Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Blocks of Boredom: Patchwork on Location with Lelia

Hello lovelies! Well I haven't dropped off the edge of the world. Just not getting much access to computers out of work hours so you will have to put up with a fairly short post with blurry phone photos taken in my bedroom. *Ooh err, Missus*. I will be getting my ankles out next.


I am working away from home again as you know so to pass the time of an evening I have brought one of my vintage machines out of storage. After a good clean and a bit of TLC she is up and running again.  Meet Lelia 513, a Necchi machine built in Italy sometime between 1960 and 1971. 
I bought her from a bloke on Gumtree. His mother owned her from new (he said the 1960's) and had only just stopped sewing with her as she sadly went into a care home. He said that she would be glad that she is still being used and I am very glad to have her. She stitches beautifully, although is a little fast!


I have been sewing patchwork as I can cut out the bits when I have a little time and piece them together in dribs and drabs.


I am using this book, "Traditional Patchwork Quilt Patterns with Plastic Templates - Instructions for 27 Easy-to-Make Designs" by Rita Weiss. It is a very thin book, only 32 pages, but it has 5 pages of instructions in the front and the rest is a block layout per page, in black and white. I bought this from Amazon about 10 years ago. I know how to have a good time.


The templates supplied are on sturdy plastic with the 1/2-inch seam allowance marked. There are four pieces, A-D and combinations of these make up all the blocks. I have mislaid the one that I have been using already (C). I hope that I haven't binned it when I was tidying up. Typical me, I was so worried about losing it that I must have put it in  the black hole that is a "safe place". *sigh*


First up is the "Pieced Star", all in Amy Butler fabric that I bought years ago in John Lewis. I have loads of odds and sods of quilting cotton, strangely enough a lot of them in these sorts of colours. I normally use quilting cotton to line corsets as it is nice and sturdy and comes in some very funky patterns so lots of these blocks will be made from leftovers.

It is a wee bit wonky but I am unrepentant. This is neat work so waaaaaayyyy out of my comfort zone. Each block is 12-inches square (haha!) when sewn up, if you have cut/sewn nice and straight of course. I am hoping to make a decent sized quilt so will be making probably 24 blocks plus some sashing in between. I will probably have to order a few more bits of fabric to make up the numbers.
Anyway, I have a lot of wee bits sewn out so am going to try to do at least one block a week if possible.

Anyway, it is nice to spend a night or two doing something that is not science. My sewing room at home is still all in boxes and bags as I am decorating the rest of the house first. This might be the only sewing time I get for a while.

 Do you manage to find time for sewing or do you struggle to fit everything in? Do you find that sewing in little bits is more productive than one big splurge? Do you feel really guilty, like me, if you can't get things done?

Hope that you are having a great week!

Kxx



20 comments:

  1. I don't sew but I do have to fit my knitting in round other stuff - I suppose the good thing about knitting is that it's portable, so I can take it on the commute or do it while watching telly. Sewing with a machine takes much more space.

    But yeah, I know the guilt at not getting stuff done! I keep telling myself that everything begins with a stitch and ends with a stitch, and every single stitch in between is just as important, so if I only manage one stitch a day, that's enough.

    Your 'leftover' blocks are thrifty and attractive! Nice work.

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    1. What a brilliant attitude. I have really taken that to heart. I suppose that it is like the "many a mickle maks a muckle" saying. I used to take my knitting on the train. It was handy for something to do in the station and you are right, the great thing about knitting is that it is so portable. Xx

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  2. Your vintage sewing machine looks lovely and how great that it still workes! A quilt seems to be a good project, fitting well in your circumstances at the moment.
    I mostly sew at the weekends and like to sit down for several hours (6 hours last sunday...) and it only happens that I sew during the week when I want something to get finished as soon as possible.
    But it's sort of exhausting (in a good way) to sew such a long time so after a sewing weekend it often happens that I skip sewing for one or two or sometimes even more weekends to recover and gather my "sewjo" and creativity again. ;)
    And of course, sometimes there are more important things to do than sewing!

