Cats & Quilts - a match made in heaven... (except maybe those stubborn little clouds of fur that latch on to the fabric!)

Kitty Quote of the Day

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul. - Jean Cocteau

Saturday, June 8, 2013

On the PIECE Train.....

There are two facets of quilting that have been on my 'to do' list for the last two years (no I won't call them New Years Resolutions - after year two my failure rate was toooo high) and finally I am dealing with one of them.

1. Machine Quilting - watch, learn, practice & more practice - hasn't happened, still scared...
2. Learn to Machine Piece - do a quilt with no stitchery, that has some difficulty factor....ahhhh!

I have said before, I am a stitchery queen, I only do patchwork to hold my stitcheies together. This is true but illogical as I come from a clothes sewing background so I knew if I really tried I might be able to be a piecer. 

When I'm a big girl (no comments necessary - maybe I should say 'when I grow up' ) I want to be able to piece like our friend Sharon of Lilabelle Lane . Many of you are wonderful piecers I know & sorry I haven't acknowledged everybody but Sharon uses fabrics I swoon over so her projects always speak to me. Usually they say 'If you weren't so scared to cut up all that fabric stash and took a lot of care with your machine sewing, you could do this too!' Quilts can be so cruel!

So earlier this year on Facebook and Samelia's Mums Blog I saw the info to sign up for the Modern Blocks Quilt-a-long being hosted on the blog And Sew We Craft. The book that was being used I had recently looked at from the library so ordered it again to have a closer look. Some of the blocks looked a little scary, lots of pieces. The worst possible was the flying geese block. I've heard making those birdies is like herding cats so didn't want to get that one. 99 blocks in the book, what's the chance anyone will pick that one. So after careful consideration, I signed up.

There are 12 bloggers hosting the QAL and each month one picks the block and posts about making it. I like that, it gives me something extra to follow & seeing what fabrics they choose to use.

I decided to use my Secret Garden by Micheal Miller fabric. It's the stack in the bottom left in my header. I brought it for a similar QAL 2 years ago but it took about 8 weeks to be delivered and this was a block a week so by then I was so far behind I didn't join in. It is also a lot of big prints so I didn't know quite how to use them. Now I am jumping in with them & I have added in another grey and some bright red.

Finally the list of blocks came out - Month 1 - Follow The Leader - the flying geese block - ahhhhhh! I contemplated & then I cogitated and finally I cut some fabric. I then procrastinated until finally I started some sewing. Eventually I had 16 little single geese that looked quite good. Little did I know, its the putting them together, flying in formation that is the tricky bit. Needless to say, me & my quickunpick are better friends because of it but I am pretty happy with my first ever grown up block. I almost pulled it apart again but decided life's too short to worry about a millimetre here & there, it's even more accurate if you express it in inches!

I choose to start with my plain fabrics, something else new for me - geese, piecing, modern choices, no prints, no stitchery - I feel like I climbed Everest without the use of oxygen!

On the And Sew We Craft blog you can see examples of everyone's block. Note I am the last to upload my block.... but it's there proudly displayed.  The pic is a little dark as I took it at night, impatient to acknowledge 'I've done it!'

The June block was much more to my level of expectation and gave me a reason to use a big print. The Spool block was fun, colourful and fast to make.

On the And Sew We Craft Blog block 2 post there are 12 Spool Blocks displayed already, including mine.

I'm glad we started with the doosey of a block, I'm feeling slightly more confident now. The July block is called Megan's Star and will be posted by Anorina of Samelia's Mum. Two blocks in & I can't wait!

Maybe machine quilting will get some love in the second part of the year......

Happy (machine) stitching!
Tracee xx



  1. wow Trace i am so proud of you,they both look fantastic but i am really taken with your flying geese one,come on we will all do the happy dance.xx

  2. OMG even I am scared of Flying Geese! You make me blush too. I am so proud that you are giving it a go. You really will surprise yourself with what you can do. hugs xx

  3. Beautiful blocks. Well done and enjoy making some more from your book.

  4. WOW your flying geese block looks great Tracee. Good on you for making the blocks..
    What I need to learn is how to use my computer properly.. You are good at that.....

  5. Love the block, you have done so well with it..and I am with you on the machine quilting..I need lots of practice on something other than straight lines...

  6. Your blocks are amazing, good girl for banishing your fears lol

  7. Well done Tracee! Your blocks look great and good on you for stepping WAY out of your comfort zone. WAQA has some machine quilting workshops coming up in October with Mariya Waters that you might find helpful to tackle the other item on your to do list :). Tracy xx

  8. Your block looks fabulous. I want to learn machine quilting also.....I'll get around to it one day.

  9. Well done your fabric....and the blocks are fantastic..

  10. Great job Tracee! That flying geese block looks pretty scary, and you've nailed it!

  11. Yay Tracee!! You have done what I call 'put on your Big Girl pants'... I hope that this block-making experience is a fun one for you, no doubt you will learn much - both about sewing and about yourself!

  12. Your flying geese are fabulous. Poor little kitty in the first photo. Goodness me.

  13. Well done Tracee both your blocks look wonderful. I loved reading about your piecing journey too!! Wendy xx

  14. A lovely story of life's journey. Your geese look amazing. I wouldn't call myself a piecer or a stitcher but I get a lot of satisfaction from both even when my stitches are all different sizes and my piece points don't match up. I also have quite a few mug rugs with FMQ. They are great for practice. You should be feeling pretty pleased with yourself getting you blocks posted on time. I love the fabric range you are working with. The quilt will look fabulous.

  15. Congratulations for your new adventure !!! You can be proud of your work !

  16. Love your fabrics for the Modern Blocks Quilt Along! (Brilliant choice... I have used that fabric line and love it!) Your geese are so pretty , too!!
    I am looking forward to seeing them all...


  17. I love the center fabric on your spool block, and you definitely should stress about the extra millimeter here or there on the flying geese. You managed to wrangle them better than I did. That first block was quite the task!

  18. Love the way you cut your feature fabric for your spool block - looks great!

  19. Love love love your block. The center fabric is beautiful x


Thank you friends for leaving a comment on my post - love to get them! Tracee xx