Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Quilt of Nature

 I had a pile of green and pale yellow with a few brown FQs (well, mostly partial FQs if I'm honest!) out, remains of a fabric pull for a Meadowlands quilt that I made a few weeks ago.  Lots of 'nature' colours and prints in there.

I decided that I didn't want them to go back into my FQ stash, so I'd better make another quilt with them.
 I cut the fabrics into 2.5" strips and joined them in three colour families (although really I just made two piles of the greens, they weren't particularly differentiated - but the pale strips were kept separate).

Then I chose an 8.5" square and set off sewing the strips around it until I either ran out of strips or reached the size that I wanted.   Luckily for me they happened at about the same time.  I've got a 60" square, and only had a few inches of strip left over.
The bowns and a yellow FQ that hadn't made it into the front edit were then patched together to make the back.

I had to add a few inches of one fabric that I wasn't in the original pile, but it pretty much worked out OK without any more stash raiding. 
Simple quilting, a plain green binding to finish it off, and we're good to go!
Simple quilting to hold everything together in case of robust use!
Shown here with the corner flipped back.

This was so much fun to make that I'm tempted to pull out more FQs and start another one!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

More little quilts

 Another couple of projects to reduce my scraps!

These were left over scraps from my big 365 project from a while ago, that had been sitting in a little caddy on my sewing table, begging to be used.

I realised that part of my reluctance was that I had these little fiddly scraps, and a few larger ones.  Once I'd realised that I just needed to split the two different families apart, things were much easier!
 This first scrap happy item used the tiniest blocks and parts of blocks that I had, with a few other scraps used as fillers.  I made each of the nine blocks up to 4.5" square, arranged them as a nine patch and sewed them together.

I didn't want to try too much detailed quilting as there were so many thick bumps where the tiny patches were joined.  This is the back, before the 12" square was made into a cushion cover.
 This mini used up the larger pieces that I had in the same caddy.

All pretty varied, but again, made into a nine patch and sewn together to finish at 12" square.

I thought that my machine would take to quilting this with more detail, and it did.

I used a handy CD to draw around with spray away pen to give me the start lines for my feathers and bobbles, then I had fun with the small scale stipple in the central areas, and a loopy line around the edges.

Another mini that I've turned into a cushion cover.

More scraps 'busted' and a cleaner, clearer work surface.

If I could just come up with a good plan for using my old colour catchers I could make even more progress, but I haven't found exactly the right idea for using them yet!  All suggestions welcome!

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Small and Smallest

 It was time to pull some scraps together.  These were left over HSTs from the Pecking Order quilt that I made a few weeks ago.

It was fun deciding on a layout for them all.

This 10" square mini quilt was the result of all those 1.5" squares. Lots of fun to make and quilt.

 Then I went for the 'very small' quilt - this is just 3" square.  I think that I should be able to make the binding even narrower to get a better effect with it in better proportion.  I may yet decide on future tiny quilts to use a less traditional type of binding.

It is quilted at 1/8th" with a variegated thread.  I'm not sure that the quilting really enhances the front.
The unexpected treat was the reverse, though!  The detail from a large print (thanks Ikea!) was just right, and set off by the serendipitous accidental thread that drifted across the back as I was quilting it.

I prefer the back!  Of course, the binding is even more oversized that it would ideally have.... a learning point for future projects!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Meadowland Quilt for a Natural Field

 I can't believe that I missed the 'Mental Health Awareness Week' deadline so badly, but, late as I am, I'd like to show you this (now complete) quilt and tell you a little about the charity that I've made it for.

The quilt is made with the Meadowland pattern by Then Came June.

Lots of cutting and mixing of fabrics, followed by some sewing to make these large blocks, and the quilt top came together quickly.  Four blocks square gives a 64" square quilt.
 Then there was quite a long pause as I decided how to quilt this.

As I was making it specifically for Dose of Nature - a charity which promotes which promotes engaging with the natural world in order to promote good mental health - I wanted it to have some nature motifs on it.

I settled on these loose flowers in the neutral centres of each block
 Then added more leaves and buds along the quilting meander.
 Random, just like nature.  I did wonder about trying to add some wild animals or bugs too, but decided that 1) it was beyond my skill set but 2) that didn't matter, as not everyone would like to snuggle with bugs or animals anyway!
Cute prints on the pieced back, and the quilt is finished!

So, please go along and read about Dose of Nature - the work that they do and the evidence that they have for proposing that we all try and spend more time with the natural world.  They have just moved to a base at Pensfold Field in Kew, which is a wonderful location. 

