Thursday, January 31, 2019

350 Block Report 2019- January

A fresh start for 2019. 2018 wasn't my year, sewing time was hard to find for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes things don't quite work out how you think they will. So here is to a better sewing year. I found counting my blocks each month useful for a few of reasons but mostly for those months where I felt I haven't achieved anything. I can look back and say to myself- yes I had a lean month, you didn't reach the target but you did do this. It counts. It also helps me make some time to sew. I try and set generally small time slots aside, so I can sew. I do seem to work better when I have a schedule. Even if it is only 20-30 minutes I am often amazed how much better I feel after I have a little sewing session when I have had a bad day or busy day. Good for the mind, heart and soul. So let the counting begin.

This month's total is 14 blocks.
I put my Fire Island Hosta quilt together. The four quarter equal 2 plus 3 borders for a total of 5 for this project.

I started my Temperature Quilt so in theory there will be a block for each week of the year. So I have 4 blocks and my legend block completed for a total of 5.


One more pin cushion pictured here with the other one I did last year.

4 large coasters for my Black and white table runner. I haven't counted the table runner as the blocks were done a few years ago so they have been counted previously.

15 blocks for a upcoming workshop project. The sub blocks were made last year. I did get some sewing done, though not counted last year. It is nice to see them coming together and boosting my January total.

So January's total is 30 blocks.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What Thread was I Using this Time?

To continue with my little series on what threads I am using. I have been working to finish my Tilda Club cushion project. If you haven't heard about Tilda Club, it is a bi monthly club featuring Tilda fabrics and it comes with a pattern and kit to make the project featured. January's pack is just about to arrive so there is still time to join in the fun for this year.  Click here to my website for more details or to sign up.

I was part way through this project, the piecing done and flowers were fused in place. I was ready to do the applique and finish the cushion. Anyone that knows me, knows I am not a big fan on applique and I am not a fan of seeing my stitches.  I like them to disappear, blend in with the fabric. Here I am using multi coloured fabrics and what colour would blend and disappear. There was only one choice for me and that is Aurfil's Invisible thread.

I don't use it a lot as I feel you need good light to work with it as it does disappear. I have sewn whole rows of quilting, not realising the thread had come out of the eye of the needle on the machine.
But for me this is my preferred thread for invisible applique stitching. Then you can use you preferred stitch, like the buttonhole stitch or a satin stitch or a blind hem stitch. even a zig zag works if you machine doesn't have the other stitches. Once the applique is finished I go back to my favourite 50wt for the assembling of the cushion.

Here is the cushion finished.
Now if my husband ask where his lounge cushion is, don't tell him that I borrowed it for a while. The inserts I have in the shop are too small.
I will get some the right size and retake my photo and return his cushion.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Monday, January 28, 2019

My Temperature Quilt Part 4

Week 4 of my temperature quilt looks like this. I did consider using another colour for over 45 but I had already made my legend block. So I left it.

20-1-19- 34- Orange
21-1-19 -37.4 - Pink
22-1-19 - 40.1- Red
23-1-19 -43.4- Red
24-1-19 -48.8- Red
25-1-19 - 33.4 -Orange
26-1-19 - 31.5 - Orange

Now if you saw my quilt layout in my last post. Click here to check it out. I have three empty blocks, one at the start and 2 at the end. one of these spots would be a great place to put your legend. Down the track a few years, you can still see how the breakdown of temperatures work. The other idea I had was make it part of your label on the back of your quilt.
In my first empty block at the top I thought I would put the year here.You can applique it, machine or hand embroider it in. My option will be to hand embroider it as I am unable to machine it.  More on that in the next post.

The last block at the bottom will be home to my legend.
For my legend block I have 7 colours that represent my temperatures so this makes it easy. I can select one of each colour from my piles and sew them together. For a change I somehow made things easy for myself. If you are using a different amount you need to take your block length without the seam allowance and divide it by the number of colour to give you the size. eg my finished block size- 14" block length divide it by 7 = 2. This mean your blocks need to be cut  4 1/2" x2 1/2" including your seam allowance.

