Tuesday 11 August 2015

Oma's Blues: Making the BB1 Blocks

This is how I'm making the BB1 block. I've opted to piece, however you could also applique this block if you wanted to. For myself, I think piecing is faster and I did get through my 30x blocks in a day, which worked for me.

First up, is the always difficult choice of selecting fabrics. It should be easier when you have a two colour quilt like Oma, but believe me - I still ummmed and ahhhed for many hours before deciding on my final choice. These blocks make up a border which, in my mind, looks like an abstract vision of Delft stacked plates and dishware.
After fabric selection comes organised, scheduled preparation. I cannot stress enough how important it is to break up your task into segments of work. If I had attempted to make 30x blocks from scratch all in one day, it would have been too much to get through. I find it much easier to constantly 'prep' work and tuck it into envelopes to return to later. This is a great activity to do when I only have an hour or so free and it means that at some later time my work will come together 'quickly'. Well, it will look quick, but really there will be many little hours of preparation that have all come together.
pay careful attention to the curve as you stitch, it needs to be accurately and evenly stitched
I'm using Polyfuse which is a wash away fusible because it makes my work process faster and this means I don't have to remove the paper. Another advantage is that the fusible adds some stability to the fabric and this actually makes neat stitching easier than sewing without it.
Before sewing the second half, I'm pressing the seams away from any white area of fabric (because it will show through the white!). I do this throughout my work, if I left it all until the end I would probably never get around to doing it. When the blocks are completed, I will iron these folds into position, however this step now makes that process much faster when I am at the ironing board. Spotting seams of fabric show through which or light patches is a real annoyance of mine. As this quilt contains a light white background and many dark blues, I'm especially wary of keeping my blocks 'neat'. 
Before moving on, check seam lines. They must be neat and accurate. When they're not, I unpick and then re-sew them. Yes, this even happens to me. Don't hesitate to correct your work at the block stage, there's nothing worse that spotting these careless mistakes when the whole quilt top is completed.
Only when I am completely satisfied and my seams are flattened correctly, do I start with finishing the block
When the block is complete, I stack it to maintain the turned seams ready for ironing and final trimming later. I will trim my blocks down to size altogether at the end before sewing the border together.

Oma's Blues is my current FREE BOM. 
You can still join this free BOM right now - all parts are available over in my Group.

Monday 10 August 2015

Charming Oma 4 of 4

In the pattern, these charms are Part 6
what a lovely pair of pears

I actually matched my cup, cream jug and kettle in the same fabric so they would look like a tea service set

Oma's Blues is my current FREE BOM. 
You can still join this free BOM right now - all parts are available over in my Group.

Sunday 9 August 2015

Charming Oma 3 of 4

It feels so good to have these charms almost completed. 
In the pattern, these are the charms in Part 5.

Oma's Blues is my current FREE BOM. 
You can still join this free BOM right now - all parts are available over in my Group.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Charming Oma 2 of 4

In the pattern, these are the charms of Part 4
I never miss my cat more than when I'm quilting, she died a few years ago and I really miss her company in my sewing studio, I definitely think a cat completes a home so this block has a special place in my heart. 

I thought the curves of the head would be tricky, but they really weren't which was a nice surprise! I definitely recommend using a fusible wash away as your pattern piece, it quickened my applique process and is most of the reason why I'm getting through so much so quickly - all those little time savings really add up!
This is another block that needs some threaded embellishment 

This is one of those blocks that is 'lost' at the moment - it needs some outlining and embellishing to help it stand out.
 I'm really enjoying making all the charm blocks and am really taking time to consider all the details. Aren't these teapots just so charming? I think they're perfect for my charm plate - they're so homey and given that Oma's Blues is all about dishware, it's just a lovely touch.

Oma's Blues is my current FREE BOM. 
You can still join this free BOM right now - all parts are available over in my Group.

Friday 7 August 2015

Charming Oma 1 of 4

I've been loving watching members make these up and couldn't wait any longer, here are my charms. First off I made my bound heart, I just thought it was a sweet romantic block to start on. Originally I supposed that I would create the 'knot' with crochet cotton, but decided on applique as the threads were completely lost on the design.
I love tulips, this block is just so neat and cute
 My little house definitely needs some embellishing stitches, I'm thinking about them already
 I was really torn over what fabric to use for the apple: this blue blossom fabric shows up a few times in Oma's Blues. I purchased it years ago because I loved it instantly - but never found the right quilt to use it in. Then, a few months ago I sold the bolt I had of it to one of the women I'm teaching in our beginners sewing club and since I parted with it, I've fallen in love with it all over again! I only had just enough to use it a little in Oma but I'm glad I managed to use it somewhere.
Sometimes you just have to 'let your favourite fabrics go'. The women who purchased this fabric from me went on to make gorgeous earrings with it and she tells me this fabric is a best seller at her market stalls, so I'm glad to report that the fabric I reluctantly 'let loose' on the world is going to be enjoyed by literally hundreds of women in it's own small way :)
Cute, aren't they?

Due to my schedule, I'm not making Oma's Blues at the same time as everyone else - I'm making it out of turn according to the free BOM release schedule. All these blogs have already been released and I'm only making them now.

Oma's Blues is my current FREE BOM. 
You can still join this free BOM right now - all parts are available over in my Group.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

WOW: Time to Charm

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I've been working between two main quilts these last few weeks: I've been prepping Oma's Blues and finishing LE2 and I'm just in love with both of them.

I had decided that from now on, I would no longer make quilts - I would instead make quilt tops and keep them as 'tops' only. At least, I thought this was a way I could get many of my quilts actually made. I'm still really disappointed with myself that my Forget Me Not quilt isn't finished as I feel that quilt didn't get enough love - probably because I never showed it here as I never got around to completing the top! At least with the tops done, I would feel free to move on through my quilt catalog until I'm caught up on all my own projects, and then I would take out a year to do nothing but back, quilt and bind each quilt. And it still sounds like a good plan. The only problem is, I fall in love with each quilt and can't imagine stopping at the top stage. I already know where I want to hang Oma's Blues!

Today I'm working through the charm plates. I'm making this quilt out of turn so I'm creating parts when it suits me, not according to the release schedule. I made the charm rings above a few months ago (and have a video tutorial if you missed that post), so today I'll be working on the motifs that go inside the charms and I expect to have every single one completed by the weekend. Fingers crossed.

What's Your WOW ?

Saturday 1 August 2015

Oma's Blues: The Vase

 I'm working on the applique shapes that make up Oma's centre plate. Today, its the vase.
 Applique shapes have a habit of growing, so I keep checking them against the template
 I'm using stitch and wash fusible for the applique pieces 
 I'm fussy cutting all my shapes 
and my finished vase!
 I love this fabric and I'm not surprised it's called Dutch Cottage, it's perfect for my Oma's Blues
When I have my shape completed, I iron it and then position it into place on my background using basting glue. I've pinned my background fabric over the pattern template (which is clearly showing through).

Oma's Blues is my current free BOM; 
you can download the pattern parts over in my Yahoo Bom Group
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