I believe that social media can be a powerful tool for people who can use them properly. Me, I’m handicapped in a couple of ways, mainly due to the fact that (a) I don’t have anything original to contribute, which makes it less likely that any of my me-too posts will find a fan following and (b) I’m not actually a very social person, meaning I find it difficult to make small talk or fluently praise in public, therefore there will be no reciprocal chat or praise coming my way either. I honestly find it difficult to make my Twitter feed quantitatively different from my Instagram feed, for example. What could I possibly say in 140 characters that one picture cannot convey effectively?
Currently, however, I’m being dutifully prolific on Instagram, as I am doing two sew-a-longs (or block-a-longs). I blogged about the HST (half square triangle) sampler a couple of posts ago, and then a new one began on the 17th August, based on a book by designer Tula Pink, which has a hundred different 6″ blocks. The small size is daunting, but I hope to get them done. I’m always looking for external sources of discipline, as I have none within me. The pressure to post a block every day will hopefully make sure I make something every day.
I am a couple of blocks away from catching up with the HST sampler. Here is a collage below of the eight I finished since I last posted on the subject.
They are, clockwise from top left, Pointed, Intersection, Diagonal, Faceted Stripe, Starshine, Rockpool, Turnstile and Introspection.
I’ve been trying to stay faithful to the designer’s colour palette in this sampler, while in the 100 blocks, I have a different palette in mind and only hope I can be true to it over the entire sampler. Working from stash within the constraints of its size and my own fabric, colour and pattern prejudices means choosing a pleasing and effective range for each block is quite challenging. I have a feeling those of you who follow my progress must be quite familiar with most of my fabric stash already, seeing as so much of it seems to occur again and again in whatever I do.
I do think I am learning from my endeavours, even if in minute amounts given my mental capacity and aptitude. Old dogs and all that.
I joined up to flash my stash on Instagram with Rin over at Sew in Love for fourteen days. I admit it was tough choosing what to show sometimes, but it was a useful exercise, showing me how scared I am to use some of the fabric I have. You can check out all the stash that was shown over at that first link.
After having the discipline enforced of at least one photo a day, I needed some other impetus so I wouldn’t go into withdrawal. I decided to join in the Modern HST Sampler hosted by Alice Blyth. This is discipline of much more severity. Try as I might, I am not able to get the sizes right. I can get the points to point correctly, but the dimensions…
My quilting guru discouraged me from cutting larger pieces of fabric so I’d have more freedom to trim down. She’s right, but you know me, I’m the shortcut seeker(c). So I confess to having added a 1/4″ or so in a few of the blocks. More room to manoeuvre. If I were a proper student, I’d be studying the geometry thoroughly so I’d get it and not have to refer to pattern measurements.
I’ve done 6 of the 14 blocks released so far, and hope to catch up with all by mid-month, so that I can then begin the next Instagram/Bloglovin’ inspired QAL (quilt-a-long). This one’s even more ambitious, because it has 100 6″ blocks. (That’s like trying to weave with 60/2 or 120/2 yarn, which I haven’t come close to, yet.)
You can see the Modern HST blocks as they happen on my Instagram feed, but here’s a collage anyway.
From top left: Candy, Ninja, Lantern, Stepping Stones, Mountain and Formation. All from scraps. There’s no colour scheme at all, and I’m hoping the white will pull it all together. The one thing that I’m doing is to adhere broadly to the colours used by the designers.
From here on in it will only get tougher, since the HSTs are smaller. The margin for error is much less.
The sewing machine and I aren’t really friends, although we are on speaking terms. I’m happy if I can sew a straight seam most of the time. But I do prefer machine sewing to a needle and thread any day.
I have sewn some things for my daughter, and a few cushion covers etc. but it was a huge leap from those to quilting. The occasion of a friend having twin daughters seemed a good time to start, especially when someone pointed me to a shop in Chennai that sold jelly rolls, which I’ve been drooling over for ages but found too expensive to buy from abroad… In fact, I was so impatient to begin that while waiting for my order to be delivered, I went ahead and chopped up and sewed some fabric I had on hand.