Friday, 1 September 2017

Experiment

HI don't like quilt as you go.  It's a great method for making big quilts without all the hassle of heaving them about under the machine, but personally I find all the fiddling about with covering the seams on the back outweighs the heaving.  That's just my view of course: I know others love it.  Well, they say a lady has the prerogative to change her mind, and I'm making a reasonably big quilt, and I thought, 'What about making it in two halves?'  


It's a mile a Minute with hearts, and I thought if I made it in two halves, then I could join it down the middle and it would save both the heaving and the fiddling!  Plus, I'm using large pieces from my stash as backing, but only making them half as big as I would have had to do! The first half is ready for quilting, and I'll report back. 


In other news, my pineapple blocks are ready to layer up.  I'm really pleased at how well the scrap box went down, and am waiting to show Carole, as it was her scraps in the box!  Just shows what you can make from what was ready to be thrown away! 


And here is my Sarah Fielke BOM so far.  I've been a bit slow on the corner sunflowers, but that's fine, because it isn't a race!  I'm pleased at how they're going, and will just take it steady till they're finished.  



Friday, 25 August 2017

Class finish

I've layered up, quilted and bound my class quilt for this year.  The reason it's not been done before this is that I thought people might like to see the back of the work, especially for the appliqué centre. 


It's inspired by old quilts in Sarah Fielke's book, 'Old quilts, new life' and I've called it 'Heirloom'. I'm really pleased with it, and love the setting.  I started by choosing mainly Baltimore appliqué colours, red, green, yellow, and added a bit of turquoise and pink along the way!  The date is 2016 because that was the year in which I made the top.  If I'd been sensible, I'd have bought the border fabric first and chosen the colours from that, but I was lucky to find this border fabric in my LQS and I think it's a good choice, even if it does contain purple! 


I've also been making more pineapple blocks.  Carole gave me a bag of strips and scraps which have been perfect for this project. 


And here is a bit of progress on my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt.  I took a long time to decide on my sunflower fabrics, but now I just need to get on with them! 




Sunday, 20 August 2017

Holidays

Hi It's August, and while there has been some sewing going on, there's also been the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham - as good as ever!- and a couple of short holidays.  (A couple of nights in Weymouth - very good - and then a week in Edinburgh for the Fringe festival - fabulous!). That has meant not so much sewing has been completed.  


This UFO has finally been bound and labelled.  A very suitable Linus quilt, I think. 


I haven't done very well on my Sarah Fielke BOM.  I waited till I was ready to choose fabrics, and that was just before we went away to Edinburgh.  The choosing is done, now the sewing follows.  So far, so slow.  Good job it's not a race. 


If it was a race, I'd be doomed.  I never let an unfinished project get in the way of starting something new, so here is the start of a scrappy pineapple quilt.  I have an extensive collection of strings and strips, and the idea of using them whatever width and only in pairs was irresistible!  Off I go! 





Monday, 31 July 2017

Progress

I have just finished the current part of my Sarah Fielke BOM.  Apart from cutting all the Dresden petals, which seemed interminable, and awkward, as they couldn't be completely rotary cut, it was quite straightforward. 


Here it is ready for the next instalment.  I'm pleased with it so far, although I'm a bit concerned at how big it's going to be!  It'll be tricky to quilt, but then, I'll worry about that later. 
Meanwhile, I've been trying to use up the scraps!  It's a constant task!  I enjoyed making the Bonnie Hunter design with 2" scraps, and thought it might be possible to make it with 2.5" scraps. 


The answer is yes!  However, since the central nine patch finishes at 6", the trapezium fabric needs to be 26" long.  Not many 26" scraps in the box!  So, I have cut some strips from yardage, and since the blocks are big (finish at 10") chosen interesting fabrics for that part.  Just 16 blocks will make a great quilt, and make a bit of an impression on the 2.5" bin, hopefully! 


 



Sunday, 23 July 2017

A trial run

It's all Julie's fault.  She was the one who had this idea about jelly roll races, and got me looking at YouTube videos of people sewing strips of fabric together!  Then I saw this idea of a 4Corners Jelly Roll Quilt at quirky granola girl's site and I got all fired up to have a go!  There were just two little snags.  One, I didn't have a jelly roll, and two, I didn't want a quilt the finished at 52".  The first problem was solved by assembling some strips and joining them till they were about 42", and the second with a pencil, paper and a bit of head scratching! 


If I used half a jelly roll, there would be half the number of strips, so if I just joined till there were eight strips sewn, it would work out!  So, I sewed and sewed and this is what I ended up with. 


The strips were mainly blue and gold, and I added in some Viking fabric just to cheer it up a bit.  With the centre square (which I cut to 9" in case you fancy a go) and 25" slices, I ended up with something more than acceptable! 


Not the prettiest of quilts, but I think someone who likes blue and Vikings will be pleased to snuggle up with this!  It finishes at 42" which is perfect for a Linus quilt.  Now I need to get an Accuquilt 2.5" cutter and make myself some more jelly rolls! 







Friday, 21 July 2017

A finish and a start

I am still working through my UFO challenge list, and have been quilting this flying geese and robots quilt. 


