Thursday 23 July 2015

there is work in progress

At Easter, DD and the family came to visit – it was so good to be able to spend time with them again; especially since DD and I got to spend some time together in the sewing room. Older Grandson helped to sort scraps and it wasn't long until he wanted to sew too. He loved sitting on my lap and feeding fabric in to the machine that was running on the slowest speed possible. At the end of the weekend, we had nineteen scrappy quarter-log cabin blocks of varying sizes made (they weren’t square and ranged in size from 9” to 11.5”). Unfortunately, I didn’t thing to take photos of the blocks that we made but I do have some photos of Older Grandson hard at work!
 2015-04-03 Ben sews on machine 2 2015-04-03 Ben sews on the machine 2015-04-03 Ben irons

In May, it was announced at our quilting group that there was going to be a log cabin challenge for all of us to use up scraps! Seems like I was already ahead of the game! LOL

I searched the internet for inspiration – I had absolutely no idea how to put those blocks together given their different sizes and shapes. But sometimes, I just have to be patient and let ideas percolate. In the end I decided to go with a wonky setting but I still had no idea how to go about it. I started looking at tutorials, but all the ones I found were for making sashing on all four sides of he block. I wanted to add sashing on only two sides. In the end, I found my own away to do it – the wider you cut the sashing and the more fabric you are prepared to ‘waste’, the better this works. Again, it didn’t occur to me to take photos of my work in progress – you can see how out of the habit of preparing for blog posts I have become!

Armed with twenty blocks (I made the extra one), I headed to class at my LQS. They have a design wall – I do not! My teacher, who loves traditional patterns and Civil War fabrics, is quite bemused by me sometimes, I think! Here I was with a totally radical modern approach to quilt blocks and I hadn’t even consulted a pattern! I did take a photo of my layout on the design wall but have since deleted in from my iPad – because I’ve finished the quilt top. Here it is for your enjoyment:
 finished front

I have also finished the backing.
finished back

The fabric used for the sashing and the backing is Saffron Craig’s Ginkgo Blossoms (c.2009). I used about three and half metres to make this quilt which will finish at 52” x 64” and is made up of twenty 12” blocks plus extra sashing down one side and across the bottom.
This one is basted and in the process of being quilted.

While I was on a roll, I made the backing for another quilt which I had finished in October last year.
on design wall

It is made from ‘Disappearing Nine Patch’ blocks with one modification – I made the neutral pieces of the nine patch smaller than the coloured parts; thus giving a thinner sashing than would otherwise be seen.
ready to cut and disappear

Here is the finished backing, containing my signature panel. the blue sashing gives a completely different look to the neutrals on the front! I have laid the blocks differently too – to form a type of ladder. The backing fabric is a small yellow check, not the solid it appears in the larger photo.
 finished back backing fabric
My sewing time is taken up with quilting the Wonky Log Cabin quilt; then I’ll get to the Scrappy Disappearing Nine Patch.

In the meantime, my knitting time is spent trying to catch up with my mum who is powering ahead knitting blanket strips. Come back for my next post and see another of her knitted blankets that I have finished.

I'm linking this post with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced blog. Why not pop over and see what other crafters are up to?

May your stitches bring you much joy.


  1. What a great post! I love the wonky quilt-it is just beautiful! You are on a roll ! The grandson time must have been wonderful, too; isn't nice to be able to share creativity with them?! Nice to have you back on the blogging.......

    1. t certainly was wonderful to spend time with the family. They were here for a few days at Easter and we were there for ten days in June. We rented a house for ourselves and both our mothers, but shared the evening meal with them every day. DD and the Grandboys will be here for a few days in September -- we're really looking forward to that time too!

      I am working slowly on the quilting for the wonky log cabin -- what I have chosen to do looks good but is very time consuming. I don't think I will have it quilted and bound by Thursday morning and I've stopped putting pressure on myself to do so -- this is my hobby, after all!

  2. Great looking quilts. Sewing with kids takes a very special person. I remember teaching my kids to sew. My daughter now makes her own quilts and does her own free-motion quilting too. I'm just starting to learn that.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and leave a comment. Thank you, too, for you sweet comment about teaching kids to sew -- I was formerly a primary school teacher so it just seemed so natural to me. And my Older Grandson is generally a very sensible, responsible boy (for a five year old).

      I taught my daughter to sew when she was in primary school and she loves to quilt but doesn't have the time at the moment with two very active sons, aged five and four. Perhaps in 2017 when they are both at school. I also taught her to knit and she was never interested until she realised that her knitting could be used to help others stay warm; now she knits as her crafting outlet.

  3. What a special delight to have that time with grandson. The wonky design is just right to manage this mixed up assortment of sizes. You did really, really good! Love that you are so adventurous in your backings too....both look great!

    1. It was a great delight to spend time with DD and the Grandsons at Easter when they were here and in their home town for ten days in June. We rented a house for ourselves and our mothers. We had the days to ourselves (with DD) because the boys were at pre-school but shared the evening meal with our daughter and the family every day.
      I love the wonky design -- it took me months to work out how I was going to make those odd shaped blocks work but once I figured it out, it came together quickly and looks fabulous (if I do say so myself)!

      The quilting is taking a long time -- I have set myself quite a challenge in terms of straight lines and lots of ends to sew in but I will get it done eventually -- just not by this Thursday which was my original goal!

  4. I am thrilled that you got to spend time sewing with your dear boy. The wonky quilt is wonderful, even more so because he helped make it.

    1. Thank you! The wonky quilt turned out almost as good as I imagined -- I had thought I would use a white on white fabric but there was none available so I have to go with the green on white print. It gives a different look to the one that was in my mind but looks pretty good anyway!

      Any time spent with my dear boys and DD is wonderful but sharing my hobbies with them is even more fantastic!

  5. Tu na is right, you clearly have great patience lol
    I love the wonky blocks too!

  6. Thank you but I really don't see it -- it just feels right to share my love of sewing and knitting with my grandsons, just as I did with their mum!

  7. Both quilts turned out beautifully. I don't usually like the wonky settings, but I really like your take on the log cabin blocks. You did a great job designing your pattern for that one.

  8. Thank you. Since I had twenty blocks, none of them square, that I wanted to use, a wonky setting seemed the only way forward. Even then, it took me ages to figure out how to make it work!


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