I got two things done this week, first my bee block for Irene from Patchwork and Pastry. Here it is in construction.
Then it becomes a block within a block........
in another nine patch. This one is five inches unfinished, no I'm not kidding.
Finally with the addition of four 5"x 6" and four 6" square blocks it became a triple nine patch, 16 inches unfinished. Colour? These are colour pics, yes really, Irene requested we use greys. The colours are slightly distorted on the pics, grey on a grey design wall doesn't photograph so well and the colours are paler.
The centre was a bit fiddly, but not as bad as I expected to be honest, although my seams in the first block are a little on the wonky side but remember the centre blocks are half inch finished, have you ever stitched anything smaller than that? I just hope she likes it.
if you want to see Irene's tutorial you can find it on Bee Inspired.
But now, how I made the improv back for circles.
First I continued the improv panel already started, which I showed you last week. I used the leftovers from the quilt, anything squares, rectangles, strips, whatever was left, which wasn't a lot really. Then I added squares and rectangles of the backing fabric stitching them together any old how, but it wasn't wide enough. I didn't stick to the technique I used in Bluebell Woods but in retrospect that was easier than putting the pieces up on the design wall and adding some background as filler as I did here. I did have two of the eight inch blocks left from circles I could have added in but I am saving them for something else.
I dug deeper into the meagre scraps and made it wider, If I had more scraps I would have maybe made the panel longer but you work with what you have and I didn't want to add in any other fabrics. I couldn't use it with all wonky edges like that so,
I trimmed it using my ruler and cutting mat as a guide. Actually as you can see I used two rulers as the improv was longer than the length of one ruler. I lined them up with the markings on my big cutting mat. Using two rulers I could cut as far up as I could then slide the first ruler up to the top holding the second one steady to keep it in the right position, then just move the second one to the side so I could finish the cut.
and I trimmed all four sides squaring it up.
This was the finished result, 21 inches wide and just over 32 inches long. The size isn't vital, as long as it extends the width of a standard width of fabric is it's wide enough for the quilt back.
Then I added a piece top and bottom. I cut a 20 inch length and halved it so I had two pieces 20 inches long by about 22 inches wide after removing the selvages, then I just trimmed them straight.
Next it was preparing the rest of the back. Baby was relegated to the floor and I lifted the platform she sits on to make a lovely big cutting surface.
First I took my length of fabric which I had already cut to about 64 inches, long enough for the back of circles. I folded in half and the in half again matching the selvages and making sure it was folded straight.
If you haven't done this before it's really important to feel right the way along the fold line to check there are no ridges and that all the layers are lying straight, I can't emphasise this enough.
Again using the lines on the cutting mat as a guide, both horizontally and vertically, I cut the fabric through all four layers of fabric (you need to press harder than normal).
I cut it off centre, about 15 inches from the right side as I think it looks more aesthetically (been saving this one) pleasing than cutting it down the middle.
So all it needed was to stitch it either side of the panel, and......
this is what it looks like after pressing the seams, I like to stitch and press the narrow side first, just because it seems easier to manipulate the weight. It's upside down as the panel will be on the right nearer the top, it was always my intention for it to be higher at the top than the bottom. Now all it needs is........
for me to trim the excess fabric. I lined the ruler up with the seam lines so I could cut it straight and it's easier doing it on the floor. Good job I could just use one of my smaller cutting mats, this is the first one I ever bought, it's well over ten years old.
So, not as much sewing as last week but I am well pleased with what I did, such a relief and no I haven't layered or quilted it, I was too busy reading I told you.
I got something wonderful in the post this week, more than one thing, but I've ran out of time, sorry. I'll show you what I got next week and with a bit of luck I will have made more progress on circles, we live and hope.............
With Smiles from,
Linking up with:
Wednesday Weight Loss
Can I Get Whoop Whoop
Needle and Thread Thursday
Lisa in Port Hope hosting TGIFF
Finished or Not Friday