Sewwitty’s Courthouse Steps
Well, true to my last post, I have been working on the sampler quilt. The above is my second courthouse steps sub-block – each block requires 4 and sometimes 8 sub-blocks. The blocks with rectangular pieces, like above, a much quicker to sew (not like the Bachelor’s Puzzle block). It is much easier to cut the right shape when it is a rectangle particularly when you stitch it down and then flip it into place. The number of times I flip it into place only to find the finished piece is too small!
Altar Steps Block
So I have finally started the sampler quilt. The above is an Altar Steps block, which consists of four smaller blocks (see here). There will be five of these blocks in the quilt.
I’ve discovered it is quicker to cut all of the fabric for one smaller block before beginning the block. If in doubt the piece of fabric is going to be too small!
The final quilt consists of five of each of my sampler blocks (there are 12) and an extra 3 blocks ( I haven’t decided on the extras I suspect it will be the easier to make blocks!), so that makes a total of 63 blocks (5 × 12 + 3). Only 62 blocks to go …
Bear’s Paw Block Finished
I stitched this out yesterday and it worked the first time so rare!
This is the last block I wanted to digitise for my sampler quilt. Now it is simply a matter of getting on with it.
Today is the last day of school holidays. I like school holidays – not having to be anywhere by a particular time, much more relaxed mornings, but it is a bit more difficult to get any jobs done that require concentration.
I want to digitise one more block for my foundation block quilt. I’ve spent a bit of time considering different traditional blocks – Arkansas Star, Attic Windows, Birds in the Air, Fox and Geese, Jacob’s Ladder – and rejecting them as too hard or requiring too many stitch outs.
In the end I decided on Bear’s Paw, which requires two stitch outs.
Bear’s Paw Block
The above image is four bear’s paw blocks – with some extra bits in the middle.
My block is more like this …
Although it is all straight lines and you would think easy to digitise, I did need to think about how to split it and then what dimensions to use to get this block to be the same size as my other blocks – I knew that maths degree would come in handy some time!
I split into two sections …
Bear’s Paw Split
And then used Embird Studio to digitise each stitch out (I did this separately).
And then joined them using the merge feature in Embird Manager. Once I had the numbers sorted, it was all relatively easy. Now I just need to test it out!
SewWitty’s Bachelor’s Puzzle
This is 1/4 of my Bachelor’s Puzzle block. I did this in two pieces and then joined them, which means the finished block will have 8 pieces – I might be getting a bit carried away.
I have one more block to go to make 12, but I haven’t got one in mind yet.
SewWitty’s Pinwheel block
What it looks like when there is four of them.
This is my latest digitised block, a Pinwheel. I used paint to show you what it would like if there was four of them.
I need two more blocks to make 12 – I’m considering a Bachelor’s Puzzle, Water Wheel and New York Star – although I might think of another block before the end.
Quilts 1700-2010 Hidden Histories, Untold Stories
I know I have written about this book before, but I have finally finished reading it. This book is a textile lover’s dream – the illustrations are beautiful and it is full of fascinating information. It is not the type of book to read all at once, but just dip into every now and then (even to just look at the pictures and be awed by the skill, patience and dedication of the maker).
The book consists of four chapters; Making and using quilts in eighteenth century Britain, Complexity and context:nineteenth century British quilts, Maintaining the craft:British quilt-making 1900-45 and Negotiating space:fabric and the feminine 1945-2010.
Here are some of my favourites …
Unfinished Patchwork of Silks, c 1860-70
Pieced Wool, c 1863-77
‘Sanderson Star’ quilt in cotton sateens, c 1910-1920
Sara Impey, ‘Punctuation’. Machine stitched Silk, c 2009
Janey Forgan, ‘Liberty Jack’, c 2008
Coverlet, patchwork of printed cottons, c 1803-1805
As I love liberty fabrics, Liberty Jack is probably my favourite, but Sara Impey’s Punctuation is brilliant to, and then the amount of work involved in the earlier quilts is mind-boggling.
The above block is 1/4 of an Iowa Star. You need to imagine 4 of them exactly the same, but rotated to make a square in the middle – like this
Iowa Star from Quilters Cache
I digitised the block using Embird Studio and it came together quickly. I did cut some of the fabric pieces a little too small, but this block was just a test to see how well I had digitised the design.
Sewwitty’s Pineapple Block
I have been working away on the Pineapple block – this is the 7th iteration.
It didn’t stitch out perfectly (so there will be an 8th version) I had to do a couple of dodgy things, but I am happy with the final result. I just need to change the order of a few bits and add a few bits.
This time around I used Embird Studio’s hide/show feature and it made things a lot clearer – much easier to keep track of things.
I’ve also moved my embroidery sewing machine to a better spot – I am much more likely to use it now, such a simple thing.
Pineapple Block being digitised
I’ve started work on the Pineapple Block and it has proven to be a little bit tricky, but on the plus side I’ve learnt a few things about Embird.
This little magic tool
Transformation Tool in Embird Studio
allows you to specify the length and width (exactly) of objects – no more using the grid to create the right size.
And you can use Guide Lines to split objects that is how I chopped the top off the outer most triangles.
Using Guide Lines
That way I just created one triangle and copy, pasted and rotated as required – much more accurate.
My one concern is the non-straight seams and how easy they will be to stitch and flip.
Is this going to be too tricky?
I have another design in mind that only has straight seams it might be worth changing now before I have committed too much time.
On a completely different note, it is Australia Day and my pavlova is cooling in the oven. I think I am prepared.