Sunday 21 October 2012

Smitten with Blitzen flimsy finish - Yay!

This post is brought to you through the power of Blogtoberfest 2012

Previously on Pings … Friday night, when last we met,  I was about to forsake the world of tech *gasp* to read my book.  Well, things started well … I indeed forsook the world of tech and started reading my book but then woke up in exactly the same position 6 hours later.

Pages I won’t have to re-read when I next pick up the book = 0.

*le sigh.

In brighter news, today I have been working on a quilt top with the 12 FQs of Blitzen that the lovely Nicole@ The Brighton Sewing Centre gave me … Don't worry, the winner of the giveaway still gets 12 FQs!


I love my Basic Grey Blitzen Giveaway even more because I get to play too! 

I picked this bundle because of the softness of the colours … the browns are delicious, It’s like a mint choc chip ice cream cone, really …


I have to say, this is not one of my favourite taste combos, prob due to overdosing on creme de menthe in my teens, but then I see a pic like this  and I think I may have to seriously check out this recipe from SprinkleBakes! ...


 Because life dictates that I am such an erratic stitcher, I don’t know when I’ll be sitting down in front of the machine again for any focused length of time, so I always end up trying some really complex piecing I’ve never done before.  

As I was choosing the bundle for us I knew I wanted to do a really simple square patchwork to let the prints speak for themselves. For the giveaway winner I wanted a line that could work on its own, for a quick gifty project.

Lots of the comments on the giveaway post have said you'd like to make a table runner, and really I think this line would work brilliantly for runners, placemats, bed runners, mug rugs, quilts, jim jams ... yeah, I'm smitten with blitzen alright ...

The greeny blue also reminds me of the colour of all our railings in Brighton … so it’s nice that one lucky winner will be getting a little bit of Brighton in more ways than one …

pic via

 First I split the bundle into darks and lights … ish … and first cut into 6.5” strips and then squares – it maximised my fabric use and minimised my fabric waste, and is also the width of my long ruler!

I added in 6 squares each of Elephant Poo brown (not sure that’s the official Kona colour) and what I think is Kona Aloe, it’s paler than Klona Ice Frappe … I’m saving that dark chocolate for the back … (top of next pic)


Then I used a kind of random Countdown “one from the top, two from the bottom please Bob” method and sewed them into 4 patches …

I now exclusively use Bottom Line polyester bobbin thread … it is super fine, 60 wt, strong as an ox, and cos it's so fine you get hours of sewing fun on each bobbin  - if you use it as a top thread too it really makes it easy to match points accurately for piecing or foundation paper piecing, because your seam allowances are so much more accurate ...

I know people are a bit meh about polyester threads, but this stuff, in my experience, doesn't hinder the old puckered comfy cosy quilt shrinkage thing at all.  Not one jot.

I used an Aurifil dark grey on the top, but I’m having trust issues with it at the moment. 

The last three spools of 50wt  I’ve bought have sheared off in the machine, crumbled when pressed, or knotted terribly when hand sewing my summer EPP, even after I resorted to beeswax  ... I've never had a problem with the promotional sample packs ... just sayin ... Bad luck I’m sure, but I’d rather keep an eye on it up top from now on, and not trust it in the bobbin.

Blitzen has a lovely soft handle, but I do recommend starching the life out of it for cutting and piecing, as that lovely soft handle creates eterno-fray.


I really didn’t want to think about placement too much, so I just looked at direction of print and some attempt at placement of prints in all positions, but to be honest, as I didn't do any of this on paper, I just went with the flow …

I pinned through the seams both sides to try and keep matchy … worked well!


I trimmed the 4 patches down to 12” squares … so satisfying!


A bit of a play with the four patch blocks …


I stitched the blocks into rows 4 x 5 … then laid them out for a final check before sewing the rows together.  

As I laid them out, and in the split second that I turned round to get my camera to capture the moment for blogsterity, my bastard cat who really just bites me and lives most of the time next door with a woman who smells of Players No. 6 and gin, swanned in, sucked the catnip mouse you can see in the top right of pic, and destroyed my layout.

Check out the attitude in this cat’s face (sorry Hadley)


So, I had to start again …


Then I had a little peek in greyscale … I wasn’t very happy about the first four L—> R in the third row, but what the heck … let’s be honest - I really wasn’t going to unpick anything at this stage unless there was a disaster …


Sod’s Law dictates that about 15 mins later I did actually have to unpick a whole row because it was RSU …

*le sigh, deux.

So, here is the main pieced part so far …

It was so wet and windy today it's a miracle I got this shot ... I honestly must have taken 25 pics before the gusts let up enough to capture it in its innate calmness ..

blitzen smitten flimsy

This is eventually destined as a lap quilt for a dear colleague who’s had a bit of a shit year  – without any additional sashing it measures 46” x 57.5” …

I’ve kept some print for the backing and perhaps cornerstone sashing, I’m not sure yet  …

I have half term reports to write, endless work to mark, and more undignified hospital shennanigans tomorrow … so I will return to this at some point before the end of Blogtoberfest!

I can thoroughly recommend this line though, it’s a joy to stitch …
I almost feel festive … just how I like it!

P1140487_thumb2_thumbSo, to be in with a chance to play with this little lot, you still have until the end of the month to enter the giveaway for 12 FQs of Blitzen from Basic Grey.

This giveaway runs for the duration of Blogtoberfest – until midnight 31st October UK time - I’ll announce the winner as close to November 1st as I can, to give you plenty of time to make a little something for Christmas.

International entries welcome!


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