I have to declare an interest, as one of the founding trustees is my wonderful SiL.  I have her to thank for introducing me to Pensford Field, as I previously had no idea that it existed!

I wish everyone who is part of the charity all the best in their work.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Another Handling Piece

Another slow sewing week, with hand work as a companion to a cold!

This is my second sample for Gunnersbury Park Museum.  I'm not sure what has made the difference, but my clam shells aren't the same as those on the Acton Top - mine seem to be a deeper shape. I was happy to complete this - you can see at the bottom hem how my work was starting to slope - more rows would have meant even more slope, I think!  No way could I accurately make the number that are in the top itself - although they are long borders and probably no deeper than this sample, now that I think about it.

It may have issues as a recreation / modern make, but at least the technique is the same!

Sample size is 10" x 14".

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Back in Time

I enjoyed a fascinating morning at Gunnersbury Park Museum this weekend. I was there with a group of like-minded textile bods who are interested in making handling samples to go alongside a display of some of the museum's textiles, including the Acton Top, this autumn.

We were allowed to get very close to the top and really examine the fabric and the stitching closely.  Fascinating stuff!  The top is approximately 200 years old, with some of the fabrics being even older.

This is my interpretation of one of the applique elements - with a little paper piecing at the bottom to ground it.  You'll have to go to the museum in the autumn to see if you can spot what it is based on!

I like to think that it's authentically wonky around the edges.....

Fun to make!  My next hand sewing will be to try my hand at clamshells (something I've only ever tried once before) for another handling piece.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Such Loveliness!

 Most of my weekend was taken up with enjoying a wonderful family event.

We dodged the hail and rain storms to enjoy Norfolk's finest bluebells....
 ....and wish the participants many joyous years of happiness to come!

It was such a lovely event, full of joy, the sort of uplift that everyone needs once in a while.
 Before we went off for the weekend I finished this strippy.

Mary's original pattern is here.  I didn't really follow it precisely this time, as I was using up the cow print and some other prints that more or less went with it.
  I used the giraffe fabric for backing again.
And a simple diagonal quilting.  I quite like the look of this, but I do find it a little dull to do!  Perhaps I just need to turn the radio up a bit louder so that I can hear it over the noise of the sewing machine!

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Its Been a Busy Week.....

 .....with little time for sewing!

Still, amongst other things, like having a walk around the Chihuly exhibtion at  Kew Gardens (well worth visiting) I did have time to make seven more fabric baskets!  Only six shown here as one was a repeat.....
Not bad!

All in blues, all due to be gifted next week!

Used up lots of scrap batting pieces that I'd joined in readiness.  Gotta love a good fabric basket mountain!

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Fun Quilt Finish!

 This quilt really deserves better photos!  it's such a bright cheerful quilt, and that really isn't shown here!

Have you come across the Missouri Star Quilting Co.?  A quilt shop, they have great tutorials and lots of help with plenty of excellent YouTube videos too.  Fabulous!

This is one of their patterns - called Pecking Order, as they talk about the triangles that are made being like beaks.
 It's based on a very simple block - a 5" background square with a 2 1/2" feature fabric square placed over one corner and stitched diagonally before being trimmed (covered corners, I think that the technique is called).  They used five packs of charms, I used one pack of Kaffe Fasset fabric charms and a couple of metres of white-on-white background fabric.

Very easy to sew, and a fun pattern.
 This is what an individual motif looks like.  I love how they are offset through the quilt.  Made up of 12 blocks, they are best laid out as a whole quilt layout so that you are left with easy joining of the squares to do.
 My version (10 blocks by 12 blocks) finished at approx 46" x 55".

Backings were a lot easier when I had some 56" wide fabric!  For this one I added a strip of blue about a third of the way across the giraffe fabric.
Bound with some spotty green fabric.

I'm very happy with how this finished!

Hope that you had a happy and productive Easter break too!

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Tiny Quilt Fun.

 A tiny quilt finish this week!

At just 8" square, this makes me smile every time that I see it (which is frequently, as I've hung it just above my PC!).

The blocks were fun to make.  Yes, I've made plenty of mistakes, but they are all my own work, not the fault of the pattern at all!  This is my version of the Sew Tiny Sampler by Kitty Wilkin which was released last month.
The blocks had so much going on in them already that I didn't want to overwhelm them with quilting, so I just echo quilted in the sashing.  It would have been more accurate if my sewing machine light was working (do I need to confess that a call to my sewing machine repair guy managed a down-the-phone-line fix when he asked "Have you tried the light switch on the back of the machine?"......who knew?  I've only had the machine (ahem) about ten years!).

