BOM 2019: September

How are we in September already? I feel like this year has flown by and I’m sure it’s also because of this Block of the Month, as I have been looking forward to the new tile every time I’ve finished the current one.

Here’s my August tile:

I really like this green with the black, white and grey. And I also like how all my tiles look together on the background fabric:

As you can see Charlie was very happy to help with the layout.

You may also have noticed that my tiles don’t fit on my background fabric. This has meant that I have indeed gone back to my original plan and I’m going to appliqué them onto squares of fabric and hand quilt them before sewing the squares together. This will be my first ever quilt-as-you-go quilt and I’m really excited to try it.

Right. Are you curious about this month’s tile? Here it is:

Here are the templates:

And the whole tile so you can plan your fabrics:

I’m looking forward to seeing all your beautiful blocks this month. Mine is going to be orange (at least if I find a nice orange in my stash).

Happy sewing!

Portable?

I love EPP because it’s portable. I can sew at home on my sofa while watching tv or I can take it with me on holiday. I can sew on the train, in the garden and many other places.

However, I’ve now started a project that is EPP but most definitely isn’t portable. My Floral Star quilt started with a stack of fat quarters I was gifted by my lovely friend Paula. She knows how much I love anything designed by Kate Spain and I was thrilled to bits when she gave me her stack of Canyon fabrics. I knew I had to make something special with it and decided to try and supersize one of my designs. The choice fell on Floral Star and I couldn’t be happier so far.

The colours aren’t the same in my version so it looks quite different.

As you can see I’m not finished yet. I had to let Charlie sit on it as no one really understood just how big it is already. I don’t mind, though, as he is the cutest cat in the whole wide world. The smallest piece is about 3.5″ x 4.5″, most of them are over 7″. It’s quite a challenge but fun too. I had to use slightly thicker paper as normal 80g/m copy paper bent too easily with such large pieces. It makes the whole thing harder and heavier to handle so I can only work on it when I’m sitting on the floor or at a table.

Since taking this picture I have finished sewing on the magenta triangles and am now going to continue with some green, I think.

If you’re on Instagram you can check out my progress with the hashtag ⌗sharksdinnerfloralstar

BOM 2019: August

It’s a new month which means it’s time for a new tile for the block of the month. I loved last month’s block.

I was going to do the pentagons in red too but used the grey sketch by mistake and didn’t want to change it when I realised it. I rather like the way it looks and am really happy with how it fits in with the others.

Right, here’s the August tile:

I think this one is a really interesting shape and I’m very excited to start this one and see everyone’s versions. I’m going to use a nice green for this tile, I think.

If you’d like to make it, here are the templates:

And here’s the whole tile for your fabric planning:

Well, I hope you enjoy this block of the month as much as I do.

BOM 2019: July

Time is flying when you’re having fun and I sure hope you’re having fun sewing with me.

I loved the June tile and thought it looked great half finished too.

Every evening I sit in my sewing room which is also my rat room to let my ratties Bailey, Blue and Quentin roam free for an hour or so. So far this has been no problem at all as they all thought that the floor was lava. This meant that they mostly climbed on the cage and on me. However, this week Bailey has discovered that the floor doesn’t swallow her up when she walks on it and has started exploring. Add to this the fact that she’s a little hoarder and suddenly nothing is safe from her. I was sitting on the floor sewing when she swooped in and tried to steal my Aurifil thread. She also tried to get my scissors but they were too heavy for her.

Anyway, here’s the new tile:


This one looks like it’s got little cat faces in it and I might try and play with this a little. This month’s colour for me is red. Once again I have to dive into my stash to see what I can find as I really don’t want to have to buy more fabric. Rather the opposite, I’m trying to lighten my load and use up as much as I can. The problem is, that EPP doesn’t really use up that much fabric at least not when you use lots of different fabrics or scraps.

Right, here are the templates:

And here’s the whole tile so you can plan your block:

BOM 2019: JUNE

I can’t believe it’s June already. My daughter and my cat Charlie have their birthdays on two consecutive days and it’s always very busy at the end of May. I managed to finish May’s tile quite quickly and was looking forward to June’s tile for the last three weeks as it’s one of my favourites.

My little old man enjoying the sunshine (he’s 19 years old)

Before I post the June tile I’d like to show you last month’s tile:

I found it a real struggle to find the right fabrics for April’s tile and I was a little worried that I was setting a trend but that didn’t happen. Once I picked the solid and the grey swirls for the centre square I was off and finished the tile in no time at all. I did, however, feel that I was always using the same black fabric and therefore went and bought a couple of fat quarters. You’ll see them in the next tiles, I’m sure.

Right, let’s get printing:

And the whole tile for fabric planning:

This month I’m going for a sea green or turquoise accent. I have to go through my stash first to see if I have enough of one colour for this block as I’ve just cut lots of 4.5″ squares for a quilt. If not, I’ll have to buy some more fabric. The horror…

Happy sewing!

BOM 2019: MAY

I can’t believe we’re already half way through this Block of the Month once we’ve completed this last tile.

I quite like my last tile which was made with Kona banana:

I did find this tile quite difficult. I have no idea why, but I found it really difficult to choose the fabrics for this one. However, I got there in the end and am rather happy with how this one looks with the others.

This month I’m going for a light pink accent fabric. I have to check which colour it is exactly as I don’t always write down the name. It’s definitely a Kona, though.

Ok, here are the templates for the month of May:

Print out four of each. You can discard three of the center squares from templates 6a.

