Sunday, 12 April 2015

Finish Along 2015 Q2

It's April, Spring was definitely here last week (though appears to have vanished again today) and it's time to lay out my Q2 finish along plans.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Along with Leeds MQG I've been on a Siblings Together mission. We have pooled our scraps, stashes and resources to make a whole pile of quilt tops and backs to turn into finished quilts for the charity. I spent yesterday with four lovely friends transforming some donated small quilt tops from Katy Jones into useable sizes. Which means we now have a HUGE pile of quilts to finish. I have a couple of them here and am putting them at the top of my FAL list.

1. Siblings Together purple quilt

This scraptastic offering is now pieced and quilted and just needs the binding sewing down on the back.

2 Siblings Together pink home sweet home quilt

Pieced by me from donated blocks, also have some donated scrappy binding and we made a backing yesterday. Need to baste, quilt and bind.

3. Siblings Together colour blocks quilt

This top and back were donated by Katy Jones. Need to baste, quilt and bind to finish this one.

Now for the rollovers 

4. Churn dash block cushion

giant churn dash

This would only take an evening if I just got on with it ...

5. Aviatrix medallion

It's slow progress, but it's progress #aviatrixmedallion #aviatrixmedallionqal

I love piecing. This should make a nice change from all the quilting this quarter.

6. Skill builder BOM

It's probably fair to say that this won;t get finished this quarter. But you've got to be in it to win it, right?

Anyway, I think that's sufficient. Linking up with Adrienne!

Finish Along Q1 round up

I did manage to link up my Q1 finishes before the deadline but just wanted to do a quick round up post, for the sake of accountability and all that.
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

So in January I laid out plans to complete all the outstanding WIPs in my house. All 6 of them. Funnily enough, I didn't, and I've managed to generate a whole pile of new ones too!!

1. Sew Together bags for Bitches get Stitches swap. Done and very very happy with them.

2. Secret sewing - Oakshott blog hop. Done. Thrilled with how this turned out. I think it may be destined to be a gift for my daughter's teacher at the end of the school year. 

3. Random churn dash block cushion. Not done. In fact I don't even know where it is ....

giant churn dash

4. STQB quilt. All done, bound and ready to label and send.

It's a finish! #siblingstogether #stqb #finishit2015 #quilt #quilting #sewing #handmade

5. Aviatrix medallion. Not done. Some small progress made.

It's slow progress, but it's progress #aviatrixmedallion #aviatrixmedallionqal

6. Skill builder BOM. Not even touched ....

So, that's 3 out of 6 which is rather average. Off to appraise the WIP pile and lay out my Q2 plans.

Friday, 3 April 2015

End of March, start of April

And the moment when I realise I didn't actually blog for the whole of March. Oops. I'm sure I've been doing something productive in the sewing room, though my attentions have sometimes been elsewhere.  I haven't been buying fabric, as I'm back on the fabric fast wagon for now. But I've been on the Whole 30 again so probably spending more time in the kitchen. And I've even been exercising for the first time in about 6 years! But my littlest is now at that age (two) where she doesn't actually let me achieve anything at all, so sewing time has felt pretty minimal lately.

However. I have been on a Siblings Together mission. For anyone who has somehow missed my lengthy ramblings on this topic, here's a reminder about why the charity is so important and what quilts have to do with it!

Siblings Together is a UK based charity which aims to build and nurture relationships between siblings separated by the UK care system. There are over 40,000 children in care in the UK who are living apart from a brother or sister. They could be in foster care, in adoptive families, or with their birth family. Among other activities, the charity hosts yearly residential summer camps for children aged 7-18 years. As part of these camps, the children are each given a quilt. A precious handmade item, infused with love and memories of time spent with their sibling. 

There is a huge need for these quilts. The charity are expecting to welcome up to 100 children to summer camps this year, so 100 quilts are needed and what we are aiming for! 

There are lots of ways to get involved - check out the Flickr group. And there's a running total thread in that group too so if you have finished a quilt for ST and want it to be added to the total please pop on and log it! We are now up to 31 finished quilts, so still a long way to go!

So, I've been making STQB bee blocks:

Making blocks to send to others who are collecting for ST quilts. To Mary:

Five #siblingstogetherhsh blocks for @maryemmens  Hobby horse not included �� #siblingstogether

And to Jo:

Sorbet churn dash blocks for @rosedahlia #siblingstogether

And working with LeedsMQG to put together at least ten quilts for the charity. We collected girly home sweet home blocks from all over the quilting community:

And pooled our own donations of fabric and scraps.

The tip of the scrap iceberg!

I have one finish, my own STQB quilt from December.

It's a finish! #siblingstogether #stqb #finishit2015 #quilt #quilting #sewing #handmade

And two waiting more to piece/baste/quilt/bind.

In other sewing news I've been participating in the LeedsMQG round robin.

Made a teeny bit of progress on my Aviatrix medallion.

And even recovered my filthy ironing board!

And yet haven't achieved everything on my Q1 FAL list! Off to do a round up of that now.

And I should really lay out my April goals too, which mostly consist of "finish all the quilts".

