Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Blue And White Blighter - A Finish!!!

*gropes around for light switch*   *gasps in horror at the dust*  *flicks around a tickle stick*  *shows age*


Today the Q1 finishes link opens for the 2017 Finish-Along and I thought it was high time I started catching up on blogging about my (sort of) recent finishes.

My Q1 FAL list can be found here, and this blog is all about item one, the big blue and white quilt.

I started the quarter in my usual manner: like a greyhound out of the traps.  I then continued in my usual manner: having a lie down about quarter of the way round.  This time, it was more pronounced because I wanted this quilt finished in time for my mam's birthday in early January.

At the start of the quarter, the project looked like this:
Blue and white quilt - nearly there!
I don't know what that ball of perle is doing there, I certainly didn't use it to sew down the binding!

and I just needed to sew down the binding to the back.

Here's how it looked when I finished it:
It's finished! This quilt was planned in August/September 2011, I started cutting all the 2.5" squares in 2012, pieced 128 nine patches (all different combinations of two fabrics, I seem to remember) and 127 snowball blocks (all 6" finished), created 508

I started this project in March 2012, but it had been in the planning since August 2011 when Mam and I visited a local show and started collecting fabrics for it (it's harder than you'd think to find fabrics with only blue and white in them) and planning the size, etc.  It first appeared on my FAL list in Q2 2013, when Leanne was the host.

I washed and ironed all the fabrics (including several metres of white on white) and then cut all the blues into 2.5" squares (and made myself ill in the process, I seem to remember):
I didn't strip piece because I wanted each nine patch to be different. Things would have been easier and faster if I hadn't!

I was going to mix up the prints in each nine patch:
Hmmm...not right at all!

but didn't like it, so sorted all the fabrics by print and arranged them so that each nine patch was a different arrangement of two fabrics (that took a while, let me tell you!):

I then made 128 nine patches:
128 nine patches

Then I started on the snowball blocks.  Again, I thought I'd mix up the prints in each block, but after laying them out, decided I preferred the same print in all four corners:
Choosing snowballs

Things progressed quite slowly, but by April 2013, I was ready to start the mammoth task of laying out 128 nine patches and 127 snowballs and making sure no print was next to itself:
I think I'm going to be a while...

I then labelled each block (slip of paper and a tiny safety pin) and made a map of where they were all going, my piecing sequence and which way each seam would be pressed (I do this for all big projects):
Blue and white map

When I started piecing the blocks together, I discovered that very careful pinning was required to get two nice snowball points meeting two nine patch seams.  This came as quite a blow and slowed me down considerably.  I also discovered that pinning and sewing these seams was really, really tedious.  This slowed me down even further.  At several points along the way, I doubted I'd ever finish it.  In fact, if it had been for me, it would still be in pieces!

Slowly, but surely, I plodded on and in August 2015, I had a finished top which measured 90" x 112":
About time too!
So big that the only way to get it all in the frame is to lay it on Mam's front and hang out of her bedroom window! 
She wasn't impressed when I said she had to stay out there and guard it in case of a strong gust of wind!
I layered and pinned it, after moving every piece of furniture in my front room to accommodate it, and started the process of stuffing it through the machine machine quilting.
Quilting, quilting, quilting...
The harp space is about 6", if you're wondering.

I used Aurifil 40wt 2720 on the top and 2710 in the bobbin.  Initially, I thought I would quilt in the ditches between the blocks (horizontally and vertically) and down both diagonals of the nine patches, but when I finished, I realised it wasn't enough, so I added four extra (diagonal) lines per block:
Quilting progress
Well worth the additional hours of quilting!
Then it was the turn of the snowballs and I decided to hand quilt a five-pointed star in the centre of each, using Anchor perle 12wt 128.  Here's the first one:
One down, 126 to go. And I got all the way back to the starting point before I realised I hadn't checked the star was the right way up on the quilt! Fortunately, it's pointing at the top (which could have been the bottom), not a side - phew! Thread is Anc

After several weeks of doing only this (and having a target of fourteen stars a week), I was ready to trim it and add the binding.  I finished about a week before Mam's birthday and am pleased to say she was thrilled with it!  I'll share a photo of it on the bed in my next post, along with a couple of co-ordinating finishes.

