Block number 2 finished… quite pleased with it, though don’t like it as much as the first one. Definitely won’t be placing the two blocks alongside each other in the finished quilt though, as can be seen from picture 2, they definitely clash! Next block is going to be a bit more subdued, to tone it down a bit. This time, will start by choosing the colours of the outside pieces first, rather than working from the inner square out as have done with the first two. I’ve also ordered a bundle of fat quarters in plain autumnal shades, I think that might work well for some of the inside ‘stars’ when placed alongside some of the more heavily patterned fabrics. (A fat quarter is the name for a piece of fabric 45 x 55 cms, a standard size for quilting fabrics to be sold in).
More lovely new fabric! (I know, I shouldn’t). Decided I need more chocolate-y brown colours, particularly as my cunning thrifty plan of spending 50p on a brown pillowcase from a charity shop hasn’t worked because when I cut it it stretched so much I couldn’t get a decent square out it, so did an e-bay search and found this. Really pleased with it, leaves are a nice size and pretty colours which will match with lots of the others I have, and it was only £3.50 for half a yard (with free postage)! I’m planning to use it on the outside corners of the current block, but will have to place it alongside the other colours first to see what it looks like. The seller popped in a 25×25 cm square of another fabric too, which is sweet of them though I can’t immediately envisage a project I’d use it in (quite a lemony-acidy yellow roses with grey foliage), but you never know!
Inner part of block 2 – looking a bit wonky at the bottom left, hope I can stretch into place when sewing the outside part on. I cut the square properly, but maybe because those corner pieces are in a thin, not best quality, fabric, they’ve stretched out of shape a bit while being sewed together.
Nothing to do with patchwork, but having been deprived of snow all winter couldn’t resist posting! If only it was my garden and not my landlord’s, I’d be out there building a snowman! Probably best not make one in the middle of the road, though!
The side pieces for the middle of block 2 are completed, which will help me decide which corner ones to choose… on balance I’m going for the pumpkin/oak leaf/sunflower one, but will look again tomorrow in daylight, which makes such a difference!
The side pieces are a design called ‘flying geese’ (I’ve no idea if there’s a singular, so one piece = a flying goose, but I’ve never seen that written down!).
You make one by taking a rectangle of fabric (here 4.5 x 2.5 inches), placing a square of fabric (2.5 x 2.5 inches) onto it, right sides facing, so that it lines up with the short edge of the rectangle, and sewing a diagonal line across the square (see pictures). Then you fold the square up along the diagonal line and iron into place, and trim the excess fabric off the back. Then repeat with another square of fabric on the opposite end of the rectangle.
The eagle-eyed will notice that after image 2, I realised I’d put the colours the wrong way round for the scheme I’d picked, so had to unpick the dark brown one and replace it with the green one!
Building up the interior of block 2 this weekend… eventually decided on main pieces (decided against using the pumpkin and sunflower side pieces, will stick with the orange leaves), but which to put at the corners – hedgehogs or pumpkin / oak leaf / sunflower pattern? I think the hedgehogs look best, but I have to use the other one somewhere! They are still both a much lighter background than piece 1, which I don’t think looks so nice, but I can’t waste all that fabric.
Diagram of pattern I’m making, courtesy of Michael Miller Fabrics. I’ll be making it bigger, though, double quilt sized (or bigger?). Still have to decide on what to do with the back, definitely won’t be making another complicated patchwork for it, as the quilting stitches are too messy, nor one giant piece of fabric (even if you can get them that big, which I doubt) so perhaps just big squares of colours sewn together – perhaps time to use fabrics with bigger designs on. I also don’t know if you can get bits of wadding that size, or if you have to sew them together… something to research! Slightly wish I’d washed all the fabrics first, in case they shrink if I ever had to wash it. Maybe I should wash the ones I haven’t used yet, though bit anxious in case they don’t like it, or the colours run. Argh!
I started buying fabrics for my autumn quilt before I actually had a pattern. At first I thought of designing my own, but decided if was to have a chance of ever actually putting needle to thread (or thread to needle?) I needed to stop planning and start making! Looked online for free patterns and found these brilliant free downloads US website Michael Miller Fabrics.
After much deliberation (and use of imagination, because it’s hard to see past the colour scheme shown by the designer), I narrowed it down to a choice of two, then had to ask the other half which he preferred, as I just couldn’t make up my mind! It’s easier to picture when you see the diagram in the instructions and see it depicted in shades of grey, so you can see the patterns within the pattern.
This is the basic equipment for patchwork, that I couldn’t do without. The little perspex cuboid rod is known as a ‘quilter’s quarter’: patchwork pieces are joined together with quarter-inch seams, so it and the 2B pencil are used to rule quarter-inch margins on the backs of the pieces. One then pins the pieces, front sides together, and sews along the lines using a simple running stitch (putting in a back stitch about every 6 stitches for extra strength). The other pieces of kit are a cutting board; a long perspex ruler marked in inches and a rotary cutter for cutting strips of fabric (much better than scissors), and a smaller perspex ruler for cutting smaller
pieces, which is easier to handle. One day I’m going to get a bigger cutting board!