Here is my legend
9- 15 degrees Purple
16-20 degrees  Blue
21-25 degrees Green
26-30 degrees Yellow
31-35 degrees Orange
36-40 degrees Pink
40+ degrees Red

 Next time we will look at the sashing strips to join your blocks together as I think we will need to be sewing our blocks together regularly, so we don't have to mark them.  Though this is an option if you need it. We don't want to mess our weeks up now.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Saturday, January 26, 2019

January's One Monthly Goal Completed

Here we are at the end of January already and it is time to link our completed goal for January's One Monthly Goal.
I have been working on my Fire Island Hosta quilt top. I wanted to get the top finished ready for quilting. Here is my original post on it.

Yes I can show you all the top is all together with the mitred borders which I did wonder if I needed to do. Not a fan of mitred borders but they did work out in the end, I only had to unpick one corner and fix it.
So now it is off to be quilted. Too big and time poor for me to quilt it. Though I was tempted.

I have linked my post with Elm Street Quilts post so pop over and check out all the completed goals for January. Don't be shy and join us in February. 

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Black and White Blog Hop

Welcome to the Black and White Blog Hop. Today is my day on this blog hop. A big thank you to Carla from Creating in the Sticks for hosting us this week.
Here is the schedule for the whole event, so please check all the posts out. There is lots of great projects for you to see.

Black & White Blog Hop Schedule

Monday, January 21st

Just Let Me Quilt
Needled Mom
Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Life in Scrapatch
Bumbleberry Stitches
keepsake moments
Vroomans Quilts

Tuesday, January 22nd

MooseStash Quilting
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Quilts by Joanne
That Fabric Feeling
Songbird Designs
Two Maker Chicks

Wednesday, January 23

Selina Quilts
Quilt in a not-Shell
Patchwork Breeze
Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Kathleen McMusing
Cynthia's Creating Ark  You are here
Everyone Deserves a Quilt
Homespun Hannah's Blog

Thursday, January 24

Seams to be Sew
Storied Quilts
Kathy's Kwilts and More
Ms P Designs USA
Den syende himmel
Melva Loves Scraps
The Joyful Quilter
Creatin' in the Sticks

Black and White is a classic combination. If you look around you are bound to see it somewhere.
Now I had some black and white hexagon flowers in my unfinished project box. A quilt that never went the way it was supposed to go.

 These are easy to make using English paper piecing. Start with the centre hexagon and sew two rounds of hexagons for each large coasters. You could do one ring aounar the centre hexagon for a smaller coaster.
 For the table runner I sewed three rounds and then a fourth round on two of them. Then sew on either side of the smaller flower. Followed by filling in the edges so the black running all the way around. Then I trimmed the sides up so they straight. Layout the batting put your backing fabric right side up, followed the pieced top right side down. Pin all three layers together. Sew a 1/4 inch all the way around leaving an opening. Turn right side out. Press and top stitch the opening closed and quilt.
Once I finish with them the coasters can be tucked in the middle and it folds up nicely to be put away.

Just like this. I even used black and white on the back.

Untill Next Time
Keep Stitching

Sunday, January 20, 2019

What thread would you use?

 What thread would you use? It is a question I get regularly from customers. What should I use?
So I thought I would do a few posts on what you would find me using.
So what thread was in my sewing machine this weekend?
 This is Aurifil 50wt cotton. It is my go to thread in the Aurifil range. I think the 50wt is my favourite for machine piecing and quilting that I want to blend in. If I want the quilting to stand out more I use the 40 wt.
This blue is a great match for this table runner for the quilting and top stitching around edge of the project.
I have a basic selection of colours that I always have a spool on hand depending on the project. Though I do have my favourite. I will not be without this colour. The logical colours may be a cream, off white, or even a grey. They are all great choices but I do think it is a personal choice. My absolute favourite is colour #2900. 

