UFO Lottery update

The UFO Lottery is doing quite well, I have finished UL 4 und UL 5. Unfortunately, the words for the entries took a wrong turn somewhere and are now meandering around in the maze of my brain. They will turn up eventually.

For UL 6, I’ve drawn Scrappy. Although I’ve already chosen the backing and binding fabric I’m not quite sure if or how to finish this small piece. The sashing is way too wide, maybe I’ll be taking the top apart again and try something different. What do you think?

‘Scrappy’ top

Meanwhile, I’ve already started working on UL 7, not wanting to waste my precious time. Yes, I’m on a roll. 🙂

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Practice, practice, practice

Yesterday I pulled out a set of six hand dyed batiks, finally having an idea what to sew from them. I bought the fabrics many years ago at a fair. The maker and vendor was an Austrian lady if I remember it correctly. A second set in rosewood tones has already been made into a top and is waiting for a finish.

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The pattern is from an old issue of Patchwork Ideen magazine (Vol. 1/2001), Frühlingsgefühle (Feelings of spring) by Inge Heinze. I cut my strips 5 cm/1″ wide instead of 7.6 cm/3″ wide to get smaller blocks. Also, instead of making 72 squares I only made 36.

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Squares cut on the diagonal

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and reassembled.

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And, for the practice part, I managed to get the seams quite decent this time – at least at the right side. 🙂 I’m going to make this into a cushion cover. There must be some matching fabric somewhere in my stash and I know I’ve got a matching zipper in one of my numerous boxes.

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Bargello

For my third machine sewing project I used a bargello pattern from Burda Patchwork (Fall 2015), but made a smaller version with only 14 colours instead of 31.

I chose the fabrics with a mother of pearl colourway in mind, but it might also resemble you of oil on water.

Sewing these three pieces, I got a little more skilled in machine sewing. I have chosen a couple of other projects to make, but first I need to finish my UFOs and then practice some machine quilting.

Tomorrow it’ll be back to work after two weeks off.

Mallards And Mondrian – Finished

My slightly ill-fated project has finally come together. As you may remember, I got some of the blocks wrong and had to unsew them. Other mishaps followed but I managed to finish this piece regardless.

I found a leftover piece of batting that was exactly the right size, sandwiched the layers and used one of my sewing machine’s decorative stitches for quilting. The thread I used was Superior Threads Rainbows Col. 846 which was working great on all the different backgrounds.

Not a masterpiece in the end, but it’s off the list.

 

Playing With The Baddies – Finished

Here’s the next finished project. Just a simple one meant for testing and hopefully improving my machine sewing skills. 🙂 It keeps surprising me how well the fabrics fit together. I played with some batiks from the Pile of Uglies to make this one. The Pile of Uglies holds fabrics that I didn’t include into my stash because they didn’t fit in there or were difficult to use in a project. The Baddies, so to speak.

For the back I used a batik I had bought for another project – corals in green/yellow/orange.

Baddies – front and back

corner detail

‘Baddies’ Top Finished

After squaring the blocks a couple of days ago I finally joined them today to make a finished top.

I admit it’s not perfect, but my sewing gets a little better piece by piece. After all, I’m still a beginner at machine piecing and still have to learn a lot yet.

finished ‘Baddies’ top

Still have a little hand sewing to do before I’ll be starting to finish all of my projects. I’m glad I’m back in the business this year after about two years of very slow progress, if any at all. I feel confident I will have reached my goal of having finished my UFOs (or most of them) by the end of next year. Thanks again to everyone for your encouragement.

Artifacts

On Friday I was looking for some fabrics for a cut and sew project I wanted to do. Didn’t find what I wanted, but one of my project bags had caught my attention.

I don’t remember where these fabrics came from. Must have bought them on a market. This is not my usual choice of fabrics, I think I bought the collection for the strips. I also used this projects to gain some experience in machine piecing.

The collection contained four 5″ strips of a fabric called Artifacts designed by John Flynn for Benartex and a couple of swatches in earth tones (plus one each in squeeky green and sulphur yellow, respectively).

Artifacts strips

When it comes to cutting fabric I have this little problem. I’m always hesitant to start because I think there might be a better use for those fabrics. This was especially the case with the Artifacts strips. Should I maybe use single motifs for an ‘archaeology’ project? Where to cut? I decided to be brave, took a deep breath and just cut squares. I got nine out of each strip – 36 in all, 12 x 12 cms.

fabric swatches

Then I chose these ten fabrics. Using only the top five and without calculating the amount of fabric needed, I began to cut strips 4 x 12 cms for the sashing. I didn’t want to use the reddish fabric at first but had to because I didn’t have enough of the other ones. After I had done the sewing and pressing on the blocks I cut some more strips 4 x 14 cms for more sashing. Sew, press, done.

Artifacts top

If I’m continuing to produce patchwork tops at this speed, I may have a slight chance of getting rid of my stash in, say, 10 years.

(Despite some editing the pictures do not show the true colours on my screen. Maybe they do on yours.)

Beginner’s Luck

Yes, I know. This blog is meant for finishing things, not for beginning new ones.

But there was one thing on my mind for a couple of days now that kept nagging me. So today I had to give in and went over to Avis’ Disappearing Nine-Patch Tutorial. I had no choice.

After a quick search I found some fabrics I had already put together for another project. Some batik samples I bought at the Dutch fabric market a while ago.

I transformed the measurement from 10″ to 25 cms – not much of a difference – and cut some squares. And now *trumpets* I got out my sewing machine. Yes, you’ve got that right.

After pinning the pieces together I lowered the presser foot and very carefully began to sew.

my first block

And my batiks didn’t let me down. Look, I managed to match the corners for the first time.

I did it!

I hope this isn’t just beginner’s luck. 😉

the first four blocks