Westering Women BoM 2016 II

I think it’s fair to say that Barbara Brackman’s Westering Women BoM Block 3 has been the cause of major headaches for our little sewing group! The block is called Sweet Gum Leaf and, oh joy, it calls for a whole lot of inset, or ‘Y’ seams.

I tried and tried to get good matching points, but I guess this is where my inexperience shows as I couldn’t come up with a block that really satisfied me. Practice is supposed to make perfect I know, but my best effort remained my first try, the others were all downhill from there.

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Sandra – WW Block 3

At our Friday night get-together I was relieved to find it wasn’t just me that was having problems. So, we put our heads together and came up with an alternate design using only HSTs. It’s not quite as elegant as the original but it’s manageable, achievable and it gets the job done.

Button was being her adorable self and insisted on getting in on the act too – she’s a stern supervisor. (You might notice that Angie and Tracy haven’t quite got round to appliquéing the stems onto their blocks yet, so I had to use a piece of stand-in fabric for the photos!)

A few days later I felt in a more relaxed frame of mind to tackle those dreaded inset seams, so I chose a whole new colour scheme and spent an afternoon carefully cutting, marking and sewing pieces to make the original Sweet Gum Leaf block. I was so pleased with the outcome, until…..

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Sandra – WW Block 3 Version 3

…..I compared it with my previous blocks and discovered that I’d cut my six leaf pieces without the addition of the quarter inch seam allowance. So although the block worked, it was a miniature version of what it should be. Talk about frustration!

It was another week before I could bring myself to have yet another crack at it. Thankfully, this time everything went well and I have a passable block, but it’s going to be a long time before I approach inset seams without thinking about sweet gum leaves.

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Sandra – WW Block 3 Version 4

In the meantime, Blocks 4 and 5 in the Westering Women series have been published so there’s quite a bit of catching up to do.

…link to previous Westering Women BoM 2016 post.

 

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Stars ‘n Stripes

I had thought that my other half regarded my sewing with benevolent disinterest since every time I waft my latest achievement under his nose I’m greeted with a glazed smile and a ‘that’s nice.’  Turns out he thinks my patchwork passion is neat, and can he have a quilt in the shape of the American flag for his birthday, please?  He’s renovating an old Chevrolet Pickup truck and wants to drape the quilt across the seats when it’s done.  What can I say, of course, but yes?

So, when we went to the quilting show at Uttoxeter, I was on the lookout for deep reds and warm white fabrics, but most of all I was interested in a way of representing all those stars on the blue part of the flag.  I did buy some blue fabric with white printed stars, but now I’ve had chance to look at it properly I don’t think it will fit the bill as the stars are too large.  I’ll have to surf the web to see if I can’t find an alternative.  Either applique stars or a printed fabric might do.

In the meantime, I’ve decided on a series of half square triangle blocks in shades of deep red and off-white for the flag stripes.   I discovered a method for making eight at one time on the Generations Quilt Patterns website which makes the work a whole lot faster,  but don’t let anyone tell you that HSTs are simple because if you want to maintain accuracy when making loads of them you still have to concentrate. I made them oversized and trimmed each one down to precise 2½” squares.  So that’s where I am at now.  I’ve sewn up the red stripes and I’m working my way through the white ones.

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I may take a break from it soon though, because the new Westering Women BoM has been posted, and I do love a challenge….

.. link to Stars ‘n Stripes II

Friday Night is Patchwork Night

My love of patchwork all began when my friend, Angie, invited me over one Friday evening.  The conversation quickly turned to her fledgling efforts at patchwork.  She showed me some Log Cabin pattern blocks she was making that would one day become a quilt.  They were (and still are) fascinating to me.  I have been sewing all my life, but this was something completely different.  Nothing like running up curtains or lifting the hem on a dress.

We agreed to go visit a fabric shop the following Saturday as she needed more material. The moment I walked through the door of White Cottage Country Crafts in Seisdon I was hooked.  Floor to ceiling is filled with the most gorgeous fabrics. Examples of finished work – quilts, cushions, bags and much more – are festooned about the shop, and there are heaps of patterns to try out.

I bought a pattern for a bolster cushion cover and a jelly roll of fabric.  (Angie bought enough fabric to start a shop of her own.)  Time to have a go myself….