn't throw out these half hexies from ends of rows when cutting.

All the part crumb/string strips have been sewn onto 
1 1/2" strips I pulled from the bin, to keep them tidy for the next round of using up scraps.

Whilst stock taking I found all these, many more than I thought I had-blue, random and black and white nine patches, and ugly green 16 patches!  

The black ones are for Morphine quilt. One set will be a churn dash.

I also found lots of 10 1/2" squares from my last attempt to use up the crumbs, when I gave up!

I am going to have a lot of crumb quilts.

Sunday, 26 July 2015


Stripping over. This is all I have left in the bottom of an 80 litre bin-I had three of these, stuffed full.

 All the 3/4" strings have been put aside for the Spirit Level cross quilt. 


Life is crummy today.
If I don't tackle these now they won't get  done. 

Lots of angles pieces at 2 1/4" from cutting diamonds and hexies to piece into 10 1/2" strips.  These will add motion to the quilt.


Half hexies are being pieced to go into Random Hexie quilt, that I am still working on as my busy bag project. I can't just sit and visit these days, I have to sew or I end up fidgeting with my hair or drumming my fingers!

Saturday, 25 July 2015


 I think I am almost done with  stripping!  I have emptied three large bins: I now have three large bin bags stuffed to the top with sewn up 10  1/2 " units ranging from 2" to 15". 

I have sewn over 2km of seams and used up nearly 5km of gifted poly-core thread in some really ugly colours, and used lots of shirts!

Kiss in the Corner

Then I found 8 yards of moo trimmings from Kiss in the Corner backing. In it went.

 I have made the 8 scrappy houses I found into blocks to be sewn into the top row of the quilt and included some small  random trial blocks.

 Things often got out of hand. 

And who bought all that ugly fabric? 

There was always a way to blend it in.

 I will not be ironing and cutting into crumb strips until the winter, as it will take weeks.  The next job is to clean the sewing room!
Then I need to maintain the Singer 201 mum gave me, she bought it second had with all the attachments at a boot sale 15 years ago for £12!  Runs like a dream, and is quieter than my Bernina.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Decision made

OK, so, after yesterdays post...............

.............and the decision not to go down the multi-colour background/design wall route, I have decided on two variations of wonky crosses as leader-ender type projects.  

As I have been sewing up my strings into  10 1/2 " strips, I guess another 150 done..............

............I have sewn a few crosses with recycled cotton sheeting background and blue striped shirt background.  I have several of these shirts. The blue one is for me:  I have named them 'Spirit Level 1' and Spirit Level 2'.  

I am not religious, I liked the idea that they needed a spirit level to be straighter!  The seams are coming out at nearer 1/8" on these teeny strings, so the quilts will have to be finely quilted to keep them stable.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

More ways to use it up

I have been seriously contemplating taking part in Bonnie's leader-ender challenge, tumblers. I looked around Pinterest and found this quilt and saw FISH!  Then I thought I could add fins with prairie points and buttons for eyes and the whole idea stopped being a leader-ender challenge and became a design wall challenge!  I have shelved that idea, temporarily, as I have enough half done!

I am still powering away on the strings, I feel I am making some headway.  I threw every trimming in the bin without sorting as I cut my projects, so there are some strings less than 1/2" wide, they have to be thrown out. There were a lot.  I was also throwing out 3/4" strings, and really didn't want to, even though they were too small for use.  There were a few hunks and chunks in the bin, so the two came together as an experiment in wonky crosses. 
Not sure about the mixed backgrounds.  I have lots of recycled white sheeting, I may use that and make the 'string' part the highlight. Unless I manage the background colours on a design wall, I think it will just look a mess-I have already decided no new designer projects!

Saturday, 4 July 2015


I haven't been able to settle to finishing anything in the last few months.  A bit of crochet, knitting, machine patchwork, English paper piecing on several projects, nothing has held my interest for long.  

Two weeks ago I need some mindless therapeutic sewing: I decided to try string piecing onto paper. First with crumbs before I committed.....  Not for me, way too fiddly!!  

What was I to do with all the strings I had collected over 5 years, three huge bins crammed full? (Excuse the terrible camera on my phone!)

 Sew them up in 10 1/2 inch long strips, of various widths to make a crumb quilt!  I have been sewing for two weeks and have barely scratched the surface of what I have.  I counted them yesterday, over 1000 of various widths already.  I use all the writing and dots on the selvages. Those little bits in the middle are the ends from the chain pieced strips, I take great pride in  using even the smallest  crumbs to add variation.  


 I see weeks of pressing and trimming ahead:  I may well save that the winter months.   

As I write this, there is a rather good blues-  rock band playing at at the school fete  in the field at the end of  my garden. Very civilised on a sunny Saturday.  As its 4th July, it seems appropriate that they are playing 'Sweet Home Alabama'.   Bcak to power sewing, to live music!