Thursday, 1 November 2018

Tucked Away Treehouse

Today is the day for the next reveal in the Endeavourers Quilt group, this quarter the theme was Improv. I must confess that my heart sank when I read the post announcing the theme. I have made Improv blocks in the past for Bee mates but I cannot honestly say that I enjoyed the process.

As usual I dithered over how to approach this challenge for (too many!) weeks and finally decided that I would take a slightly different approach to the theme from the Improv blocks that I had attempted before. Rather than stitching up wonky blocks for a wonky quilt I decided that I would try a new technique and then switch it up and see where it went.

Here is what I ended up with - I am calling it Tucked Away.

The piece, which is comprised of three 6" Chenille blocks, was inspired by this tree seen on a recent woodland walk.

Each block consists of 6 x 6.5" squares of fabric layered on top of each other and then stitched together with random lines of stitching.

 In the first block that I made, which I blogged about here, I stitched the wavy lines a bit too close together as the Chenille cutter wouldn't fit through so I had to resort to scissors in places.

So on the next attempt I left a larger gap between the stitched lines and had no trouble fitting the Chenille cutter in between them. I also switched up the order that the fabrics were used in between the blocks.

For the third block I opted to give the circular Chenille blade a go and so drew out a rough spiral to stitch around. I ended up ignoring the drawn outline though, as I had the block in the machine the wrong way round for the drawing so just had to wing it!

The blade guard on the circular cutter is much shorter than the regular cutter so it went round between the spiral lines without any problems.

Once the blocks were washed they looked like this.

In regular patchwork loose and frayed ends are not a good thing but in this type of quilting they are a positive bonus, it is quite a freeing mindset!

Now for the fun part, embellishing the blocks

with beads, you can just see them peeping out between the frayed edges in the bottom right and middle top,

with stuffed silk Suffolk puffs

and with a padded felt door and machine wrapped creeper cords!

Here is my Tucked Away Treehouse in its' natural setting :)

I am not 100% sure that this hanging fits the Improv theme but I really enjoyed making it and there was a fair bit of improvisation involved in creating the end result so, hopefully, it will pass muster!

Head on over to the Endeavourers blog to read more about the improvised aspects of this piece and find out how my fellow Endeavourers have risen to the Improv challenge.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

The Quilt that kept on growing!

We have reached the end of another week so it is time to celebrate with another TGIFF party!

My finish for this week has been a very long time in the making.

Fat Stash Brit Bee FQ sent

The quilt started when I sent out these FQ's of fabric to my Bee Mates in the Fat Stash Brit Bee in March 2014 and asked them to make this block.

Fat Stash Brit Bee request

They really rose to the challenge and by June 2014 I had this set of blocks to put together.

Fat Stash Brit Bee quilt layout

Then for reasons now lost in the mists of time the blocks gathered dust in my stash. I took them out a couple of times over the intervening years and played around with the layout, but it was only when I managed to track down more of the solid fabric at a quilt show in Edinburgh that any progress was made.

At my recent Quilt Retreat the blocks, which now totalled 24 in number were once again taken out and arranged and even sewn together! I came home with 5 rows of 4 blocks stitched together and the remaining blocks ready to be joined.

Then I lifted a quilt top from a pile in my sewing room and discovered another 4 blocks stitched together in the layout above, which was no longer the layout I was using :( So, they were unpicked and an extra 4 blocks made to complete the rows.

This monster is what I have ended up with! The final quilt is destined for my youngest son, who is over 6' tall, so will have no trouble keeping warm under that :)

I am delighted to have finally completed this quilt top as it was beginning to look like it would never be finished.

Now it is your turn to share your Friday finishes. As ever a bit of encouragement is always welcome so check out your fellow linkers and share some of the celebrations around. Include the TGIFF blog button in your post if you link up so that your followers can check them out too.

And if your Friday finish involves a New to You technique or you have tried something New to You this month link that up too to this month's New to Me Link party here

New Horizons

Welcome to another New to Me Link Party, where we celebrate the effort involved in trying something for the first time.

This month my New to Me's are all travel related, as we spent the early part of the month exploring the New to Me region of Northern Spain.

We learned about the cuisine of the region at a Cookery Class in San Sebastian creating amongst other things the stock for a seafood paella!

Then savoured the results of our labours with this elegant roasted vegetable and lobster starter!

Naturally we didn't pass up the opportunity to sample the regional wines :)

We visited the stunning Comb of the Wind sculptures on the coast at San Sebastian.

Then were entranced by the equally stunning Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao!.

Then blown away by the magnificence of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the final point of the Way of St James pilgrimage route and reputed burial place of St James.

As you can see it was an amazing trip!

So those are my New to Me's this month now it is your turn to link up and share the trials and tribulations of trying out something or somewhere for the first time. We keep it real here so whether it works out or not we want to read about it :)

As ever the Link Party will remain open until the end of the month so if you have been procrastinating over trying that new technique, consider this a nudge to jump off that fence and give it a go!

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