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!

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Two Types of Finish!

 The first is a happy finish - you know the sort, when you finish a quilt and it says what you want it to and your work isn't too bad either?  Great, isn't it?

This is the quillow front - before I attached it to the quilt, but after I'd quilted it.
 I used a mixture of quilting techniques (and thread colours) on it.  Patterns based on the piecing in the centre, some FMQ stipple, some stitch in the ditch (very unusual for me, but this really needed it) and some loop the loop to complete it.  There is also a personal message 'hidden' - which is always fun to do!
 The quilt front, quilted and bound
 The back - it was three almost equal stripes in order to get the 57" width that I needed.
 Final picture, with the quilt neatly folded into itself - aren't quillows great?  I'm hoping that when this is gifted it is welcomed for what it is.
 The second type of finish is much sadder - the finish of a fabric postcard swap that I've been part of for several years.  We don't really have enough active members to carry it on in the same form, so these are (most of) the cards for our 'Farewell fling'. 

This lovely one is from Alice - suitable fabric and additions on both the front and the back.
 This cutie is from Inge - so clever with the face in the window and the fun 'front garden'.
 A special bonus from Jacquie - a beautifully made farewell gift, in the form of a lovely folio.  Just gorgeous!
 This was her farewell postcard to me.  Clever use of a machine decorative stitch and variegated thread produced a super card.
 This bright number with precise machine stitching and hand highlighting is from Pauline.  The photo doesn't do justice to the neon thread used - it is amazing!

This was my offering - or at least a generic sample of the cards that I made.  I printed paper, used dilute PVA to adhere it to a fine calico, then used it as fabric.  I used both machine and hand stitching as well as Inktense pencils and some additional embellishments to decorate them for each person that I sent to, then stiffened with buckram and backed with plain fabric.

Finally, this fun card from Rosemary - love the use of sewing themed fabrics!

Thank you everyone for being great swappers - both in this swap and over the previous years.  I shall miss all our fabric fun and the lovely post that we've shared.