Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Orca Bay Part 2 Finished Photos

Well the moment you've been waiting for!!  The photos of my blue string blocks.  I just love them.  I have spent most of the morning admiring them.  See what you think.

I just love spray starch and use it for all my pressing.  I found out it is just terrific to use when paper foundation piecing.  If block is sprayed and pressed before removing paper, the paper will become nice and crisp and just a cinch to remove.  Try it and see!

Orca Bay Part 2 Finished

Last night I finished part 2 of Orca Bay. As usual, my camera battery was flat when I went to take the latest photos.  Left it on charge and will post them later.
I have enjoyed checking out everyone else's progress with Bonnie's links.  This is the first time I have tried a mystery quilt and it is so much fun thinking that so many quilters around the world are doing the same project as me at the same time as me.
I also managed to longarm a customer's quilt in between.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Orca Bay Part Two Half Way!

It is 3:13am here in the UK and I have been up for an hour.  Last night watched Strictly Come Dancing while piecing more blue strip blocks.  So I thought I might pick off the papers, ready for trimming.  I have to say that picking the papers off of foundation blocks is just so therapeutic.  It's a bit like popping bubble wrap!  When paper foundation piecing, I always take my stitch length down to 1.5 - 1.8.  Those papers can't wait to pop off.  I don't use a large needle.  In fact I always piece with a 60/8 and a 50wt cotton thread.  I really don't want to make big holes in my fabric and the fine thread just melts into the seams.  There are between 6 and 9 strips in each block.  The narrow strips look totally right for this size block.  Your eyes are drawn in for closer inspection.

Here are the photos of my sweet blocks so far, papers off and ready for trimming.

My papers have gone into the fireplace awaiting the next cold snap when the logs will be burning.  Recycling in more ways than one!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Part Two Day One Orca Bay

Wasn't I lucky?!  The next part of Orca Bay requires 3 1/2" foundation papers for blue strippy blocks.  I just happen to have papers that size already to use.  I had some paper offcuts from a previous project and I was tempted to throw them away.  But the hoarder in me decided that I might one day need them.  That day has arrived.

My pile of blue strips.  Quite a selection.  It would be nice to lighten the load of strips in my scraps.

Managed to piece ten blocks today.  Multi-tasking - watching TV while I strip!! 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's wishing everyone a happy holiday.  I really, really, really miss the terrific Thanksgiving Day meals my mum made.  I remember watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade and eating pumpkin pie.

Oh the memories.  Still, I have a lot to be thankful for even though we don't celebrate the holiday here in the UK.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Orca Bay Part 1 Day Three

Wednesdays are Bumbleberry Day!  Friends over, shared lunch, hot drinks, sewing and chatting.  Plenty to catch up on.  A lot can happen in a week!

I trimmed up the rest of my hourglass blocks today.  They look lovely all neatly stacked in rows.

I'm eagerly waiting for Friday.  Part 2 of Orca Bay!!!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Orca Bay Hourglass Units

Today I spent the day putting together my Orca Bay hourglass units.  All 224 of them.  At 2 1/2", there didn't seem to be alot to show for all the morning's work.  But don't they look nice all neatly stacked.  Only half trimmed up.  Will finish the rest tomorrow.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Part 1 Orca Bay Mystery Quilt - Half way

The mystery has started.  It has taken me a couple of days to get all the strips cut and sewn into 448 QST units.  The photos show some of my fabric choices.  Made an error on 11 units when I joined two black strips together.  So got that sorted and now ready for tomorrow when I will be sewing into the hourglass units.


Friday, 18 November 2011

Just over a month until Christmas!

Where has the time gone?  My last post was three months ago and I have to say I have been busy in one way and another.

Trip to the Festival of Quilts in August was exhausting.  Four days of classes left me little time to shop.  But that only challenged me to see how much shopping I could squeeze into a short amount of time.  All I can say is I could be a serious contender for Supermarket Sweep!

September brought the lovely show at Hever Castle.  Such a beautiful location.  Unfortunately, the weather was against us.

I have had a variety of quilts to quilt.  Each one has brought a new challenge to further develop my long-arming skills.  Just proves that you never stop learning.

Scrappy quilts is what I am into at the moment.  I can never seem to get to the bottom of my scrap bags!  Possibly because I just can't bear to throw anything away.  Clutter is my middle name and I guess I have just resigned myself to the fact that it is just the way I am.

I am an avid follower of Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.
Strippy quilts are my favourite.  Here is one I made earlier this year:
My second strippy scrappy quilt is waiting to be quilted.  The arrangement of the strippy blocks will make the design look totally different.  I have an idea for a third in the series, but may have to wait until the new year.

Bonnie has started a new mystery quilt called "Orca Bay"!    I am really looking forward to having a go.  Really, I don't generally like surprises when it comes to making quilts.  Fabric selection isn't easy when you don't know the outcome.  But my challenge for this year is to quilt-a-long with Bonnie by playing it safe, using her colour choices.  Sometimes you just have to jump in and go with the flow.

Another scrappy inspirational person is Gyleen X Fitzgerald.  Having seen her on "The Quilt Show" with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, I was tempted by her pineapple blocks and "Trash to Treasure" theme.  Book and ruler ordered, I am prepared to have a go at her challenge as well.

Like I said, I have tons of scraps and definitely not in need of buying anymore fabrics.  'Reduce my stash' is my mantra this year.  So many beautiful fabrics out there, but no new purchases until I've made a dent in what I already have.

Fingers crossed and machines at the ready, the challenge starts TODAY!!!