I just quilted in the ditch round the flying geese, and then did a free motion geometric squares and rectangles design in the robot sections.  I love the way the blue and white striped binding sets it all off. A lucky find in my stash! 


So now I'm sewing this Bonnie Hunter 2" scrap design. Though my neutral 2" box is getting quite empty there doesn't seem to be the same effect on the dark 2" box.  Still, at least I can get the lid on! 





Sunday, 16 July 2017

Catching up

JI don't work well under pressure, and like to be ahead of the game if I can.  So I looked in my sewing room and took a deep breath - need to get some projects out of the way.  First was a few block components I made at Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters.  I demonstrated the use of the Easy Angle ruler for making HSTs and flying geese, and had a few of each ready to assemble. 


Not a big deal, but I hate waste and at least now these blocks can be put away in the 8.5" bag ready for their appearance in a Linus quilt at some time. For anyone not familiar with this ruler, I can thoroughly recommend it.  It helps to make HSTs and flying geese that are very accurate, and using less fabric than the usual method.  You can buy it on Amazon for just over £7 at the moment.  Bargain! 


Then I got to work on my Challenge group blocks from Pat Sloans Garden Mystery.  I have till September to make these, but they only have to be made once, and here they are!  I love the one on the left, but maybe it's my fabric choices. 


Then it's on to my Sarah Fielke BOM for this month, Dresden plate.  This was very tedious to cut out (and I have three more!) but very easy to sew.  Just need to appliqué now, which is my favourite part! 




Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Quilting

I have been busy sewing, but mainly trying to finish off Linus tops.  


This monster is done.  Not the most inspiring of designs, but I think a teenager will appreciate its size to snuggle down under!  Incidentally, it confirmed my dislike of quilt as you go.  Since the blocks weren't all quite the same size, normally I'd ease them to fit, but once they're quilted, you can't do that.   Never mind, it's a finish. 


This is also a finish.  I love the design, but I think it might have been better not quite so scrappy.  Still, it has a lovely animal print on the back, so I'm sure it will find a suitable home. 


Another finish (well, once the binding has been slipstitched it will be a finish!) scrappy blue snowballs. 


This one is waiting for its binding.  It's a collection of orphans, and I think they play together pretty well.


And a work in progress, these giant flying geese which have been paired with a lovely lime green robot print.  I'm part way through quilting this one, so off we go! 


And a sneak preview of something I'm working on for next year.  Sssshhh! 



 





Sunday, 25 June 2017

Donations

As Leicestershire coordinator for Project Linus, I am hugely grateful for the donations which I regularly receive.  These are quilts, of course, but also fabric, UFOs and blocks.  Now, why do people donate stuff?  
Firstly, because they're altruistic and kind.  Secondly because it's something they don't want.  Why don't they want it?  Perhaps they've got tired of it and run out of steam, or maybe it's not turned out as they'd hoped.  Or just possibly it's so horrible they just want to clear it out!  Whatever the reasons, I am always delighted to receive any donations, and making them into gorgeous quilts. 


Take a recent donation.  Lots of blocks already quilted and more blocks ready to go, with backing fabric included!  Super. 


But then, maybe the reason they were donated, they are different sizes - half an inch is quite a bit when the blocks have already been quilted!  I could trim some, but the design would make it pretty obvious.  Luckily there are lots of blocks, so I'll make two sets of smaller ones and larger ones, and make more than one quilt!  

Another problem is that that the backing hasn't quite covered the wadding on some blocks, as seen here.  That's a problem I often have myself as I'm such a skinflint and rarely leave much of a border on my wadding and backing.  I can easily handstitch a strip on there and all will be well. 
I've chosen some lovely bright peach smashing, so the quilt should be finished in no time!



Monday, 19 June 2017

Down the rabbithole centre done

PWe've been away for a week, so the sewing has been on hold, while I've been eating, drinking, sightseeing and relaxing en France!  But as soon as the washing machine's going, I'm itching to get to my sewing room. 


It didn't take me long to complete the centre of my Sarah Fielke BOM, and I'm very pleased with it.  Despite the fact that some of the houses have lost the apexes of their roofs, the whole thing measures just a smidgeon bigger than the 40.5" Sarah has allowed.  I don't think that will be a problem, as I can either fudge it or trim a bit off the blue border.  I'll wait and see what is the best thing to do.  Now to wait to see what comes next!  


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Eat your heart out Carmen Miranda!

I couldn't resist finishing the pineapple quilt! 


I put the blocks offset slightly and added a few squares in the middle to fill it up. I was going to put a yellow piano keys border, but then decided a green one would look good.  When I looked in the Linus box for green fabric, I found this one, and surprise, surprise, there was enough for the border.  I'm delighted at how it's turned out, as I think it's really fun!  Maybe I could use the same technique for apples or oranges?  We'll see. 


So then I was motivated to continue with my Down the Rabbit Hole centre.  One more sunflower and I'll be ready for the border. 



Saturday, 3 June 2017

Pineapples

I've nearly finished my 'Down the rabbit hole' BOM and only have a row of houses to attach and three more corners to complete, so I suppose I should be working on them. 


