Friday, 20 April 2012

Cushions, scraps and zig-zags

Taking part in the Littlest Thistle's Foundation Paper Piecing for the Terrified (FPPFTT)has been great fun and a steep learning curve, but has also meant that I now have several paper-pieced orphan blocks. So, in a bid to find at least one of them a home I had backed and quilted the Circle of Geese block that we made in Week 4 with the intent that it would become a cushion to go with the quilt made for my son and daughter-in-law. So with no time like the present I set to this morning to add the back and finish at least one project this week!

Initially I had intended to bind the cushion with some of the leftover binding from the Sew Happy Sampler Quilt that all of the fabrics in the cushion came from, but I decided that it was "over-egging the pudding" and left it as is. I am going to use another of the FPPFTT orphan blocks that was also made from leftover fabric from the Sew Happy QAL for another cushion for my son and daughter-in-law, so might use the leftover binding on that instead.

Talking of cushions I discovered when I was working on the sunflower quilt in the previous post that I had had a Dresden plate sunflower left over from piecing the quilt top. As I have yet to make the yellow cushion for my set of rainbow cushions, there are no prizes for guessing where this sunflower will end up :)

I have even more cushion plans in the coming weeks as I have now received the wonderful Indigo fabrics that I ordered recently from the African Fabric shop The fabrics were even lovelier than I had expected.

Originally I was planning to cut and piece the fabrics but having seen them I am now not so sure that I want to cut them up. I have (somewhere!) a pattern and instructions for a machined Trapunto cushion and I am now thinking that that might be better, as you will get the benefit of the full design. Having never attempted Trapunto before, I might be biting off more than I can chew though! As ever, all advice gratefully received!

 This week I have also made a start on the first of the Zakka-style SAL projects, having missed the start I  am loath to fall too far behind. The first project is a tote bag with a zig-zag pattern made from quarter-square triangles on the front of the bag. One of the things that attracted me to Rashida Coleman-Hale's Zakka style books is her liberal use of linen as, unlike quilting cotton, linen is in plentiful supply in this part of the world. QST's are bad enough but QST's in linen that is a whole, different story! I have starched the linen squares and triangles to within an inch of their lives in an attempt to control them, but I am not sure that I am winning just yet.

It took me all afternoon yesterday to get this much done. Ripping out seams on small linen triangles is definitely no joke! The plan is to give the finished bag to my mum for her knitting when we are home next, but at this rate it will be Christmas before it is finished.

Hope you are all having a productive week.


  1. I am looking at the your quarter square triangles (or as I would call it -lovely zig zag pattern) and thinking I really must learn how to make something like this - so beautiful and well worth the effort (I realize - it's easy for me to say that as I'm not actually doing it and ripping out the seams doesn't sound like the most rewarding afternoon, but ....!!!).

    I am still doing my rabbit in the headlights impression when it comes to getting started on a quilt. Loving what I see in blogland, but I know I need to be a lot more realistic as I have no real experience. All I've done so far is hand-piece some hexagons for the group quilt I'm working on and I made a patchwork cushion using very simple squares last year - that wasn't too scary! Can I ask what you started with?

    1. Fiona, I started with an evening class 6 years ago where we did a Quilt as you Go sampler quilt, which is still not finished! I learned the basics there but the teacher was a bit old-fashioned and not very supportive of beginners so it put me off quilting for a while. I learned a bit more from quilting magazines, but didn't do much in the way of quilting as I got into bag-making instead. The best thing I ever did though was join Sew Happy Geek's Modern Sampler Quilt-a-Long at the beginning of this year, the pace of 1 block a week was just right and Jenna's instructions were excellent.It helped that I had a deadline at the end to get the quilt finished and handed over to my son and his wife before we came back to Riga, but even without that I think I would still have finished the quilt as I had enjoyed making it and wanted to see it done. Have a look too at Elizabeth Hartman's book "The Practical Guide to Patchwork" I found it really useful when putting the quilt together. If you want anymore info just drop me an email. Hope this helps.

    2. Thanks Fiona. Very helpful ... and I clicked through to the FPPFTT tutorials too and thought I might manage a few of those blocks (well, the courthouse steps looks do-able ... the geese, not so much!) at some point. Guess I need to find some scraps and get stuck in! I like the idea of making just the one block and then incorporating it into another project as a way to start and get some practice, so I could conceivably plan an afternoon to make a block with a view to making a cushion or a bag panel and stop procrastinating sometime soon!

    3. You can definitely do the courthouse steps block in the FPPFTT! Once you have done that and have something tangible to look at there will be no stopping you, that is what has happened to everyone else I know who took part :)

    4. Ooo ooo I couldn't resist jumping in to encourage you in your quilting endeavours Fiona. I was clueless too and so I typed in Beginniner Quilts into Youtube and got the fabulous baby quilt tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company. It was my first quilt. They have many great online FREE tutorials. Love to see what you come up with.

  2. Yay for rehoming another block! I have 2 left to go, but I know where they'll both end up. It may be a while before I get there though...

  3. LOVE the circle of geese pillow, Fiona!!! Don't know what it is about it, but it draws your eyes to the triangles. The Dresden plate sunflower looks great, too!

  4. I have awarded you the Liebster Award. See my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great idea for a cushion. It looks great!

    I just saw Fiona's (from Finding Fifth) finished Zakka bag in person. It looks just gorgeous - but I think she had a few hassles too. She put a guide on making the bag on her blog which might be of some help!


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