Jars and a Crown

Yup, more Honey Pot Bee blocks!  I shook off some work yesterday and spent the afternoon happily making my Quilter’s Pantry blocks to, imo, good effect:

This is the one I’m keeping – I couldn’t resist pairing up these two novelty fabrics like this!  Here it is next to the Strawb:

Not totally sure where this is going, but if nothing else, I’ll end up with a number of blocks that I can use in smaller projects if I like and I’ll have had fun making things I might not have otherwise.  That’s a win in my book.  🙂

The jars were so much fun to make, in fact, that I decided to make more and put them together into two little tops for Project Linus:

They’re intended for premie babies and babies in ICU, so they really don’t want to be too big.  Now, however, I am trying very hard to shake off a mental image of a larger baby quilt with lots of different shapes and sizes of jars to play “eye spy” with.  And I totally don’t have enough novelty-type fabric for that.  *sits firmly on hands*

While I was playing with my jars, Molli smacked us all with another Wild Card block – the rather glorious Sew Royal block – because what’s a bee hive without a Queen (or several!) and what’s a Queen (or King) without a crown?  A challenge was also issued – take this crown and make it your own.  Challenge accepted, my friend!

I woke up Inkscape and marked out a rectangle for the band of the crown, thinking that some foundation piecing and diamond shapes were in order.  After some fiddling, I ended up with a band of off-set diamond or kite shapes I was happy with:

Once I had the foundation-piecing sections marked up, I printed them out and got piecing.  I used two diamond prints from Jennifer Sampou’s Shimmer 2 for the points of the crown, and a third dotty Shimmer 2 print for the band because I didn’t want a directional print in all that foundation piecing!  I think this crown may end up going with my RSC17 blocks, so I used Kona Graphite for the background:

The scraps of colour were just that – scraps I dug out of my recently sorted baskets and arranged in colour order to make sure they flowed well before I pieced the sections.  I still rethought my red and purple choices during assembly, though.

In general, I think it came out ok.  There was one lil hiccup, but I saved it and I don’t think it’s obvious to the casual observer so I’m certainly not going to point out what it was.  You get an Internet Cookie if you guess, though.  😉  (Or possibly a Welsh cake, since I made a bunch of them yesterday.)

See my side-bar for link-up buttons!  🙂

Bleen and Grue!

No, not a number between six and seven and a thing you are likely to be eaten by.  I’m talking about turquoise, aqua, blue-green, green-blue, aquamarine, seafoam, teal, cyan, cerulean – the colours that lie in the spectrum between “true” green and blue.  They can be awkward to work with sometimes, but I love them anyway.

This is February’s RSC17 colour, and to continue on with my plan of combining two sewing challenges into one I chose use it to make one of February’s Honey Pot Bee blocks, the lovely Star Kisses by Fi of Living Cloth.  Turns out that I have lots more of this colour group than I thought, so much so that I ended up further splitting it away from the blue and green baskets I put together a few weeks ago.  I need more baskets, dammit!

Once I’d gathered all my teal-ish scraps together, I carefully sorted them into three broadly similar piles.  Then I said, “Oh sod it,” and jumbled them all up again to make my blocks.  Larger or more distinctive prints were used for the feature squares and the other colours were used for the smaller squares and flying geese corners.  Once again, my Shimmer 2 left-overs played a significant part thanks to having a number of gorgeous prints in this colour family.

To continue my theme of adding in a contrast colour, I dug out a slightly corally pink blender (not actually the one I had in mind, but the only one I had enough of to make what I wanted) and threw it at some of the star corners to add some punch and variety.  When rootling around for fabrics, I also uncovered a big chunk of Tula Pink’s Chipper fox print left over from making a tee-pee and was overjoyed to find that foxy fitted neatly into a 3.5″ square, so I couldn’t resist doing this:

The pink of the blender is just about close enough to the pink on the fox for it to work well, and the background is teal.  Clearly Tula knows her colour wheel too, lol!  The blocks went together really well despite my cavalier approach of not bothering to draw diagonal lines on the flying geese squares.  I just trusted the Pfaff to sew straight and aimed it at the opposite corner.  It worked pretty well!

