Wednesday, 16 April 2014

WIP Wednesday - Guild sewing

So on Saturday just gone we had our first Leeds MQG sit and sew day. I was really quite excited for this, as 6 hours uninterrupted sewing is something completely unheard of around here. I do make time to sew, as Lisa pointed out how else would I get through almost a whole bottle of Flatter in a month, but it is hours grabbed here and there during nap time and in the evening and generally when I *should* be doing something else. So yep, this was going to be a treat and well worth lugging my huge sewing machine to Leeds for!

I took some time deciding what project to take with me. I wanted to work on something exciting so decided to break open a new quilt project. I had bought a layer cake of Hello Luscious from Pink Castle fabrics ... just about 2 years ago. I had also bought a Dottie quilt pattern, perfect for layer cakes, from Cluck Cluck Sew. I even had set aside a border print. And then this project sat, and sat and sat, I didn't even take the layer cake out of the package.

So I decided this would be a good, compact and handy little quilt project to take with me. No need to pull yardage from my stash. I chose some Moda Bella Feather as background fabric and chopped it up, then packed that along with all my sewing paraphernalia. Late on Friday evening I though it might be a good idea to check through my layer cake. The last layer cake I opened had a couple of miscut squares, plus the pattern required 42 pieces so I decided to count. Pulled out a textured solid square that read as white and replaced it with a square of my border fabric.

And realised I wasn't totally in love with the prints :-(

Back when I bought this I didn't know about the awesome that is the United Notions website and so had bought it without checking out the whole line. I liked the colours together and it looked nice and bright. And when it arrived I thought the top print was pretty. So didn't look any closer.

This is maybe the issue with impluse buying and hoarding fabric. I didn't quite appreciate what I was buying. I wasn't as interested in fabric designers and collections as I am now and I wasn't so sure of my tastes. I do like crisp prints and bright, saturated colour. This is kind of muted and, dare I say, a bit chintzy for my liking.

Anyway it was too late to come up with a plan b (and anyway I had already added it to my Q2 FAL list!) so I pressed on.

Guild day was so great. We meet in The Arch cafe in Leeds, a lovely venue with fab food and coffee too. So many people I wanted to chat to, but this was my uninterrupted sewing day!! I got on with cutting my layer cake. And cutting, and cutting, and cutting. Because as well as not looking at my fabric I hadn't read my pattern. I got so much less done than I had expected!! But as always with piecing, it seems to take ages then suddenly starts flying together and after a couple more evenings work I have my rows all ready to be sashed together tonight.

And now the blocks are together, it is growing on me again. I love that about piecing. Chopping up and sewing together fabric can change it so much. The individual is never representative of the whole. In this case I definitely love the look of the collection all together more than each individual print - although there are some lovely ones in there.

I am particularly pleased with this (unintentionally) fussy cut bloom.

I really need to think about how to get the most out of my guild sewing days. I don't think I pitched it quite right this time. It was great to have a new project to get my teeth into, but I wanted to chat too! And see what others were doing, and learn from them. Lots of people took longstanding projects that they never quite get to at home. And many people were handsewing, leaving them free to be sociable at the same time. Tackling my Skill Builder BOM could tick both of those boxes, I think. I realised later that I have never sewn anywhere but at home, in my own space, and it was strange not to be doing so. And there was limited space too, of course, again not something I am used to. I did take along my Sparkling Cider quilt too, and spent some time handsewing the binding while we went through the Guild agenda, and was really pleased I had done so. This still isn't done, although I did get a little done today while supervising playdoh during the small one's nap.

How do you get the most out of group sewing sessions? How do you hit balance the between getting things done and gaining from others? What would be your preferred kind of project to take? Let me know, I am interested to hear. This is going to be a monthly event from now on - so exciting!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced!


  1. The one and only time I sewed in a group (FMQ for the Terrified day course), I spent most of it talking to other people, laughing and eating. My quilting skills are far the worse because of it! I'm not sure sewing is a group hobby! Fabric shopping, cake consumption and beverage drinking on the other hand…. x

  2. I never been into sewing session. It sounds interesting but I have no idea what I would take :-) Sorry.

  3. I am using Hello Luscious charm parks in one of my long term WIPs but I love anything Basic Grey do so if you find any spare not to your taste you know where I am ;) I very rarely like the whole of a fabric range though, for example I look at a lot of AMH fabrics and think WTF, but the quilts made from the whole range are really awesome!

  4. I go to sew days and sew retreats as often as I can. My favorite projects to do are those that I consider easy mindless sews. I don't normally take things that require concentration because I am too busy getting distracted. I have done lots of scrap quilts where I just sew squares together. Lots of times this is only worked on at the sew days Even though all that sewing times seems like you will get so much done. It never happens and that's ok, it is so much fun to sew with others and chat and all that needs to be enjoyed. Have fun!

    1. Hmm I didn't get an email about this comment for some reason :-/ that is super helpful, thank you. Mindless sews makes sense. For me that is mostly quilt binding. Maybe I need to get some quilts ready to finish for next time!

  5. I too try for mindless quilt projects, at least moderately so. I try to make up kits for myself ahead of time so that I don't have to spend most of my time waiting for my turn at the ironing board and cutting table. And the first time i did that, I RAN OUT of things to work on! So now I take two more kits than I think I need. They are ongoing charity projects, so if they don't get opened they go into the box for the next sew day or retreat.

    I have some friends who take four or five quilts waiting for the hand stitching part of binding. They get to crow about how many they finished at the retreat.


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