Still, a good fun finish, with plenty of room for self improvement if (when!) I give it another go!

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Yet another little quilt!

 The final quilt from this batch of donated fabric - I promise! There were only tiny scraps left which I have passed on to Benta for her projects....

But, I managed to get sufficient 5" squares together to make this 'colour fall' quilt, letting the intensity of the colour build from the white at the top to the more saturated colours at the bottom.
 Bound with more of the lime green spots,
backed with those fun cupcakes.
 I wanted the quilting to reflect the vertical rhythm to the quilt, so I did an up and down 'flame' type pattern.
It made up to approximately 38" square.  Not huge, but enough to keep a baby snuggled in.

Destined for Project Linus or similar.

Thanks Benta for leading the charge on these fun projects that germinated with the block bingo game at Richmond and Kew Quilters!

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Another week, another quilt again!

 Another quilt born of the scraps from the charity quilt making evening!  I started putting some of the scrap colours that went together well - a mix of greens, browns and pinks - into blocks.  Then I remembered that I had a panel in the same sort of colours that could be used.

The layout wasn't absolutely ideal, but I was in a make do and mend mood, so I made them fit!
 The backing was a challenge too!  At 48" x 54" it was too wide for a normal width of fabric, but as I didn't have anything in the right sort of colours, I had to put together this backing.  It uses two different types of green fabric and a long narrow remnant of pink.  It was a bit touch and go, but I had just enough to make it work.
 Of course, I hadn't thought about the binding, and I didn't have enough of anything to work properly, so I used another green (which I thought was closer to some of the greens in the central panel than it actually was - oops!).

Still, as a 'make do' quilt with hardly any stash shopping at all, let alone actual shopping, it's turned out well!

Thanks to the generous donations of the RKQ quilters!

Another donation quilt complete.  My 10th quilt finish of the year, along with a set of fabric post cards, a couple of fabric buckets, a skirt and some other odd hemming and repairs along the way.

No wonder that my machine is asking for a service!

Sewing will have to slow down a little whilst it is away for a few days.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Another week, another quilt!

Remember that I had some left over strips from the last 'lattice' quilt?

Not very much fabric needed to be added in order to make this 'not quite a crumb quilt' quilt.  Some blocks are made with strips going in just one direction, others have several 'strip sets' added in order to make the required number of squares.
 Obviously I added the bright green spotty fabric again, for sashing, binding and a strip inserted in the backing fabric to make the required width.
 It was sandwiched with 'reclaimed' wadding - all those little bits that are left behind from other quilt trimmings.  About 30 pieces of batting were joined to get to the 48" square required.

Now on to the next pile of scraps from our charity evening!
Amongst the sewing time, there was also time for plenty of cake and fun as my DD1 celebrated her birthday.  My attempt at coins, as most of her presents were related to her newly burgeoning coin collection.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Lattice Complete!

 The disorder of last week has resolved into this completed quilt.

Perhaps not as orderly as it could be, but I decided that it would be silly to remake or replace blocks that didn't have central green spotted spines....
 Backed with some cheerful cupcake fabric that also contains that bright green.  The whole quilt is bright and fun.  I love how it turned out!
Perfect to complete on the spring equinox!

More ordering of disorder will happen this week.....

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Finishes and Disorder!

 Another fabric bucket complete with mini Dresden means another gift completed for later in the year.
 My second Easter wall hanging also started and finished this week.  The pattern is by Ester Aliu, called Easter Blessings.  I've made it with fusible applique.  Plenty of yellows as that's a favourite colour of my SiL (as well as being a great spring colour!). 
 Actually, although I said that it was finished, as I'm looking at it, I realise that I'm not quite happy with it.  The basket fabric looks beautifully different up close like in this shot, but doesn't really have the definition that the bands and handle suggest that it should have.  I can either try and address it with Inktense pencils over the whole basket, or perhaps try to define the edge more with some orange thread quilting.

Sometimes you need to step back in order to see more clearly, don't you?
And the disorder?


We had a fun quilt meeting on Monday, where Benta set us off on a string quilt evening, working in small teams to make blocks for charity quilts.
Although I took some fabric, I seem to have come home with extra, and most of my original fabrics in strings - see the disordered pile above!
These were the blocks that our team made.

I sorted the strings and will make more blocks in order to complete the quilt.  Fun times with fun fabrics!
Of course, despite starting with order, my sewing space quickly descended into disorder.  Its fun, but the process isn't neat!

I'm looking forward to completing the 20 blocks for this quilt top, and I'm thinking that there might be more strips than I need, so more blocks can be made.  Looking forward to seeing what comes out of the piles!