And here is the whole tile, so you can plan your fabric and colour selection:

I can’t wait to get started and see all your beautiful versions. Happy sewing!

BOM 2019: APRIL

Wow, it’s already the fourth month of my BOM and I’m really hoping that everyone who’s still sewing with me is having fun.

I’ve found last month rather difficult as I couldn’t sew or type as I was suffering from tendonitis. Everything’s more or less alright now, although I still have to be a little careful and take enough breaks. I just about managed to finish my March tile in March, finishing it on the 31st.

I love my last block which I did with Kona Honeysuckle, one of my favourite Kona colours. I’m already looking forward to this month’s colour which is Kona Banana, another firm favourite. I think the four blocks look quite good together, although I’m not sure if I’m going to keep the emerald block the way it is. I feel that the colour is too solid. However, I won’t do anything about it until I have a few more blocks and can judge it properly.

So without much ado, here are the templates for April’s block.

And here is the PDF for the entire tile, so you can do some planning.

Happy sewing!

By the way, I’m preparing a blog post about layouts. I’m using a very simple 3 x 4 layout as I’ve always said that I want to use the quilt-as-you-go method. I haven’t started quilting yet as I wasn’t sure about the background fabric. There are so many different possible layouts, though, that I thought it might be fun to show them here on the blog.

As for the background fabric I have now narrowed it down to two, one white with grey polka dots and one grey and white striped one. The second I’m sure which one to choose I’ll start working on appliquéing the tiles and quilting the first few blocks.

AGNES

I have a new sewing machine: an Elna Grasshopper, which I’ve decided to name Agnes.

I used to have a Grasshopper but sadly her motor started smoking while I was sewing and I had to get rid of her. I’ve wanted another one ever since and when I found this one on the internet for sfr.35.- I knew I had to get her. She’s got quite a few scratches and has neither her case nor any accessories but I thought that it didn’t really matter for this price. I really enjoy using her and I mostly got her so I could take her to retreats.

I had to get a new foot for her as when she arrived she was set up for darning but that was quick and easy thanks to the internet again. I was really happy for the darning foot as it means I can do some free motion quilting with her too.

I now need to make a cover for her and think I might go through my massive pile of orphan blocks and EPP trial pieces to find something I can quickly turn into a quilted cover. I’ll show her off in her new cover as soon as I’ve finished it.

Welcome to the family, Agnes!

BOM 2019:March

This is what the next tile looks like:

And here are the templates for it:

Here you can download a pdf of the entire tile so you can colour it in and play with your fabric placement.

I hope you’re enjoying this Block of the Month as much as I am. Keep sewing!

Like to Read?

I love to read and although I have a Kindle that I absolutely love, I also still enjoy a ‘proper’ book. My sister and I (and a few friends) like to swap books and I also often go to the secondhand shop to get books. There isn’t a great choice in English books but I usually find one or two and I never have a problem finding a few good German ones.

Over the years I have used lots of different bookmarks: bought bookmarks, photos, scraps of paper, paperclips, pencils and miscellaneous bits and bobs that are lying around. One thing most of them have in common is that they fall out when you chuck your book in a rucksack or bag. So I decided to make bookmarks that wouldn’t fall out. I used fabric scraps and a bit of elastic to make my first ones.

I sort of liked it and didn’t like it. So I thought it might be the elastic that was bothering me and went off to get some wider elastic. These are the next two bookmarks I made:

One in green for myself and one in blue for my daughter.

Although I really liked those I felt that they were a little difficult to get right. Some books were just too big to fit the bookmark and we soon stopped using them.

So I thought I needed to go back to the thin elastic which is super stretchy and fits easily around lots of the books. I just needed to hide the ugly knot.

This was the result. I really love these bookmarks. They stay in the book if it falls on the floor or is rudely thrown into a bag. They’re fun and colourful and I love the little beads around the edge. The best thing is that you can easily use up your favourite scraps.

Would you like to make one too? I’m going to show you how I make a round one (which is my favourite) but it’s easy to adapt the shapes. I’ve made ovals, hearts, circles and even a slightly wonky exclamation mark.

Materials:

scraps of fabric

16″ of thin elastic

pelmet (e.g. Vliesline S320) or some thin cardboard

batting

beads

scissors, needle and thread

First, draw the shape you have decided on -I’ve gone for a circle- onto your pelmet or thin card. Cut out twice. Do the same with the batting. I like to use wool batting as it’s got a high loft but in this tutorial I’m using some cotton batting.

Lay the pelmet on your piece of fabric and cut out twice with a 1/4″ seam allowance. You can also make a template with some paper or card to fussy cut the fabric.

Sew a running stitch around the edge of your fabric piece, then lay first the batting and then the pelmet on top and pull on the thread. Secure the thread once you’re happy that your fabric is taut. Don’t pull too hard as you don’t want to bend your pelmet or card. Do that twice.

I realised that I made a mistake and had the batting on top of the pelmet rather than the other way around. Don’t make the same mistake as it makes the bookmark very flat. Luckily I realised it before I finished the bookmark and was able to rectify my mistake but it’s still wrong in the picture.

Now, take your elastic and knot it together. Attach the elastic to the back of one of your shapes with a couple of stitches. Then lay the second shape on top and sew together with a ladder stitch or whip stitch.

Next, sew the beads on the edge of the shape. I like to use a back stitch to attach them all on a quarter of the circumference and then go through all the beads so they line up beautifully.

Done. Now, go and enjoy a cup of tea and a good book!