Ice Cream Soda BOM – fabric pull

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I love English Paper Piecing, but I’ve only used hexagon templates.  So when I heard about Tales of Cloth’s Ice Cream Soda block of the month club I thought this was a chance to try putting some more shapes together.

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Ice Cream Soda photo from talesofcloth.com

Kerry of Very Kerry Berry spoke at the South West Modern Quilt Guild last week about choosing fabrics for a quilt, so I’m using her excellent advice to help with my fabric selection.

I started with my ‘hero’ fabric, which is Kaffe Fasset’s Millefiore in orange (top photo).  It has lots of colours in it which can inspire other fabrics choices.  The next step could be to buy other fabrics in the same collection, but I like my quilts to have a scrappy look.  So I went to my stash of scraps and smaller pieces.

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These are the golds and oranges, with some mustards coming in too.

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Kerry suggested using some of these added fabrics as inspiration to lead to other colours. The flower print (bottom left) has the gold, but also grey and black, so I added some of those.

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Then I put a black and white filter on this photo of my whole selection to check the contrast.

I’d like some more dark fabric.  There is a burgundy in the Kaffe Fasset that I don’t have.    Also some more pale blue and paler neutrals.

One of the things I really like about the Ice Cream Soda quilt is that you can make a few flowers and see how they work together.  I plan to use the fabrics I already have for the first couple of months.  Although I do have a shopping trip planned with my very talented friend Nicola, and it would be rude not to buy any fabric then, wouldn’t it?!

Gifts for men – a denim apron

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Finding presents for men can be really difficult, so I thought I’d share this one with you.  Mr D said yesterday that it was his favourite of all the things I’ve made him – and it was probably the easiest to make!

I traced round an old apron to get the shape.  The denim I used was wide, so I cut it out across the width of the fabric and used less than a metre.

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The fun was in adding the details – orange top stitching and rivets.  The neck strap and ties are cotton webbing, left over from his Cooper bag.

I used navy bias binding to turn under the curved edge.  All the other edges are double folded and stitched.

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This was an easy and fun make, and it’s had lots of use already.  Mr D is a keen cook – lucky me!

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Have you any suggestions for manly gifts?  I’d love to hear them – especially as it’s Mr D’s birthday next month!

Supplies:

Cotton webbing – Habercrafts

Rivets – Dale Leathercrafts

There is a free pattern for a similar apron here

My 5 favourite sewing machine feet

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Do you like reading manuals? I certainly don’t, and this is how my new sewing machine feet stayed for about a year – tucked neatly away in their compartments.

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Then I went to an applique workshop and we were asked to bring a darning foot. And it turned out, I had one!

Since then I’ve managed to use a few more, and these are my favourites.

1. Quarter inch foot

The bar runs against the edge of the fabric so the seam is a reliable quarter inch and your patchwork pieces fit together correctly. Much easier than lining up the edge of the fabric with a mark.

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2. Edge foot

Beautiful stitching along the edge of a piece of fabric, especially good for top stitching. If I want two perfect lines of stitching I use the edge foot, then the quarter inch foot – heaven!

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3. Walking foot

The teeth on this foot pull the top of the fabric through in the same way as the feed dog teeth on the machine pull the bottom. If you are sewing several layers of fabric this helps stop them go out of line.  Walking feet look quite big and clumsy, but don’t let this put you off.

4. Open foot

Using this one means you can more easily see where you are stitching. I use it for sewing on the lines when I am foundation piecing patchwork using a paper template

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5. Adjustable zip foot

If I could only choose one foot, it would be this one.  The foot part slides along a bar, which means you can get as close to the edge of the zip as you want to.  Great for invisible and regular zips, and can also be used as a conventional foot if you slide the needle to the middle.

Do you have a favourite sewing machine foot?  Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you.

More quilt blocks – and an app recommendation

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After deciding last week to make my sampler quilt bigger, I’ve been searching out some new block designs and making a few.

First is the Polk Block by Carolyn Friedlander (you can find it on CreativeBug).  It took me several hours to make with all those little pieces, but I love the result and I’ve used up some teeny scraps.  Always enjoy being thrifty!

Next I used Red Pepper Quilts tutorial for the Economy Block

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A Double Pinwheel

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Finally, this stripey one from Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine (issue 42)

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And that brings me to the Readly app, which I discovered this week and is my new favourite thing.  The app gives you access to lots of different magazines (back issues too).

