Latest plainer block, lighter colours

After all that decision making (thank you, Mum!) I’m now quite pleased with this one, and I think it’s a good companion to the previous one, and I’ll probably make another in a similar colour scheme. I’ll have to lay them all out again and see what they look like. Running out of space on the floor, though!

IMGP0496

Opinion on block design

I started putting together a design for another more plain block, but whilst happy with the centre of it can’t seem to get the outside right. I wanted it to be similar to the last one so that it doesn’t stand out too much. This is what I’ve come up with, but I’m thinking the outside might be too pale, compared with the others. I wonder about¬†swapping the outside colours so the orange and pale are reversed, with the orange¬†forming the centre triangle on each edge, and some brown at the corners. Or is it okay as it is? I laid out all the blocks so far, and the last one I did, more cream-coloured than the rest, is definitely the one that catches the eye, so I think I need more like it in order to make the more interestingly-designed ones stand out instead. (P.S. Sadly, that’s not a real cat).

Another plain(ish) block, lighter colours

IMGP0460

Another attempt to make a plainer block, starting with the cream fabric which has flecks of orange and greenish-brown in it. I thought the other three blended nicely with it and that the dark green with orange leaves would be the stand-out colour, though I’m now wondering if the pattern of smaller leaves on a pale background is more striking than I thought. I’ll place this block with the others to see how it looks. Really rushed to get this one finished, so I could get more time to do cross stitch and possibly knitting this weekend, though it’s going to be a busy one so I’m not sure that I’ll get much done at all. I’ll go slower next week, getting some momentum going is fun, but rushing too much makes it a bit less enjoyable. In my head, I’d like to be able to wear the jumper I’m knitting this winter, and would love to see the cross stitch cushion cover I’ve been working on on-and-off for years eventually finished, ideally also by the winter, but I’m probably being very over-optimistic!

 

First steps in paper piecing

I’ve decided the time has now come to try paper piecing, because the results on other people’s work looks brilliant, and there are fabrics I have that I’m visualising as being used for that sort of design. It’s been 18 months or so since I started patchwork, and have never tried this before! I read how to do it in Linda Clements’ The Quilter’s Bible, and saw Texas Quilting’s hint that freezer paper is good to use (https://texasquilting.org/) so got some online while I was buying fabric, as it isn’t something I’ve noticed on sale in British supermarkets. When I first started quilting and was stocking up on what I thought would be essential supplies, I’d bought a template which can be used for making hexagons in different sizes, so used that and a craft knife to cut out the shapes on freezer paper. Took ages to work out how to use the template, with help from husband and the internet! On Thursday evening I’d cut out 7 paper hexagons and the bits of fabric to go round them. It took me the whole of my 40 min train journey to work just to tack 2 and a half pieces (see first picture). But that evening I finished tacking the others, and sewed them together over the course of the weekend, along with all the other things I was doing. The points of one hexagon aren’t right, but otherwise it’s not a bad start and I hope I’ll speed up with practice. I’m not sure what the best technique is, e.g. whether to try to sew three edges with one piece of thread, and it seems difficult to be accurate despite all my efforts. I haven’t taken the paper out because I want to add more and thought it best to leave them in for now. I have no idea what I’ll do with it in the end, but I love the colours so for now will keep adding, as a secondary patchwork project to my main autumn quilt.

 

IMGP0443
After 40 mins on train
IMGP0447
Tacking finished that evening
IMGP0452
Hexagons sewed together (with one extra for later)
IMGP0454
Not meeting at the points / corners

I did want to make these images smaller, but seem to have lost how to do that!

New block, simpler colours

I’ve just finished this block, in an attempt to make more blocks in plainer colours which will make the patterned ones stand out more. In theory! Had to go shopping (again. I could now stock a fabric shop), but the shop I went to didn’t have many colours I liked. I was looking for creams but most looked pale lemony yellow, which wasn’t what I was after. I got a few but felt I probably wouldn’t use them, then spotted the nice dark one in the centre here. It matches the burgundy and green and cream, but without being a solid colour which I thought would be too much. I like the end result, but when I it out alongside some of the other blocks I felt it stood out more than the others! I suppose this is because all the more patterned blocks are too patterned, so the fabrics have blended into each other from a distance, though not so much when you look closely. Also, it’s getting really very orange! I did get more creamy-coloured fabrics online which I think are better, so I’ll try out some combinations with those. This week I chose colours at the weekend, took a photo, and cut the pieces, then made up the block during the week, and this worked well so I’ll do the same this coming week. Finishing it last night gave me the opportunity to make my first steps in paper piecing, about which more later (I’d best start work now!)

Decisions, decisions (3 new blocks)

I wanted to use more of this rather colourful fabric, so that the one block I’d already made using it wouldn’t look quite so lonely. I decided on the inner part of the block quite quickly, but it took several attempts to make the outer part look right. The final choice is here (top row still to be ironed down when the photo was taken):

IMGP0397

I’d decided on this one (below) at first, but although I liked the alternating greens and reds on the outside, I thought that the way they sat alongside the reds and greens on the inside created a bit of a messy shape. I’d already sewn most of the edge strips together, apart from the corner squares, so have kept them to use in another block, still to be decided.

 

IMGP0383

These were some of the other possibilities:

 

I finished it just before I took the train north to stay with my family for a few days, so before I left I designed another block and all but one element of another one, and took the pieces and squares with me, including three alternative fabrics for the undecided element of the last block. I finished the first one while I was there and a good portion of the other one, having decided on the final piece with the help of my Mum, and finished it yesterday!

The plain orange in this was bought because I couldn’t find any more of the plain dark tan fabric in the first block shown here. I got it as part of a fat quarter bundle but would like to buy it as an item on its own, seeing as I haven’t used some of the other fabrics in the bundle. The orange is good within individual blocks, but when I laid them all out last night and stood back to look, the whole thing appears very orange, so I’d best resume the hunt for the dark tan.

I know I’d now best make some more blocks in plainer fabrics, but my attempts to lay some out last night using the fabric I have didn’t get very far.