Sunday, 12 June 2016

Quickstepping

Carole, who blogs at From My Carolina Home, and who has been running the mystery quilts in which I have participated showed us a new quilt which she has called Scrap Dance Quickstep a week or so ago.

I was inspired!!

If you have read my blog before, you will know that I am given a lot of scraps by my friends - they all know I'm a scrappy quilter.  Well a few months ago, Robin, my friend from Stitching Hearts gave me a garbage bag full of scraps....

 
It has been sitting in my work room overflowing everywhere and thumbing its nose at me ever since, but I have been a bit daunted by the sheer volume in it.  I couldn't face dealing with it.
 
Having decided to do the Quickstep, the other day I pulled an arm load of strips, either already 2.5" in width, or ones I could trim down to that.   Here they are neatly piled on my sewing table waiting to be pieced.

 
Mine were not the neat WOF strips Carole used, nor were they co-ordinated at all.  So I decided to cut them down to a maximum of 11" to give me a really scrappy look. 
 
Pretty soon I had a bunch of these....

 
And then these....

 
But the pile of strips on my sewing table doesn't look like it's much smaller and it is now a great messy pile.  LOL.

 
I had my youngest grand daughter here after school on Thursday and she was helping me with this - pairing up strips for me to sew and ironing the blocks.  We had great fun.  And so quick with two of us working on it.
 
By Friday I had it all laid out on my design floor.

 
It needs at least one more row to go at the top.  I took my eyes off it for literally one minute, and Tibby had a field day.

 
I'm pretty chuffed.  From a bunch of disparate bits of fabric, some lots of which were just plain ugly, has blossomed a cute quilt.  Thank you Carole yet again for a great idea and for inspiring me to do something with that bag of scraps.  I am actually going to do a second one. 

Are you as inspired as I was??  Carole has uploaded a pattern with 14 setting designs and three sizes on the pattern to her Craftsy store here if you would like to make one.  Even if you don't want to make this quilt, go take a look at Carole's lovely blog, it has heaps of great tutorials, tips and techniques on it. 

The exciting thing that happened this weekend is that Carole sent me an email to let me know that she drew my name in a giveaway for a $50 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Woo Hoo!!  Hooray!!  Yippee!!  Bit of shopping up ahead for me by the looks of it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Carole. 

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Monday, 6 June 2016

A Quick Finish

Well it was pretty quick for me!

After I finished working on the Scrap Dance Tango blocks at the Retreat (told you about those here), I still had a couple of hours of sewing time to go before we had to pack up.  The only other thing I had brought with me was a big bag of blue 3.5" squares.  So I started putting together some 4 patch blocks using them.  Sorry, no photo of those in progress.  (Phew! you say)

Back home again, I found some lime green homespun in the stash, only just enough to do some sashing.  To make sure there was enough, I pulled my bag of blue 2" squares and put in some corner stones as well. 

Looking good....


Didn't take long to put the top together.  Then it was time to choose some fabric for the border.  Tibby photo bombed the top when I laid it out ready for some fabric choices.  But then what's a quilt without a cat eh?

 
My choices were these two.....

 
Or these two.....

 
I ended up choosing the one bottom left on the photo above.

All finished in under 2 weeks and ready to go to Cabarita to Stitching Hearts next week.  Pretty much a record for me I think.

 
This morning while making breakfast there was a deafening noise of Rainbow Lorikeets outside.  They are always noisy, but this morning the noise was amazing.  Its the first day of sunshine after several days of torrential rain and they were out and about.  When I went to check, this is what I found.....

 
This shrub has berries on it at the moment.  I haven't seen the lorikeets eating them before.  Perhaps its because the shrub has been pruned and the berries are more visible?

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Scrap Dance Tango - All Caught Up

If you read my previous post about the Retreat, (here) you will have been patiently waiting for my post on what I actually did over the 4 days we were away.  (If you haven't read it, now is your chance!! LOL)
 
I worked on the Scrap Dance Tango mystery which is being run by Carole at From My Carolina Home.  So far there have been 5 steps of the mystery revealed, and I was seriously behind with this project.
 
I have blogged about this before, so forgive me if you've seen the photo.  This is the fabrics I pulled for the mystery.
 
 
For the light fabric, I am using a bunch of scraps and a piece from stash I have had for many years.
 
Step 1 was to cut all your fabrics and begin making 2.5" Half Square Triangle units (HSTs).  For my quilt size I needed to make 630 of HSTs.  I had made just over half of what I needed, so the entire first day, and well into the second I was sewing, pressing and trimming HSTs!  I was determined to get them done before moving on with the next steps.
 
 
I was ready to throw those in the drink by the time I finished, I can tell you!  Sooooo bored with that job!!!  And so glad to close the lid on it.  I'm not good at piecing (and trimming) a bunch of blocks all the same.
 
Step 2 was to make a bunch of these arrow units.  They are made in 3 steps; the first step is to sew a 2.5" square to one of the HSTs, the second step is to sew two 2 HSTs together, and lastly you sew the two units together.

 
I had made all the units of the first part of this step, so I needed to make up the units with the 2 HSTs together, then sew the two units to together to make up the arrow head block.   That got done fairly quickly.
 
Step 3 was to sew a cream square to an HST then pair two of these units up.  Easy.  I only needed to do 32 of these.
 
This is where I discovered chain pressing. 
 
 
I must be the last person on this planet who hasn't known about chain pressing.  When I used to chain piece I would cut all the connecting threads before I pressed, but at the Retreat I started to lay the blocks out still joined up.  It is so much easier!  They all seem to fall into place, and you can go zip, zip with the iron, and then snip, snip with the scissors.  Much easier.
 
Step 4 was to join the units made in Step 3 to the arrowhead units,  Easy! 
 

That's when I discovered I had made way too many arrowhead units!  Oh Woe!  I had actually made enough for the next quilt size up from what I am doing, double what I needed.



But all is well, because Step 5 was to make more arrow head units.  And so I had already, inadvertently made almost all of those.

 
So, drum roll please.......  I'm all caught up on the Scrap Dance Tango. 
 
If you are on Flickr, look for the Scrap Dance Tango group, and if have an Instagram account there are 2 hash tags #scrapdancequiltalong and also #scrapdancetango.  Go take a look at some of the lovely quilts people are creating.
 
Now I'm off to upload my photos.
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.