possibilities, procrastination, Projects

Almost autumn

There’s something about September – back to school, back to classes, shortening days and making plans. We are currently searching for a new UK HQ where we can meet up, drink coffee and swap ideas – our old HQ has been refurbished and is under new management and has lost it’s comfortable vibe. Hopefully we’ll find just the right spot before too long.

Meanwhile it’s review and sorting time (again) at the Overseas Office – Barbara has been reviewing the Overseas Stash which only occupies one basket and two small boxes.

Compared to what is sitting in the Rural Office this is a mere drop in the ocean and yet it seems to have been more than sufficient for the past couple of years. From this we deduce that 1) Barbara doesn’t make much or 2) Barbara still has so many projects to finish that quantities of fabric are not actually required.

On with reviewing and planning!

Electric Quilt, star blocks

EQ Doodles – September

We seem to say every year that September has come around very quickly – and every year seems to whizz by very quickly. So it is following this well-established tradition that we welcome you to our September Doodles with the observation that September has indeed come around very quickly! Our featured block is Nine Patch Star –

shown above with the EQ default colouring. And it’s an easy step from a a single block to a straight quilt setting –

We’ve never been able to resist the “what if” factor that is so easy with Electric Quilt – here’s the Nine Patch Star block recoloured to rose –

and a slight tweak –

A second slight tweak –

Another tweak –

Again, a tweak –

Last tweak –

Another of our well-established traditions is to provide you with a free pdf download which has a block to colour, rotary cutting instructions and templates – find it here.

quilting

Let’s quilt again!

Sometimes it’s good to bring out a vintage WIP from its hiding place. Barbara “found” one such WIP in the stack at the Rural Office and brought it out for the Staffs Patchworkers 40th Anniversary exhibition. This piece has now travelled to the Overseas Office where it awaits cooler temperatures so that more quilting can be added in comfort. It will be interesting to see just how much more quilting is deemed necessary – how much is enough, how much is too much?!

classes, quilt shows

Quilts from the past

We enjoyed having a ringside seat at the Staffs Ps&Qs 40th Anniversary celebration in July – lots of quilts we remembered from classes we had taught together or individually and lots of excellent quilt chat (and cake!). Here’s just two samples – first from the 1980s, second from 2009.

Made by Eileen Jenkins, traditional needleturn applique and hand quilting.
Made by Sheila Hughes, machine pieced, longarm quilted

We’re still in the lazy part of August with not much to report – this may change soon!

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August Doodles

We seem to be on a run of improbably-named blocks for our Doodles and this month is no exception – Sunburst & Mills is the title shown in the EQ8 Library for our featured block. Here’s the default colouring –

Piecing precision called for with this arrangement of diamonds and Flying Geese units but we think it’s well worth the challenge!

First, change the palette to blues –

On to reviewing some straight quilt setting options for the above variations starting with the default block –

No “on point” version this month but you can download a pdf of a block to colour, rotary cutting measurements and templates here. Happy stitching!

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A weekend of quilting

Sometimes it’s hard to say “No” – and when our friend Judi Mendelssohn asked us to teach a weekend on basics of machine quilting and design we gulped and said “Yes”. So glad we did – the venue was great, the students were great and we had a most enjoyable time working our way through how to machine quilt, where to machine quilt and what to machine quilt. We had such a good time that we forgot to take lots of photos but here are just a couple from Day One when everyone was experimenting with their first samples –

classes

Popping Up

Much later than planned we’re reporting in on our most recent PopUp class – in person and almost like it used to be before you-know-what. Everyone had a great day and just enjoyed sewing together with ample supplies of coffee, tea and cake. We had chosen a block designed by Jeffrey Gutcheon entitled “Proof through the night” as the creative focus for the class, the practical focus was revising the various ways of making HSTs (Half Square Triangles). Some students turned their HSTs into the class block, some took a different path and made other blocks and a good time was had by all!

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July Doodles

We love Nine Patch blocks – and we love stars (as you may have gathered from many of our previous Doodlings. So what could be better than a Nine Patch Star? Here’s a Nine Patch Star straight from the EQ8 Library –

And here are some of our variations, changes and general twiddlings to this block – regular Doodle readers will be well-versed in some of the processes.

And on to setting blocks together into quilts – which one is your favourite?

It’s fascinating to see how different a block can look just by turning it on point! You can download a block to colour, rotary cutting measurements and templates for Nine Patch Star here.

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Random is not easy

Quite some time ago we ran a series of Scrappy Sunday posts which stirred a lot of interest, and one of the recurring themes we discussed at HQ was how challenging it was for so many of us to work in a truly scrappy or random style. Barbara was reminded of these conversations when she decided to use up some hexagons left over from another project. The aim of using up the hexagons was to make a piece of fabric that could then be used to make a bag or some such useful object. This was as random an arrangement as could be managed! –

Hexagons still have a somewhat retro feel for us – they remind us very much of our start in patchwork back in the dim and distant past. How much has changed since we began!!

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Sorting

We seem to spend countless hours sorting, sifting and moving things from one place to another in our workspace. Barbara also moves from one workspace to another at regular intervals which is not always helpful – you can bet that there’s always something left behind or forgotten even with copious lists. Sorting and sifting in the Overseas Office brought a set of blocks to the surface which are still waiting to be turned “into something”. One of the blocks is a version of the Temple Court block which we have previously featured in classes and also here in our EQ Doodles –

And then there was a set of blocks from a Chris&Barbara class and also one of our Mystery Monday series –

These blocks have now made their way by a very circuitous route over to Chris who may well “do something” with them even if it’s only re-sorting them into the system at C&B Towers.

It might be time to stop sorting and start progressing and finishing things!