Thursday, 16 January 2014

Starting a new course in machine piecing

I was so excited to start the machine piecing course today run by Sue from Busy Bees Patchwork It was great to see many of the people who had attended the initial hand sewing course.
The basis of the class is to make a medallion sampler and started today with basics such as rotary cutting and safety aspects as well as checking our machines could sew an accurate ¼" seam.

I had chosen the fabric at the end of last year. Since taking up quilting no trip away is complete without a fabric shopping session and so when my husband decided that we should go to Devon for my 60th birthday in October 2013 I decided that we should also go to visit the Cowslip Workshops in Launceston, Cornwall. We used a satnav (big mistake) and ended up down a rutted single track lane on the wrong side of Newhouse Farm where the shop and cafe are situated. After a phone call we backtracked and eventually found the right entrance to the farm. It was worth it. There is a wonderful fabric shop and studio for courses and a cafe with delicious food. A range of fabrics by Lynette Anderson called Wildflower Wood caught my eye.

Initial fabric selection
The photo is a bit dark as we had such low light levels this morning.
The very dark purple fabric at the bottom of the pile is the backing fabric, Marys Blender no.32034 by Mary Kovas for Windham.  I chose Kona Solid Snow again as the background fabric.

Once I cut the first block though I could not put my finger on why I was not happy with it. I tried various layouts then decided to try a pale grey, Spectrum Plain Slate patchwork fabric, instead of the Kona snow.
I think it works well now as all the prints have some grey in and it provides more of a contrast to the pale cream background of the small prints.

The fabrics with Kona Solid Snow top right

Spectrum Plain slate top right. Decision made and more fabric ordered!

I think I'm going to have to think about a photography course soon. It's so difficult to get the lighting right for the photos at this time of year and I'm a bit of a point and shoot girl really at heart.

Do other people dither about fabric choice like this? I ordered 3 different fabrics for the backing of my first quilt until I was satisfied. Making mistakes with fabric choice and ordering is an expensive business. Will it get easier?? please say Yes!


Update: Final, final fabric choice and layout for first block:

I decided to add in some Oakshott in Monza (the shimmery purple at the top). I think it provides a better contrast.


  1. Fabric choice will come with experience. It is better to choose fabrics in person in a shop than over the internet.Love your choice though and you will love the course. That's how I got hooked on patchwork doing the hand and machine sampler courses many moons ago

  2. Thanks Gina. Enjoying your blog.


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