February 2, 2010

Featherweight Challenge

Featherweight Challenge is a challenge that Ria of Treasure Quilt and I are starting. Both Ria and I own Featherweight Singer sewing machines. Ria named her Featherweight Josephine and I named mine Abela (after my cat's name). I suggested to Ria that we start a quilt project piecing with our Featherweights. Ria agreed, you are so sweet Ria. I again suggested we make rail fence block, again Ria agreed! Next Ria suggested that we invite everyone with Featherweight to join our project. So Featherweight owners out there, if you like to join our challenge you are very welcome. There is no rules or regulations not even a timeline because I can't keep any of that myself (grin)! I will tell you the measurements and sizes I'm making, but you can make it any size you wish.

I got inspired to make the rail fence quilt from Kathie of INSPIRED BY ANTIQUE QUILTS. Thanks so much Kathie for your inspirations.
Come and meet Abela, my little beauty. She was born on the same year as me. I got her from Houston, USA. DH was in the States and he brought her back for me. How very sweet of him. It sews like butter, as my friend Cynthia would say!
I have chosen Japanese fabrics for this quilt because it is going to be a memory quilt of my trip to Japan in March. I have been collecting Japanese fabrics for a long time so all the fabrics for this quilt come from my stash. Ria and I are swapping some fabrics as well, so it's going to be a true friendship quilt. The block is made up of 5 strips. Cut the strips 1.5" x 6" for finished size for all 5 strips of 5" x 5". The dark unit above is set: dark, light, dark, light, dark.
This light unit is set: light, dark, light, dark, light. I must tell you a bit about my choice of colours. At first I was thinking to using only a blue and cream base because those are the type of fabrics I have most off, but when I added some reds and other colours I have in my stash, I liked that better. Some of the fabrics are re purposed from vintage clothing as well. I am pleased to be able to mix them in.
These are 2 dark and light units joined together. Rail fence block looks easy at first glance, but after reading and emailing with Kathie a few times I learned that to maximize the variations of the blocks you need to cut and join the blocks individually. You will not get the variations if you join long strips of fabrics together and cut them afterwards.

After you finish piecing each block, press and trim down to 5.5" square.
A close up of the blocks lying together alternatively with light and dark blocks. Some of the light colours are not all Japanese fabrics. They were strips I trimmed off from my basket blocks. It was a shame to waste good strips.
A shot taken from further away to show the woven look of the pattern. If you squint with one eye you can see the woven pattern stand out very clearly. Click on the pictures to enlarge!
I printed out Kathie's email and copied her images to keep with my project and refer to it when I need too. I'm very pleased of how the blocks turned out so far. I had the picture of this quilt in my mind's eye and the result turned out exactly as I pictured it. I don't know at this stage how big I will make this quilt. I will keep piecing for a bit longer and see how it goes.

Ria is going to post her Featherweight Challenge on her blog too. Make sure you hop over and see her version of the same quilt. If you would like to join us please leave us your comment with email address where we can get in touch with you. We agreed to upgrade the progress monthly on here until the quilt is finished.

22 comments:

ria vogelzang said...

What beautiful colours! Your blocks look just so great!! Love the red, white and blue's... (very Dutch!)
You've already made quite a start! And I love to see Abela! She's so cute!!!!!!! Love the little singer featherweights! (today I'm off to see another feitherweight; to buy maybe..)
Hope there will be more featherweight-lovers joining us! Keep you posted! Hugs, Ria

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Hey Nat...this is fantastic!!! Great colours...hope you get lots of people wanting to join you with their Featherweights...Dzintra♥x

Béa said...

Very beautiful fabrics & colours !

Terry said...

Great color placement good visual results.
I'd like to play but my featherweight is not vintage. It's a FeatherweightII which I bought last year because it was nice and light. It pieces well. Doesn't have a name yet.

Huggs Terry

Lis said...

Hi Nat, your quilt is looking gorgeous - I hope I will soon have a wonderful collection of Japanese fabrics! Good choice of block for sewing on a vintage machine. I love using my Bonni, such a pleasing sound, but have to remember I can only go forward and straight!! Looking forward to seeing the completed quilt and the other Featherweights too. Popping over to Ria's and Kathie's now, quilty hugs, Lis x

Kathie said...

Wow what beautiful fabrics. how lucky you are to have so many japanese fabrics to make this quilt, it will be a wonderful memory of your trip. YOur quilt is going to be wonderful, can't wait to see more!
It really was fun to make for me.

Abela is beautiful, she is in mint condition, a good find by your DH.

Kathie

Maggey and Jim said...

I like it.. so colorful and pretty.. I too have a featherweight but ......... will let you know but sounds like fun
Maggey

The Quilt Buddy said...

I wish that I owned a Featherweight! I have been eyeing one for a long time.

I can't wait to see what everyone creates!

Have fun w/your strips

Needled Mom said...

I've always enjoyed doing the rail fence pattern. It will be a fun challenge and your quilt is going to be gorgeous.

Marydon Ford said...

G'morn, Nat ~ Y'all did a great job, love the fabrics & color choices. Hadn't seen this design before.

Happy Valentine's
Have a beautiful day ~
TTFN ~ Marydon

Pat aka Posh said...

That's gorgeous!! I really do need to start sewing again but it seems like I can never find the time.

Kaite said...

It's very spectacular, and doesn't red/white/blue/green look good together. Kaite

QuiltSue said...

That's beautiful Nat, thanks for showing us.

Janet said...

I really like your blocks so far - it's going to grow into a fabulous quilt. I like sewing on my Featherweight too. :0)

Clara said...

What a lovely quilt and what a gorgeous blog, Nat. Love all your works. Me too I make jam with the fruits of my garden. In january I've made lots of lemon curd: so delicious. Have a nice weekend, Clara.

ria vogelzang said...

Hi Nat,I also used one of your fabrics in my Baby Jane Quilt..... (block I7) Looks great!
Have a nice day!

ivoryspring said...

So pretty -- what a sweet quilting journey for you!

Kim D. said...

Beautiful Quilt!! Love those oriental fabrics. I have a featherweight also, aren't they beauties? I can't join your sew in right now, will watch your progress. Happy Sewing!!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

What a lovely quilt! I love my little Featherweight. They are so great to piece with. This is going to be fun to watch your challenge.

Kim said...

Great looking blocks......those fabrics are just delicious!

I can't wait to see your stitches on the wool crazy quilt........your hand work is just so lovely.

so many quilts...so little time :0)

Happy Sewing

Khris said...

Oh wow isn't that a beauty...and isn't DH a sweetie bringing home something like that...well done to DH...hugs Khris

Astrid said...

What a great way to use leftover fabrics. I can't wait seeing it finished! Lovely colors!

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