Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Another finish!

 Another finish!  The quillow that I was making is complete!

This is the outside 'cushion' part of it.  I made a bunch of half square triangles, and then played with the layout until I got one that I liked - which was this one.

You can't see, but there is a 'thank you' message quilted on the bottom right hand corner.  This will be gifted later in the year.
 This is the final look of the quilt, lain out on the craft room floor.
 And draped over the sofa.
 It's been washed so has a lovely crinkly texture.  A large meander over the main quilt.  A stripey backing.
 I also finished this spring-like hoop hanging.  I don't like the bird shape that I made, though, so I don't think that this will make it up to the wall!  Never mind.  The hoop will still be available for other projects when the fancy takes me!
 Another finish - this little piece had been half-worked for some time, and now has become a card for an old friend.
This final finish is a small project bag -  a little larger than A5.  Another project that has been on going for a while, but it now complete.

So, a good week for finishes, and now it's time to get on with my next project, another type of disappearing hourglass quilt.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Progress in Unexpected Projects

 I know, I know!  A bit early for Easter!
I was waiting for the backing fabric and wadding to arrive for the disappearing hour glass quilt that I was showing you last week, so I moved on to a project that has been on my 'to do' list for several years now.

Finally I'll be able to gift an Easter mini quilt to my lovely SiL!
 It is quilted quite densely.  This is how the back looks.
 Another project whilst I was waiting was to make a fabric bucket to coordinate with the quilt that I was making.  A handy way of using the scraps that it generated!
This is twice the size of the ones that I'd made previously.  I have to confess that this is because I'd forgotten which direction I had to sew the side seams, and I'd already hand sewn the mini Dresden plate on!
 Isn't it cute?  This finishes at about 3" across.
 Another project this week was to play with alcohol inks, scrumpled foil and cardboard.  Lots of fun.  My gal pals produced some really love cards too, but I failed to photograph them - sorry!
 Lastly, these mini Dresden plates were made last week, but failed to get onto the blog post as I was making the tutorial.

This was my first attempt - another 3 incher.  Thanks to Westwood Acres fabric for their free tiny Dresden pattern.

I got caught up in the Instagram fun of a #TinyDresden Party2019 of Deidra from Quilty Obsession.  Lots of eye candy to be seen!



My next attempt came from a rummage through my Aves scraps - I had a few short lengths of joined strips.  Not necessarily the best quality work, but lots of ideas generated for the future.  This finished slightly larger than the others, at about 3 1/2" across.

I'm thinking about making another style of disappearing hour glass quilt - but not until I've completed the first one, which I've now decided should be a quillow, so needs more work still to complete it!  I'm off to decide on a design for the 'cushion' part of it.

Happy sewing, everyone!

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Tutorial: DIsappearing Hour Glass Quilt

 I've finally documented the steps in making a disappearing hour glass quilt.  There are video tutorials available - in particular the Missouri Star Quilt company have a great one, but this is just a quick photo one.

Pick your fabrics.  I chose three.  Background, and medium and dark colours.  Having looked at the quilt, I would go back to choosing a background and two medium value colours in the future, like other quilt tops that I've made, or even just two contrasting fabrics, each using 2m.

I used approximately 2 metres of background and 1m of each the colours.  This gives me a quilt of approximately 57" square (twenty five blocks set 5x5)
 You will need to cut a total of 50 10" squares.

Twenty five from the background fabric, and 12 and 13 of each of the two colours.

Place each colour square right sides together with a background square.  Line them up as carefully as you can!

Sew around all four sides of the square, using your 1/4" seam allowance as usual.

 Once you've done that, cut them diagonally from corner to corner in both directions and open them out.  You have created four half square triangles (HSTs).
 Now rotate two opposite HSTs to create an hourglass block (make sure you don't create a pinwheel by accident!).

Sew to create your blocks.  Do the same for all 25 blocks. Then press them carefully.  Your block should be 12 3/4" square.
 Now you need to cut the blocks into thirds in both directions.

