Chris has been quietly Getting Stuff Finished for a while now – winter at C&B Towers is always a productive quilty time. At the Rural Office things have been more chaotic than productive but there is a hint that Getting Stuff Finished may be on the way here too. Barbara has emptied out storage crates, drawers and cupboards, shuffled project bags, rummaged through (lots of) fabric, sorted cables and chargers for cameras and assorted technology, cleaned things, counted things and made any number of plans. Further Fabric Management is required in the coming weeks! There has been a count of WIPs (WorksinProgress) and the total is far too embarrassing to reveal, so quite a lot of prioritising needs to be done – here are just four examples of the many starts that are waiting to be finished.
And it’s back to squares again for Barbara in her pursuit of all things scrappy. The JellyRoll strips which showed up unexpectedly a couple of posts ago turned out to be the trigger for a new scrappy handpiecing project. Strips have been turned into squares and squares have been added to a couple of mini Charm packs and everything thoroughly mixed up in a large bag. Simple 4patch blocks have been set out on a worktable and we await further developments – maybe more squares will be cut and added to the bag, maybe piecing will commence. No deadline has been set even though some of the fabrics show snowflakes and holly leaves – it will just be stitching without overthinking, perfect for this time of year when we all need to take just a little bit of time for ourselves.
Barbara is still stuck in the groove of looking at vintage quilts that link to our Scrappy theme and this is her latest offering. It’s an interesting US quilt dating from maybe 1890s with some earlier fabrics. The block is a C&B favourite and we refer to it as Sawtooth Star. There’s a real mix of scraps in this quilt and plenty of piecing of scraps together to make bigger scraps as you can see from some of the details below. The scrappy hand pieced blocks have been set with alternating squares of a classic “double pink” print which becomes dominant by repetition. A great example of pulling random scrappiness together into a coherent whole. Diagonal lines of machine stitching hold top and back together, edges are bound. If you feel inspired to try something similar with your own scraps you’ll find a pattern guide for this quilt over on our sister blog Meadowside Designs – look under the Heritage Quilts tab.
We’ve changed all the clocks and moved forward an hour but, in the UK, we don’t appear to have changed the winter weather. Chris has been marooned in the Executive Suite at C&B Towers watching the rain, cold and wind sweep over the surrounding park grounds and Barbara has got so cheesed off with snow rain and cold that she has packed up and left for the Overseas Office where everything is a little brighter and considerably warmer. . .
. . . and the desk is already in use –
Tucked away out of sight at the Overseas Office are many project bags, plus books, fabric and other sewing basics (chocolate and caffeine perhaps? – Chris). In fact the Overseas Office will soon be as well stocked as the Rural Office and C&B Towers, we just need to persuade the staff there to sit down and actually use it and make stuff/finish up some of those projects…
Lots of stitching in store for both of us this month as we make samples and storyboards for our Chris&Barbara day at The Corner Patch retreat – Chris started on one of her class samples and suddenly found herself finishing up a quilt top that wasn’t on the list (as you do). Barbara has fabric to starch, press and cut into a small stack of 10inch squares before she can start her share of the samples and then a whole new Layer Cake can be opened and used. And rumour has it that a certain Singer Featherweight might be taken out of it’s box and put to work alongside Chris’s trusty vintage Singer machine.
We’ve refreshed the Doodle page so do click over and take a look at this month’s offering and to download a free colouring sheet (if Barbara has managed to conquer some of the “issues” with Links – Chris thinks it might just be an ageing brain, but the link is now added). EQ Doodle April
“Quietly productive” is the phrase that best sums up the past couple of weeks. Indeed Chris has been so productive that she seems to be almost half a year ahead of herself with class samples, worksheets and magazine projects. We always forget to mention it here but you can often find a project by Chris in the UK quilting press – you’ll find her regular column “Wandering the Web” in Patchwork & Quilting magazine in addition to projects in Popular Patchwork and Fabrications magazines. Chris’s classes this year at The Corner Patch are nearly all full – she’s teaching Block of the Month (two variations – this one –
Over at the Rural Office Barbara has been busy with samples for her new class also at The Corner Patch – Hand Stitched Sampler. You can keep up with her progress on Instagram – when she finally gets Windows 10 to talk nicely to her iPhone via her laptop we’ll be able to show you some of the pictures already posted on Instagram. During one of the January tidy up sessions we found a set of sample blocks we’d almost forgotten about –
Nine blocks in all from one of our Evening Classes several years ago. We think it might be time to put them to work again – perhaps a Block of the Month, perhaps a Saturday SewAlong, maybe another Mystery series? Let us know if you would be interested in seeing something along these lines.
Not much time for blogging at C&B Towers or at the Rural Office – everywhere you look there’s a heap (sorry, orderly pile) of fabric with scribbled plans and instructions on the top and the only noise is the constant hum of a sewing machine. Chris is trying to make sure that she keeps ahead of her very busy schedule of classes at The Corner Patch – Technique of the Month (2 sessions), Block of the Month (2 sessions) and a number of other single day classes. Samples for each class = lots of cutting and stitching behind the scenes! Lots of finishing tops and quilting them too! Barbara is cutting fabric and batting to kit Hand Quilting classes in March as well as cutting stacks of 60degree diamonds from this lovely selection for a Tumbling Blocks project.
We’ve had a special delivery of luscious Oakshott fabrics which need to be cut up and stitched back together for our 15th Birthday class.
Our next Saturday class at Tittensor is Dresden Jelly – the class has been sold out for quite some time now, largely due we think to the silly title. We think it’s going to be really good fun combining Jelly Roll strips and Dresden Plate blocks – here’s just a taster of things to come –
An exceptionally (and unexpectedly) toasty start to our class on Saturday – someone had forgotten to turn the heating off overnight at the Village Hall so we had the benefit of a good build up of warm air, a real bonus! Our demo table started off piled high with possibilities and suggestions for various cover ups – for laptops, phones, tablets, cushions and much more.
At one point we found ourselves discussing tea cosies – never thought that would happen!! Instead of the usual worksheet/instructions we handed out several pages of tips and techniques and pointers and encouraged everyone to make their own individual cover up project – and so they did. Mug sleeves (aka mug hugs, we are informed) iPad sleeves, cushion covers, ring binder covers, multi-pocketed carrying bags, the variety of projects was considerable and the fun plentiful. Not forgetting the cake!
And another quiet reminder if you are considering joining us for any of our classes next year – there really are very few places left, February’s class is already sold out with a waiting list. Zip over to our website where you will find the full listing and a booking form.
The final block this week. Download the instructions here.
You will need to find the remaining Step 4 and 5 triangle units plus the remaining HST (A/B and A/E) units from Step 3.
Once you’ve completed these blocks keep all the blocks together ready for the final putting together next week.