25 April 2021

Waiting for borders

I'm a little late in posting a photo of my String Tulip quilt,
 you can see that there are no String Tulips here, I decided to go with
a favourite fabric of mine and fussy cut and collage, the result of all the fussy cutting
resulted in tendonitis! After a break of a few days things
have eased up so it's back to the machine a little at a time.

 Two borders will be sewn on over the next day or so and then I can say
that is a finished top, even though I may be lagging behind.


10 April 2021

Month 3 of String Tulip QAL: Finishing the Top

 Yikes! I almost forgot to post here, too. This month contains lots of photos about finishing the top so here's a link to my other blog with all the directions and photos.

String Tulip QAL

Speaking of photos, many are starting to appear here and around the internet as quilters work out their own versions. Some people changed the colors or types of strings they used for ESS blocks. Some designed their own tulips. Many are taking the ideas and mixing them up in new ways. Take a look at previous posts here and on Instagram with #AHIQStringTulipQAL.

I enjoy seeing the many creative ways quilters improvise. And I'm delighted this QAL has encouraged several people to try something new - always a bit scary. Congratulations to everyone.


05 April 2021

FORTY-SIX - an Update

You might be wondering why this photo
 of Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop is leading this post.

They popularized a song - 
one that our boys learned in Scouts
and still sing fragments of today.

Maybe you know this one?

". . . This is the song that never ends.
It just goes on and on, my friend.
Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was.
And, they'll continue singing it forever, just because
This is the song that never ends . . . "

(you can hear the melody by clicking HERE
if you don't already know it)

The words of that song pretty much sum up the way 
the current AHIQ challenge has affected me.

It would have been so simple to follow
Ann's how-to posts and make a quilt like hers - 
but "oh, noooooooo."

I wanted to make one of my own design.

Three months later and the words
of that song keep running through my head.


I know full well that I'm trying too hard
and have fallen far into the dreaded comparison trap.

I NEED to stop pondering, 
DO something,
and quit worrying whether or not
my SOMEthing is the PERFECT thing.

I'm sure many of you have been in this same spot . . .

So THIS is what I am doing . . .

I'm narrowing up the bias-cut stem strips 
because they were just too clunky-looking.

There are twenty tulip blossoms so I've chosen
twenty different greens for the leaf pairs.

I've added one of Marilee's numbered pins
to the center of each tulip so that
when I take the blocks down to machine appliqué,
the current layout won't be lost.

Amazing what happens when you quit
trying to make a masterpiece and just MAKE.

03 April 2021


My first posting here! This is my take on Tulip Strings. My first string project; it went fast once I got into the swing of it. I'm not a fan of appliques so I pieced a few instead. I made it small so it could be a wall hanging. 

01 April 2021

Strings galore - but still not enough!

Just to show I'm doing something towards the challenge! 

None of the blocks are joined so far; I keep rearranging them. I've trimmed all these to 5.5", following Ann's example.

I'm still thinking about the tulips, but most of the pieced tulip patterns I've seen have silly little little leaves at right angles to the stem, which tulips don't. So it looks like I'll be piecing the flowers to my own design on my appliqué sheet - it's about time I used it.

I have an idea for the layout of the centre piece, but it's too nebulous to describe. However it will also require the appliqué pressing sheet.

Keep safe and healthy

Happy sewing


23 March 2021

Slow but Steady

 A quick update on my String Tulip QAL progress,

the three blocks on the RH side are not sewn together 
right now, but will be tomorrow along with the remaining three

Mine are a smidgen smaller in size than Ann suggested, purely accidental
in that I trimmed a little too much off when squaring up,  I'm calling it a happy accident!

The tricky part for me will be the tulips, I tend not to hand applique if I don't have to do so,
I prefer to use the sewing machine so I need to think how I'm going to
'attack' the next part of the QAL.

18 March 2021

Trying to Catch Up

I forgot to post a pic of the final result from the Hourglass Prompt. Using the hourglass units for the sashing turned out to be a fun play on connections. So interesting to see the unit totally change in looks and effect simply by placing them side by side. 

Hourglass prompt

I got very distracted, obviously, by the applique tulips and almost lost sense of what the prompt was all about in the first place! So happy that I was able to find a good place for these units though and not let them just languish untouched in the orphan totes. There's something niggling away at the back of my brain with the idea {or two} of another hourglass try, so don't be surprised if they come up again in the future. There's something very intriguing about the almost deceptive simplicity of this particular unit that makes me think it's a little under-appreciated!

Positive Thinking prompt

This other challenge has been tough to get focused on. I'm starting to think the reason was because I ended up going in a different direction for the background of the middle three words. Then I couldn't get a handle on how to bring it all together in a good way. The other day I brought the parts and pieces out and just MADE myself finish up the letters. Just said, 'That's it! Not going to work on anything else until something on this project is resolved!' Finished sewing the word 'willingly' together and then decided to use the original cream shirting print for sewing the last three words. It was touch and go, with barely enough left to get them made. Did you notice they are mostly skinny letters? 

For now, the goal is to get the words sewn into a background fabric and have one solid piece to work with. There's simply not enough of any shirting fabrics to use for that purpose, so I brought in a bit of yardage from the stash totes that I thought might work. Ta da! It's stripes! So complicated and yet, not at all. All in perspective, right? I'm cutting it all on the vertical stripe and letting it match up {or not} where the pieces join together. Then, and only then will I figure out the possible addition of applique, borders etc.