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    1. More important things than sewing? I have heard of them *LOL*
      Having a sewing weekend must be lovely but doing anything for a long stretch of time is a bit tiring, all that concentration. It is very easy to lose track of time. I love buying vintage machines and sorting them out. This one just needed a clean but I have a Singer that needs a bit more TLC. I hate the thought of them being put into landfill. Xx

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  3. I'm not sewing at the moment :-( but I'm knitting! I love how portable knitting is, especially socks. I did try to convince the husband to let me take a machine last time we went on holiday. Strangely...he said no!
    Love this block.

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    1. Thanks! I don't know, why not take a machine on holiday? Sounds fabulous to me. Unless you were flying then it might be a bit much. Maybe your Husband saw it as an extra sock making opportunity? Your socks are fabulous, BTW. :)

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  4. That sewing machine is so sweet, I'm so glad it's found a new home with someone's who is going to love her as much as her previous owner.
    Quilting looks far too scarily intricate for me to consider but I'm loving the result.
    I have to be in the mood for sewing and when the fancy takes me I finish it off in one go. Yesterday I tackled the mending pile - redid shirring, replaced zips and hook and eyes and all the tedious stuff necessary to sell stuff - I feel good now. xxx

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    1. It does feel great to get things done. I am feeling much better now that I have something to be able to do, even if that activity is only for a small amount of time. I am taking my metaphorical hat off to you for tackling all that mending. I hate doing that sort of stuff but it is necessary. Not as bad as alterations though.:) That's great that you do it. Loads of vintage sellers don't. Xx

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  5. So nice. I can't wait to see the rest of the blocks and finished quilt that you make.

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    1. Thanks Kimberley. I am definitely not in your league but am trying. I think that by the time I have finished the last block I will be better at piecing more accurately. It's hard sewing in mega-straight lines. I also find cutting out each piece by hand a bit of a chore but have never mastered a rotary cutter. Xx

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  6. How lovely is that quilt?

    I don't sew but I do crochet although I'm having a break from it at the moment. I wish I could use a sewing machine. I bought one thinking I'd learn to use it in my retirement and 18 months later it was still sitting there. I gave it to a friend whose machine had died and she's getting good use out of it at least!

    x
    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Veronica. I would love to be able to crochet. It is one of the crafty skills that have alluded me even though I have tried and bought a ton of books on how to do. I think that it looks so lovely and delicate. I have tons of vintage crochet and I marvel at the work that goes into it. Sorry to hear that you didn't manage to conquer your machine. Maybe there is an evening class or sewing group near you? They are pretty simple (once you know how of course)! Xx

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  7. "Do you manage to find time for sewing or do you struggle to fit everything in? Do you find that sewing in little bits is more productive than one big splurge? Do you feel really guilty, like me, if you can't get things done?" Yes, all the time. I should, perhaps, lower my expectations.

    I like that you have given the Necchi a new 'forever home'. Those older machines sew so well. Enjoy your quilting!

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    1. Thanks, Sox. I do love the old machines. The stitch quality is far superior to modern machines and they are really built to last. This one is built like a tank, I can hardly pick it up.
      I am the same. I buy a gazillion patterns and loads of fabric with good intentions and I still have stuff waiting to be made up from years ago. Honestly, I could open a shop. I think that having all that stuff is also a bit guilt-inducing. :) Xx

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  8. I am finding it impossible to sew at the moment - when I have some time, there are a million and one other things which take precedence. I need to do something about that!
    Love your pretty patchwork - hmm, far too dainty for me to manage, but I love that other people can make it look effortless. And your fast Italian lady Leila is a beauty! xxx

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    1. Thanks Curtise. I am feeling your pain. I am finding it so hard to get anything done, even reading and commenting on blogs mostly by phone. By the time that I come home I am knackered and weekends belong to Sprogzilla. You have the absolute best excuse though, your wonderful shop! I hope that life finds it rhythm soon. Xx

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  9. What a lovely sewing machine, I know you will love her as much as her original owner. I however love that gorgeous quilt block, it's stunning! xx

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    1. Thanks Josie. I have another 2 to finish up and bought a whole load more fabric yesterday. I must be the slowest quilter in history. :) Xx

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  10. Knock Knock!! Hello, anyone home? Worried of Norfolk here, wondering if everything is all right?

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    1. Hi Edwina. I was worried about you too as your blog disappeared. So glad to have you back. I am just being a bit overworked. Thanks for the message though. It's really cheered me up. Xx

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