F2F: May blocks and virtual quilt

Pat1fromEmmely

You now probably think I’ve gone crazy in the head as I seem to have skipped January through April. The reality is a much sadder story.

Pat2fomEmmelyPat, who would originally have received her blocks in May was diagnosed with ovarian cancer prior to the start of the F2F swap. She still wanted to participate because it gave her a goal and something to look forward to. Unfortunately, her condition has recently deteriorated rather quickly and it is very likely that she will not make it till May.

Pat3fromEmmelyWhen we found out it was quickly decided that the swap would be rearranged immediately. So last week everyone dropped whatever they were doing and quickly made up some blocks in tan and teal (the colour of the Ovarian cancer awareness ribbon) and shipped them off to Sue.

Pat4fromEmmelyI made 5 blocks since Pat can no longer make her blocks and 36 blocks are needed to complete the quilt top. In a frantic sewing session I completed 3 and ¾ block in a single evening and completed the 4th and 5th the next morning. Pictures were taken in just minutes and the blocks were shoved into an envelope before I rushed off to work. Let’s just say it’s a good thing my job doesn’t require me to clock in at a specific time.

Pat5fromEmmelySue will do the piecing and binding of the quilt top and the quilting will be done by her son who has a longarm business. Hopefully, Pat will receive her quilt in time to enjoy it for a little while. Eventually it will most likely be donated to the Ovarian Quilt Project where it will be auctioned to raise money to educate the public about the risk factors and symptoms of ovarian cancer. Since it takes some time for the blocks to reach Sue and the piecing and quilting will then take some more time, Kate already made a virtual quilt from all the pictures that we took of our blocks.

Pat's Virtual Quilt

Because I’m a scientist and therefore like facts and numbers I looked up some information about ovarian cancer. In the Netherlands around 1200 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually. Most women are diagnosed when they are 55-80 years old, but it can also affect much younger women. Especially women that carry mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have an increased risk of ovarian cancer and are advised to have their ovaries removed when they are 35-45 years old as a preventive measure. You may already have heard of BRCA1 and BRCA2 before because mutations in these genes also increase the risk of breast cancer.

One of the nasty things about ovarian cancer is that it can remain undetected for a very long time as the disease is usually asymptomatic in the early stages. When symptoms finally develop they are usually vague and could also have many other causes. Symptoms include a bloated feeling, feeling full or difficulty eating, nausea, pelvic or abdominal pain, frequent urination and severe constipation.

I got my information from kanker.nl (a Dutch platform where patients can find information about cancer and interact with other patients to share experiences) and the website of the Dutch cancer institute (both websites are in Dutch).

F2F: December blocks

In December it was Christine’s turn to receive three blocks in her chosen colours dark grey, turquoise and coral. She also likes scrappy, so where for other people’s blocks I would have repeated certain fabrics a bit more, for these blocks I tried to use as many different fabrics as possible, even though I don’t have a huge collection.

For my first block I started with a square and inserted narrow strips. It was then cut wonky and framed in two other fabrics. Quite simple, but effective I think.

December1

For my second block I pieced strips of different widths and then cut the resulting piece into columns of increasing width that were framed and connected using narrow strips.

December2

For my third block I started with a square that was then framed in a wonky border. Somehow this reminds me of a tv, I know I’m a bit weird. I think this may be my favourite block this month.

December3

As usual the blocks that were made by the other participants of the swap can be viewed in the F2F gallery.

Tutorial: little pouches for game pieces

160110_gamepiecepouch

My sisters got me the boardgame Kingdom Builder for my birthday. We have played it a lot and I decided to get rid of one minor annoyance. Each time we played we had to separate the differently coloured wooden settlement pieces because they were stored all together in a small ziplock bag. I thought it would be much easier if each colour was stored in a separate bag so I made some out of fabric.

I took some pictures while I was constructing one of my pouches so you can see how they were made.

Start with a rectangular piece of fabric and finish the long edges with an overlocker or a zig zag stitch.

Start with a rectangular piece of fabric and finish the long edges with an overlocker or a zig zag stitch. I made mine 5 x 10 inches (12.5 x 25 cm), but you can of course make them larger or smaller depending on how many pieces you want to fit in.

Fold the piece right sides together and stitch the edges, stop about 4 cm from the top and backstitch.

