Monday, 27 March 2017

The Rakish Needle - My Compass Rose Starter Block

Puppilalla, round robin quilt, New York Beauty Block, BOM, Patchwork, Compass Rose block, wind rose, mariner's compass


Well, what do you think? It is a bit on the whimsical side isn't it? Also fairly colourful. The inspiration for my compass rose came from Jennifer @ ‘Never Just Jennifer’, who made a compass rose starter block for the 'Round Trip Quilts' Round Robin she participated in. So yes, the blocks look very similar but then again not.


Puppilalla, round robin quilt, New York Beauty Block, BOM, Patchwork, Compass Rose block, wind rose, mariner's compass


Like Jennifer, I used some of the free ‘New York Beauty’ BOM block templates to make that wind rose. It was my first ever foray into curved piecing. The result is OK, I managed to preserve most of the points but the actual piecing of curves on foundation paper was not exactly easy. I regularily fell short and had to somehow gimick in add-ons to make the piece go around the other piece all the way. Subsequently, the blocks turned out wonky and had to be trimmed to shape, which in turn led to the loss of some of the acurate paper piecing. There you go, not exactly an odyssey but also not easy as pie.

I had initially meant for three of the four compass points of the wind rose to be removed from the starter block with the space in-between to be filled with ‘Adventure at Sea’ ideas by my fellow sewists but then changed my mind. I then felt that to block would have lost cohesion had I gone through with that.


Puppilalla, round robin quilt, Quilting, Patchwork, Applique shapes, Alphabet Applique, letter


I did not have any templates to foundation paper piece the letters for the compass points but when in doubt have applique come to the rescue. I cut letters from old-fashioned cardboard and used a water soluble glue stick to affix the shapes to the fabric. Afterwards, I used needle and thread to pull the edges around the shapes and baste them into place. Anything with curves works like a charm. The letters 'W' and 'N' were a bummer though, too many points and sharp angles. These present a problem when you try to press the shapes to get sharp edges for the applique that is to follow. As I am not too fond of blanket and zigzag stitches on my applique shapes, I try to tug the edges in and under and just go around with with an unobtrusive straight stitch.


Puppilalla, round robin quilt, New York Beauty Block, BOM, Patchwork, Compass Rose block, wind rose, mariner's compass

Add some yellow compass needles and the block is good to go. By the way 'East' translates as 'Osten' in German, which is why there is the letter 'O' rather than the 'E' in the block.

So this is what went into my starter kit to Ileana. The starter block, a fish block to be added at some point, extra fabric, the quilting journal and chocolate. Of course chocolate. I said it was mandatory after all. =)

Next up


While my starter block is travelling to grow into a quilt top, I am thinking of piecing the cutest seahorse and wonder how to go about translating the below atmospheric picture into a quilt block. I have an idea for the ship. If all fails I will just draw the ship with a permanent fabric pen right onto the background but how to go about the whale is a conundrum. Any suggestions welcome, cause I have no idea. Layers of applique from dark to bright?



Source
Doesn't the picture look dramatic? It would make the most awesome side panel addition to my quilt top.





Monday, 20 March 2017

The Rakish Needle Round Robin - Prep and Planning

With the ‘Blithe’ Blog Tour safely out of the way, I finally turned my attention to the exciting prospect of the ‘Rakish Needle Round Robin’.

I am so excited. Yes, I am aware that I have said as much in every last blog post for a few months now. =) It is still true though. Our group of six is already busy exchanging progress pictures on WhatsApp and I think everyone is as excited as I am.

I have already seen two starter blocks and I can promise that this is going to be a challenging and amazing round robin year. The starter blocks are meant to go into the mail around the 20th of March, so I am busy getting my act together. As Anita, who will receive my starter kit, is currently travelling ,I have an extended grace period to complete my starter block. =)

My quilt theme is:

Adventures at Sea...


Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Quilt Journal



I have prepared a little inspirational collage and glued into the little journal that is to travel with the quilt. I even wrote a little story, which I hope will set the mood for my fellow sewists.



Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Fabric Pull, Patchwork, Fabric Stash
My fabric selection consists of jewelled tones in contrast with gray on white, white on white and discreet low volume background fabrics.


Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Fabric Pull, Patchwork, Fabric Stash, low volume fabric


I will of course send a selection of fabrics travelling with the starter block to help out those participants that might not have many jewelled tones in their stash, as well as to illustrate what kind of fabrics to look for.



Puppilalla, Rakish Needle, Round Robin, Foundation Paper Piecing, New Yourk Beauty BOM, Patchwork


I admit, I fell in love with Jennifer’s starter block which was a wind rose. Thus, I will shamelessly steal that idea and make it my own. As Jennifer of ‘Never Just Jennifer’, I will use some of the free ‘New York Beauty’ BOM block templates to make that wind rose. I am already furiously piecing away.


Imrov block, Patchwork, Improvisation quilt, folksy fish, Puppilalla, round robin quilt, quilting
I also made this little ‘Folksy Fish’ inspired fish block to send as an extra. I really like these funny and happy looking fish by Sarah Elizabeth. There is a paper piecing pattern now available too but as I just wanted one little fish at this point, I improvised it. I will ask my group to insert it along with their own contributions at some stage. It poses an interesting question of scale. So how big or tiny exactly are fish and mermaid then? =)


There is something nautical going on...



As you might have already guessed, I am not looking for a traditional round robin quilt top, where border upon border is added each round but instead for a more free style, add blocks and pieces as you go, kind of piecing.

Three of the four compass points of the wind rose will be removed form the starter block and I will invite my fellow sewists to fill the space in-between with their ‘Adventure at Sea’ ideas.


In the spirit of less talking and more doing I will be off to my sewing machine again.

Happy stitching everyone.

                                                     



Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Orphan Quilt Block Adoption - Starting March 16th

I am inspired by Cynthia Brunz's of Cynthia Brunz Designs who is host to a bi-annual Quilty Orphan Adoption Event. This is a great initiative, basically waste not, want not at its best, so I thought, I re-post the event here to spread the word. 

Cynthia invites everyone to join a link party on her blog to give up orphaned blocks or projects for adoption. It is a good way to clean out sewing spaces and to give a second chance to a project that you are no longer inspired by but that might be taken up by someone else to finish. So in order to not just store the orphan blocks and projects on another person's shelf, people are encouraged to only adopt a project if they feel that they truly want to complete it. =)

Last fall, Cynthia put these leftover diamond shapes up for adoption. They were from a previous quilt of hers that got too big.She was not inspired by them at all.


Cynthia Brunz



Apparently, Joye from South Carolina adopted them and made the below quilt she then gave to charity. Cynthia promptly commented: 'Are you kidding me!?!? Isn't it beautiful! Who knew this lovely quilt was in that stack of unwanted fabric. Well, Joye did!'


Cynthia Brunz


The linky party starts Thursday March 16th and closes late Saturday the 18th. The adoption guidelines can be found here. I do only currently have about two orphan blocks lying around so I will only cheer from the sidelines this time round but if you have an UFO that is stalking your dreams or gives you a guilty conscience, consider giving it up for adoption. Having said that you might equally wish to adopt a project.

=)





Monday, 13 March 2017

Stash Bee 2017 - March Block - Gwen Marston Style


Puppilalla, Gwen Marston, Improv Block, Patchwork, Liberated Quilting, Improv quilting


This month’s Queen Bee Patty invited us to broaden our quilting horizon a little bit by embracing Gwen Marston and her ideas on ‘liberated’ quilting. Patty made a few sample blocks and provided a wealth of resources to delve into in support of our monthly assignment.




The assignment was fun even though it took quite a while to complete, certainly much longer than the short hour bee blocks are meant to take up. I found the sewing experience overall satisfying and think I succeeded in creating visual interest.
I would however not necessarily want any such items – look wise – in my living surroundings. I believe that trying the ‘liberated’ quilting techniques is helping me to grow as a quilter but the overall look reminds me too much of ‘crazy quilting’, which is just not my thing at all. Therefore, I am not sorry to let this little block go but I certainly hope that Queen Patty will like it.


Puppilalla, Gwen Marston, Improv Block, Patchwork, Liberated Quilting, Improv quilting


I am also approaching the finishing line in completing my improv pillowcase, which I only started last year in February, so no need to hurry right? =) I will have to make some bias tape to frame the pillowcase and it will be done – in time even for the First Quarter FAL.