I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t blogged for a while. Well, for several months actually. Since Christmas in fact. Shocking!
That’s not to say that I haven’t been sewing. Far from it! I’ve been working on plenty of projects – and some of them I’ve even finished! I’ve made some pretty skirts for everyday wear, a glorious dress for a friend’s wedding, I’ve paper-pieced some cushions for Mum, and even finished off the odd quilt top too while I was at it. But to be honest, I’ve not been feeling 100% recently. What with one thing and another, my energy levels have plummeted and I’ve been left feeling like I’ve been put through the wringer. And while I’ve been feeling so wiped-out, I’ve just not felt inspired to sit down and write about what I’ve been working on.
But hopefully all this is about to change! RR and I have just got back from a wonderful relaxing holiday in Georgia, the sun is out, it looks like spring is finally on its way and I feel like starting new projects again for the first time in ages. And I want to tell the world about all my fantastic finishes and recent creations!
In short, I think I’ve got my blogging mojo back 🙂
I’m pretty sure that this was in no small part due to a fantastic Fusing Workshop I attended last week, with the lovely ladies at my quilt guild, Patchwork du Léman. It was the day after we got back from the US, and I’d only managed a couple of hours sleep so I was feeling pretty jet lagged. Dragging myself out of bed and off to Blonay for the day took all the motivation I could muster. But I’m so very glad I did!
Truth be told, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, given that the supply list instructed me to bring a variety of batiks, rotary cutter and mat, fusible web and a travel iron, with no mention at all of a sewing machine. But seeing as the workshop was led by the ever-wonderful Ms M, who constantly inspires me with her glorious creations, I was pretty confident that I would have a great time and learn something new and fun into the bargain.
And how right I turned out to be!
We started off by ironing the fusible web to the wrong side of a selection of co-ordinating batiks, then peeled off the backing paper, onto which we drew a 9″ square. We then drew a series of lines inside this square, starting with the corners and working in one direction towards the centre in an inward spiral, to create the template for a 9″ crazy patch.
Then, starting with the centre block, and working in an outwards spiral, we cut shapes from our pre-fused batiks to cover each numbered segment in turn, leaving a small 1/8″ overlap on each side, and fusing our pieces on top of the pre-marked backing paper as we went.
This fusing-as-you-go technique meant that each new piece we put down adhered to the previous pieces, with no need for sewing to secure them.
I really enjoyed this technique, and I actually ended up making 2 crazy patch blocks…
That’s as far as I got with them, but the next step would be to remove the finished piece from the backing paper, fuse the whole thing to some batting, add some backing fabric and use your machine’s decorative stitches (or hand embroidery) to secure the raw edges (thus quilting the block at the same time). Bind it and you’re done! These are destined to be a pair of pot holders for Mum, once I get them finished.
We then moved onto the concept of using the same technique to create pictorial blocks. Now I’m not at all artistic (as RR says, even the cats could do better than me…), and I don’t really do fiddly stuff, so I opted for simple. Very simple. Not too sure about this one (looks a little too much like a toddler’s creation with fuzzy felt for my liking), but I can see how this idea could be used to great effect by people more skilled than me.
Finally we tried our hands at a free-form, improv kind of design. What I really liked about this was how easily you can incorporate curves and other interesting shapes into a piece without actually having to faff around sewing them (always a bonus!), as well as providing a great way of using up all those little scraps that are just too pretty to throw away. I’ve never really done much improv piecing before, but I enjoyed this process, and although I now have no idea what to do with it, I created this…
… and this with all my little leftovers (which will be made into a card for the club)…
All in all, I had an absolute blast, learnt a fun new technique, and came back home exhausted but fired up to create something new. Ideas are now brewing, so hopefully I’ll have something to share with you very soon 🙂
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday – hop on over and check out some more quilty loveliness!
I first saw the Broken Herringbone Quilt Along mentioned on Molli Sparkles’ blog back in August, and I immediately wanted to join in. I’ve never taken part in a QAL before – I keep on being tempted, but I’m so disorganised at the moment, and I have so much else on that it never seems to happen. And so it was initally with Molli’s. No. Couldn’t do it. How would I fit it in? How could I justify starting a new project when I already have so many on the go? And what about the quilt show I really need to get ready for?
But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I even started dreaming about the Broken Herringbone block. Usually in purple, sometimes in pink, always beautiful and always seriously tempting me. Oh dear…
Finally today, I cracked. Week one of the QAL is to make a trial block. Well, I figured, it’s only one block, I could always just try it and then make it into a cushion cover or something. Making one itsy bitsy trial block doesn’t commit me to make any more, does it?
Who was I kidding???!
So, when I should have been making quilts for the bazillion babies that my friends are having this year, I was digging around in my scrap bin (I knew there was a reason I kept all those 2 1/2″ strips!). I pulled out these yellow and orange batik strips – remnants from the wedding quilt I made Mad Cousin Jude last summer – and then I cut myself some plain white sashing strips.
Then, when I really ought to have been quilting my Ricky Tims quilt top for the Quilt Show next month, I was piecing the strips with the sashing.
Finally, when I should have been basting my red triangles quilt (which someone has expressed an interest in BUYING!!!), I was putting the block together.
By the time it was all finished, it looked like this, and I was officially hooked!
In the end, I joined the QAL. I simply couldn’t resist the lure of this beautiful block. And to be honest, looking at it, I think it’d be hard to find anyone who could. Don’t you???
So, there you have it. My name is LPC, I’m a quilting junkie, and my QAL journey starts today…
Thanks Molli 🙂