Monday 30 January 2017


Since several years I have been aware of a supportive initiative happening around the internet, sharing encouragement to get those unfinished (craft) projects finished. Anyone having seen my sewing space (or any part of my house for that matter) knows I have many, MANY unfinished projects! Last year I finally was brave enough to join in. Not that you need any courage to join in, of course - they are a very friendly community! - but I needed quite some courage to actually list my unfinished projects, and even then I didn't dare list them all. If I had, the list would probably be so long that I wouldn't know where to start finishing any of it! It worked though, and I did finish a few projects!
We're NOT talking about the new projects I started in the mean time so my list is now probably (ahem) bigger than ever...

My most recent Finishalong finish
This year I am even more involved since I have been asked to be Social Media Director of the 2017 Finishalong, which means I keep their Instagram and Facebook page in (hopefully good) shape! Also, if you want your finish shared on the FAL social media pages, and you email them to 2017finishalong[at]gmail[dot]com this means they land with me (I may have to select which to post if there are a lot finishes). To be entered in the Finishalong, finishes shared on our pages still have to be linked up at the end of the quarter as well, of course.

Rhonda's [Quilt] Ramblings

The Finishalong (what)

The Finishalong (FAL) is a fun, low pressure online community event that allows you to make a list of projects that you have already started but not finished, and thus are hanging around in your sewing space - or anywhere really, in my case. At the beginning of a quarter you link up a list of "proposed finishes", the projects you propose to make in that quarter. During the quarter, you finish projects from your list, and post about each finish in turn. Then at the end of the quarter you link up each finish. Each finish linked up is an entry into a random draw for great sponsored prizes, too!
There is no penalty for not finishing something on your list.

Best of all, everyone involved encourages one another to get those projects finished!

One of my finishes from last year

The Hosts (who and where)

The full Finishalong rules, a button for your blog, and sponsor info can be found at any of the hosts' website.
After some years of being hosted by one person, the Finishalong has a global team of hosts since last year. Linking up can be done at any of these hosts.

This year the hosts are:
  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland
Social Media Director:

Schedule (when)

08/01/17 Q1 proposed finishes linky opens - find my Q1 list HERE
14/01/17 Q1 proposed finishes linky closes
26/03/17 Q1 finishes linky opens
27/03/17 - 31/03/17 Tutorial week
01/04/17 Q1 finishes linky closes

02/04/17 Q2 proposed finishes linky opens
08/04/17 Q2 proposed finishes linky closes
25/06/17 Q2 finishes linky opens
26/06/17 - 30/06/17 Tutorial week
01/07/17 Q2 finishes linky closes

02/07/17 Q3 proposed finishes linky opens
08/07/17 Q3 proposed finishes linky closes
24/09/17 Q3 finishes linky opens
25/09/17 - 29/09/17 Tutorial week
30/09/17 Q3 finishes linky closes

01/10/17 Q4 proposed finishes linky opens
07/10/17 Q4 proposed finishes linky closes
31/12/17 Q4 finishes linky opens
06/01/18 Q4 finishes linky closes

Previous Finishalongs:

2016 Finish-Along became International with 9 hosts including Rhonda's [Quilt] Ramblings


Thursday 12 January 2017

Plans for 2017 - Projects to Finish in Quarter 1

- to find out more about the Finishalong, see my Finishalong PAGE -

The first two items on my Finish-A-Long (FAL) list for the last quarter of 2016 have been finished. Lily Lapin, the elegant hare, has been made (see HERE) and dressed (HERE)! And my lovely Drunkard's Path quilt is also done (blogged HERE), so now I'm working on writing up the pattern for that...

Many of the other projects have stayed the same, so my list is not really very different from last time.

1. Feathered Star top

Yes, you guessed it, this still needs quilting!

2. Oakshott
Yes, still a little more quilting needed! Almost there now... Will I be able to get it off the list this time?

3. Hearty

The quilt top from (More) Hearty Good Wishes fabrics and sashiko-stitched linen is finished. It needs to be quilted and bound (not changed from last time).

4. Cubes quilt
Not worked on this at all in quarter 3, time to finish it though, it's so close (not changed from last time).

5. Curved improv

The top is (probably) finished, time to turn it into a quilt (not changed from last time).

6. Sunflowers

The blocks are together for years, I intended to quilt it for free motion quilting practice. The idea is that the riot of colours and shapes will not show up my lack of experience too much... (also not changed from last time).

7. Stack and cut log cabin
Another top ready for quilting (again, not changed from last time)!

There should be some potential finishes in this lot. If only I wouldn't get distracted by new and on-the-spur projects (like I did the last few months), I'd be fine to finish most of them! Especially if the snow keeps coming down like this (today, 2 pm):

Linking up with the 2017 Quarter 1 Finishalong at marcigirldesigns.

