Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Using it Up!

 Whilst I'm trying to reduce my scraps I'm trying to go for (almost!) zero scrap generation on my projects - so the obvious thing to do is to keep using the fabrics until there aren't any scraps big enough to do anything useful with.

These are the result of the last quilt.  An A4 book cover, a tissue pack, a zippy pouch.

Oh, and the two cushion covers, of course!

It's working out well!
 I quilting this cover with straight lines to contrast it with the first one that was a grand spiral.

I'm pleased with this one too.
 Here are the pair of 22" cushions together.
 I also thought that I'd share some of the little motifs that I quilted onto the quilt, along the loop-de-loop pattern.

There are flowers....
 ....of various shapes and sizes.

And shells.....
 .... and leaves.....
.....and stars.....
 .....and bolder flowers.....
.....and leaves!

It was a whole bundle of fun to quilt!

Time to give these to my niece and move on to other projects now, but it's been lovely to play with these over the start of the summer holidays!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

It's all about the Quilting!

 Quilted, binding on - just a label away from REALLY being able to call this finished!

I love how the 3D effect works on this!
 I bought more of one of the darker purple fabrics (with tiny spots on it - it's lovely!) for the binding.
 And ignoring the 'tear drop' fabric, it's backed with this lovely tiny star on turquoise fabric.

I'm so pleased with it!
Hard to see, but there was a last minute addition.  A strip of the low volume fabrics added and a quote machine sewn on to it.

It says "Let your smile change the world but don't let the world change your smile".

Quilted with a loopy line and some simple motifs.

Happy summer sewing!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Economy Scrap Quilting

 Remember last week when I said that I'd made too many light diamonds for the quilt pattern?

I knew that I wanted to make a couple of cushion covers to go with the quilt, so the diamonds provided the perfect jumping off point!

They needed to be added to with other scraps, of course, but all these pieces were cut quilt easily from what was left over.

This one is complete - with spiral quilting.
This one still needs to be quilted.  I'm planning diagonal lines a similar width apart to the spiral lines.

Funny story about the fabric that acts as a border and backing for these cushions.

I bought it online,  Was delighted by the colour match of the aqua and purple in in to the quilt top.  Stood back and wasn't sure that I could make a whole quilt back that looked like rain - it doesn't feel very huggable, somehow.  I showed the fabric to my DH, explaining my dilemma.  When he said "Rain?  I thought you were going to say tears" I knew that I couldn't use it for a quilt backing!

I'm still happy with it for small areas - or things that won't be wrapped around someone - but the quilt now has a deep aqua print instead! 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Let the Quilting Begin!

 The quilt top is complete!

This is always a lovely moment, isn't it?  Quilt top completed.  Although the photo here shows it sideways (DH didn't want to trail it on the damp lawn!) you can see the 3D effect on it.

It was a 'proper' patchwork in the final section when I discovered that I had more light diamonds than I wanted, and not as many darks.  Creative use of the scraps was required to make up the missing shapes that I needed.
 Now backed and basted (aching limbs testify to this - crawling around the floor with fabric, masking tape and spray baste isn't always my favourite thing to do) I'm ready to start quilting!

Feed dogs will be lowered later today and a free motion whirlwind will last until it's complete!
 I also finished a small hand sewing project.  Inspired by the redwork portraits of Tisha Dolton I thought that I'd try a self portrait.

Does it look like me?  I don't know - but you can decide by comparing the stitched image to the photo I used below.

I think that the biggest lesson I learned was to choose a photo where my lips were closed rather than open - that blank space in the mouth looked even worse when I tried to add teeth in!
It's made me reflect on how little I know about what I look like.  I don't wear make up or spend a lot of time on 'image', so as a consequence I don't spend much time in front of a mirror or even considering how I look.  Perhaps a bit longer might be a good thing? 

Anyhow, I'm thinking that I'd like to try and make portraits of my DH and two DDs.  They might look good shown as a set of four.  I wonder if I'll let each family member choose their own thread colour?  Mine, if you can't tell, is purple.

All good fun - and nicely portable for summer holiday projects!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Good Progress on my WIP

 It did take a while to make and trim all the HST blocks.  Then to make them into diamonds - remembering to make 'left hand' and 'right hand' diamonds for the pattern to work.

Now I'm starting to lay them out and sew sections of the quilt together.
 The larger blocks look like this
 Put together with the small diamonds they look like this.  This is one third of the quilt top.  I'm pleased with it!  Hope that my lovely niece will be pleased too with how her chosen fabrics are looking!
Enough spare time to make this postcard for a birthday swap.  Fun to use some scraps and add quilting to it.

Now time to go back to my diamonds and sew up a storm until my DD's break up from school on Friday!

Happy summer sewing!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The Excitement of a Project Start!

 Oh the thrill of a completely new project with completely new fabrics!  The anticipation!  The possibility that this may be the quilt when all the seams are perfect, when all the corners meet! 

Aren't these fabrics fabulous?  Chosen by my SiL and niece for a specific quilt pattern that my niece has chosen for her 'Uni Quilt'.
 Added to these low volume prints that they also chose, all I had to do was to start cutting and sewing!   I spent some time procrastinating.  I want the quilt to be perfect, but I know that I'm only prepared to put in the time and effort to make it as perfect as it turns out, with just an ordinary amount of effort!
 All the coloured fabrics cut into the squares that are needed.
 All the fabrics cut and diagonals marked on the squares that needed them.

