Thursday, March 30, 2017

Finish-A-Long 2017 Tutorial

Welcome to the tutorial week of the Finish-A-Long!
If you haven't already, check out the other posts by the lovely ladies of the Finish-A-Long!

I decided my tutorial would make use of the many charm squares I have *ahem* hoarded over the years.

My Tutorial: A Polaroid Mug Rug/Snack Mat

Snack close up

I've liked the Polaroid blocks I've seen up and about the internet.  (I know there was a swap of them a while back.)  I don't have a plan to make a quilt of them immediately, but I have some cool charm squares from a fussy cut charm swap.
I wanted to use a couple of them to make something I could use every day.
Mug rug/snack mat it is!

I took the tutorial on making the tiny versions and amped it up for a bigger size. (Aside:  Karen over at Capitola Quilter is AWESOME, and I have been lucky enough to meet her in real life.)

For each mug rug, I used a 5 in charm square, 2 strips of white Kona measuring 2 in by 5 in, 1 strip of white Kona measuring 2 in by 8 in, and 1 strip of Kona measuring 3 in by 8 in.  I also used a piece of batting, approximately 9 in by 10 in.  For the back, I used some Kona charcoal, a piece about 8.5 by 7 in.

First sew the side strips on.

Then sew the top and bottom strips on.  (If at this point, you want to make a GIANT polaroid block, just add some darker sashing to make the polaroid "pop" out.)

I attached the batting by sewing around the "picture" part of the Polaroid.

Polaroid with Batting

Then I trimmed up the Polaroid block (with batting attached) to 8.5 in high and 7 in wide.

I sewed the back on (by placing right sides together and sewing around it, leaving a 2 in opening for turning) with a 1/2 in seam.  Hint:  Don't do what I did and leave the opening on a corner.  Your corners will look better if you leave the 2 in opening in the top or the bottom middle instead.

Clip the corners, turn inside out, and press.

Then sew a 1/8" topstitch and you're done!

finished Polaroid

If you wanted to be extra awesome, you could embroider a message on the Polaroid before you sew the front to the batting!

I hope you liked the tutorial!  I will probably make a mondo polaroid block quilt at some point, since I can't bear to have all my 5" fussy cut charms live in a box forever. *cough* hoarder *cough*

Don't forget to link up your finishes to the Finish-A-Long here and start drafting your next quarter's list!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Finishes, Quarter 1, Finish-a-Long 2017

My original list was CRAZY.  You can find it here.
I didn't get as much as I wanted to get done actually expect an even bigger, crazier list for Quarter 2.  I get to go to Stash Bash, so hubris says I'll assume I can get more done there than I actually can.

I'm just going to list the number on my original list for my actual finishes.


9.  Do.Good.Quilt, Serenity Circle, slab quilt  (It's the Jan quilt for my circle.)
slab quilt for Serenity

10.  Timber Quilt
Timber quilt

21.  Framed quilt
Framed quilt

28.  churn dash for hospice
Churn Dash quilt

45.  Infinity Scarf Project
infinity scarves



5.  Pussy hats
Pussyhat project
pussy hats

The truth is that I have five more quilts basted (3 awaiting machine quilting, one awaiting hand) and two more in mid process of hand quilting.

I keep breaking my walking feet.  Seriously, I know I quilt A LOT, but the spring seems to go pretty quickly.  Anyone have advice/a supplier/a tutorial on how to repair one?

Seven is not stellar for me, BUT I have a bunch ready to whip out next quarter, and spring break is nigh!  I also did a crap load of BOM blocks AND a ton of costumery for my class play, so I'm counting it all as a win.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Quarter 1 Finish-a-long Link up Time!

It might be hard to believe but we have made it to the end of the first quarter of the 2017 FAL and it's time to link up your Q1 finishes! In addition to completing all those UFOs on your lists, we hope you have taken the first 3 months of 2017 to get to know all of our new hosts! The 2017 FAL has a community of bloggers across the world jointly hosting the FAL. Our hosts are:
  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland
Social Media Director
  Before you link up, let's give a huge thank you to our fantastic sponsors:  
For the 2017 FAL, we continue tutorial week. Here is the schedule so you can visit them all:
The 2017 Q1 link for your finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs - you only need to link on one blog for your finish to appear on each blog. Link-up "rules":
  • Add one link for each finish. If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately. Please, only one link per finish, as your link is an entry into the randomly drawn prize draws.
  • Please ensure that the photo or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original list so that we can verify your entry (make sure it is from the appropriate quarter).
  • Please become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others and comment. We all need encouragement so let's applaud each other. The 2017 FAL Facebook page is here and follow us on Instagram @finishlong and tag your photos #2017FALQ1yourname (substitute your name), this makes it easier for us to match your finishes with your lists.
  • Our hosts will also link their finishes to share in the community, but they are not eligible for any of the prizes.
The Q1 Finishes link will stay open from now thru April 1, 2017 - link up your finishes early and if you have a last minute one, add that one later so you don't miss out. The prizes will be awarded as soon as we can verify all the entries and do the drawings. We will post the winners on each hosts' blog.
And don't forget to start making your Q2 lists as the Q2 list link opens on April 2nd.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Finish-A-Long 2017: Meet Abigail

Back in November I was surprised and delighted to open an email from Rhonda inviting me to become one of the global host of the 2017 Finish-A-Long. There are 13 of us in all and over the course of the year we'll be introducing ourselves. Nicky from Mrs Sew and Sow started off in January followed by Jess from Elven Garden Quilts in February and now in March it's my turn.

