Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Some selfless sewing - for once

I'm a dreadfully selfish sewer. I openly admit that. I get precious little sewing time and prefer to spend it making things for myself and my children. I don't take commissions. I rarely make gifts. I loathe functional sewing - mending and hemming and other such torture. I'm even kicking myself for deciding to make my eldest some mouse ears for World Book Day this week. I have so many other projects I'd rather work on. Yep, selfish.

The exception is Siblings Together and our lovely bee. I thoroughly look forward to whipping up a block each month knowing it will always be super sized, straightforward and effective. This month's block for Carol was no exception and a fun return to my machine after a week off.

The block pattern yielded some extras too which Carol is planning to make into a second quilt for the charity. I love the fabric which is Storybook by Kate and Birdie for Moda.

Meanwhile a super selfless sewer, Alison of Little Island Quilting, has put a call out for quilt blocks. Her Soy Amado project. She is hoping to make 70 quilts to send to a home for former street children in Mexico City. These children have absolutely nothing nice of their own at all. She's asking simply for 12.5" blocks quilted onto batting and backing. I have been thinking about rounding up my orphan blocks for her, or possibly whipping a couple up from stash.

However as well as being selfish I am also something of a completer finisher so I don't actually have that many random blocks lying around. There was one fugly orange churn dash made as an initial test block for my own Siblings Together bee month.

And then these.

At the end of 2012, expecting a baby early in 2013, I signed up to a couple of block of the month (BOM) clubs. I didn't think I'd have time for much sewing with a new baby but thought a couple of blocks a month would be nice. And it was, for the first few hazy weeks, but then I discovered that actually the baby would sleep happily in a sling while I sewed and so I cracked on with other projects. And the BOM clubs fell by the wayside. One is the Pile O Fabric skill builder which I am determined to press on with because it teaches me so much. And I still want to learn how to FMQ.

I know, it's the worst photo ever. It's dark and these colours just don't take well. Apologies. You get the idea.

The other was Don't Call Me Betsy's lucky stars BOM club. 12 paper pieced stars. I love foundation paper piecing. I chose some awesome fabrics - a rainbow bundle of Sketch along with the Mama Said Sew sewing guide print of which I bought many yards. I enjoyed making these blocks (except the pink and purple one because I hate the colours and the points suck). But - meh. I fell behind, lost interest, couldn't visualise all the blocks together, it all felt like a chore. And so when I thought of blocks for Soy Amado I thought of these. Then shamefully struggled to let them go.

DD1 has claimed the pink and purple botch job for yet another a cushion. But the others ... a mini quilt perhaps?  I could perhaps make another to balance it more....

Truly, I've been thinking these thoughts for many, many months and done nothing. This has been on my WIP list for the best part of year and, dare I say it, was rapidly becoming a UFO. And how I hate UFOs.

I asked the question on Instagram but as soon as I posted I knew the answer. These blocks are not getting any love here, quilt them up and send them somewhere that they will.

So I did.

Super quick straight line quilting with pale grey Aurifil 50wt. I marked one wonky line then quilted the others a presser foot plus a bit away. Long stitch length and super fast, all 3 were basted and quilted in less than 45 minutes and in time for the school run. One is a bit shy of 12.5" which I didn't realise till I came to trim it, but I hope Alison can make it work. I'll get them to the Post Office this week.

If you'd like to clear up some UFOs or lonesome blocks or even make some fresh ones for a great cause there is more info here and in the Flickr group. It feels pretty good to be giving something back.


  1. It feels good to get rid of stuff doesn't it? Alison has had all my extra stuff. I thought I was a completer finisher too but I'm not as it turns out! Love your skill builder blocks. x

  2. I wish I was more of a selfish sewist, I try to do too much for other people and end up not doing my own stuff, which can be frustrating, however, I do have a few orphan blocks i could donate, if I could just find a spare hour or so! Well done on getting these made :o)

  3. Nothing wrong with being selfish in the sewing department! And you're not really - your blocks you are sending away are amazing! I love all of your work x

  4. Thank you for your lovely comment Natalie. I can't reply by email as you are a no reply blogger but I hope you see my comment here :-)

  5. How have I only just found your blog??? So, instead of spending my lunchtime booking campsites and ferry crossing for our holiday, I've sat and read through your blog instead - yay!!!!

    I'm totally with you on the Skill Builder BOM, lovely to meet you in Leeds.
    Sarah x


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