Learning Curve Sampler Quilt

Two years ago I attended a patchwork and quilting course for a birthday present, and then spent some money on a very pretty set of fabric. I was intending to turn this fabric into my first quilt but it took some time before I decided what I was going to do. My main problem with deciding was that despite being a beginner, I’m overly ambitious and wouldn’t have been that happy with simple squares and that I get bored easily so a repeating pattern was never really going to float my boat. After spending a lot of time on social media, I started to get a feel for the type of quilts that float my boat (generally very technical ones). So I settled on doing a sampler style quilt, because it would let me practice all sorts of techniques, and let me do it a bit at a time

Birthday Fabric
My selection of fabric

My first blocks were some 6″ squares from the blocksnswaps blog. It was a challenge – some of the pieces were tiny and I hadn’t yet realised how tiny 1/4″ is. Neither blocks are actually 6″ squares. I’ll square them up one day. My favourite part is still the choosing the fabric.

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The ‘windfall’ from a days sewing 

The next time I sat at my machine I made two tile blocks from sewmamasew and a Poseidon’s Hall block from the 2015 fabri-quilt new block blog hop, designed by sarah from 123Quilt. The tile blocks were quite fun to make, but the Poseidon’s Hall block was tricky. I find the cutting of pieces pretty laborious, and don’t get me started on the trimming of the HST’s. I guess that’s what makes it so precise though. In hindsight my fabric choices for this block are not exactly brilliant – it doesn’t have enough contrast, but hey ho. This was my first attempt at chain piecing, and I attempted both pressing open and towards the dark side and decided that I like pressing seams open in most cases.

And then last weekend I tackled flying geese. I found a brilliant set of tutorials on the sewing directory which I will definitely be using again going forward. I made both blocks described. I cut all the pieces first and then went and took a break before coming back to do the sewing, and this is a method I will be doing again. These are possibly my favourite blocks so far. The points aren’t perfect but I like the colours. I had recently bought some extra neutral, low volumeish fabric for backgrounds.

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Flying geese blocks

 

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Crafting Retreat

Which is just a fancy way of way of saying, I went away with some friends and took my knitting. Admittedly they took their knitting (and all our other crafts too) – and we went away for that express purpose, so I guess that makes it a crafting retreat.

I had a productive weekend, I made it round an entire motif on my needleturn appplique project (leaving only 3 more to go), added another ball of wool to the neverending blanket, and picked up the bead embroidery purse panel. The bead embroidery had been lying dormant for a while and I managed to fill in a boring bit so now I can move on to more exciting things.

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View from the pier 

But most importantly I spent time catching up with two important people, my ex-flatmates. now we’ve all left uni and moved on and away its nice to spend more than just a evening with them. It gives us more time to catch up, gossip, reminisce and generally tune in to each others lives. They are also my most crafty friends and its nice to pick up tips and show off a little.

I took very few pictures but we stayed by the seaside and it was gloriously warm if a little hazy. All in all the perfect way to spend the first bit of warm weather of the year.