Quilt Stats

Design - my own, but it's a traditional combination of blocks
Fabric - assorted blue/blue and white prints, and white on white for the snowballs
Piecing - machine (Aurifil 50wt 2600)
Quilting - machine (Aurifil 40wt 2720 and 2710) and hand (Anchor perle 12wt 128)
Wadding - Warm and White
Size - 90" x 112"
Number of appearances on FAL lists - 10

And here's another photo of the finish (same as the one at the start), just in case you've forgotten what it looks like after all that!
It's finished! This quilt was planned in August/September 2011, I started cutting all the 2.5" squares in 2012, pieced 128 nine patches (all different combinations of two fabrics, I seem to remember) and 127 snowball blocks (all 6" finished), created 508

I'm linking up:
Just Jude Designs

I don't normally get dinner (even though BC does), but guess what? Yes, today is a dinner day! And it gets better! It was tuna!!!!! Happy Friday, everybody!
Finished?  After all this time?!  This calls for tuna!
Thanks for popping in!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

2016 Finish-Along - The Quarter Four Winners!

FAL 2016

Today is the final bit of the 2016 Finish-Along - the announcement of the Q4 FAL winners!  Being a host has been lovely and I've seen lots of wonderful and inspiring finishes - it's well worth going back to the finishes link ups (Quarter One, Quarter Two, Quarter Three and Quarter Four) and visiting some of the finishes if you need something lovely to look at or some inspiration.  If you fancy, you could also visit some of our wonderful sponsors and show your appreciation by doing some shopping *grin*  

Thanks go to generous sponsors and, without further ado, here (each picked by the random number generator) are the winners of the Q4 FAL prizes:

Fluffy Sheep th_Shopbutton Fluffy sheep

The winner of the €25 gift voucher from Fluffy Sheep Quilting is Sandra (The Bias Edge), for this finish:

Clover & Violet Logo Buttons

The winner of three patterns from Clover & Violet is Diana (Red Delicious Life), for this finish:


The winner of the Oakshott Fabric £75 gift voucher is Ange (@heartofcharnwood), for this finish:

tartankiwi kiwi logo

The winner of three patterns from Tartankiwi is @stitchyscientist, for this finish:


The winner of (her choice of) three patterns from Happy Quilting is Sara (@grayquailstudio), for this finish:

Green Fairy Quilts shopGFQbutton

The winner of a $25 gift voucher from Green Fairy Quilts is Nicole (HandWroughtQuilts), for this finish:


The winner of a copy of the full Aurora BOM Pattern from Blossom Heart Quilts is @kpud, for this finish (the Harry Potter robe):

MAP10 Banners

The winner of the $40 gift voucher from Mad about Patchwork is Jenell (Walker Road Quilts), for this finish:


Christa Quilts logo300 Christa quilts

The winner of the three pattern pack from Christa Quilts is Jenny (The Lilac Cat), for this finish:

Make Modern Logo

The winner of a 6-month subscription to Make Modern is Lisa (The Scrappy Rx). for this finish:


The first winner of three patterns from Porch Swing Quilts is Sheila (Chez Budsman), for this finish:
The second winner of three patterns from Porch Swing Quilts is Jennifer (@crimsonconfection), for this finish:

SunnyDay Supply Square

The $30 gift voucher from Sunny Day Supply goes to Abigail (Cut & Alter), for this finish:


The winner of a copy of Windy City Bags from Sew Sweetness is Deb (newcreativestate), for this finish:

sew-sisters-badge [88980]

The $25 gift voucher from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop goes to Arita (@arquilters), for this finish:


The $50 gift voucher from Mariner's Compass Quilt Shop goes to Mary (Mary Emmens), for this finish:

on the windy

The winner of the pattern pack from On the Windy Side goes to Terry (On Going Projects), for this finish:


The winner of a $50 gift voucher from Fat Quarter Shop is Ella (Throw a Wench in the Works), for this finish:


The winner of two pin bowls from Laurel Bee Designs is Sarah (Sarah Goer Quilts), for this finish:

imagine gnats button

The winner of the $40 gift voucher to Imagine Gnats is Teresa (Aurea's Kitchen), for this finish:

Sew Me A Song Logo

The winner of the $20 gift voucher from Sew Me a Song is Gretchen (120 blocks), for this finish:

knotted thread 125

The winner of the $30 gift voucher to Knotted Thread is Julia (il calore delle ali), for this finish:

Simply solida SS_logo_RGB_high

The winner of the £40 gift voucher from Simply Solids is Staci (The Confused Quilter), for this finish:

Quilt Ranch logo

The winner of a $25 gift voucher from The Quilt Ranch is @limeleaf741, for this finish:

The winner of the $25 gift voucher for Studio 39 Fabrics is Anneliese (@mailfromcheekymonkey), for this finish:

Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to the sponsors!!

Thanks again for all your support for the Finish-Along last year, I hope you've joined in again this year?  I have some finishes already this quarter, I'll be back to blog about them soon(ish)!

I can't go without leaving you a photo of Archie in the smattering of snow we got last week:

I spy an unsniffed patch of snow over there, I wonder how much longer she'll make me stand here for. (Yes, that's as much snow as we got and it's all gone now. There's a bit more closer to the hills, but it skirted this bit of the coast and the salt air p
I spy a patch of unsniffed snow over there.  I don't want to stand here and have my photo taken, I want to be off sniffing!
Thanks for popping in!
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