Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Block 3

It's time to give you the next block in the free Block of the Month Wall Quilt



This is my take on 'the little black dress'.


"So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you." I hope you are enjoying these blocks each month.

 Block 3 is available in my Craftsy Store here.


I've had a couple of good weeks after a health scare for the first two months of the year. Thankfully medication has sorted out my problems and I'm feeling back to normal. It's amazing how quickly you bounce back once all the tests show that there is nothing seriously wrong! 

Hubby was really getting worried when he came to empty the scrap bin in my sewing room each week and there was nothing much in it!  He will be happy this week because it is full and overflowing. 

I have completed all the Arbor Window blocks for my pool table quilt and here are some of them sorted into their rows:


I love the way the black background makes the colours pop. I have now started putting them together with my favourite QAYG technique. The more I make quilts using this method, the more I am becoming hooked. I find it makes everything just so much easier for me.

Of course, I must have some hand-stitching to do at night and the little bit of QAYG stitching doesn't take long, so I have started a new design!!! There's nothing like the thrill of a new project!

Happy stitching!
Val

Confessions of an imperfect piecer

I’m one of those painful people called “perfectionists”! I spend nearly as much time unpicking and resewing as I do in stitching in the first place. If I can’t do something well, I don’t do it at all – eg I would never play chess, because I knew my brilliant son would beat me! I always have to fix mistakes – other people’s as well as my own! I’m always correcting grammar, like telling sporting commentators from my lounge room that they’ve used an adjective instead of an adverb – pity they can’t hear me!


My personality of course carries over to my stitching. If you look at my designs, you will see dozens of needle-cases, bags, cushions, wall-hangings, stitching accessories, but only a handful of quilts. That’s because I’m an imperfect piecer! 
 

I admit that embroidery is my first love and so it is easy to put all my effort into that. I don’t find sitting at a sewing machine sewing little pieces together for a quilt all that enjoyable, especially when they don’t turn out 110% accurate. I become disappointed with the result, and therefore I don’t sew many quilts!
 

 Over the years, I’ve learned ways to get by, like designing quilts without points, or using ‘disappearing’ blocks that look as though you’ve done amazing piecing, or using lots of appliqué to get the focus in the right place! 


 We have a half-sized Pool Table which is always covered with a quilt when not in use, which quilt is now VERY faded and drab. As only a quilt will do, I have to face my fear of imperfection and get going and make a replacement. I wanted to use the Arbor Window block (aka Granny Square), but oh dear, all those hundreds of points with the potential to be not quite perfect. 

After a pleasant time looking at lots of wonderful quilts using this block on the internet, I discovered the possibility of making beautiful square blocks with no points to align! Out with the calculator, some scraps, and plenty of enthusiasm, and after a couple of attempts at getting the right triangle sizes, I have had success. 


I don't mind the small bit of wastage involved, when I can achieve perfect points and accurate square blocks. Nesting the seams makes it easy to line up the square blocks in their rows, which is about all the aligning that I have to worry about.


 I am now facing the making of this quilt with a totally different attitude. Once again, I have decided to use the Quilt-As-You-Go method. I feel as though I have somewhat perfected my favoured version of this QAYG technique now and I certainly find it easier quilting small blocks instead of a whole quilt.

I have one other admission to make - using a cutting die (I have an Accuquilt Go) means I start with very accurately cut shapes, and this has certainly helped my piecing to improve. Who knows, one day I might even make a Dear Jane Quilt!

Val

Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Block 2

Today I have the second block for you in the free 


The next item in our wardrobe is Tolerance - an attribute we sure need to put on every day!


So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe
God picked out for you ... 
Be tolerant with one another.
Colossians 3:13


A few people have asked when these blocks are being made available. I plan to upload them at the beginning of the third week of each month. They will each then be available until the end of this year. So don't worry if you miss one, you can always go back and collect it.


Block 2 is available in my Craftsy Store. I hope you enjoy stitching it.

I have done a bit more work on my row quilt which is full of lovely appliques. Here's the preparations for a pot which is now filled with plenty of flowers:


Do you like my little hinge on the gate?:


It's part of a key charm plus some chain stitching. My quilt is almost ready to put together, but I've had another commission to attend to so have had to put it aside for a week or so!

My husband and I are so blessed to have some wonderful friends. A dear couple turned up with these gorgeous carnations and roses to brighten our week when I was feeling a bit down:


Totally blessed!
... and I hope you are this week too.

Happy stitching!
Val

The Glue Pen workout

If you've been reading my blog posts for any length of time, you will know that I love applique. Many of my designs feature it, and mostly I have used the fusible web/blanket stitch method. You can see a post I wrote about that here.

However, I really do love the look of needleturn applique and after some initial very poor attempts, I discovered the glue pen/Appliquick method a couple of years ago.


I needed a "sitting down and taking it easy" thing to do last week, so out came the applique paper, my Appliquick tools and the glue pen.


I fused, cut, glued and turned over edges ...


... and refilled the glue pen .... and again ... and again, till I had a heap of prepared shapes.


I didn't feel like doing much else last week so sat and relaxed and watched a movie, or the tennis, or cricket which gave me plenty of opportunity to attach the shapes to the background.


and so my row quilt is growing.


I made a row of Dresdens a few weeks ago and it's all quilted ready to join up to the other rows:


While plums were cheap, I did some preserving:


... and thankfully I was able to buy some more Glue Pens!

Happy stitching!
Val

2017 Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Hand-picked Wardrobe BLOCK 1

I'm excited today to launch my 2017 free Block of the Month Wall Quilt. I have called it:

Hand-picked Wardrobe



It is based on some fantastic and oh-so-relevant verses from the Bible in Colossians 3:12-14. The Message version puts it this way:

"Dress in the wardrobe God picked
out for you ..."

and then it goes on to enumerate the character traits that we should wear every day. I love sharing God's Word and I hope you will enjoy stitching these wonderful words with hundreds of other stitchers around the world.



The pattern is FREE, for personal use or to make as a gift. You may also give a copy to friends and tell them where to find me, but please do not use the pattern for profit.



If you have a blog, I would love it if you would put my
"Hand-picked Wardrobe" button on your sidebar, or post it on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc so that other stitchers can share in this free pattern. Here's the button for you - Just right click on it and Save image as or Copy image over to your site with a link back to my blog.


The wall quilt measures 32 inches square and will be broken up into 12 blocks. Each month this year, I plan to give you the pattern for another block plus the finishing instructions. Each new block will be available for free download until the end of 2017. 

The first item in our wardrobe is compassion - how this is needed in our world today:



If you hop over to my Craftsy Store, you will find Block 1 there.


As always, I would love to see photos of your completed block!

 
We have had a heatwave here so it's certainly the weather to be indoors stitching in front of the air conditioner! The result is that I have completed another row of my new QAYG quilt and all the appliques are done on a different section so it's ready for quilting - still deciding how I'm going to quilt this row, but it's certainly easier for me to manage just an 8 inch strip than manoeuvering a whole quilt under the needle.

Before I get to the machine again, I have another job on my list - to preserve a case of plums. They have just become plentiful in our area, which means they're at a good price. It's a bit of work now to process them, but the result is that we can enjoy them on our cereal throughout the year.

Melting heart moment of the week was when Grand-daughter skyped us and asked could we order some play-dough 'food' in her pretend cafe! Thanks to the wonders of technology, we watched her more than 1000 kms away, prepare our nachos, hot dogs, and dessert, all beautifully presented - it actually made us feel hungry!  We are blessed to have such beautiful grandchildren.

May you know many blessings in your life too.

Val