Initially, however, I wasn’t wholly sure about the first fox-free block I made, but after I looked at it from a distance and after a night’s sleep (and next to the purple Starflower blocks from last month), I decided that I do love it and am very happy with the way both blocks have turned out:

I’m really enjoying how this is going so far and I’m looking forward to seeing how this more “modern” rainbow sampler ends up.  I’ll keep on making two blocks each month for this project and keep adding in quirks through the use of the contrast colour.  Tomorrow I plan to make several of the other Honey Pot blocks for February, the Quilter’s Pantry block by Adrianne at On The Windy Side.  I don’t have all that many “novelty” prints, but I’m going to make the best of what I’ve got.  🙂

Roll on March!  😀

For any link-ups I join, see my side-bar for the buttons and schedule.

Tuesday Stash?

It happened.  It finally happened.  I’ve been threatening to do this for ages:

That right there is an 18m bolt of Autumn-weight 100% cotton wadding (or do you say batting?  I’m afraid I use both interchangeably!) from the Empress Mills January sale.  It’s not actually as thick as I thought it would be, leading me to be glad I ordered this one and not the even thinner Summer weight version.  I think it’ll be fine for the majority of my UFO projects, though.  With postage, it worked out at a whisker over £10 per metre, so a fairly good price, and with the sad closure of Aberdashery at the end of January, it seemed like a good idea to have my own personal supply at last.  Alas, no more handy nipping into town for a couple of metres of wadding and a few fat quarters.  🙁  Now if I want to buy more fabric, I must travel to Lampeter or Machynlleth.  Mind you, that’s maybe not a bad thing from the POV of both my bank balance (dwindling!) or my stash (growing!)  Hopefully, having my own bolt of wadding will also allow me to be more efficient about cutting only what I actually need for a quilt, instead of guesstimating to the nearest half-metre in the shop, which should lead to fewer wadding scraps floating around.  And certainly I have no shortage of projects in urgent need of a bit of wadding!

Speaking of stashes, a few (a very few!) things have managed to sneak under the radar recently.

This is a roll-up of Elizabeth Hartman’s rather delicious Pacific range in cool that I picked up from Craftsy at the same time as I bought my new Clover wonder clips.  I do love the swirl of fresh, blue-green, watery colours!

Not sure what I’ll do with it yet, though.  Probably hoard it like the Fabric Dragon I am until a project demands it.  🙂

Also from Craftsy are these two charm packs of Delhi from RJR.

For some reason I’d decided I needed them to go with some other charm packs for a Garden Fence quilt, but a) no and b) they don’t go anyway.  Ooops.  Ah well, I still like the opulent paisley swirls, I’m sure they won’t be wasted.  😉

Lastly, we have some cheeky lil numbers that threw themselves at me when I went to get fabric for the Tragedy and Comedy wall hanging.

These three, from the Dance of the Dragonfly range by Kanvas, pretty much hurled themselves at me the moment I walked into Calico Kate’s!  (Well, ok, it may perhaps have been the other way around!)  I was particularly taken with these more abstract prints, plus the metallic shimmer of them.  Can’t you just picture them against a crisp white background, possibly as a table runner or place mats?  That purple and green combination is wonderfully lush.

Lastly, here’s a fat quarter of Cascade Stripe from Makower UK:

I love those abstract doodles and, yes, the sparkle.  😉  I also like that it’s a nice warm colour paired with gold that doesn’t scream “CHRISTMAS!” at me.  This bit is very likely to become my new wallet, which I need really quite badly – my current wallet is a rather unlovely nylon effort that went travelling with me and which really doesn’t look very attractive these days – not that it ever did!

Before you ask, I still haven’t defined rules for a stash manifesto yet.  I really need to, but I’m also (mostly!) successfully resisting the urge to buy ALL the fabric, so that’s something.

Linking up with Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash – link in my sidebar.  🙂

Tragedy and Comedy Finished

…and here it is all quilted and bound:

Tragedy and Comedy

I could maybe have been a lil more creative with the quilting, but in the end I kept things fairly simple, with sharp stippling in red and back on the masks and smooth stippling on all the background areas.  The eyes and mouth were left largely unquilted because I liked the way that looked.

Quilted texture

The back shows the quilted design really clearly as well:

Because this is intended as a wall hanging, I added corner pockets at the top to hold a dowel, and did reasonably successful machine binding for the first time ever thanks to the application of loads of Clover wonder clips:

Corner pockets

All the quilting was done by using the 6D spring foot with Guettermann Sulky rayon thread, a 80/12 embroidery needle, a tension of 4.0 and a pivot height of -1.

I didn’t have any skipped stitches (that I noticed) and very few thread breakages.  This was a HUGE improvement over the last time I tried quilting with rayon!  This time, the thread behaved really well, even allowing me to thread-paint over some warbly spots where I’d wobbled off the line thanks to my not-amazing FMQ skills.  Woo!

It’s in the post to its new home now and I will be in a mild state of anxiety until I know that it’s arrived safely and that its new owner likes it – most Craftster swaps are done with a reasonable degree of secrecy so unless she’s checked out this blog, the recipient should have no idea what I’ve sent her.  *bites nails nervously*

This Is My Proud Face

…and also my Tragedy face and my Comedy face:

Here’s the original design for comparison:

So, that worked then!

Well. Crap.

I’m not going to claim there were no hiccups along the way, the seam ripper saw action more than once, but on the whole I was pleased by how well this design went together.  It was probably rather overkill, but it was also massively educational and will give me loads more confidence to tackle the creation of the other foundation-pieced designs I have in mind to do.  It’s now all basted up and ready for me to start quilting on once I’ve shovelled a bit of work out of the way first.  Yay!

Honey and Rainbows

I’m kind of eyeball deep in cracking the piecing of the mini swap quilt (and, ummm, keeping up with the day job), but I decided to take a cheeky afternoon today to limbo under the January deadlines for two online quilt bees – the 2017 Rainbow Scrap Challenge and the Honey Pot Bee.

The idea behind joining both these follow-along projects is to make me use more of my scraps – and it seems to be working so far!  And yeah, I am totally merging them to kill two quilty birds with one patchwork stone.  😉

The Honey Pot blocks for January (there are two each month, picked by two different people each time) were Strawberry and Starflower.  I also joined the Facebook group, and have been blown away (and rather intimidated!) by some of the examples people have come up with.  However, finally I rounded up some suitable scraps and made my own versions of these blocks.  Here’s my Strawberry (I decided I only wanted to do the small version):

It’s supposed to look like it’s ripening, but I’m not sure how apparent that really is!  It came out quite traditional in appearance, and made me dip into some very chintzy Moda prints that I got in a scrap pack some time ago.  I’m not sure about the use or positioning of that stripey shot cotton, but I CBA to unpick it – it stays!

I’ve already decided that I’m likely to end up with (at least) two quilts after this exercise – one that’ll be more scrappy-happy like the Strawb and one that will be slanted towards the RSC17 theme, that is, whatever the current month’s colour is on a Kona Graphite background.  Speaking of, here are my Starflower blocks:

I didn’t originally intend to add yellow here, but when cutting my purples I found I’d miscounted and only grabbed seven – instead of having another rootle in the purple basket, I thought it might be more interesting to chuck in a complementary colour for one blade of the star and the Shimmer diamonds were begging to join in, so in they went!  Thankfully, the purple looks better against the Graphite than I feared it would – it’s a pretty dark grey and if I didn’t have 5 yards of it, I would probably be considering something a bit lighter.  However, I really like this and am half toying with the idea of sticking with Starflower as my RSC17 block and making them all like this – seven blades in the colour of the month, plus one in the complementary colour.  I think it might be interesting, but I might do a mock-up in Inkscape first to make sure.  Or I can stick with seeing what February’s Honey Pot blocks are and choosing the most appropriate to go along with the Starflowers.  Decisions, decisions!  And it looks like Molli’s just posted the blocks for Feb, so I’m gonna go have a read and a ponder.  🙂

Craftster Mini Quilt Swap

Work is trying to bury me under the Christmas backlog, it’s tax return month and I just lost a favourite pet, so of course it must also be time for me to do a craft swap.  In fairness though, I signed up for this one before life went a bit nuts.  Just one of those things you can’t predict.  To add to the fun, I have elected to do a massively complicated self-designed quilt layout – again, a decision I made before things went a bit sideways in my non-quilty life.  However, it’s been a good distraction and I adore a challenge, so for the past couple of weeks I have been chasing polygons around in ever-decreasing circles.  Also, diamonds?  They are SO not a girl’s best friend!

My partner in the swap specified red, black, white, grey and silver as favourite colours, and the theatre and travel as interests.  I’ve always quite liked the duality of the tragedy and comedy masks, so I did a Google image search and looked at loads of images to get some inspiration.

Comedy and Tragedy by Martha Bennett

This one in particular, which featured diamond patterns in red and black on the masks, really caught my eye and set my mind whirling.  I didn’t want to copy the image exactly, but I liked the notion of diamonds and red/black and fragmentation so much that I decided to play with it more, and came up (after a few variations) with the image below.

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Did I mention recently that I love Inkscape?  I really love Inkscape!  Hooray for open-source vector jiggery-pokery!

Drawing the basic image, however, proved to be the easy bit.  The swap organiser has firmly stated Views on the subject of applique, so this is going to have to be foundation pieced, and I’m aiming for it to finish at about 16-1/2″ square.  It will be by far the most complicated foundation piecing I have yet done, and orders of magnitude more complicated in design than my Origami Cranes.  Even with my slowly improving skill at getting Inky’s snapping features to do my bidding, it took me quite a lot of fiddling, experimentation and pondering to sort out a workable-looking “map” of component parts for the comedy side, and yet more time to do the same for the tragedy side because of the very awkward blend of mirror and rotational symmetry, except not quite.  The diamonds proved to be really quite awkward to piece around in a reasonably non-destructive way, but I’m pretty much there now and part of my shopping trip last Saturday was to Calico Kate in Lampeter so that I could pick up some nice fabric for the quilt – because of the fiddly nature of the pieces, I wanted to make sure I had fabrics that would “read” clearly (and enough of them!).

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The red, the black and the silver/grey dotty ripples are new, the other bits are scraps of RK’s Shimmer 2, Michael Miller’s Fairy Frost and a speckly white/silver/light grey effort that I can’t recall the name or make of, which I had kicking around in my newly sorted scrap bins and wanted to also include in the background.  This is a pretty good representation of the actual colours, unlike subsequent pics, which were taken under the rather yellow lights in my craft room!  As a useful exercise, I wrote out comprehensive piecing instructions and diagrams to help with assembly.

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Tentatively, I started assembling the first section, and was gratified to find it behaving itself.

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I’m loving this squiggly red print!  Really striking against the shimmering background.

Right from the get-go, I decided to trim all seams within each section to 1/8″, rather than the more usual 1/4″, which has helped a lot to manage seam bulk already.  Given this is an art/mini/wall quilt, and I’ll be quilting it fairly well, I decided I could get away with a smaller seam allowance here.  Completed sections are joined with a 1/4″ seam pressed open:

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Another thing that has proved extremely useful for joining completed areas is mini binding clips.  I bought some recently because they looked so jolly handy for all sorts of things (and they were on offer on Craftsy!), and decided to use them here instead of pins to avoid rippling up these fairly small and heavily pieced bits.  It works a lot better!

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The top section was joined using pins, the bottom section was joined (mainly) using the binding clips – there’s a definite difference in accuracy!  I’m thrilled that this looks to be working so well, and I hope to crack on and do the rest in fairly short order so that I can get to the quilting.  🙂

Scrap Heap Challenge

To return to more familiar, less sad topics, one of my goals for 2017 is to do more with my fabric scraps, which has already begun.  However, to keep up the good work, I realised that I needed a better system than a large bin full of bits of everything I’ve made since I started quilting.  What I had was this:

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…but absolutely full to over-flowing with bits of fabric.  The only way I could fit everything in was to stuff everything in as hard as I could, and to find anything I had to upend the entire thing onto the floor and paw through it in the hope that I’d find the specific bit I was looking for.  Obviously, not really a great solution.  Enter these:

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During my shopping excursions last Saturday, I made sure to go to Cheapie Charlie’s and pick up a dozen plastic baskets in two sizes to sort my scrap fabrics into in colour groupings.  However, it wasn’t until yesterday that I got a chance to prise them from the world’s stickiest labels and actually put stuff in them.  Despite fears at one point that I’d underestimated the required number/size of baskets, it worked out really well:

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As I guessed they might, blues, greens and white/cream/neutrals vastly outnumber all the other colours, so I suppose I’ll be doing a blue scrap quilt next.  🙂  Other colour groups I chose were red, orange, yellow, brown, pink, purple, grey and black, plus one basket for very mixed prints that refused to fall obediently into any specific colour group.  I also threw away a fair bit of volume in terms of really ratty old wadding that was still attached to the trimmed edges of previous quilts and the really super-tiny scraps or ultra-skinny strings that I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything with.  I’m sure some fabrics ended up appearing in more than one colour grouping, but that’s ok.  I’ll either re-sort if necessary or they’ll add a nice bit of variation.

To continue the organisational theme, I’ve started to sort my embroidery threads into the shiny new plastic storage boxes I bought for them.  I say “started” because it’s quite a slow process (great for when ignoring watching TV!), but it really needs doing and it’s super-satisfying to see a tangled soup of flosses become nice, tidy, usable rows of bobbins.

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Years ago I bought a whole load of embroidery flosses in plastic bags.  They weren’t in skeins, they weren’t labeled, heck, I don’t even think they were really sorted.  Maybe they were left over from kits?  Anyway.  At the time, I sorted them as best I could, knotted them into approximate skeins and kept them in a ratty cardboard box, as you see here, along with other skeins I bought subsequently, plus tangles of WIP friendship bands (remember those?  I was a lil obsessed with making them when I was a teen).  They weren’t really useful like that though because as soon as I went looking for anything, the whole lot ended up in even more of a bird’s nest, so like any normal person would, I put the lid on and ignored the whole lot for umpty years.  Now, though, I find myself actually wanting to use them and to know what I’ve got, so I bought three large embroidery thread boxes, which handily came with card bobbins, and slowly, slowly, progress is being made:

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The perle cottons (bottom left) and the Kreinik metallic spools (bottom right) may well find a different home, but I’ve already en-bobbin’ed all the metallic and rayon flosses I bought for using on quilts, plus a good amount of the mystery flosses (the pic of the cardboard box above is after my efforts last night – it was much fuller before I started!).  I’ve also got about 10 intact (or nearly intact) skeins (from a variety of makers) that were in the same box, which I may put on labelled bobbins if I feel especially enthusiastic about it, plus I have all these DMC flosses that I picked up a while ago for almost nothing at Craft, the local thrift-type shop:

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Who can resist cheap brand-name craft supplies?  Not me, clearly!  I was doubting my ability to fill three thread boxes, but actually I’m starting to think I may manage it after all!

Goodbye, Muffin

When you’re a pet owner, you always know there will come times like this, when a little soul that you have cared for, cleaned, fed and loved from the moment it left its mother will leave you.  If you’re lucky, your furry (scaly, feathery) companion will leave you after a long, healthy life.  Unfortunately for me in this case, my sweet girl Muffin died on the 22nd of January, at the comparatively “young” age of 4, after several months of treatment for cystitis.

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Goodbye, little one.  I will miss your reedy (and sometimes extremely loud!) voice calling for breakfast, your mad hair and your quirky eye patch, your striking “supermodel” looks and diva attitude.  The way that you came to trust me and look to me for reassurance when something upset you, even though you were so suspicious of people when you first arrived.  The way you used to run rough-velvet lips across my cheek and jaw, “kiss” my nose and chin, and stick tickly whiskers in my ear, or sprawl to your fullest extent on my lap.  You were not always an easy guinea pig to handle, but your affection meant all the more because of that.

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Mommet misses you too, she keeps looking for you and you’re not there, although I think she knew before any of us just how ill you really were.

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Sleep well and without pain, sweet pig.

The WIP Whip-Round

Better a little late than never, today I corralled all my quilty WIPs, took new mug-shots of them all and am sharing them here in a “name and shame” list.  🙂  They range from “partly quilted” to “bunch o’ blocks”.  The Great Hexagon Project is not included since that’s my “slow stitching” thing that I know is going to be a little-and-often job and when it’s done, it’s done (or I use up the hexies in other projects).

Turns out I have 11 official WIPs.  Each one is listed in the Rogue’s Gallery below with a brief description, last sighting, photo(s) of the current state, what needs to be done next to move it along, and a project prognosis.

1. Oh, Christmas Tree

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What Is It?  An advent wall-hanging.

Last Sighting:  Quilting the Christmas Tree, back in February 2016.

What’s The Hold-Up?  I really, REALLY hate quilting this thing with the wadding I used.  It’s ghastly fluffy polyester rubbish that I bought way back when I didn’t know what “proper” wadding ought to look like.  Oh, and I am using metallic thread on it because I am some sort of crazed masochist.

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However, I haven’t tried quilting on it since I poked the wibbly needle-holder on my Pfaff.  The pockets are ready to attach once the quilt is finished, so I think it’s time to see if I can’t cut this tree down to size at last.

Dead or Alive?  This one’s still got life in it!  I really want to see it finished.

2. Frostbyte

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What is it?  A wall-hanging assembled from a procedurally generated pattern.

Last Sighting:  Frogging in the Frost(Byte), almost exactly a year ago.

What’s The Hold-Up?  Un-doing is never as much fun as doing.  Especially when it involves trying to extract layers of not-very-good and not-very-visible machine quilting.  Looking at it today, I realised that I’d covered a lot more area than I remembered.  That makes it worse.

Dead or Alive?  I really don’t want this project to be dead, I think it still has potential buried in there if I can make myself spend some evenings attacking it more with the seam ripper.

3. The Wedding Quilt

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What is it?  The “wedding” quilt that I promised to give my sister and her husband when they got married almost six years ago.

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Last Sighting:  A Billion WIPs, back in January 2015!  Eeep!

What’s The Hold-Up?  I finally managed to baste it, with fancy bamboo wadding and all, but I am unduly nervous about tackling the quilting on this, especially as I’d like to do some (or all!) of it as FMQ.  Right now I’m unsure how to start or what I want to do on it, and indecision is a total progress killer.

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Dead or Alive?  Definitely still alive.  My aim is to get this one done in the first half of this year, so it can be their anniversary gift.

4. Damask Suns

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What is it?  A throw-sized quilt that I started as part of a group project at Quilt Club.

Last Sighting:  Something Old, Something New, August 2015

What’s The Hold-Up?  I can’t decide if I want it to be bigger or not.  Also, I wish I’d used the blue batiks for the negative space around the stars to make them more star-like.  There’s no way I’m going to try and retro-fit that, but I am considering using left-over strips to make more suns in my retroactively preferred blue/yellow combo so that it can 1) be more like I should have made it in the first place and 2) be a more sensible size.  But it’s rather at the back of the queue in terms of sewing priority.

Dead or Alive?  There’s a pulse.  Just.

5. Black&White D9P/Batik Lonestar

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What is it?  A double-sided Disappearing Nine-Patch/Lonestar bed quilt.

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Last Sighting:  A Billion WIPs, again.

What’s The Hold-Up?  The Lonestar back (or will it become the front?  Ooooo, suspense!) needs to be finished.  IIRC, it needs to be squared up a bit better and brought up to size.  I’m also struggling with the fact that, at this point, this may just not be me any more.  It looks like the last dregs of my teenage taste escaping.  Hmmm.

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Dead or Alive?  It’s touch and go with this one.  There’s bits I really like, mostly to do with the Lonestar.  But there’s much of it that just isn’t speaking to me these days.

6. Marsala Spice

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What is it?  A bed quilt I designed as part of the Pantone COTY challenge in 2015.

Last Sighting:  2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Top-Only Entry

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What’s The Hold-Up?  It needs basting.  I have an idea for lining up the front and the back (or trying to!) and then doing some quite elaborate FMQ designs in the tile blocks.  I have actually bought some special soluble threads to help me achieve this, I just haven’t taken the plunge with it yet.  I also kinda wish that I hadn’t used that leafy print on the front, so that’s a bit off-putting, but I shouldn’t use that as an excuse to not finish it.

Dead or Alive?  This one’s definitely still kicking!  Despite my slight misgivings about how the final flimsy finished (morals of the story – always calculate your yardage before you go to the fabric shop and always listen to your own instincts when it comes to your own design), I like it a lot and I think it’ll be a really good canvas for some FMQ practice.

7. Irish Charm

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What is it?  Scrappy Irish Chain throw/bed quilt.

Last Sighting:  Irish Charm, September 2015

What’s The Hold-Up?  Not really sure, other than my butterfly brain!  It needs borders adding (I have the fabric for that) and it’ll be backed with a sheet I salvaged from the great Airing Cupboard Clear-Out.  It’s also a project that I am actively looking forward to quilting, since I have quite a clear idea of what I want to do.

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Dead or Alive?  Very much alive.  I have quite a lot of affection for this one, cutting all those squares helped me through a stressful period and I love the shabby chic, country-cottage vibe it has.

8. Crying Over Spilled Tea

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What is it?  It was a test piece for me to practice the D9P block (clearly necessary, as the oops in the middle demonstrates).

Last Sighting:  Lost to the mists of time….

What’s The Hold-Up?  Lots of things, really.  The colour?  The fact that I stupidly trimmed the starting squares to 4-3/4″, thereby making cutting up the nine-patch blocks (or trimming more charm squares to make it larger) just that bit more annoying?  The size?

Dead or Alive?  Ehhhhh.  The next-of-kin and executors are hovering vulture-like over this one.  While there are things I could do to it, I’m really not sure whether the end product will be worth my time, which already has many claims on it.  It’s not even the kind of project that I’d donate to Project Linus – unless I wanted to give some poor kid a complex!  It might see new life as a test-ground for FMQ patterns.  Maybe.  And then possibly be relegated to the dog’s bed.

9. Paper Cranes

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What is it?  Blocks from a craft swap I participated in over on Craftster last year, based on my own design.

Last Sighting:  Craft Swaps, August 2016

What’s The Hold-Up?  I need to make more blocks to make the layout I’d like.  The templates are printed, but I haven’t seized an opportunity to crack on with them as of yet.  Alas!

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Dead or Alive?  Kicking and screaming!  This is a project I feel very positively about, plus it has other peoples’ efforts in it, which adds an extra dimension of expectation.  This will be a QAYG project, to cut it down to manageable size and provide some relief among all the BIG projects I seem to have!  Those three cranes at the top are an oops – one of my partners made them too small initially (probably thanks to US/UK printer differences), but she very sweetly did three more full-size ones as replacements, so the first three will go on the back – they’re too cute to not use.

10. Disappearing Hourglass

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What is it?  Blocks I made by following a tutorial by the Missouri Star Quilt Company on Youtube.

Last Sighting:  Apparently never?

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What’s The Hold-Up?  I made all these blocks with layer cakes of Moda’s Cold Spell and Snow, then decided that I wanted it to be a bigger quilt (just what is it with me and big quilts?!), so I halted progress on putting the blocks together until I got more Cold Spell (check!  Bagged the last layer cake in the shop, in fact).  New blocks will use both the stronger blues, as here, and the lighter all-cream prints, to mix things up a bit.  I also found a Moda layer cake of blue/cream flannels, which are going to be perfect as the backing.  Most of the delay on this one is down to my low distraction threshold and the comparatively low priority of this project currently.

Dead or Alive?  Alive, just dormant.

11. Monster

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What is it?  A thing that should not be, horror personified in fabric form.

Last Sighting:  …In Which I Create a Monster

What’s The Hold-Up?  It’s hideous, I hate it I hate it I hate it.

Dead or Alive?  Due for a lethal encounter with the seam ripper.  RIP!  😉

So there you have it.  I’ll be honest, I was actually expecting the list to be much longer, but perhaps 11 projects is plenty when 7 of them are throw-sized or larger!  Clearly some are much more likely to see completion this year than others, but most of them still have a spark of life that makes me want to see them done and dusted.  I really want to be crossing at least some of these off by the end of 2017!