I find it easiest to use a ruler that is a little wider than the 2 1/8" that you will need to measure on either side of both central seams - but you might have your own 'easiest method'.
 Once you have your block in nine pieces, you need to rotate five of the pieces.  You need to rotate the four corner blocks sew that they have the little triangles facing out (half a turn each) and the centre piece just a quarter turn, so that it makes a nice chequered pattern.
 Sew these resulting pieces together to make your final block.  Again, repeat for all 25 blocks.  Your blocks should be 11 1/4" (if my maths is right!).
 I choose not to press again, so this is how my two piles of blocks looked at this point.

Lay the blocks out in alternate colours.  Make sure that all the blocks are facing the same direction, so you end up with 'secondary' diamonds being formed, alternating white and colours.

Finally, sew these together to make your quilt top.

 As I said earlier, I think that having the two colours closer in value gives a more pleasing effect, but this will still work OK!

The total time that it took me to get this point was about eight and a half hours.  That included pulling various fabrics from my stash and measuring them to see if I had sufficient to make this in greys.  It will now go on the back burner until the backing fabric and wadding that I have ordered arrive and let me make more progress with it.  I'll show photos again once it's quilted, bound and finished.

I hope that if you choose to make a disappearing hour glass quilt that you have good fun with it too!

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The Same but Different!

 I made Leah Day's 'two-for-one' rainbow star quilts this week - pattern here.  I adjusted the size to make them slightly larger, so mine are 36" square.

Can you see that I stacked and sewed the pieces wrong for the rainbow, though? Doh!

Of course, as you are making all the HSTs at the same time, the second quilt was also going to be wrong.
 I decided to switch the colour blocks around a little in this one, so at least it didn't look so much like a wrong rainbow!
It would have been better if I'd been able to make the two pairs of warmer colours opposite each other, but I couldn't figure out how to do it with the pieces that I had.  Sigh! 

Never mind.  I've learned a lot, made two little quilts for Project Linus, and have a good idea for another quilt that I'd like to make using similar ideas.  Not bad!
 The first quilt I quilted with a large stipple.
 The second quilt with a 'loop the loop' pattern.
 Love this giraffe backing fabric - I just bought 10m of it, so expect to see more of it this year!

I was also pleased that the lime green spot binding picks up on some lime green in the pattern, although it doesn't show that here.
Finally, if you have a chance to get to Winter Lights at Canary Wharf one evening this week (5 - 10pm until Saturday 26th Jan) , then do go.  Its magical!  My DDs and I were captivated by almost all 30 of the light sculptures on show, and very pleased with the food trucks for our supper too!

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

First Quilt of 2019 Complete

 First quilt of the year is complete!
I found a metre of car fabric and decided to make a 'fast four patch' quilt, using other scraps from my pile.

One of the 'bear' patches had to be made of two pieces of fabric, and I didn't have enough of the brown to make all the squares that I needed, but it works, I think.
 I tried to make it as non-girly as possible.  This part is OK, but there is another section of the back that does have plants and swirls.  Hoping that any boy this is gifted to can overlook that!
 The label was added after I finished binding, and there it was, the first finish of the year.  44" x 64".
I also completed the bunting this week - a total of about 60m bundled into 10m lengths and ready to post!

A little more sewing related tidying to do (I still haven't put away my Aves fabrics yet!) and then I'll set off on my next quilt!  Love sewing! Love having time to sew! Love sharing quilts with the world!

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Bunting and Blocks

Small sewing projects for the start of the year, when my DDs were still off school and we were making the most of the holidays with games and family time....

First of all, these five blocks for a block 'raffle' activity.  I'm not sure quite what it entails - I suspect that it's all a gamble whether I end up with these blocks or others, and a greater or lower number than this group of five, but I do know that Benta is going to organise us, that it will be fun, and that there will be some charity quilts as an end result!
I have to say that my blocks are a little bit 'Animal Farm' - all blocks are created 8.5" but some are more 8.5" than others!

