Tag Archives: work in progress

Wednesday: works in progress …

With the children back at school, I’ve tidied and reorganised the workroom, and taken stock of the various works in progress. I’ve been a bit of a butterfly over the holidays, so I’ve got several pieces on the go at once …

There’s the elemental quilt: ‘earth’ is finished, and ‘air’ is started – but I’m having a dither about what stitch to use, so it’s sitting to one side for a moment …

And there’s the Aqua boro quilt, which is calling me to finish it:

It will probably only stay on the hoop until I finish the diamonds in the centre … once I move outside of them, I think I’ll abandon it. I am pleased with the way the convention of stitches is reversed in this, with running stitch for decoration and cross stitch for hemming. The cross stitch is amazingly functional, in this context …

And, of course, there is the white pieces for the Embroider, Embellish, Create course … I’m happy with the stitching, but need to recover from the tailor’s chalk episode.


And then there’s the what-iffing rail … almost projects – ideas, sketches, beginnings, reworks – some of it may never become any more than this, some of it may become something else … I don’t know at this stage:


It is difficult not to feel overwhelmed, as though time is my enemy and that I have to rush through to complete, complete, complete.

But it’s not about volume, or quantity … it’s about working the piece through to its natural conclusion, and that can’t be rushed. Hand-embroidery is what I love most, and that takes time.

A time for each piece, and each piece in its own time.

image courtesy of Brad Vetter Design

Brick Wall Quilt Block

Started work yesterday on the first of the blocks for my project … Brick Wall (or Brickwork, or Old Garden Wall).

I’m going to need four little blocks to make up the ‘Trip Around the World’ pattern, and I’m working pretty small – each block is a titchy 15cm x 15cm, as the whole cushion is only going to be 30cm x 30cm.

Trusty ruler and scrap paper into action, to draft the pattern … with a little not-too-taxing maths thrown in to get scale and proportions correct.

I’ve numbered each of the blocks so I know what order to work in, and so I know where each of the different fabrics goes – the shading on the edges is so that I know where the join goes, so I don’t sit there at the end of the process scratching my head trying to remember what goes where 🙂

Time for a rummage in the scrap box … I’m having a real ‘colour’ phase at the moment, and the brief was hot, reds, oranges, with black contrasts, and I thought this selection fitted the bill pretty well …

From right to left:

1 – remnants of a dark crimson shot silk

2 – vivid orange indian calico with embroidered detail

3 – dark crimson indian cotton with embroidered detail

4 – remains of a silk dress left over from another project!

5 – red and black lining from a suit jacket

6 – dark crimson wool upholstery fabric – I like the colour, and though I like varying up textures, I’m suspecting that it’s going to be too heavy for this little piece … we shall see

On to the cutting and stitching … working from the centre outwards, cutting out the piece from the block draft, position on the fabric, cut fabric, allowing approx 1/2 cm seam allowance, baste over the block.

remembering to do nice mitreing in the corners …

Right sides together on the basted pieces, and overcast to join them together ….

I am handsewing everything, mostly because I enjoy the process of pulling needle and thread through fabric, and partly because it’s such a small block. It would be perfectly reasonable to use a machine basting stitch for the piecing, and join them together with a little zigzag … if I wanted to go faster, and the pieces were larger

It all joins up quite nicely, progressing in colour sections across the block …

And because it’s so small, it’s come together quite quickly … the first block is done:

The piecing papers and basting are still in place at this stage … they’ll come out later. A little unevenness on the bottom edge, but I’ve got enough in seam allowances to straighten that out when the papers come out.

And I was right to have reservations about that upholstery fabric … it’s far too heavy for this little block, and actually, the colour isn’t right either. That’ll be coming off this afternoon, to be replaced with … I’m not sure what, yet …

I’m off for another rummage through the scrap boxes to see what I turn up. I think it needs to be a cotton, or something of similar weight to the other fabrics, but we shall see what turns up 🙂

Now you show me yours!! Post a comment with a link to your block … can’t wait to see them 🙂