Sunday, October 23, 2011

Which comes first - sewing or blogging?

It's been two months since I posted anything, and in that time I haven't sewn anything either.  I also didn't do a lot of blog-surfing until last week, which seems to have inspired me to do two things - sew a little and blog a little.  I'm still not sure if I sewed so I could have something to blog, or if I'm blogging because I sewed something!

I've jumped (crawled) onto the Farmer's Wife Quilt-A-Long (FWQAL) started by Amanda and Angela back in June.  I didn't really want to start another project and resisted most of the summer, but all those cute blocks out there had me digging through my stash. The only requirement was to purchase the book by Laurie Hird, so when I saw it at my local LQS Hamels, and I had a $25 gift card, it was meant to be. The original quilt is kind of dull and old-fashioned looking IMO, but when I saw what people have been posting, I wanted to try. Hamels, my local quilt shop, also sells great sample packages of new fabric lines which I have been collecting, so with some modern bright colours, I have become a "Farmer's Wife". 

Here they are in the order I've done them:

Block #1 - Attic Window

This one took me the longest.  It's been about 4 years since I learned how to foundation-piece and about 2 years since I've done it, so I had to relearn some of the essentials - like getting the fabric positioned correctly.  My seam ripper became my new best friend. I got the foundation pieces from a wonderful group online  I like foundation piecing for accuracy.

I must have ripped out the lime green about six times, then when I had it right I trimmed one edge 1/4" too small, so I had to redo both the orange and lime on one side.

Deets:  Fabric used:  Dilly Dally by Me & My Sister Designs for Moda (orange); Green & Blue - unknown coordinating line
Time: About 2 hours due to my ineptness

Block #2 Autumn Tints

I am using the book as a bit of a guide for colour choices.  The colours in the book used Fall-type colours, so that's what I went looking for!  Not even close to the book's choice.

This is the block I remembered that the numbers don't refer to the colour choice, but to the sewing order.  Took a little bit to figure that one out, but still not as long as the first one.

Deets:  Fabric used is from an unknown coordinating line from a sample pack. Took me about 1 hour.

Block #4 Basket Weave

I jumped forward to Basket Weave because #3 involved some applique, which I wasn't in the mood for yet.  I didn't bother foundation-piecing this one.  I sewed three 1 1/2" strips from a Honey Bun of Oh, Cherry, Oh I've been saving (hoarding) for a couple of years, waiting for the right project.  I then cut the strip set into 3 1/2" blocks, twisted and sewed and voila, my basket weave appeared. The bright colours and white background are perfect for the this project.  I've decided that white is going to be my background colour, so I eliminated anything that has a creamy or natural background (good-bye, Central Park and Fandango).

Deets:  Fabric used: Oh, Cherry, Oh by Me and My Sister Designs for Moda
Time: about 20 minutes

Block #3 Joanne's Basket

The last block of the evening was the basket with the applique handle.  I struggled with the book's colour placement, as the centre squares were the same fabric as the background, which to me made the basket look like it had a hole in it. Once I replaced them with the darker green print, it looked finished to me.  I forgot that the handle should have been appliqued on the top triangle before sewing it together, so I fiddled with it for a bit to finish the ends of the handle.  I'm still not happy with it, but I'm movin' on!

Deets:  Fabric:  Me and My Sister Designs - Green Dot from Happy, Pink Flower from Birdie (?), Darker Green print from same unknown sampler pack as Block #2

I have several scrappy projects on the go.  I've tried to get organized by putting my smaller scraps in colour-coded bins:

But that didn't last long, once Alex discovered them!


Now he is helping me (very slowly) putting them back into the right bins - he's pretty good at knowing his colours, but a 3-year-old's attention span is short so it will be a long process!

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