Yes this is my favourite colour. It blends so well with what I tend to be working with. I like to use a lot of colour especially batiks. Now if you work with lots of lights and pastels you may find my favourite is too dark for you and you would probably prefer #2000 a light cream. Now that would be the colour I would use if I am working on a light coloured project.
Don't forget you can start your own collection of Aurifil threads with our new Aurifil club here at Cynthia's Ark. More details on my website.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Saturday, January 19, 2019

My Temperature Quilt Part 3

Here are week 2 batch of temperatures. There is 7 in this set as we have had a full week. So except the first week and the last week of the year we will have 7 in each block.
6-1-19 - 25.1 Green
7-1-19 - 29.9 - Yellow
8-1-19 - 27.7 - Yellow
9-1-19 - 26.3 - Yellow
10-1-19 - 32.6 - Orange
11-1-19- 39.9 -Pink
12-1-19 -35.0 -Orange

This is our summer here. I would expect to see lots of yellow, oranges, and pinks with flashes of reds. I just hope we don't end up with too many runs of reds.

Week 3 was another hot week.
13-1-19- 34.0   -Orange
14-1-19- 41.3  - Red
15-1-19- 43.1 -Red
16-1-19- 40.1 -Pink
17-1-19- 39.6 - Pink
18-1-19- 27.6 - Yellow
19-1-19- 30.4 - Yellow

Here is a guide on materials needed for this project if you are thinking of joining in. Once we have some blocks made I will give you more instructions on how everything goes together.
This is what the quilt layout will look like. of course my flying geese block will not all face up but your Flying geese caan if you prefer it.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Thursday, January 10, 2019

2019 Finish Along 1st Quarter

This year I am going to try doing this slightly different from previous years where I would post a number of projects to complete during the quarter. So if I didn't feel like work on one I could work on another but that just meant I didn't work to complete anything. I would do little bits of projects but not complete anything. So this year the plan will be I am only going to post 1 project for each quarter. Fingers crossed I will have four finished projects by the end of the year.
I think I will try and select some of my long term unfinished projects too. The list is too long.
So for the first quarter I am going to be working on this one which is really two projects. My Bitty blocks which is #4 on my unfinished projects and #13 My Signature Blocks from a swap I was in.

I am going to turn these piles of blocks in to a quilt by the end of the quarter. It will not be a big quilt as most of the blocks are only around 3" in size but we will see what it becomes over the quarter.

I have linked this post with Leanne's post so you can pop over and check out what everyone is working on and maybe we can tempt you to join us.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

My Temperature Quilt Part 2

So the first week of January has seen the following temperatures, with the matching colours from my legend.
1/1 - 32.5  Orange
2/1 - 36.4  Pink
3/1 - 42.5  Red
4/1 - 31.3 Orange
5/1 - 24.1 Green
With these temperatures my first weekly block will look like this.

I will need to add two neutral rectangles to the top as the year started on a Tuesday to make it the same as the rest of the blocks.

Here is my legend if you are interested in my break down of the temperatures.
9- 15 degrees Purple
16-20 degrees  Blue
21-25 degrees Green
26-30 degrees Yellow
31-35 degrees Orange
36-40 degrees Pink
40+ degrees Red
 Now I wonder what next week's block will look like.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

January's One Monthly Goal

Welcome to the new year and our first month of the One Monthly Goal. What goal to set for January? It wasn't hard to choose something as I have it out by the sewing machine. It may as well be that project.

I am going to get my Fire Island Hosta quilt top sewn together. I finished all the sections (blocks) on new year's day and was able to start sewing the first quarter together. So I am going to continue working on it this month and get the top together ready for quilting. I have already decided I will not quilt this one myself and am toying with the idea of having it custom quilted. We will see what happens.

I have linked my post up with Elm Street Quilt post for setting January's goal, so don't be shy pop over and check out what is be worked on in January.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

My Temperature Quilt Part 1

Yes it is time to start my Temperature Quilt. I am all set. I have pre cut some pieces ready to go. I have written down my temperature legend to keep with my project and I have decided to use the weather channels max daily temperature for our area for my readings. I did consider using our little weather station at home but is that a true reading. I have notice it can be out 5 degrees compared to other resources.
As the year started on a Tuesday and I want my blocks to run Sunday- Saturday, so the first week I thought I will have 2 neutral rectangles on the top or should I use the temperature from 2018 for the 2 spots. What do you think?