In the meantime, I'll link up with Lynne:

Fresh Sewing Day

A quick finish for Siblings Together

December was my month in the STQB and I asked for simple 16.5" four patch snowball blocks in a green, blue and aqua colour palette. I decided to make an extra row and column to boost the size of the finished quilt a little and ended up with this:

It's a finish! #siblingstogether #stqb #finishit2015 #quilt #quilting #sewing #handmade

I love the way that a load of fabrics from a load of different people can work so well together.

It's quilted very simply with straight lines a 1/4" from each seam line, in my favourite white aurifil #2021. Backed in some Ikea Nummer and bound in a blue print from my stash.

It just needs a label then it can be sent off to Siblings Together.

That's 31 finished quilts now for the charity this year. We are still a long way off our target of 100 so if you want to get involved in anyway please shout. Oh and it's a tick off the Q1 FAL list too. 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Oakshott Blog Hop

Good morning and welcome to the Oakshott blog hop! I feel very proud to be one of eight lucky quilters and bloggers chosen to show you some fun and fabulous ways to use this beautiful new Oakshott colourshott stack.

The blog hop is being hosted by Lynne over at Lily's Quilts and you can find the full schedule, and links through to the other projects, right here.

I was sent this stack of 27 10" squares of Colourshott shot cottons, along with 1.5m of the shimmery white Colourshott 57 "Camargue" as background fabric. I wanted to put together a really straightforward but good sized quilt that maximised every inch of these pretty fabrics. So here is my tutorial for a simple hourglass block lap quilt. I hope you will all have a go at making one - the same block pattern can be used for any layer cake squares, but it really is particularly effective with these multi-toned Oakshott cottons. 

Hourglass quilt tutorial

Finished quilt size 51" by 68"

Fabric requirements

An Oakshott Colourshott stack* or 24 coloured fabric 10" squares
1 3/4 yards of 54" wide white background fabric (I used Colourshott 57 Camargue)
4 yards backing fabric
1/2 yard binding fabric (I used Colourshott 38 Fleur)

*You only need 24 10" coloured squares for this quilt so you can start by setting aside three of your Colourshott stack squares. I just took out the white ones -  Camargue and White Marble -  as they were too close to my background colour. I then made blocks with the remaining 25 squares and then selected my favourite layout. I will give instructions to do the same.

Make your blocks!

Cut your 54" wide background fabric into five 10" strips. Subcut each strip into five 10" squares for a total of 25 background 10" squares.

On the wrong side of each white background square draw a diagonal pencil line.

Pin each white square right sides together (RST) with a coloured square, being sure to keep your pins well away from the drawn line.

Sew 1/4" down each side of the drawn line. Chain piece this step!

Snip all your chain piecing threads then cut each block along the drawn pencil line. This will give you two half square triangles (HSTs) in each colour. Be sure to keep them in colour pairs, don't jumble them up! Press each HST to the coloured side. Don't be tempted to press these seams open - we will be locking our seams together later to get perfect hourglass points!

Take one of your HSTs and draw a diagonal pencil line on the wrong side as show. This line will bisect your existing seam.

Once you've drawn the line, pair the HST with its colour matching partner, RST, coloured half to white half as shown. Your seams are pressed in opposite directions and will lock perfectly together, be sure to nestle them up against each other so they are locked but not overlapping. Pin, again well away from the drawn line. 

Repeat this process for all pairs of HSTs so that you have a pile of hourglass blocks pinned and ready to chain piece!

Sew 1/4" down each side of the drawn line as before. 

Cut along the drawn line.

Press seams to the side or open as you prefer. Open seams here reduce the bulk but I never have the patience for it!

Trim all your hourglass blocks to 9" unfinished using a large square ruler.

Make your quilt top!

Lay out 24 of your hourglass blocks in a 6 by 8 layout. Rotate alternate blocks through 90 degrees so that the coloured triangles are always next to the white triangles as shown in the photo below. I went for a fairly random layout but you can choose whatever pleases you most. 

Once you have chosen your layout, label your blocks so you can keep track of them. Piece into eight rows of 6 blocks each. Press seams in alternate rows in opposite directions, ie top row to the right, next row to the left and so on. Then pin (or glue baste for perfect points) your rows together, locking seams as before. Press well and admire your finished quilt top!

Finish your quilt!

Remove the selvages from your backing fabric, cut in half and piece together down the selvage edge with a 1/2" seam. This gives you a backing sized approximately 80" by 72" which is plenty big enough.

Baste your quilt using your preferred method and quilt as desired! I used Aurifil 50wt #2021 and quilted simple straight-ish lines 1/4" to each side of each block seam line, both horizontally and vertically. 

Cut your binding fabric into 2.25" strips. My binding fabric was 54" wide so I only needed 5 strips. Sew these together end to end then press the strip in half to make your binding. Bind your quilt! I prefer to attach the binding to the front by machine then hand sew it down to the back for a neat finish. 

And you're all done! A super simple, great sized quilt and - best of all - minimal fabric waste. 

If you make an hourglass quilt using these blocks and these very special cottons I'd love to see it. You can find and tag me on Instagram @hannlib.

Don't forget to pop back to Lily's Quilts to check out the rest of the blog hop schedule - there have been some wonderful projects already!