I stopped buying magazines a few months ago because I found I only enjoyed one or two articles in an issue.  Then they just sat on the coffee table like a reproach, taking up room.  I have been happily whizzing through these electronic versions, bookmarking knitting patterns, quilting blocks and sewing ideas, and reading the articles that interest me.

The best deals are through the website rather than buying through the app. I went for 2 months for the price of one, and I like that you’re not tied in for longer than a month.

Thanks for reading – I’m planning some garment sewing for next week.  If you would like to keep in touch, I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram.

Simple Sampler qal – my quilt is getting bigger!

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My original plan for this quilt was a lap quilt to keep me cozy when I’m hand sewing.  Then Kerry published an extra tutorial for partial seam sashing, which I love and it fits in with the scrappy look of my quilt very well.

Partial seam sashing increases the size of the quilt though, and as you can see above, it’s getting close to double bed size.

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I noticed when I laid all the blocks out that I’ve used far more neutral colours than I originally thought I would.  It’s funny how the look of the quilt has evolved naturally as I’ve gone along.  And this means it looks good in the guest bedroom.  It brightens the cream, green, gold and grey colour scheme without overpowering it.  I like the quirky edge it gives – we were getting a little bit too tasteful in there!

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My plan now is to make another eight blocks.  I don’t want to repeat any blocks, so I’m on the look out for ideas.

So far I’ve made Anna Maria Horner’s Folk Flower and Whippersnapper blocks, both from CreativeBug.

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If you’ve got any ideas of blocks I could make, do let me know in the comments!

Links:

My blog post talking about the Corfu inspiration for my quilt

Simple Sampler quilt along

2017 Make Nine Challenge

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New Year, new challenges – there are so many interesting ideas around, and I’d like to join in with lots of them, but I must be sensible and not over commit!
 
I am going to add one more to my #52weeksofblockprintandstitch though, because I really like the #2017makenine challenge.
 
The nine I’ve chosen to sew this year are a mix of patterns I’ve had for ages, a year old UFO, some which need me to learn new sewing skills and a few for my smallest niece and nephew.
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1. This Burda 6987 coat has been hanging unfinished in my wardrobe for over a year! Top priority.
2. Another Banksia top – I loved the first one I made, but the fabric wasn’t great. I have a beautiful soft chambray for this.
3. Vogue 1395 – one of the many patterns I bought with great enthusiasm, and didn’t make up.
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4. Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers – I haven’t made trousers before, and these have had great reviews. I love the shape.
5. Colette Beignet – bought it, didn’t make it. I have some denim for this and the trousers.
6. DKNY Vogue 2941 – the skirt is a beautiful shape, with a gathered hem. I like the camisole and kimono top too…
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7. I’ve had Girls Style Book for ages, waiting for tiny niece Greta to be big enough for the patterns. There are some beautiful things for summer, including this dress, some bubble shorts, a wrap back top – I like almost all of them.
8. Burda kids 9482 – I want to use up some of the larger knit remnants I have left over from other projects. Hoodies seem ideal, and it’s nice to have a pattern for nephews too.
9. Gigi dress by Olive Ann designs – that bow back! And it comes with a matching pattern for an 18″ doll dress. Perfect.
 
I have masses of other patterns I would like to make, and plenty of fabric to make them, but if I can make these nine I’ll be very happy.

2017 Weekly Resolution Project

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My New Year resolution for 2017 is year long, as I’m joining in with Kristin of Brooklyn Haberdashery‘s #our52weekproject on Instagram.

I took part in the 100 day project a couple of years ago and loved it.  It can be a life changer, and was for me, but it is a huge commitment.  I’m sorry to say I gave up after a month last year.

Committing to a weekly project over the year seemed more managable, and I think the steady commitment will help me grow creatively and establish good habits.  The main lesson I took from my 100 day project was that if you keep doing something you will get better at it!

My project is #52weeksofblockprintandstitch.  I’ve kept it quite broad so I can carve blocks, print with them, or stitch with the fabric I’ve printed – or do all three if I’m feeling inspired that week.

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This week, I printed some hares onto gold and silver metallic linen, and I’ll be incorporating them into patchwork panels for pouches.

If you’d like to keep in touch with my project, I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram.

UPDATE! In February, I changed my project to #52weeksofquilt.