Friday, 31 December 2010
Am I nearly there now?! At least I'm heartened that my brain has a few grey cells left to take me into the new year! See you there!
Thursday, 30 December 2010
First try. Looking good, but rather a lot of gaps there.
Next idea, but not much better. It's those blooming parallelograms which are the main problem. How on earth will they fit anywhere? Maybe it's better not to start with the string block.Oh, yes, very dynamic, but still hopeless!
I give up, and will have to wait till tomorrow. How close am I, Bonnie?
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Step one, pink and green 3-strips.
Step 3 (my favourite so far), string-pieced blocks. And I was very good after I'd done them all, and cut whatever remained into useable 2", 2.5" etc strips and squares, and had only a few pieces to put into my strings bag!Step 4 (quick and easy), green and neutral 2-patches and squares.
And now for step 5, a million tiny half square triangles! (I'm exaggerating slightly, but HSTs which finish at 1.5" and I need 300 of them, even though I'm only doing half the quilt, is a lot of work!). I'm starting by 'shopping in my stash' and have looked in my box of leftover part-blocks to see if there are any blocks ready to go. I've found these flying geese, hourblocks, a pinwheel and diamond in the square, which will cut down beautifully to make a start on the blocks. Next. it's into the reds box to have a rummage!
Friday, 17 December 2010
I skipped the second set, as I was so excited at using strings and strips. I've never used telephone book paper as a foundation before, and enjoyed not only the thriftiness of it, but also the ease of tearing away! (I usually really hate taking out foundation paper!) Hope we don't need to find the number of anyone whose name begins with 'A' before we get a new phone book!
And here are some of the finished string blocks. Bonnie encourages you to use anything with a white/cream background, which gave me the chance to use this strange black/white/red fabric which I bought from a vintage shop some while ago. This is definitely my kind of patchwork!
Thursday, 9 December 2010
They were really fun to make, and kept me busy for an evening of tv rubbish viewing.
Next I put different cream fabrics round to frame the pictures.
Sunday, 5 December 2010
DH is away on business so I had some time yesterday to get on with these blocks. My first problem was to trace the design onto the light blue fabric. I generally use the window as my light box, but it was dark by the time I realised I needed daylight! Well, they say necessity is the mother of invention, so how's this for an idea?
I balanced my 12.5" square ruler on my sewing machine and a handy box, put a desk lamp underneath, and the design (and fabric) on top! Worked like a charm. In case you're interested in what I used to mark the knot, it was tailor's chalk. It showed up beautifully on the blue, and was soft enough not to drag the fabric.
As to the assembling of the knot, I used a Clover tape maker with fusible web. This made it fairly easy to make the tape and position it on the fabric ready for sewing. Here's the next one ready to complete. If you see me soon, and hear me mumbling, 'Over, under, over, under,' you'll know why!
Thursday, 2 December 2010
and this is from the back. Lovely to look at, but not much fun for the traveller.
Monday, 22 November 2010
I cut a strip about 1" wide, the length of the blocks, and placed it right side down on the edge of the blocks I was going to join together.
Here are the two blocks from the front. Looking good. Now I'm off to watch the tv and sew the strips on the back!
Friday, 19 November 2010
Now I'm retired, I've been doing a little teaching - teaching quilting to adults is much easier than teaching language disordered children, though just as rewarding! This is a class sample which will no doubt end up on its way to Linus.
I've also been running a beginners' cot quilt class, and here is the sample for that. The ladies in this class were real beginners (which is fine by me) and one of them didn't even know what a seam was! Well, she knows now, and the local quilt groups will be benefitting by getting some new members generated by the class!
And of course, I'm rarely without a Linus quilt on the go. This one was made in response to a request from a 5 year old girl with cancer who loves princesses. Apparently her mother applied to the 'Make a Wish Foundation' for the opportunity to take her to Disneyland, unsuccessfully. This Disney princess panel and matching fabric was in the donated bag, which made the quilt very easy to complete. It won't win any competitions, but hopefully it'll win a little girl's heart.
Now to layering up. What joy!
Friday, 12 November 2010
Here are some of the triangles made into pinwheels, and bordered with a nice construction vehicle fabric.Here is a close up of the border fabric. I think a boy would like it. My next job this afternoon is to layer it up, so what do you think I've been doing? Yes, not layering up, but trying a new block! This block is called 'arrowhead' and looks pretty complicated. Not the way Anita Grossman Solomon shows in the current edition of 'Quiltmaker'. You just have to cut two 8" squares, do a little straight sewing, some easy cutting, and hey presto! you have all the pieces you need for the block. Join them together and trim, and it's only taken a few minutes to make! Now, shall I make a few more arrowheads just to make sure I know how to do it, or layer up? Hmm......
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Here is the finished quilt, which will very shortly be on its way to a 14 year old girl with cancer.