Or maybe I should be getting on with this scrappy quilt which is using up some of the pieces in the 2" bin. 




Well, I saw this pineapple block on aquiltinglife.com site, and just had to raid the 2.5" box for yellow and green squares to have a play. 


They are made from 2.5" squares, so come out fairly big - but then, I won't need to make too many before I have enough for a top! 


Monday, 29 May 2017

It's a finish

I have successfully completed Happy Days, designed by Sarah Fielke! 


Here it is on our lawn the other day.  I quilted the main part of the quilt with an all over design in cream thread and then feathers all round the border.  Having seen another version of this quilt which had been beautifully long armed but with a more open design, I wish my quilting wasn't quite so dense.  But there is no way I'm undoing it, and in any case, it's a finish, so what's not to like?  
I am getting on with my 2017 Sarah Fielke BOM, but haven't done all the houses yet. 


I'm trying to shop in my stash before I go further afield, and so far have succeeded very well. However, Sarah's measurements for the foundation piecing are very generous, which makes for a great result, but is rather wasteful.  So, I have run out of roof fabric.  Never mind, luckily I managed to find something which is nearly the same, so all is good. 
Only four more sets of houses and then I need to make decisions about the centre circle (is the red too much?  Would green be better?) and the narrow border (definitely green, but is that one too busy?) 
I'll finish the houses and then decide. 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Lovely day

My husband has had a lovely day today, as he has been out watching cricket.  I have had a lovely day today, as my husband has been out watching cricket!  While the cat's away, the mice will . . . . . . . . . . .
Sew! 


First of all I got the next two blocks done for my Challenge group.  They are the next two blocks in Pat Sloan's Garden Mystery from 2016.  The challenge is to use fabric styles from the late 19th century, and mine are conversational prints and paisley designs. 


Here is my progress so far, and I'm very pleased with this set of blocks.  There are ten blocks altogether, which will make for a good sized quilt.  
With those blocks safely ticked off my list, I continued with one of the UFOs on my list. 


This Mile A Minute Stars is now quilted and has the binding on and ready to be stitched down.  Another UFO bites the dust! 




Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Another finish

There has been some sewing going on here, and quite a bit of quilting.  I have more sympathy for people who enlist the help of a long arm quilter to finish their quilts, as large quilts are such hard work to quilt on a domestic machine.  Apart from the amount of work, it's the physical heaving about of it to turn and manipulate the bulk in the machine's throat.  Never mind, I think it's all worth it in the end. 


And here is my Big Circles all done!  It's not perfect, but it's finished and I love it!  The large circles are a Kathy Doughty pattern and the small ones are Kansas sunflowers.  Both sets of circles were made by hand the American method (i.e. Not over papers) as holiday hand sewing distractions.  The design, such as it is, is my own. 


This Scrappy Irish Chain is a completed top.  A great way to use up 2.5" squares.  


This is a completed top too.  I don't think I needs a border. 


And then there is this shy, retiring little violet.  It's a MAM Star quilt from my UFO Challenge list.  This is next to be layered and quilted.  I'm certainly pleased at how well I'm getting through my UFO list, and I'm not adding too many on at the end either! Well, not toooo many! 



Sunday, 30 April 2017

Progress

Despite a few days in Portsmouth this week (visiting the Historic Dockyard etc - fabulous!) I have managed a bit of sewing.  I am steadily quilting my big circles quilt.  This one I've decided to quilt block by block, and it's going very well.  The quilting process is showing my poor workmanship,and lack of accuracy, but I did the best I could, nod at least it'll be a finish! 


The pink spiders Web quilt is finished.  I thoroughly enjoyed making this and surely it must have made a bit of a dent in the pink scraps bag! 


And here is another scrap project.  It's a kind of scrappy Irish Chain.  I added a number of plain turquoise squares to the mix to add a bit of unity, and after adding a white border, will bind it in the turquoise.  This has definitely made a dent in the 2.5" box - I can get the lid on now! 


I must work up the courage to quilt the border of my Happy Days quilt, but not just yet!  I went over the The Bramble Patch yesterday and watched their long arm effortlessly and automatically sewing beautiful feathers onto a quilt.  It won't be automatic or effortless for me, but at least I'll have the satisfaction of having done it myself! 




Saturday, 22 April 2017

Oh dear

I have been steaming through my UFOs recently, but it couldn't last I knew that sooner or later I'd return to type and start working on other projects!



Of course, I need to spend some time on Down the Rabbit Hole, and I'm currently adding the leaves.  I'm using the same green fabric, but as it's mottled, the leaves are slightly different shades.




One day recently when I was bored, I made a few of these cute dollies.  It's another Sarah Fielke pattern, and I loved choosing different hat designs.  They will slot into a quilt sooner or later. 


Then I was momentarily good, and got out this EPP I had done a while ago, and sewed it onto a background ready to complete it. 


Then, at Hannah's Room on Thursday, I saw a lovely Irish Chain quilt, which I thought would look good in scrappy colours.  I couldn't resist trying it out.  It's just 2.5" squares arranged in a 25 patch, with three plain squares in each corner.  I think this will look great and certainly use up some of the contents of the 2.5" bin!