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A Nigh-On-Halfway Progress Report

Finish-A-Long 2016

I think we're around halfway through the first quarter of this year's FAL, so I thought I'd write a bit of a progress report on my list, which you'll find here.  I'm just going to share the projects where I've either made progress or have finished and blogged about them, so if an item isn't here then it's either finished and awaiting its moment of glory or, more likely, hasn't been touched.

The big blue and white quilt (which I'm making for Mam's spare bed), has been machine quilted.  Here's how it looked at the start of the quarter:
Blue and white quilt

And this is how it looks now:

Quilting progress

I added an awful lot more lines than I thought I would.  I originally planned to do the vertical and horizontal ditches between the blocks and then across each diagonal on the nine patches, but when I'd done that, it didn't look finished and the ditches of the snowballs weren't quilted.  I decided to add four more lines per block and get a four patch on point effect in the centre of each nine patch, which was a lot more work (and took more hours than I care to think about!), but was worth it.  I now 'just' need to hand quilt a motif (a star?) in the centre of each of the 127 snowball blocks (in perle 12 - I've chosen the shade but not yet ordered it) and the quilting will be finished.  I'm not sure which will be finished first: the quilt, or me!

I also, and you've already seen this, have finished hand quilting the centre star on my Christmas Cherry quilt (based on the Made In Cherry quilt by Sarah Fielke) Here it is at the start of the quarter, when just over half of the star was quilted:

Christmas Cherry

and here it is now, with the whole star (but nothing else!) quilted:

Quilted star

I've made good progress with my table runner version of Reene's Rosettes (designed by Reene Witchard for Quilt Now).  At the start of the quarter, I had all eight rosettes pieced:

Rosettes table runner

and now I have all the background pieces prepared and am starting to piece them in:

Piecing in the background

As I'm making more than one block, I was able to adapt the templates for the background pieces to remove seams and maximise the continuous stitching, so I'm doing a sort of 'piecing as you go', rather than making all the blocks and then joining them together.  One of the advantages of hand piecing (it's not EPP!) over machine piecing is that all those y/swivel seams are a joy, rather than a pain.  The sewing lines are a little hard to see on the dark fabric but I'm managing so far and have a chalk marker to hand, just in case I need to go over any intersections - they're the important bits and I can eyeball a straight line between them, if needs be.

The outer pieces for my storage basket are ready for quilting, and have been for about three weeks.  I'm not really doing any machine work at the moment (just too tired), but I think this will be first in the queue when I get back to it.  I'm trying to make this a thrifty FAL quarter, so I'm using up scraps of wadding whenever I can, hence the occasional bit of Frankensteined wadding!

Ready for quilting

The paisley embroidery has moved on quite a lot since you last saw it at the start of the quarter:

Paisley embroidery

I've taken progress photos and will share those, and my thoughts about how this evolved, etc. when I blog properly about it, but for now, this is how it looks (you even stand a chance of being able to tell what it is!):

Lots of progress!

I made a Lola pouch out of the scraps from my trug and sewing accessories, and created a smaller pile of scraps in the process:

Black/turquoise pouch

And I made another two, this time from scraps leftover from when Mam made a sewing machine cover, scissor holder and cutter pouch:
Two Lola pouches for Mam

Finally, I've made good progress with the table runner I'm making from Hadley's hexies (they languished on her FAL list for several quarters before she decided to foist them on someone else give them away), which looked like this at the start of the quarter:

Hadley's Hexies

They're now all pieced and seventeen of them have been joined and appliquéd onto a background.  (There were twenty in total, but I couldn't manage to arrange twenty and get the dimensions I wanted, so I'll use the green ones for something else.)


And that's (finally!) the end of my we're-almost-halfway-through-the-quarter progress report!  As I said, some items have been missed out because they're finished but haven't been blogged about (for no reason other than that I'm rubbish at keeping up with blogging!) or because they haven't been touched since I last took photos of them.

I've also started something new: knitting my first pair of socks.  I decided to make life hard for myself and go toe up and, after a three attempts (which felt like playing a yarn version of Ker-Plunk!) I got a nice start and have enjoyed knitting round and round.  I'm allergic to wool (I'm just about managing to knit with this but my hands do get itchy after a few minutes when I have to stop for a good scratching session), so won't be able to wear these next to my skin but I'm hoping they'll make good house socks, worn over my normal socks and under my slippers.


Although he's a complete pushover with other dogs (he really is: he's so submissive it's ridiculous!), Archie occasionally likes to stand his ground, as happened when I tried to take photos of the blue and white quilt:
I don't care that you want to take photos of this quilt, I was here first!
I've told you: I was here first and I'm not budging!  Unless you get the biscuits out and then we can negotiate...

Thanks for popping in, I hope you're doing well with your list?


  1. Hi Helen and Archie! Wow you have so much going on! All your projects are really beautiful! I love Archie with the blue-white quilt! x Teje

  2. Your work is so beautiful. Now about you, Archie, I think those shades of blue are perfect with your coloring. Can you suggest to your DogMa to give you that quilt?

    Hugs and Happy Weekend.

  3. You're so productive, it puts me to shame... How about a snowflake motif in the centre of each snowball? I'm a bit of a hexie freak, so love what you're doing there, and that embroidery is going to be just gorgeous. Ah go on, give the lovely Archie a bickie...

  4. Wow what a lot of projects! Your going to have to find something good to listen to for all the hours all those hand quilted stars will take!

  5. I just love "popping in"!
    Despite distractions (that puppy) you do manage to stay on track.
    Well done Helen!
    Gorgeous half way mark (now you've frightened me!)

  6. Love the quilting on the snowballs, and of course the quilt model


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