Stay warm, and keep sewing, of course!


Saturday 7 January 2017

One Eighth is a Challenge

Yesterday evening I finished this little quilt, and entered it into a challenge. Here is how that came about.

Recently Helen of Archie the Wonder Dog posted a tutorial as part of the 2016 Quarter 4 Finishalong on how to sew an accurate 1/4" strip. I remembered having done that technique before as part of my City & Guilds. But because my sewing machine foot is different, it worked out a bit differently for me.

Helen (or Archie as I tend to think of her/him - sorry, this can be confusing, I hope you don't mind, Helen) showed how you use your 1/4" foot to follow the previous stitching rather than the cut edge to get better accuracy when sewing a strip so narrow. Her foot has two 1/4" sides either side of the needle, but my foot has a 1/4" guide to the right of the needle, and a 1/8" guide to the left. This results in me having to turn my work with the cut edge to the left rather than to the right as usual.

Which made me think that if I turned it the usual way, I'd be guiding with my 1/8" side of the presser foot... with that a challenge was born!

And so I started to limber up with a test piece, sewing a 1/4" strip, soon followed by a 1/8" strip:

In the corner you can see what my 1/4" presser foot looks like.

In the mean time I was thinking of another challenge: Project Quilting.
This is a challenge where a theme is given after which you have a week (yes, only seven days!) to think up and finish - completely finish - a project within that theme. There is a link-up, and much encouragement online, all in all great fun. I have never done a challenge like that before, but had been thinking that this year I would take part if I could. The first theme was given on January 1st - Eight is Great. But what to make... it was already day 3.

Suddenly it clicked, 1/8" and eight are quite related... So I started with the initial idea to make eight blocks, each with eight insets of 1/8" wide 1/8" apart, made in different colours and the same white background. It would make a lovely small quilt.

I started and made my first block. Do you know how much time it takes to make a block with eight 1/8" inset strips, each 1/8" apart?! That makes fifteen 1/8" strips in a row! Sewing, pressing, trimming, sewing again... I had to rethink!

In the end I made four blocks, 6" unfinished (5 1/2" finished size), each with eight 1/8" inset strips in different configurations. Three blocks also include (a few or many) background strips of 1/8". After the first block with parallel strips, the other blocks evolved as I worked.

I auditioned sashing fabrics:

...had some setback... Yes, I unpicked that - twice - ...

...auditioned border fabrics...

...and after two days not doing much else, finished it off!

I turned the edges in and quilted it "in the ditch" around each block and between the sashing and the outer border. The edge has an extra line of quilting, and each block has a little quilting in it, though because of the size I felt it didn't need too much:

I even added an extra set of eight 1/8" strips into the border:

And there you have it, thanks to my youngest who held it up for photography with only a little persuasion...

Now all it needs is a space to hang!

Linked up (and you can vote for 10 favourite entries there, too) with Project Quilting challenge 1 of season 8 (1/8 again...) because

Eight is Great, One Eighth is a Challenge!

Name: "one eighth is a challenge"
Total size: 18" x 18"
Machine pieced, and machine quilted.
All cotton fabrics, cotton wadding, cotton thread.
Backing: calico (muslin in US terms), including a sleeve for hanging.
When: 5-6 January 2017
Where: Rural North County Cork, Rep. of Ireland

And I'm adding the Project Quilting button to the side bar so you can go and check it out for yourself...


A last finish in under the wire

As well as my Lily Lapin I managed to finish a second project from my Quarter 4 finishalong list! And just in time since the link up will close tonight!

My Drunkards Path quilt is finally finished, thanks to the support and encouragement of the Finishalong community and my Instagram friends.

I started this quilt cutting out the pieces while on holiday last July. I used the 3 1/2" Drunkard's Path templates from Pappersaxten which were ideal to cut up a charm pack. The templates are for a Drunkard's Path version where the curve ends up in the corners of the block. The template set have extra allowances so that it is easy to sew the curves together, and the set comes with an extra trimming template for accurate blocks. Perfect!

When all blocks were assembled and trimmed I tested a few layouts:

With help from some feedback on Instagram I decided on the last version and sewed it together.

Then auditioning border fabrics,

sewing the top together,

and auditioning quilting threads:

In the end I used many different threads in different areas.
I machine quilted this one, emphasising the shapes I associate with retro flowers. 

Not being able to find a suitable binding fabric in my stash, I decided to turn in the edges of the quilt, and quilted the last border areas after finishing the edges.

Finally today I was able to convince my youngest to hold up the quilt for some decent photographs. Pfft!

Linking up with the Finishalong at Archie the Wonder Dog.

And if you want to be encouraged to finish your WIPs (quilty or otherwise), do join us for the 2017 Finish-a-long at Rhonda's Ramblings and other hosts...