Fold the piece right sides together and stitch the edges, stop about 4 cm (1.5 inch) from the top and backstitch. Press the seam allowances open and topstitch it down around the gap at the top.

Fold a narrow strip of the top edge to the inside and then fold again to create a tunnel. Stitch the tunnel close to the edge. Make sure the other side of the bag is out of the way!

Fold a narrow strip of the top edge to the inside and then fold again to create a tunnel. The edge of the folded part should not extend beyond the opening at the side. Topstitch the tunnel close to the edge. Make sure the other side of the pouch is out of the way! Do this with both sides.

150901_step4

Turn right side out and thread a piece of ribbon through the tunnel and tie the two ends together. I used ribbon that was tied around a fatquarter bundle. If you want to be able to close the pouch really secure you can thread a second piece of ribbon so you can pull on both edges to close it.

Proceed to make a bag for each colour.

Proceed to make a bag for each colour in your game.

And go from this...

And go from this…

...to this!

…to this!

F2F: Catching up with October and November

The blocks that I made for the October and November F2F participants arrived ages ago, the December blocks have been mailed and I’ve already received one package of beautiful green January blocks. Definitely time to catch up!

October

October was Lynn’s month and her chosen colours were grey, turquoise and coral.

October1
For my first block I made two strip pieced triangles that were sewn together so that the direction of the strips in the second triangle was rotated 90 degrees compared to the first triangle. While some people might be tempted to make both pieces exactly a half square triangle, I didn’t. I think this is visually more interesting.

October2

For my second block I made half a log cabin using strips of different widths. This is a variation I hadn’t made before and I like it, but I think it is quite safe to say that I’ll like most things that are somehow log cabin related…

October3
For my third block I got a bit more improvisational and made some opposing triangles. It is quite a simple block but has an interesting visual impact that I’d like to experiment a bit more with.

November

November was Avis’ month and her chosen colours were bright blues and purples. Avis likes symmetry (so I refrained from doing any wonky stuff), small prints and solids.

nov1
For my first block I pieced long strips of fabric, cut that piece in four parts and then reassembled the pieces to resemble a windmill. I am from the Netherlands after all.

Nov2
For my second block I did more half log cabins, but this time made 4 and pieced them together with a narrow cross in between. I really like this effect too.I also really like the birds that are sort of peaking out.

nov3
The third block has to be my favourite. I simply love, love, love how this turned out! I think this design would also look great on a pillow.

triangle block in progress

Even though it was late at night I remembered to take some progress pictures that more clearly show how the block was created.

To get this effect I first made four identical triangles, starting with an equilateral triangle and simply adding strips at two of the sides. When they were large enough I used a 12.5’’ square ruler to cut the top point to 90 degrees instead of 60 so I could piece the four triangles together to make a square. At this point make sure that you cut the four triangles in exactly the same way! Use the markings on the ruler to align them. Finally the block was trimmed to 12.5’’. If you want to try this block just make sure that you are generous with the size when you cut the four triangles, you can always trim the block when it turns out larger than 12.5’’ or whatever size you’re making, if it is smaller all you can do is add a border to make it fit and I think that will ruin part of the effect of this block. The only tricky part was that the center point where the 4 pieces meet turned out bulky from all the seams that meet at that point.

As always the blocks that were made by the other participants can be viewed on the F2F page.

F2F: September blocks

Sometimes you make something and just know that what you made is good, that it works. That’s what happened to me when I made Sue’s blocks. Her colour scheme was white, black and a bright colour of our choice. These blocks were a joy to create, they made me happy, they put a smile on my face when I looked at them. They belong together. I love them so much that my boyfriend asked me several times whether I wouldn’t regret mailing them off to someone I never even met in person. I do somewhat.

Next to eachother on my design wall.

Next to eachother on my design wall.

What I love about these blocks is that they look modern and vibrant. I believe I managed to dose the bright colours enough to make them pop. I love these blocks even more when they are put next to each other as I think they truly are a set.

I started by picking three bright colours that I liked together and combined them with several white, black and white/black fabrics.

For my first block I was inspired by this string pincushion from V&Co and the fractured quilt from the book Quilting Modern by Katie Pedersen and Jacquie Gering, two quilters that I greatly admire. Katie mostly for her use of colour and Jacquie for her bold, well thought out designs.

Fractured Quilt from Quilting Modern by Katie Pedersen and Jacqui Gehring.