It hardly seems enough fabric to make a complete quilt top, does it?
 The first blocks finished.  Twenty four down, 336 to go!
 Here's the start of those HSTs.  They are going to take me a while to make, press and trim.  I'm sure that I'll have more to show you next week!

The pattern, by Karen Lewis of Blue Berry Park, was published in Love Patchwork and Quilting in October 2014.  I've been wanting to make it since I first saw it!  I'm excited that I'm finally doing so.
Rather more instant gratification gained by making these bead and knot necklaces along with some of my gal pals.  Perfect summer colours for me, although I confess to not being much of a necklace wearer!

Happy sewing and crafting, everyone!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Another Scrap Finish

 Another week, another finish!  This will be the last finish for a little while, though, as I'm about to start a quilt for one of my nieces that will take me a little longer to make.  More on that next week!

This is a 44" lovely, made from my 2" strips and squares, the surprise additional size that I cut when I was tackling my scraps.
 It will look less folded once it's out of the washing machine, I'm sure!

I put the strips together 'lasagne quilt' style, stopping once I'd got to a size that I thought I could cut up usefully.

I thought that adding the sashing and border to bring the size up a little was a good plan, and rotating alternate blocks seems to work well too.

I shall pass all three of these scrap quilts on to Project Linus at my quilt group next week.
After watching a terrific  Patsy Thompson DVD (thank you Avril!) I decided to quilt with a loop de loop vine.  My leaves need some work on consistency, but its a good start point for me!

You can see here the leaves  amongst the loops on the back of it here.

I'm off to fondle some fabric and perhaps even iron and cut it - planning and starting a new project is always fun, isn't it?

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Another Scrap Stash Quilt - and cake!

 Another little quilt finished!  50" x 42".
Sprawled over a sofa it is inviting a snuggle now that the weather is a little cooler again!
 I used the same 'loop the loop' quilting pattern as on the last little quilt.
 I do love this IKEA fabric that I've used for the border, backing and binding.
 I also made a couple of these clever little coasters that you can slip over the base of a wine glass, using the tutorial from 'Busy as Can Be'.  Just 7 charm squares and a few minutes.  Perfect for posting overseas to friends.
 Not too much other sewing done, though, as it was a birthday week in our house.

On the actual day a Victoria sponge was requested.
After the birthday treat of indoor sky diving (!) this cake - trying to recreate the magic of flight, but without the roar of the big fan underneath you!

Its been a tiring week, but a fun one.  Time to settle into some quiet sewing now!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Scrap Happy

 When I was sorting all my scraps I came across a pile of 10 1/2" square pieces of fabric.  Just a couple more light fabric squares added to them gave me 20 HSTs (Half Square Triangles) to play with.

This layout used just 16 of them.
 This used the same 16, but turned the corners to give a boxier look.
 This used all 20 blocks - much more satisfying and a slightly larger quilt.
 It was tweaked slightly, then borders added.

Here is it is basted and ready to be quilted - but not until the hot weather we're being subjected to at the moment cools down a little.  The room where I sew is roasting hot at the moment!

This remains a WIP!
 A little more sewing.  These four cards use my heart orphan blocks - layered with a slightly larger fabric square and sewn onto the card.  Quick but effective, I've already used one!
These took a little longer, but my DD1 was very pleased to give them to her friend.  It's fun to make these small projects with the fabric that my daughters think is most suitable for their chums!

I hope that you are a enjoying the weather where you are!  Happy sewing!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Scrap Quilt Finish!

 My 16 patches are sashed, bordered, backed, basted, quilted and bound!

I've also taken the chance to try a couple of outdoor quilt photos in this mornings sunshine.  I couldn't persuade our chicks to pose in the background of this first one, though, despite using the fence of their run.  They looked faintly bemused and went back to their dust baths!
 This shot shows the colour change between the centre four blocks and the others.  I'm pleased with that.
This shot shows off the square in a square highlights.

Overall the quilt is 45" square.  I originally intended to make the sashing and borders wider, but decided to live more or less within the constraints of  typical 'width of fabric'.  Of course, as I was adding the borders I realised that as I was making them with cornerstones I could have made them wider at least!  A lesson for next time!
 The quilting is a 'loop the loop' design based on something taught by Patsy Thompson.  I own one of her DVD's and was reminded of it by Avril recently.  A fun design!  Thanks for the reminder!

The backing is a bargain from IKEA.  I usually make a trip to see if there are any fabrics that I could use as a generic backing fabric once I run out of whatever I last bought - and although I don't love this as much as some of the prints that I've bought over the years, it's a lovely 56" wide blue grey fabric, which has a lot of appeal for me.
I had fun making the quilt.  As well as a scrappy top (and patchwork wadding) I decided to use all the part bobbins of threads that I had.  It feels very cleansing to have so many empty bobbins again.  I tend to have white, grey black and perhaps straw coloured threads on bobbins ready to go.  I would say that 80% of the time I use grey Aurifil for piecing, and quite often I use it for quilting too.

Time for me to go and start on the next scrap top!