The turquoise spot turned out to be very handy, as I found it was the ideal match for some Michael Miller fabric I was planning to make a bag with.
This bag is my original design - by which I mean that all the components are taken from various other bags, resized and reorganised. After all, a bag's a bag! I'm particularly pleased with this one, as I've finally mastered a zipped pocket inside it!
Here you can see the zipped pocket in the lining, and an ordinary set of flap pockets. The bag is for a workshop after Christmas, and I hope people like it enough to want to make it!
Sunday, 31 October 2010
The fabric in the centre was 'left over from a project' and donated to Linus. How can so much coordinating fabric be left over? Well, it's a good job we're not all scrap quilters like me, as there would be no donated scraps to make charity quilts from!
Here is the completed top from the pattern in McCall's Quilting. It's nice and gutsy and will be good for a boy, I think. And finally, I have put together these scrappy blocks which were made at a recent Linus sewing afternoon.
This will make a great cot quilt. Can you see DH peeping through the border fabric on the last two quilts? This donated fabric isn't very good quality, and while it will be fine for these children's quilts, shows its faults when held in front of a window. Now I need to get layering and quilting!
Sunday, 24 October 2010
Now I am retired, there seem to be so many opportunities to go places where I can take my machine and sew, and I was getting tired of packing up and unpacking my machine so decided the time (and the funds!) were ripe for the purchase of a small model to pick up and go with. I went to a lovely shop 'Sew Northampton' where there was plenty of advice, and no sniffing at my small budget. In the end I went for this Janome, because it has all the features of my big machine (needle down, top bobbin, thread cutter, speed control etc) and would allow me to use my darning, quarter inch and walking feet without having to buy more. So far, I'm delighted with it, and am planning to take it out for a test run this week!
Then two friends have given me presents this week too! Jane was shopping when she saw this fabulous calendar in a bargain book outlet. She bought one for herself, and one for me! Thank you so much, Jane. It was a lovely thought, which will give me pleasure for a whole year!
Then my friend Gill said she too had something for me. She had picked up this car sticker, and thought it was perfect for me. It certainly is, and I lost no time in fixing it in the back windscreen of my car! Got to spread the word!
The next present was given to me at the latest meeting of my quilt group, Piecemakers. This group was started by myself and four friends just ten years ago, in Novemebr 2000, and so this month we had a birthday party, where we invited lots of the former members. All the original members were given a present of a rose plant, and we had a lovely evening with refreshments and lots of chat.
It was a special evening, with people coming together to share their love of patchwork and quilting. I thank everyone for their support for the group over their years, and for enriching my life with their friendship. Here's to the next 10 years!
Monday, 18 October 2010
I really wanted to find a proper quilt shop, and when we stopped for a coffee in Wilmington, I was delighted to find this one.
It was a real rabbit warren of a place, with rooms opening off rooms in a delightful way. I was tickled to see they sold rulers made by my home company 'Creative Grids', and gave their emblem of the Leicestershire fox a little stroke! I was determined to stay true to my resolution to buy what I needed rather than wanted, so while they had a tantalising selection of autumn prints, (and lots of other gorgeous stuff) I bypassed them. I finally ended up with a layer cake of reproduction fabrics, which I need for my challenge quilt.
The phot looks like I bought a whole stack, but I'm holding the packet up vertically!
Here are the fabrics, along with a fat quarter I bought from Shelburne. And to prove I really 'needed' them, I have already incorporated one of the designs in my latest challenge block.
This little beauty finishes at 8", which makes it quite fiddly. The worst of it is that I have another three to make! Better get back to the sewing machine!
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Here's another glorious tree with red-orange leaves. Compare the red of these leaves with the next photo. This one is much redder - sorry about the telegraph pole!Now for the quilts. We went to Shelburne, which is a kind of collection of collections, and they had an exhibition of crazy quilts. This one was made by two sisters aged 11 and 14 for their 23 year old sister on her marriage. Her initials and the date are in the middle. The pieces were all edged with white fabric before being joined together. I couldn't really work out exactly how it had been made. The easy way would have been to applique the coloured scraps onto a white background, but that didn't seem to be how it was made at all.
This quilt is a more traditional example, with the craziness being tamed by being made into blocks.
Here a few blocks have been added, but still in usual crazy bright silks and black. The flag dates the quilt quite precisely by the number of stars. (Sorry, I can't remember how many there are!)This crazy quilt is unusual in that it has a plain centre. This has been embroidered with flowers, birds and butterflies. The crazy blocks have been added around the egde, and are creeping into the middle portion too!
This quilt is one of my favourites. It's a string star. It's so lively and jolly. But when you look closely, there's a mystery.
How have these blocks been made? I had thought the shapes making up the star (triangles and squares) would have been made from strings and then sewn together with white fabric. But looking closely, you can see that the strings go from the centre of the stars into the points with no apparent join. Yet the stars haven't been appliqued, and are definitely pieced. Any ideas?