Here is my legend
9- 15 degrees Purple
16-20 degrees  Blue
21-25 degrees Green
26-30 degrees Yellow
31-35 degrees Orange
36-40 degrees Pink
40+ degrees Red

So here we go the first temperature for 1st January was 32.5 degrees. So our first block has a orange  centre. How lucky was I with that test block I can use it straight away.

 The 2nd was 36 degrees  so we will have a pink centre, point up as the temperatures are increasing.  So we will see what the 3rd brings us. By the forecast we are heading into the 40's which is good but that is Summer in Australia and it looks like it will only be 1 day as a change is due on Friday.
The flying geese block tutorial can be found here
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Project Uninterrupted Projects for 2019

This is crazy. I just looked back on my 2018 list posted in January 2018 to see what was still on the list only to discover, there is still plenty of them waiting to be finished. I know there is new ones to be added to that list that I started during 2018. In my defence there are some that were started and completed during 2018 that will never be on this list. That must count for something.

1. My Leaf Placemats Half of the first one completed. I have received some help on this project via doing the Fire Island Hosta workshop. I now feel I will be able to pick this one up and complete it during 2019.

2. My black and white hexagon quilt. I am halfway through this one. I went to do some work on this one and I have misplaced the rest of the cut hexagons which is a problem.

3. Forget Me Not Sew Along EPP hexagon quilt. Up to Step #9 which is about 3/4 through the top. A little bit of progress but not enough as I haven't finished it. I think I better use this project as my English paper piecing demo during 2019.

4. Bitty Blocks from the Quiltmaker blog. I did use some of these blocks in a new project but the rest is still in the box. I must use the rest up in something.

5. My Pemberley Quilt. A block of the month started in 2016. No progress here.

6. The Shop's Octagon quilt was another block of the month program started in 2016. The blocks are done and I have started on the squares that fill in around the octagons. I need to work on the layout so I can start sewing them together. Some of the blocks.

7. My Tea Party Quilt. The blocks are completed and the sashing strips are cut, so I just need to sew everything together but I haven't touched it.

8. En Provence Mystery Quilt 2016- Mine is a smaller version of the original and I think there is still a few parts to make up before I can sew the top together. Even choosing to do a smaller version has not help me to complete it before the next year's mystery is released.

9. My Christmas Reproduction Sampler Quilt. All the blocks are completed but no progress this year on it.

10. 2017 On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt. I think there is a few blocks left to make before the top can go together, I did find a part blocks in the scrap pile. How they got there I am not sure.

11. Round We Go was a block of the month. I have completed 9 blocks so far but I have everything now, so I will have to do some more work on it.

12. A new Cynthia's Ark design using Keera Job's Daisy Day fabric range. Not touched but it is currently sitting on the sorting table

13. My signature blocks from a swap I participated in 2017. I need to do something with these blocks. I have a few ideas so we will see what happens to them.

 So 11 out of the 24 projects on 2018 list  were  finished. Now for the new additions.
14. My Tilda Club Cushion sample which I need to finish the applique and put it together.

15. Fire Island Hosta which I started in a workshop in November. It is probably the last start of 2018.

16. Fractured Paintbox Quilt. I am halfway through the blocks.

17. A new Scrappy quilt which will became a workshop in 2019.

18. My Improv Table runner which is nearly ready for quilting.

19. A mini ringlets project which is nearing the halfway point for the blocks.

20. My Mum's Poppy quilt which I have only made 1 block so far.

21. My Cat quilt which is ready for quilting.

22. My Folk Flower Quilt I started in Anna Maria Homer's workshop at Hettie's Patch. All the background blocks are completed ready for the reverse applique.

It is nice to see this list is slightly shorter than last year's list. So I have made some progress, but there is still plenty of work to do.  Though not as short as I had hoped, I am glad some have been completed. The list has been refreshed slightly. There are new projects planned for 2019, so I need to get to work on some of these projects pronto. I would like this list to continue to shrink.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching