Friday, 19 May 2017

Three weeks stitching in one day!

Ahhh... here in the subtropics, we are entering the dry season. The weather is cooler, we are enjoying wearing slippers on occasion, three quarter sleeves, or a cardigan, or long boots,  or maybe even jeans.

Totally unexpected was the steady rainfall we had yesterday, and again today. It's stopped at about 3pm today, and is unlikely to hang around.

I was lucky enough to make the most of it! My sweetheart took Bub out for a visit this morning, after the school dropoff, and I got to sit at the kitchen table with the sewing machine... I used the kitchen bench as a cutting mat, and even rested fabric on the stove top.

Earlier this week I calculated machine stitching for twinkly bits of Diamond Hill would take 5 months if I only made about 20 squares each week at social stitching. Yesterday while it rained and we stayed home, unable to work in the garden or the yard, and leaving the washing undone (it wouldn't dry anyway), another 20 squares were stitched.

Today I made another 34.

While Bub toddled around the kitchen, he did some drawings, and happily swapped his textas for more out of his big sister's pencilcase. He was so engrossed, I got to sew some more!

Having almost used up the 1 metre of dark purple purchased this week, I felt my mood shift, and it was time to think about basket fabrics for the applique blocks.

I liked these purples, but when I compared a photo of these (for perspective)

with a photo of these, I preferred the brights.

Then I tried to measure the actual width of the stripes so that I could rotary cut them. They need to match exactly with half square triangles in the border of the block. Ergh. They didn't have a measurement I could read on my rulers. I decided not to use the lovely brights in stripes after all.

I will use a triangle of fabric for the basket. I had a little rummage around - I need enough fabric for 8 of these baskets as there are 4 in the outermost border also. I have a lot of Kaffe fat quarters, but they wouldn't have been big enough. Hmm. What about this?

The colours are fabulous. It keeps up with the theme of Amethyst, Emeralds, Pearls in Diamond Hill... but the fabric might be too distracting.

Wait for it... That's much better when it's divided by twinkles.

I will give it a go.

I cut a large 9 inch square and cut it in half once so that I would have the grain running with the edge of the block. Then I drew on a stitching line 1/4 inch from the edge and tried to line it up with the (vague) markings I had made on the oversized applique block.

Machine stitched on, I started to trim the block, lining up the 45 degree line on a large square ruler with the basket, then I got cold feet.What if I was cutting it too small? How could I really check? The block is trimmed to the unfinished size of 18 1/2in square, and I wanted to align the basket in the right place to match up with the pieced twinkles around the edge.

I stuck pieces of baking paper together to make a transparent template. Positioned the basket over the basket line, then trimmed the block. Phew. I could see how far away the applique was from each edge, and I wasn't cutting off too much in any particular direction.

Okay, now that I've trimmed the block it's not all straight grain on the edges anymore, and I am supposed to add some pieced twinkle blocks before storing it (the edges can stretch so they need minimal handling).

I joined some of the twinkle blocks together, and stitched them along two sides.

I am using three different fairy frost fabrics to create the twinkles. Hopefully this will create movement across the quilt as the diamonds shine away with their pearly finish.

Feeling totally chuffed, I managed to sew about 3 weeks of social classes worth today.

Let's see: 34 foundation pieced blocks trimmed, one block trimmed and partially bordered. Strategies in place to tackle tricky bits. Yes, I'd count that as one super successful day, just because it rained!

Next: I think I will make more twinkly squares, as most of the ones made so far are with the pearly fabrics I am using least. Then I will get the other applique blocks bordered by the same amount before matching up the next bits. I need to do these while I remember!

Linking up to Whoop Whoop and My Quilting Infatuation.


Hawk Studios said...

I love your blocks! The colors pop against the background and the pattern is really interesting. Thanks for sharing your process as you decided what to use for the baskets; it's interesting to see how others approach finding the right fabric for the job. It's going to be a gorgeous quilt!

Debbie Huber said...

Your work is amazing. I love seeing the process of how you added different elements together. Your applique is just beautiful, and I love the square in a square lattice.

Raewyn said...

It's interesting to see your thoughts and decision making process, I love what you are doing with Diamond Hill - beautiful work!

Maria said...

It is fun watching you work with all the different fabrics and colours....
Nice when the wee one keeps busy...

Glenda said...

Great blog made me smile listerning to you. Not sure how you manage it all with small children you must be very organised. I'm feed up with the rain its been such a long wet this year up here in Cairns. Keep having fun CHeers Glenda