zondag 29 mei 2016

The Splendid Sampler™ - blocks 26, 27 and 28, learning a lot!

In each of these 3 blocks I did something I never did before. So I'm doing what I set out to do in joining the The Splendid Sampler™ : have fun and learn new skills.

Block 28, "Stitching Fashion", had me doing intricate, figurative paper piecing for the first time. It didn't come out perfect (I printed it too small, so I had to add some background, and the waist of the skirt and the bodice don't quite line up), but I'm very pleased with the end result.

28 Stitching Fashion

For block 27, "Sewing Machine", I decided not to hand appliqué. Instead I tried something new. I used machine applique with the stitch for hemming. At least I think that's what it's used for. It's the one where your machine makes 4 or 5 little straight stitches, followed by one to the side (like a single zigzag). The end result is a bit like feston- or blanket-stitch.

27 Sewing Machine

Finally I made my first ever Dresden plate. Like for block 28 and 27, I'd printed my templates too small, but since it's appliqué, I decided it didn't really matter and made it anyway. I used the same stitch to applique it to the background and then trimmed the thing off center! So I added a trim all around to center the motive. I also went for a simple Dresden, without the antennae in the design. Since I'm new to Dresden plates, AND the whole thing was smaller (so more difficult to sew accurately) than the design, I thought it would be okay to simplify things a bit for myself.

26 Dreaming of Dresden
Blanket stitch applique

Another view of my new technique.
 Finally, I just want to mention my Splendid Sampler Sheet again. It's just a list of all the blocks and room for me to mark which ones I have downloaded, cut, pieced, sashed and blogged, but for me it took the stress out of "lagging behind".  With a move at work, colleagues on sick leave, children with chicken pox, a trip with the band and lots of fun things to do in the garden now spring is finally here, I have fallen behind with my blocks. In itself this did not bother me, but I found that I was getting stressed from not knowing what to do next. Just the question "Which block should or could I make next?" made me break out in a sweat. Now, I just start with a look at my Splendid Sampler Sheet, decide what to work on depending on my time and fancy, and feel satisfied checking off the next box and looking at all those checks for all the work I've done! I know it's probably ridiculously OCD for some, but it works for me. And today (rainy Sunday, nowhere to go) I got to make 9 checks!

I may be 7 blocks behind, but look at all those checks for everything I have done!

maandag 23 mei 2016

Eerste pioen

Het is volop lente in de tuin!

Ah, die geur, die kleur, die zachte bloemblaadjes!



Een van mijn favorieten, is spontaan opgedoken in de voortuin.

Pioenen hebben de mooiste knoppen!


Andere hoek

Mijn vetplantjes zijn nieuw, sinds vorig jaar september.

Ze lijken nu pas echt op hun plooi te komen.

Sommige maken kleintjes!

Hiermee begon het: krijtrotsen van de Seven Sisters en een paar gekregen plantjes.

The Splendid Sampler™ - Family Stars and two mistakes

I finished another block, so I'm only 8 blocks behind now...
I also made two mistakes. One in sashing, and one in piecing,  grrr!

Family Stars

See how those two blocks almost mirror each other color-wise? Not good!

I don't mind the small non-matching in the waist on the right (I might embroider a flower there to camouflage the flaw), but it only measures 6 inches...

... because my print only measures 6 inches! Forgot to check the printer setting...

donderdag 12 mei 2016

The Splendid Sampler™ - four more blocks and a system.

I've been busy doing other things, and so have fallen behind on my Splendid Sampler™ blocks. In itself this doesn't bother me, I sew when I like, and know I will catch up again, but I found myself worrying about the Splendid Sampler a lot. Thinking "which blocks do I still have to do?", "what should I do first?", "how many colored and how many white backgrounds do I have now?". So I set up this little system:

my "system" is just a piece of paper, but it works.
 I made a table where I write the name of each block as it comes onto the site. Then I tick of the box for having copied it into my notebook, for cutting, for piecing and for sashing the block. I added a "blogged" mark in front of the number for when I've blogged it and I keep track of how many white and colored background blocks I've made (I need 50 of each). It makes working on the Splendid Sampler more relaxed: I just sew, I don't spend as much time figuring out what I could be working on.
20 - Nature's Walk

21 - Sweet Candy

15 - Family Affair

19 - Measure Twice, Cut Once!