Sunday, 2 September 2012

Back to the Drawing board

Over the last couple of weeks I have been exploring the 'pieced' block as part of my G&G quilting course and hopefully I shall never have to make a quilt like this - I am totally pieced off, and full of admiration for those who achieve perfection in stitching blocks.

The sketchbook pages exploring the effect of different patterns was easy. However stitching this block took me hours with much cursing and use of a stitch un-picker.  However the finished result was not too bad with all of my points and corners nearly all lined up. This was made with purchased patchwork fabric and the yellow was home dyed.

 However things got worse when I tried to make a block using some hand dyed fabric to match my paper sample above.  I am not showing the back of this as the seams vary from a hair's breadth to well over the quarter of an inch you are supposed to use. Neither does it lie flat.  I suppose I may be able to quilt it with a nice thick layer of wadding.

I was much happier practising some free motion stitching.  I must say that Leah Day's blog is a great source of how-to's and patterns

I am probably finding this part of my course the least enjoyable - and I have some more piecing to do.  However I appreciate it is a skill that is useful to know.  I want to get this module over with, but I also want to do something more creative as I feel I have been coasting along for a couple of months now.
Meanwhile August has been and gone and as you can see calendar page soon gained some embellishments...

and here's September, ready to go...

A little story to end with
Yesterday I heard a commotion in our conservatory and found a wood pigeon behind the flower pots trying to escape through the closed window.  I confidently went to rescue it, firmly holding it round its middle, they are quite large and I could not pin down its wings, so I put it my other hand round its hindquarters hoping it wouldn't leave a warm deposit in my palm. With one movement I swooped round and held my arms up at the doorway, and it flew off - leaving all of its tail feathers in my hand!! It fluttered to the fence and then clattered into the trees.  I felt awful, but as the feathers had come away so easily I wondered if they were meant to do this ... and thanks to the wonders of Google, I found out that this is a defence mechanism that wood pigeons have. I have never heard of it before, and it was quite alarming, although more so for the pigeon I guess.

(One from my photo archives)

Have a good week, I guess it's back to school for some. So nice not to be involved any more!


marigold jam said...

I know exactly what you mean about the pieced blocks - as you may remember I set off to learn patchwork and got as far as the 4th block before giving up on the idea of using my blocks to make a quilt and instead have four cushion covers and a resolution never to try that again! I went to an exhibition of Amish quilts when we lived in France and I can report that beautiful though they were their corners and angles didn't all line up exactly either! Poor pigeon and poor you thinking you'd damaged it! Now you have a very disgruntled pigeon in your garden waiting for his new rudder to grow!

Ali H said...

Keep at it with the piecing - it comes to you eventually ! Try not to pull the fabric too much as you go I find !
I did the Moonglow Quilt Block of the Month some years ago and one of the pieced blocks ended up with a dome in the middle bigger than St Pauls !!! But I quilted it into submission in the end so I think you'll be okay ! I've just put my September Book of days Page on my blog if you'd like to see ! Take care Ali x


Hi Jill ... I know exactly how you feel about piecing and agree with you. Hats off to all those who can pull it off perfectly ... although your sample looks pretty perfect to me. A good skill to get under the belt though. If you can do that you can do anything. Hope you enjy the restof yoru modules xxx

menopausalmusing said...

I laughed at your being "pieced off"........... and I am afraid to say I laughed again at your pigeon story. Who would have known? Jill, this was a super post.

I made a cushion cover from hexagons on the Jubilee river celebration day and those hexies didn't totally match up, so goodness knows how I would fare on anything as complicated as you have done! Hang in, I am sure it will get better.

Printed Material said...

Oh Jill, you're too much of a class act to be 'pieced off'. That raised a smile this end and a bit of a life's too short' response from me regarding piecing. I would not have the patience or the accuracy in cutting to do this. Your sample looks spot on to me but I can see your enjoyment of the free motion pieces in preference. Poor pigeon too but what a fact to file away in my head to stun people with in conversation!

Maggi said...

I don't enjoy the piecing too much either although you have done a good job with it and with the machine quilted samples. Hope the pigeon manages to grow back his tail feathers good and quickly.

MILLY said...

I have just enjoyed reading all about your new quilting course, seeing all your patchwork and sewing projects. It is wonderful, so many creative ideas.
Like you I find the small stitches getting harder as I get older, yet I love hand sewing the shapes . Your tiny triangles and hexagons patchwork were lovely, want to do some that small now.
I think you should put some of your work in the festival of quilt show next year. Go for it, you have a year to do it. When I did my butterfly quilt it was such a thrill to be part of the exhibition, I am thinking of doing one for next year. It is a great day out, sadly never made it this year.
Long comment, well makes up for not visiting for so long.
Enjoyed my visit. Millyx

Emma said...

I would be pieced off too, as soon as I discovered you could 'piece' outside the lines, I was away! I do love your sketchbook pages, the patterns work beautifully there.

That's some defence mechanism!(stitch them into your sketchbook!)