Fractured Quilt picture taken from “Quilting Modern” by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen.

To me the wonkiness in this block results in a suggestion of movement. It was foundation paper pieced and I took pictures while I constructed it, so if anyone is interested I could do a quick tutorial.

F2F_September1For my second block I was inspired by a mini quilt from the book Scrap Quilt Sensation by Katharine Guerrier, although I decided to not make my block wonky.

Picture taken from

Picture taken from “Scrap Quilt Sensation” by Katharine Guerrier.

I created four log cabins that were connected by a single cross and then sashed these in more white. The white (and some of the black) fabrics read like solids from a distance, but when you get closer you’ll see that they’re very subtle prints.

F2F_September2For my third block I thought it would be nice to incorporate details from the other two blocks to create a coherent set. I used the narrow strips from both blocks, the wonkiness from the first block and the log cabin from the second block. The entire block is created as a wonky log cabin, but in such a way that you can follow either the black or white strips in a spiral from the centre to the outer edge of the block like a labyrinth or maze. One of the white/black fabrics was used as black and another one was used as white to create additional interest. The yellow fabric was also used as white.

F2F_September3As always, the blocks created by the other participants can be viewed on the F2F page.

Completed: Julia Women’s Cardigan and Lady Skater T-shirt

Julia Women's CardiganNot one, but two finished garments today! For reasons of picture taking efficiency I’m modelling them together.

Julia Women's CardiganFirst, the Julia Women’s cardigan from Mouse House Creations. I bought this pattern ages ago but never got around to actually using it until this week. I could use a new cardigan or two this autumn since some of my older ones are getting a bit too worn and this pattern looked like it would be quick and easy.

Julia Women's cardiganThe PDF was fairly straightforward to assemble, I liked that the details that are different for the various sleeve lengths were indicated in colour. The sewing instructions were clear. I chose the variation with long sleeves and the doubled over collar. I made size M at the top and graded to size L at the bottom to ensure that it wouldn’t be too clingy around my hips.

Julia Women's CardiganThe fabrics are viscose knits from my stash. I didn’t have enough left of either colour to make the entire cardigan so decided to make the collar in a contrast colour. I quite like how it turned out and think it will get much wear this autumn and possibly winter as well.

Julia Women's CardiganThings I consider changing next time:

  • Slimming down the sleeves, I find them quite wide at the bottom.
  • There are some draglines in the sleeve at my front upper arm, I’d like to fix this.
  • I’m not entirely sure about the back length, a little bit longer might look better on my figure?

Lady Skater t-shirt

Second, another Lady Skater t-shirt, pattern based on the Lady Skater dress from Kitschy Coo. If you ever wondered what happened to the ridiculous drawstring-detail drape top after I applied my rotary cutter to it, this t-shirt happened. I could cut the back of the t-shirt from the top’s back, keeping the center back seam. The front of the t-shirt and one of the sleeves fit on the drapey front. The second sleeve couldn’t be cut from the drape top and while I did have more of the grey fabric left, I chose to make it pink. Pink is not one of my favourite colours but I like it in small doses. The neckband was cut from black ribbing left over from the Indigo sweater.

Lady Skater t-shirtI think this t-shirt is a lot more wearable than the drawstring top ever was.

Win!

Win!

F2F: August blocks

In August it was Susan’s turn and her colour choices were white/blue, white/red or a combination of both. I opted for two white/blue and one white/red block. Finding blue fabrics in my stash is no problem, I love blue. However, I don’t use red very often as I find it can easily dominate over other colours in a quilt and as a result I don’t have a lot of reds in my stash.

For my first block I started by making flying geese units and sewed them into three strips with alternating light and dark blue triangles. The strips were pieced together to make a block and white fabric was added around it to create an off-set look.

August F2F block 1For my second block I pieced some light and dark blue fabrics into short strips and started playing on my design wall. This is the layout that I came up with and I added white fabric to fill in the gaps between the strips and the edges. It reminds me of a windmill. This is my favourite of the three.

August F2F block 2I was starting to run out of time, so for my last block I decided to do another log cabin as these are fairly quick to assemble. Instead of a wonky one I made a rectangular log cabin in a square, if that makes any sense? I think it is quite striking.

August F2F block 3

The blocks that were made by the other participants can be found on the F2F page, scroll down until you reach August.