Hello, my name is Abigail and I blog here at cut&alter. I found the FAL late on in 2015 and couldn't believe how it motivated me to get things finished. I have always been a list maker and the FAL is no exception. My lists are somewhat larger then most people's, although I have certainly seen longer as well! I know that I will never get everything ticked off within the current Quarter but it does give me 1) accountability 2) a reason to tidy up and reorganise my studio each quarter to find those projects which have been languishing on shelves and at the bottom of boxes 3) it brings projects to the front of my mind and a lot of work goes on in my mind even before I get in the studio 4) if a project has been rolled over just one too many times I can then see that it's probably never going to get finished and I can pass it on (does that count as a finish?!!). Last quarter I had a particularly low completion rate and this one is shaping up to be the same but I have a few finishes and some projects are considerably further on!
A current quarter finish
I live in Stratford upon Avon with my husband, who is from New Zealand, our two daughters and a black and white cat. We have been back in the UK for just over 4 years and prior to that we lived in Otaki, New Zealand. We have been called gypsies before now due to our constant moving, and usually not within the same area. This is the longest time I have ever lived anywhere! (Can you keep a secret? Maybe, just maybe, my feet are itching again!) Some of the other places I have lived are: Nottingham, Leamington Spa, Sydney, Wellington, London, Waihi Beach, Cambridge, Tauranga, Rowington, Shirley, Waitarere Beach and Feilding. The whole idea of living here (the UK) or there (NZ) was the inspiration for this quilt. I was delighted when Should I Stay or Should I Go? was awarded Best Piecing in Show last November in Bristol!

Up until January this year I home educated the girls, which was brilliant. I always felt honoured to have as much time with them as I did and whilst it certainly was tiring and had its moments we had a lot of fun along the way. They have now started school, primary and secondary, and have settled in really well. We have a new rhythm in our lives which, for me, is taking some getting used to. I thought I would have all the time in the world, that I would have time to sew, quilt, go to the gym, make lovely healthy food ...... oh silly, silly me!! You don't actually get much done in the six hours between 9am and 3pm do you?!! One thing I have done is learn to do improv curves - I love them!!!!

I have been sewing since a child but, like a lot of women, I came back to sewing when my first child was born, although I had been making curtains for our houses every time we moved! Little children's clothes are such a pleasure to make - fitting is not important, they don't use much material and they are quick (although when sleep deprived they sometimes didn't seem to be that quick). I had made a puff patchwork quilt for my eldest soon after she was born and then made a simple square quilt from vintage Laura Ashley soft furnishing fabric from our various childhood houses. These two quilts are well loved and well worn!

It wasn't until 2010 that I 'learnt' to quilt. I took a 6 week night class in NZ and a passion was born. I joined my local quilt club and I listened to the other ladies of my group talking about all their WIPs. I was horrified! I vowed that I would never have projects sitting on my shelf - I would start and finish one before embarking on another. Oh how naive I was! Needless to say I have lots of projects on the go all of differing ages. Last year I finished my most long standing project - ANZAC Hearts, it was on my FAL2016 Quarter 2 list! This was a Bee quilt and I love it - luckily as much now as when I started it in 2010!

Back in 2015 I made the decision to purchase a longarm quilting machine and I totally love it!!! I bought a Handi Quilter Avante and it brings me a lot of joy. With the girls at home I did not have the time I would have liked for learning and practising but I am getting there. I have done a few customer quilts and hope to do more this coming year. Before then I have a backlog of my own tops that are waiting to be done. This was the first quilt I quilted on my machine ....

Wow - this has become a longer post than I thought. When I first sat down to write this I did wonder what I would write! So, here's a quick 10 9 other things about me to finish (I got stuck on No 10!):
1. I make quilts for Project Linus
2. I am a member of the Oxfordshire Modern Quilt Guild
3. I am left handed
4. At 25 I spent a week in Coober Pedy, having read about it as child of 12 - it was awesome!
5. I love salads
6. I have only ever spent one night in hospital and that was with my daughter when she was 3 and had to have her tonsils out
7. Both my children were born at home - one in NZ and one in UK
8. I will go to QuiltCon ..... one day!
9. I would love to go to Alaska

There you have it! Remember there's just a couple of weeks left for you to get your Quarter 1 list project finished. The link up opens on 26 March and will remain open until 01 April. Be sure to link up because there are amazing prizes to won (and I should know because I have won twice before!!) I look forward to seeing all the finished projects this quarter. x