SAL update

Sunday morning here in New Zealand and time for my first SAL update. I recently joined the SAL group and honestly – it is very motivating! Since joining I wanted to make sure to work on some of my projects to make sure I have something to report on 🙂

My biggest project and the one I enjoy most is the Bee-utiful QAL. I ordered the fabric and started assembling the completed blocks this week. Eleven blocks have been released and the blocks are beautiful, but look even prettier with the little border and the sashing. When joining this group I finished five blocks and was ready to embroider block six. Just look where I am now!!!!! If you enjoy embroidery and quilting this is the project for you. The designer, Pamela Morgan from Sweet Little Stitches is very talented and I hope she creates another quilt after the Bee-utiful QAL

I am also up to date with the Splendid Sampler, except for two blocks which I decided not to make. Hopefully I will have time to start assembling the blocks this month, and to start working on the hand quilting. I plan to do the quilting row-by-row. At this stage I don’t think I am going to make all the blocks, but rather make a smaller quilt with what I completed so far

Latest SS blocks completed

I made a quilt quite a few years ago and did it all by hand. But I would really like to machine quilt the Bee-utiful quilt and it is in the back of my mind all the time. How do you get it neat and tidy, without the backing ‘moving’ or without any puckering in the top layer? Do you pin it together? Do you start in the middle and quilt to the sides? Lots of questions and I will have to watch a lot of YouTube videos. But please, if you have any tips and tricks please share it with me.  I am quite nervous about this part of the whole process and I really want to be proud of the completed quilt

To practice a bit of machine quilting (and also because I really liked the little bag!!!!) I made a bag after following a tutorial by Pat Sloan for a Bumble Bee pouch or zipper bag. But I am really not happy with the quilting as it is not nice and even, which makes me even more nervous to quilt the Bee-utiful quilt 😦

Zipper bag

The two knitted baby jackets I worked on has been completed. Hopefully the knitting bug won’t bite for a long time because I really do not enjoy knitting at all. I cannot explain this need to knit every now and then at all 🙂


Friday evening I relaxed by working on the crochet fusion quilt. I completed the crochet around six of the blocks a few weeks ago and prepared a few more blocks by finishing the blanket-stitching around it Friday evening. This means I can crochet whenever I want to relax and not think or concentrate. This is definitely a longterm project and I am not rushing to finish it. Though I might start blocking as soon as I finished 12 of the 36 blocks, just to see what it will look like eventually

Term 3 starts on Monday and it means back to school. As a teacher I suppose I have to go back to work. But this will mean that all the needlework will slow down, until the next holidays. It has been a busy holiday

Please have a look at the lovely projects everyone in the group is working on:
Christina and Kathy. So much talent and such beautiful projects


11 thoughts on “SAL update”

  1. Susan, the tomato block is so cute, and Idefinitely agree, the special bee sashing is making the quilt a stunner! My friend Doreen keeps telling me to just quilt, and do it as often as possible. The quilt sandwich works well, I think one of the secrets is to tape the backing down, so it’s very tight. I use quilting safety pins, and I really like them. My sandwiches could still be tighter, but of my errors fade into oblivion after the wash!
    When you machine quilt, start in the middle and work your way out. If you have straight lines or long curves, I find that 1/4 inch masking tape is an amazing tool. For you that would be .6 cm, or something similar. You got so much done this month, congrats!

  2. Lovely embroidery!
    Regarding your question about machine quilting: at the moment I’m assembling and quilting blocks from many different sources for a charity quilt. I’m using the Quilt As You Go process, and find it makes quilting much less stressful and tiring (especially as I had back surgery not long ago) because the pieces are much smaller. I’m also spray basting rather than pinning, and am getting a totally taut, flat surface with this, so maybe that would be something to try, as it prevents the layers moving independently. QAYG also gives you a chance to practice on more ‘remote’ parts of the quilt before you have to quilt the centre, which means you don’t showcase your worst quilting right in the middle! If you’re interested in a good tutorial for how to assemble a QAYG quilt, let me know, and I’ll send a link to my favourite one.

    1. Thank you so much for that advice – I have a can of spray basting but haven’t tried it yet. I was thinking of QAYG for the Splendid Sampler quilt and this would be great to try. And yes please for the link to the tutorial!!!!!!

  3. Welcome to the group. Love your stitchery. I’m whipping up one of the moda kitties as a mug rug gift. Changing colours round to suit subject. Looking forward to seeing your stitching grow

  4. Such lovely blocks! Yes, when machine quilting it is VITAL to baste. You can glue or theead baste but most people use quilters’ safety pins. Google basting tutorial and you will find hundreds

  5. gosh you have been busy! your zipper bee bag is lovely!
    I use a double-sided iron-on wadding for all my quilting projects. I also add safety pins to help keep the sandwich together.

  6. Fantastic progress on your bee blocks! I wish I had that many completed 😁 Those knitted jackets are absolutely adorable! Welcome to the group Susan!

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