Hope that they are within the tolerances allowed!
I've also been making bunting.  Nothing fancy, just single sided triangle pennants hanging from cotton twill tape.

So far, 9m of children's bunting and 10m of yellowish bunting.  More triangles are cut, ready and waiting, and still more will be cut when the fabrics I've ordered have arrived.

Not tricky sewing, just perfect for a little mindless time with the sewing machine whilst the goings on of the house rattle along around me.
Now that my DDs have (just!) gone back to school the house can return to its normal rhythm and I can return to sewing 'properly'!

Monday, 31 December 2018

Final Aves Post - and a Happy New Year!

 So, I can't bring myself to write my final Aves post without showing the whole quilt again.

I'm sure that blocking it will reduce the wobbliness of the edges, but I'll have to wait for 63" square of little used carpet to open up for that to happen.....!
 As I thought I might, I went back and added a little more quilting to this roundel, which was a great improvement.
 I quilted meandering feathers in the border.  They improved (slightly!) as I got more used to them.
They show up best on the back, of course.  Many thanks to Kate Fielden for the backing - still working my way through textiles that she left with me before she moved to the other side of the world!
Finally, these were the threads that I used.  Variegated thread in the roundels, dark pink on the 'dark' diamond, dusk egg blue on the 'light' square, and grey and white on the back
depending on the front thread!

I loved sewing this project from start to finish!

New quilting will be happening in 2019, I know. I can hardly wait to get back to my machine.
 Best wishes to you all for a super happy, super healthy 2019.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, one and all!

I'm delighted to have my completed Aves Quilt up on the wall (behind a cupboard, so unfortunately the lower border won't be seen).

Shown here with our knitted nativity in front of it - knitted by my very talented late Mother-in-Law - part of our Christmas decorating every year.

Hope that you are enjoying your festive season too!

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Aves Quilting Continues

 This week I've lightly quilted the remaining three roundels on my Aves quilt.

This is probably the least appealing - the 'fern' quilting pattern should be more filled out between the flying geese spokes, I now think.  I may go back and adjust this if I can think of a good way to do it without unpicking what is there (!).
  I was much happier with this roundel and the flames in the background in particular.
 Shown here in a little more detail
 Again, the background quilting on this one isn't brilliant either - although I liked the loopy design in the centre.
 I then choose to different fill patterns for the not two areas.  The lighter area has 'wind puffs' (or so I like to think of them - like the winds being puffed by cherubs on old maps....).  Quilted in a duck egg blue thread.
The darker area around the roundels has a smallish meander in dark pink thread.

I need to decide on a design for the outer flying geese border now.  I suspect that it will be freeform feathers - it would be a shame to have a quit named Aves and not to have any feathers on it at all!

I still don't know if I'll get it completed before Christmas, but I'm doing my best!

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Aves Quilting - the start

 I've started quilting Aves!

This central roundel is the trickiest to reach, as there is more quilt to bunch up under the sewing machine arm here then anywhere else, of course.  It's made the lines more wobbly than I'd like.  Well, that and the fact that I couldn't manage a full curve on the main star arms in one 'swoop' as I had to reposition my hands each time....   The oyster shells between the points were much easier as my hands stayed in one place.



 I planned out this travelling stitch line for the flying geese and I'm planning to use the same design for all five roundels.

It's hard to come up with quilting that will enhance the piecing, not to either fight with it or dominate it.  I'm hoping that I can use fairly light quilting throughout.
 This was the second roundel that I tackled, and I'm happier with the result of this one.  Perhaps I just had 'starters nerves' on the first one!
 This shows the detail of how I quilted the circling swallows and the outer space.
This shows the flying geese loops again.

Now I need to consider how I'm going to quilt the next roundel that I choose.  It's not the fastest process, but it's one that I'm enjoying!