Friday, 28 July 2017

the queen of randomness

I am the queen of randomness, I reign in the Queendom of Chaos (my sewing room), where I fight the second law of thermodynamics and create beauty from mess. Well, I hope I do

from neat stacks of fabric (winning)
to a box full of fabric strips (losing)

tinkering with arranging strips
sewing squares with three strips/square
trimming the squares is not much fun
but the trimmings are quite beautiful, too. I can't find a use for them unfortunately

the first block of 20 little squares

lots of seams!
and another one

My head has been buzzing with creativeness and I have thought about little than my current favourite project. Dinner? Who cares as long as it is quick. I am now really glad that I blitzed the house last week....

I have been making teeny tiny quilt blocks, finishing at 3 inches square. Ok, that's maybe not teeny tiny but definitely small. I don't know why I do all my sewing in inches. I am totally metric in all other parts of life. Actually, that's not quite true. I like to express my weight in stones rather than kilograms. 10 stones sounds so much neater than 63 kg. That's not my weight by the way, not even in my slimmest dreams.

After making quilts for Sam and Annie (the latter not quite finished), I felt the urgent need to make something that is me through and through. A riot of colour and teeny tiny quilt blocks. I found inspiration on Amanda Jean's blog, Crazy Mom Quilts. Amanda Jean creates quilts that I would rob a bank for if I had to. Luckily, I am handy with the sewing machine so don't have to resort to criminal activities. I have bookmarked this quilt a long time and I wanted to create something alike.

This quilt reflects my personality well I think. It is colourful, joyful, a little mad, exiting but not too much. Of course, if you asked my older children to describe my personality, it would be 'boring as hell with a pinch of lunacy' or 'predictably dull with the odd shower of rain'. But for the purpose of this blog post we'll go with my own opinion.

I have cut into my fat quarter stash. I did it without regrets (I can always collect more). I also used up most of my small box of scraps that I kept from other projects. You'll find both Sam's and Annie's quilt in mine, which is nice. You'll have to search for  Sam's though, there were only very few scraps because his was probably my most economical project yet. You'll also recognise some of my tops if you look closely.

I think the end point of this stash busting will be a quilt for our bed. The bed is 160 x 200 cm so somewhere in between British bed sizes. The standard quilt size for an (American) queen sized bed is apparently around 229 x 244 cm,  which should do just fine. I'll probably end up eyeballing the right size in the end. Amanda Jean worked out that for this size quilt, I will need 960 small squares.... that's quite a lot. Why are bed sizes so confusing?

There are many different weights of fabric in my box of strips and the pieces are small. Accurate accurate cutting and sewing and is important to make reasonably neat corners. As is fierce pressing. I thoroughly press all the seams to lie flat and neat before lining the squares up for assembly. I more or less consistently press the seams towards the darker fabric. I like this need to work carefully. My cutting skills have much improved but I am terribly close-fisted when it comes to rotary cutter blades, which doesn't help. For sewing, I use a 1/4 inch seam foot, it has a little guide on the side to help with accuracy. The guide can be moved for sewing in the ditch, which might come in handy at some point.

I also enjoy picking out random strips of fabric and make them in to squares. I say random but there is probably an element of planning in there somewhere. I tend to like certain combinations of colour and print. I try to not have the same strips touching, which is definitely not random. It is random enough I think.

I decided to make the small squares into larger rectangles to make the project more manageable. Having larger units makes it easier to count the little squares. I have made four rectangles of 20 squares each so far.

Already, I am thinking about the quilting. I think it is going to be a first, I'll be using the machine. There are just too many little seams, making the layers thicker and the strain on my hand unbearable. I am struggling with the hand quilting of Annie's quilt just now, the strain on my hand is considerable and I get pins and needles all the time now, even when I am not sewing. I always have that when I am hand quilting, towards the end, my hand just can't take it anymore. I have ten more triangles to do on Annie's quilt.

Enough said, I need to get some work done. Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! Welcome to all a new followers, it is good to see you here. Have a nice Friday everybody xx

18 comments:

  1. Love your idea, Christina. I am currently assembling a hexagon quilt, by hand, because it's something I can do in our caravan. It's going to be a lonnnnng priject but I'll get there eventually. Would you consider quilting with just fleece instead of batting and backing? I find this much easier nowadays that my hands are not so nimble? I then add a binding in the usual way-I'm one of those weird people who loves doing the binding-lol. Catriona

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  2. I love all of that colour! This is going to be a great quilt. I don't blame you for wanting to machine quilt it, save your hands.

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  3. It is going to be spectacular, it already is and it is in the infant stage. Well done using up odd pieces of beautiful fabric from your other quilts. I am so glad you are making this one for you. By the way, don't listen to teenagers, their belief about their parents changes as they age. I think I am slightly less annoying now to my two in their 20's, but only slightly.

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  4. It's wonderful, but the quantity of work you're doing is quite staggering. I'm looking for a new project, but I don't think I'd be up to making a quilt for our bed, it's king-sized.

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  5. Lovely Christina. I knew you'd be sewing with those beautiful fabrics once you'd washed and folded them, they're far too tempting. The quilt is going to be gorgeous, I shall look forward to watching your progress. You've reminded me I have two quilts here I haven't photographed yet. Must get round to that on a good dry day. Have a lovely weekend. CJ xx

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  6. Oh my, how I admire your quilting and sewing skills! I love the bright colors of this quilt and I'm sure it will be so lovely and cherished for many years. Enjoy your weekend, Pat xx

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  7. That is the best opening lines of a post I have read in a long time! I salute you and all your wonderfully washed and ironed fabrics waiting to be chosen. I hope your bosom full of ants is now as under control as the rest of your house and that little Jack is enjoying a good back scratch on the newly scrubbed rugs! I am fearful that I have mixed up several posts into one comment here, in case anyone else is wondering! Enjoy your last days of your holiday may the sun shine!
    Wren x

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  8. I really enjoyed your photos and story of organizing all that wonderful fabric! Your quilt is going to be fantabulous! I can't wait to see it all done. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  9. Your quilts are beautiful - I wish I had your skill and patience. That lovely neat pile of colourful fabric is very pleasing. I wonder why fat quarters have this unusual name.

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  10. It is going to be totally wonderful. I don't know if you can do it where you live but my auntie says you can hire a quilting machine with a large arm near us, I wonder if you could do the same to help you quilt it successfully. It is so good to use up a box of scraps. A real satisfying feeling. Jo xxx

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  11. Loving all that bright and colourful scrappiness! This quilt is going to be beautiful. Such a lot of measuring and cutting; you are very patient.

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  12. You do make me laugh with your writing... I think I identify with your colourful, joyful and little mad personality. Love the new quilt and admire your patience. All those little squares would drive me totally bonkers!

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  13. Such a fun post to read! Your blocks are gorgeous, I love the bright colours.

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  14. Goodness that's an impressive looking quilt. I love your fabric pile. I've been staring at mine recently thinking I'd like to do some sewing. I need to make middle son a going away to uni quilt quite quickly as sept is approaching so that's the perfect excuse to buy some boy type fabric and set to! Thank you for the inspiration and good luck with your finished article I'm sure it will be super xx

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  15. OH I love, love, love, love, love, love, love this quilt!

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  16. Hey Christina,
    I am in awe. Seriously. My brain just couldn't cope with a project like this, let alone the actual skill needed to complete it. You are so clever! I can barely sew a button. Actually I can't even do that! Your quilt looks stunning.
    Leanne xx

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  17. Wow, this quilt is going to be so beautiful!!

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx