Goodness, time flies when you’re having fun. And it goes even faster when you’re organising a BOM and are way behind on your sewing. So much has been happening this last month and sewing has therefore not really been a priority. My gorgeous cat Flynn has been poorly and ended up at the vet’s twice. He’s not eating and for a cat who’s normally a walking stomach that’s really bad. He’ll eat anything and everything, even salad, so to see him turn away from food is disconcerting. He’s only two years old and should be stuffing himself with all the food, play and sleep but at the moment all he does is sleep and feel sorry for himself.
Secondly, I’ve found a new job. I’m moving away from sales and going into an office job. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time. I haven’t worked on the computer for quite a while so it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes me to get back on the ‘horse’. Going from a fabric shop into an engineering firm is quite the move. As I’ll be commuting to Berne I will have more time to EPP which will be fun and will hopefully help me get this BOM sewn.
Right, let’s get to it. Here are the links for the February Row:
As always: please let me know if there are any problems with downloading the templates and I’ll do my best to solve the problem.
Olive is the best little nurse. She’s doing her best to look after Flynn, cleaning him and checking on him every now and again. Although she’s also happy to steal his food and oust him from her favourite places…
How do you make sure your English paper pieced quilt has a nice edge that’s easy to trim and bind?
I used to get folded over bits of fabric and little holes but after a while I found an easy way to get a nice straight 1/4″ edge. I simply add a 1/4″ to the template and cut it out. I always cut the seam allowance at a 90º angle.
When I wrap the fabric around the papers I leave that edge unwrapped and trim the fabric flush with the paper.
Then I sew the pieces together with my usual whipstitch and end up with a wonderfully flat edge that is easy to bind without losing any of my points.
Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a great start to the new year.
Let’s start this block of the month. I’m incredibly excited to get back to English paper piecing. I’ve been neglecting it as I’ve been focussed on the granny square blanket and a cardigan I’m crocheting. I’ve also done a lot of bag and pouch sewing but almost no patchwork or quilting.
You need to print out January 1 and January 3 once and January 2 as often as you need to get the width that you’d like. I’m going to print it out eight times which results in a quilt that is 60″ wide. The quilt consists of twelve rows and will end up being 72″ long. You can, of course, make the quilt smaller by making less rows. I might add some squaring up lines to the templates after a few rows.
As you’re printing, make sure you don’t scale the printout. Keep it at 100% and check the little square is 1″x1″.
I can’t wait to start this project and see what you guys make of it. Happy sewing!
It’s been a while but I’m excited to be back in this little corner of the internet to announce that I’m hosting a free Block of the Month next year. I’ve already talked about it on Instagram but let me tell you all about it here, too.
First, it’s not really a block but a row we’re sewing every month. Here’s the chart of the finished quilt:
I realise that it’s not easy to see the quilt properly in this little picture so the link for the chart is here: Chart BOM24
The chart will help you decide whether you want to join in and also make it easier for you if you’re a planner. I’m going to wing it (and probably be envious of everyone who’s planned their quilt in advance) and stick to my technique of choosing my fabrics as I’m sewing.
Every month you get three ‘blocks’ one centre block and two end blocks that square up the quilt.
The width of your quilt depends on how many centre blocks you make. Ten blocks in total give you a quilt that’s 60″ wide. You can of course make it smaller but the length, if you stick with all twelve rows is 72″. If you would like to make your quilt bigger, I can add more rows, but at the moment there are only twelve. Here’s the link to download the rows in the picture above: Chart Pieces BOM24
Every first of the month the blocks will be ready to download here on the blog. If you would like to join in and see what others are making you can check out the hashtag #sharksdinnerbom24 on Instagram. This is where I’ll be posting my progress.
And because you should always end every blog post with a cute picture, here’s one of Olive Nomura Shoulderhopper.
I’ve started on the Grenoble Quilt. I have to admit that I was naughty and started on it before having finished three WIPs. I simply couldn’t wait. However, I did go back to my pile of unfinished projects once I’d scratched that itch and finished three small projects.
I’ve cut up my template into small chunks of 6 x 7 squares which means I end up with blocks that are 7.75″ x 9″, a nice manageable size to work on while I’m out and about.
Once I finished the first block I sewed the little template onto it so I remember where the block goes.
So far I’ve only finished two blocks but I’ve decided that once I’ve sewed the first seven (which means one whole row). I will then sew them together before continuing with the next seven blocks. This method should make it easy for me to see my progress. I can get bored by projects if I don’t see enough progress.
When I started the block I thought I would go scrappy with the background too, but I haven’t really got enough different low volume scraps so in the end I decided to only use solid whites. As they are scraps they’re not all the same white but I don’t mind that at all; I think it gives it a bit of movement. So far I’m only using greens but I’m thinking of doing the zigzag in dark blue and the crosses in teal or even pink. I’ve got a bit of time before I have to decide what to do (twelve more blocks to be exact) and I rather like not planning ahead. Especially as this quilt will be completely made from my stash.
One thing I have to admit though is that basting and sewing squares is booooooring. Thank goodness for Netflix or this would not end up as a quilt but as a cushion or table runner.
It’s amazing what can inspire you. I was once inspired by some quilted toilet paper. This time inspiration was a knitted jumper. There’s a fabulous magazine in Norway called Hjemmet, which my mother has subscribed to for as long as I can remember. As I was reading one of their knitting supplements on classic Norwegian jumpers designed by Dale Garn for the Olympic Games throughout the years I fell in love with the jumper designed for Grenoble in 1968.
I’m not a knitter, in fact all my Norwegian jumpers and cardigans have either been knitted by my grandmother or my mother, but I am a quilter. So I turned the Grenoble jumper into a Grenoble quilt. I changed very little in the snowflake as I think its beautiful the way it is but replaced the stripes with a zigzag as I loved the zigzag at the bottom but knew I didn’t have space for it in this quilt.
It’s going to be a long term project. I’ve decided to go for 1.25″ squares as this means this quilt will end up being 61.25″ x 73.75″. I think that’s a good size for a single bed. I might make it bigger but I think it’s good to start with a manageable size.
I’ve calculated that I need 2891 squares for this quilt, 1753 for the background and 1138 squares for the pattern. I haven’t calculated how much fabric I need exactly but I think it’ll be about 1.50m for the background and about 1m for the coloured fabric. I’m still pondering a few things before jumping in and starting this new project:
should I have one fabric for the background or go scrappy?
what colours to use. In the picture I used light blue but I’m wondering if I should go for greens as I’ve just made two blue and white quilts. Or maybe use reds, pinks and oranges for a modern look? I’m definitely going scrappy for the coloured squares.
I have a rule for this year: to finish three projects before I start a new one as I have a million WIP’s cluttering up my sewing room. I’m trying to find the ones that take the least effort and are finished the quickest…
If you would like to make this quilt, you can download the graph and use as a guide.
It’s now been seven weeks since lockdown started here in Switzerland. You would think that it’s the perfect time to sew but I’ve not really felt it. I have been sewing a little but with all the time spent on homeschooling my daughter I’ve done less than expected.
The fabric shop I’m working at, Alja nouveau, is expected to open again in two weeks time and my colleagues and I are going to sew a few masks. I’m sure lots of people are going to come to buy fabric and elastic but some might also want to buy finished masks. I’ve already sewn a few but I thought that among all that catastrophe sewing it would be nice to do something else so I’ve designed a couple of free English Paper Piecing (EPP) patterns for you.
The first one is called Comfort and I’ve designed it to become a cushion. I’m not sure why the bottom line isn’t in the picture, it’s there when I look at the picture in my photos. Anyway, the size is 16″ x 18″ as I like a slightly rectangular cushion and if you stuff a 20″ x 20″ cushion filler in it the cushion becomes nice and plump, just the way I like it. If you’d like it a different size you can, of course, resize it before printing it out. If you’re not sure how to do that, check out one of my previous blog posts Tips and Tricks.
You will need to print out each file twice to have all the templates. When sewing it’s easiest to start with a (the outside) and work your way through the alphabet or if you prefer to work from the inside out, start with g and work your way out to a.
I’m happy to help if you have any problems or questions with either of these patterns. Email me at sharksdinner (at) sunrise (dot) ch and I’ll do my best to help.
I really hope you like these two new patterns. If you do sew one of them and you are on Instagram, I would love it if you added me (@lemonshark) and/or used the hashtag #sharksdinnerpattern. Thank you!
Last one! That’s right, it’s the last tile for this block of the month. Then it’s time to appliqué the tiles onto a background, quilt and bind. And all this before the end of the year.
I’ve started with the appliqué but have only managed one tile so far. This month has whizzed past at an extraordinary pace and I have to admit that I haven’t finished my October tile. Shame on me, I know. I’ve just had lots of other things to think about and the BOM has sort of faded into the background. The main reason for my inability to sit down and concentrate on my sewing have been the raging hormones in my pre-teen daughter. I’ve simply been too exhausted to sew after all the ups and downs every day has brought.
As a blog post without at least one picture is rather boring I thought I’d post one of my little ‘helper’ Blue looking adorable.
Right, here’s the last tile:
I’m really curious about this one. I’ve had to think quite a bit about where to put my coloured accents but I think I’ve got the perfect placement now. The placement of the coloured fabric is actually the only thing I plan in advance, all the other fabrics are chosen as I sew and I never really know what the tile is going to look like until it’s finished.
I’m going to have to knuckle down, finish my October tile and get on with this one as soon as possible. I have to take things a little easy at the moment as I’ve been diagnosed with shingles. I see quite a bit of hand sewing and tv watching in my future.
How can it be October already? I feel like this year has flown past. It’s alright, though, as I love autumn and October is my favourite month. The light is amazing and I love seeing all the autumn colours on the trees. It’s my birthday month and this year it’s one of the big ones: 50.
I love the age that I am, I love that I know who I am and what I want. I love the person I’ve become and I wouldn’t want to change anything in my life as everything that’s happened, good and bad, has shaped me. So I’m happy to say bring on the fifties!
Anyway, enough with the rambling. Here’s my September block which I finished at the last minute and where I added some fun orange accents.
I’m getting more and more excited about this quilt. I’ve started appliquéing the tiles onto the background but haven’t gotten very far yet. I really need to get a move on, though, as there are only two more tiles to sew.
Curious about the penultimate tile? Here it is:
I’m a little bit at a loss on how I’m going to do this one and where I’m going to put the coloured accents. Once I start all of this usually falls into place quite quickly so I’m hopeful that I’ll come up with a plan soon enough.
I caught the English Paper Piecing (EPP) bug about seven years ago when I started my first hexie cushion. I still have it and when I look at it I see all the imperfections. However, I love it so much that It sits on my favourite yellow chair in the living room, reminding me of my humble beginnings…
Well, I’ve gone and infected my mum. She was curious to try out EPP, so I gave her some big hexagons and some fabric and showed her how to baste and sew them together. She made a gorgeous runner to brighten up her dark blue chair.
After she finished it, she wanted to make a cushion cover and picked diamond shapes and some turquoise, white and pink fabrics.
As soon as she’d finished she asked me for something red. I had just designed a cushion cover for my sister to try out EPP as she’d seen my mother’s beautiful creations. As there were two versions I gave one of them to my mum with various red fabrics.
Those pieces are quite big so she finished it in no time, turned round to me and said the magic words: “I think I’m ready to start a quilt now.” You could’ve blown me over with a feather. I grabbed my iPad to open TouchDraw and started designing before she could change her mind. I gave her the papers and some Gütermann fabrics I had bought to make a quilt for my daughter two or three years ago and she set off.
Isn’t it beautiful? I’m sorry the picture is rather bad quality but I think you can still appreciate the beauty of it. My mum first said she was going to make four rosettes, then decided that maybe six were in order. I still think she’ll continue and make nine, although she is sure she won’t. We’ll see who’s right, won’t we?
As for my sister (who’s a prolific knitter), we’re going on holiday together soon and we’re both taking our EPP kit with us. I’ll show her how to EPP and maybe just maybe she will catch the bug, too.